Immigrants applying for a partner visa will be tested for ‘functional levels’ of English before they are granted permanent residency. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new requirement would promote social and economic inclusion.
Daily Mail (h/t Sara S) The government may require immigrants who do not speak English to have 500 hours of free class under the plan announced in Tuesday’s budget.
Partner visa are processed in two stages. First an applicant gets a temporary visa for about two years after which they can apply for permanent residency. The English language requirements will need to be fulfilled at the second stage when the partner wants to become a permanent resident.
The government may require immigrants who do not speak English to have 500 hours of free class under the plan announced in Tuesday’s budget.
What this will mean is that we will require an applicant and a sponsor to have met functional level English or to have at least made reasonable efforts to learn English,’ said Immigration Minister Alan Tudge. Earlier this year the government made English classes free for migrants.
Mr Tudge said about one million partners who are in Australia cannot speak English. ‘In some cases, the (Muslim) husband will not want his partner or wife to learn English. And in part that’s for control reasons,’ he said.
The announcement has been slammed by the Leftist Opposition, who claim the new rule ignores Australia’s multicultural values. Amelia Elliot, who runs an online support and lobbying group for Australians trying to obtain visas for their partners, said the change was “pure discrimination.”