As part of the Federal Budget 2020-2021 announcement on 06 October 2020, the Government has indicated introduction of a new requirement to learn English language for partner visa applicants and their sponsors from late 2021.
These changes are aimed towards maximising job prospects in Australia, and enhancing social cohesion. If legislative changes are made to this effect, new partner visa applicants and their sponsors will be required to meet functional English requirements or demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English by various means, such as completing 500 hours of free English language classes through the Adult Migration English Program. Further, this requirement will apply at time of the permanent visa and not the provisional visa.
The Hon Alan Tudge MP, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, said, “While the ability to speak multiple languages is a great asset for an individual and for Australia, a person will struggle to fully participate in our society and democracy without basic English. These new measures will provide further opportunity for migrants and new citizens to maximise their opportunities in Australia.”