Partner visa Australia proposed reforms

Reforms proposes in relation to Australian Partner visa

Partner Visa Australia proposed reforms

The following are the reforms proposed for Australian Partner visa.

Reforms to Partner visa Australia Program​​​​

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will implement reforms to strengthen the integration outcomes of the Partner program by the end of 2021, which will apply to These include:

1. Introducing an English language requirement for permanent resident sponsors and Partner visa applicants; and

2. Applying the sponsorship framework set out in the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 to the Partner visas and De Facto Partner Visas.  

Meeting the English language requirement

The English language requirement will apply to primary and secondary Partner visa applicants aged 18 to retirement age and sponsors who are permanent residents.

1. Permanent resident sponsors will need to meet the English language requirement as part of the sponsorship assessment.

 2. Partner visa applications are processed in two stages and Partner visa applicants will only need to meet the English language requirement at the second-stage assessment, which is often two years after the provisional Partner visa application is lodged.

Partners will continue to be able to travel to and stay in Australia on the provisional Partner visa and access government funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) classes to learn English. The English language requirement will be introduced to the Partner program at the end of 2021 and will apply to applications lodged on or after the date of implementation.

English Language Requirements

The Australian Partner visa program does not presently require applicants or sponsors to meet any English language requirements. The upcoming Partner visa reforms will require visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors to provide evidence of a ‘functional level’ of English or to demonstrate that they have made ‘reasonable efforts to learn English’ at the time of the permanent Partner visa stage.

What is Considered ‘Functional English’

You can demonstrate you have functional English if you:

Completed a degree, higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate in an institution in or outside of Australia that required at least two years of full-time study and all instruction was in English;

You completed all years of primary and at least 3 years of secondary school in or outside of Australia and all instruction was in English;

You completed 5 years of secondary school in or outside of Australia and all instruction was in English;

You completed 1 year of full-time study towards an award in Australia and all instruction was in English;

You completed the part-time equivalent of 1 year of full-time study towards an award in Australia and all instruction was in English;

You achieved an average band score of 4.5 in IELTS;

You achieved a total band score of at least 32 in TOEFL iBT;

You achieved a total band score of at least 30 in PTE; or

You achieved a total band score of at least 147 in CAE.

What is Considered as ‘Reasonable Efforts’?

Reasonable efforts will include the completion of 500 hours of free English language classes through the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP).

Who will be Exempt from the English Language Requirements?

These requirements will not apply to passport holders from Australia, Canada, Ireland,New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom.

Sponsorship Approval for Partner Visa

At present, a partner visa application can be lodged at any time, without needing to first get the sponsor to become approved.

As part of the Partner visa reforms, the Department of Home Affairs will introduce a new sponsorship framework requiring sponsors to be approved before their partners can apply for a Partner visa.

If this additional step to the sponsorship component is to be extended this will negatively impact onshore Partner visa applicants wanting to lodge a visa application prior to their substantive visa expiring.

Which Visas Will these Requirements Apply to?

These changes will apply to the following visas:

Partner Visa 309 & Partner Visa 100

Partner Visa 820 & Partner Visa 801

Prospective Partner Visa 300

 

Disclaimer: ‘Atlantis International Pty Ltd’ and its associates are independent consulting entities which are not associated in anyway with the Australian ‘Department of Home Affairs’ (DOHA). Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.