English Language Test for Partner Visas


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English Language Requirement for Partner Visas.


UPDATE: 26 August 2021

It has been mentioned in some social media sites that this change will come into effect in November 2021.

Partner Visa Applicants

English language requirements will soon be introduced for Partner visa applicants. Those partner visa applicants, already holding a temporary visa (subclass 309 or 820), will soon have to demonstrate that they can speak English, or have tried to learn English, in order to be granted the final permanent visa (subclass 100 or 801).

Partner Visa Sponsors

English language requirements will soon be introduced for Partner visa sponsors, if that sponsor is NOT an Australian Citizen.
(Most Australian Citizens have already proven English language requirements to obtain Citizenship.)

Those partner visa sponsors, who currently hold a Permanent Resident visa, will soon have to demonstrate that they can speak English, or have tried to learn English, in order for their partner to be granted their final permanent visa (subclass 100 or 801).


October 2020


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From late 2021, new partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors will be required to have functional level English or to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English.

The requirement will have to be met at the time of the granting of the permanent visa, subclass 100 or 801.

People will be able to demonstrate this through, for example, the completion of 500 hours of free English language classes through the AMEP.

Part of the reason for this is that only 13 per cent of those with no English skills are in work compared to 62 per cent of those who speak English well.

In fact, in the past decade, the number of people in Australia not speaking English well, or at all, has risen sharply and is reaching a million people.

Earlier in 2020, the Government announced the removal of limitations on migrants‘ access to free English language classes through the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP).

This was presumably so that all new migrants can access as many hours as they need to reach vocational English, in anticipation of this new rule.

minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/…/New-requirement-to-learn-English-to-maximise-job-prospects

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3 thoughts on “English Language Test for Partner Visas”

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  2. I am still seeing some statements saying things like: Foreign partners coming to Australia will soon have to demonstrate they can speak English in order to be granted a visa.

    That is WRONG.

    There is no requirement for, and no intention for, an English language test for the subclass 309 or subclass 820 partner visas that allows the foreign partner of an Australian Citizens or Permanent resident to come to Australia.

    The test will only apply for the subclass 100 or 801 applicants, after the foreign partner has been granted the 309 or 820 visa, has arrived in Australia, and has been granted the ability to take the free English lessons.

    Those people that are unable to learn English, for acceptable reasons, will be able to apply for exemption from the requirement.

  3. The Department of Home Affairs is considering adding a language requirement for partner visa applications.

    There is a lot of confusion on this English requirement.

    Once implemented it will be a requirement at the time of subclass 100 or 801 GRANT, not application.

    Some nationalities are exempt from the requirement.

    Taking Free English lessons, in Australia, can exempt you from the requirement.

    These are some questionable statements seen on various web Sites:

    • Under the proposal, both the person applying for the visa and the person sponsoring the visa would have to pass the English test.

    Fact: Before the visa is GRANTED they need to either pass the test or complete the free English course.

    • An English test would create barriers and delays to family reunions, and in some cases completely prevent families from being reunited.

    Fact: These people can arrive on a 309 or 820 visa, take the free AMEP English course, and not need a test. The English requirement is at time of final PR grant, AFTER they have arrived in Australia.

    1. Be very aware of confusion when you search for information.

      One search reveals this.
      English for Partner Visa

      But how accurate is it?

      Even after the new law is implemented, the above statement is wrong.

      A person can still be granted a Permanent Partner visa, if they have TRIED to learn English.

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