Australian Government Announces Changes to Partner Visas

As part of the recent Federal Budget announcement, the Australian Government has revealed changes to the rules around partner visas.

From the middle of next year, migrants coming to Australia on a partner visa will need to meet English language requirements. These requirements will also apply to the applicant’s spouse if they’re a permanent resident.

“What this will mean is that we will require an applicant and a sponsor to have met functional level English or to have at least made reasonable efforts to learn English,” said Acting Immigration Minister, Alan Tudge. “And by reasonable efforts we mean for most people that would be doing about 500 hours of free English language classes.

“We want to encourage everybody to be able to learn English so that they can fully engage in Australian life, in every aspect of it, from employment markets, to our democracy, to our society, to community activity. English is absolutely essential in order to do all of that.”

Australia’s partner visa is administered in a two-step process: first, partners can live in Australia on a temporary partner visa, and then they can apply for a permanent partner visa. The English language requirement will only be applicable to partners applying for permanency.

For more information on partner visas and the latest updates, head to the Department of Home Affairs website.