As of late 2021 the Australian government is introducing new requirements for partner visas surrounding English proficiency to maximise job prospects. By the time permanent residency under a partner 801 or 100 visa is granted the applicant as well as their sponsor must be able to speak English at a functional level or provide evidence of reasonable efforts to learn English. This comes as the amount of non-English speaking migrants is rising, The Morrison government revealed only 13% of individuals with low or no English skills are currently working in comparison to 62% of individuals who speak English well. Australia’s national language being English means there are a lack of opportunities for employment and social engagement for migrants with low English skills as well as a particular vulnerability to family violence and other exploitation.
In 2021’s official budget the Australian Government removed restrictions on the number of hours available in the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP), and instead at the time of the grant for permanent residency “reasonable efforts” must be made to learn English. I, e. an applicant and where applicable their sponsor must have completed 500 hours of the AMEP.
Functional English is defined as reaching a score with specific institutions testing programs on English proficiency. The test scores abilities in speaking, writing, reading, and listening
- IELTS – 4.5
- TOEFL iBT – 8
- PTE academic – 30
- OET – N/A
- Cambridge CAE – 147
Minister.homeaffairs.gov.au. 2021. New requirement to learn English to maximise job prospects. [online] Available at: <here> [Accessed 5 November 2021].
IELTS Australia. 2021. New English Language Rules for Australian Partner Visas | IELTS Australia. [online] Available at: <here> [Accessed 5 November 2021].
Australian Skilled Migration. 2021. English Requirement for Partner Visas | Australian Skilled Migration. [online] Available at: <here> [Accessed 5 November 2021].
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