At a multicultural media briefing on Wednesday, 7th October 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the test would ensure prospective partner visa holders were able to independently access government and health services and seek help when needed.
His statement included:
“I am very aware that lack of English language skills, particularly amongst partners, has put many of those partners at risk in Australia.”
“At risk of domestic violence, at risk of being abused in the workplace, and having their rights overtaken.”
“I don’t want to see people who come to Australia to be vulnerable. And if your English language skills are not strong or non-existent, then you will be more vulnerable in Australia.”
“The test would be a much more basic level of English language competency than is required for economic migration.”
“The requirement will ensure partners who come from abroad are able to access government services, get medical treatment and are able to understand and participate in the parent-teacher meetings at school.”
“English is a vital tool for social and economic inclusion in Australia.”
The MP Andrew Giles, Labor’s spokesperson for Multicultural Affairs and Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship, made a statement saying “How is this relevant to Australian’s choose to marry? ”
He actually missed the point there, needing a basic level of English is not needed for an Australian to marry someone. It only applies to those who wish to live in Australia.
When I married a non English speaker, we had the choice to live in my country or hers. The language had no influence on actually marrying.
But it isn’t only for Australian Citizens, many of the Partner Visa Sponsors are not Australians. The just hold a Permanent Resident visa, and may have only been in the country for a year or so. His statement missed that point.
Does the sponsor need to take the test, if they are not an Australian? It seems, from the wording, that they will.
When will the English Language test be implemented?
Going by previous changes, such as the sponsor needing to apply first, this change could take 2 or 3 years.
Those who are looking for full details on the Immigration website may need to wait until it has been approved in Parliament. 2021? 2022? 2023?
Some Visa Applicants might find an Experienced Australian Migration Agent of great assistance.