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. These include:
The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) is currently seeking community views to inform the development of settings and the implementation of the new English language requirement and the sponsorship framework for the Partner visa program.
The new English language requirement for Partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors will encourage and support English acquisition.
The English language requirement will apply to primary and secondary Partner visa applicants aged 18 to retirement age and sponsors who are permanent residents.
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 department will look at your English language proficiency level and efforts you’ve made to learn English. Partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors would be able to meet the English requirement if they can demonstrate that they have made a ‘reasonable effort’ to learn English. A reasonable effort to learn English may include participating in government funded AMEP tuition. Previously, AMEP participants could access up to 510 hours of tuition. The AMEP program now offers unlimited hours of tuition, and changes continue to be made to improve accessibility to online learning, including for persons with caring responsibilities.
Other ways of meeting the English language requirement could be an appropriate score in an approved English language test; having a valid passport from a particular country or where the applicant has obtained a qualification where all instruction was in 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.
The department is considering exemptions for some circumstances, for example if they have a learning disability.
As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will apply the family sponsorship framework set out in the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 (the Act) to the Partner visa program (previously implemented for the SC870 visa).
The framework will:
The sponsorship application will be assessed separately and will need to be approved before a valid Partner visa application can be lodged. Once implemented for Partner visas it will significantly impact whether an Australian Partner visa application can be lodged whist the applicant (partner or spouse) is in Australia.
We highly recommend lodging the partner visa application as soon as you meet the criteria.
Partner visas can be complex process and not as easy as they may appear, to maximise your chances of success contact VisaEnvoy for expert advice and guidance from a reputable Registered Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer. If you would discuss your situation in detail please book a consultation
Other changes in this bill:
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