New language rules for Australian partner visas labelled Racist.

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English Language Requirement, Racist?

Is it racist to require people moving to Australia, an English language speaking country, to either have a basic ability with English or take part in English language courses to help them to settle in?

I have just been reading a news report stating that the new English language rules for Australian partner visas has been labelled ‘racist’.

The requirements for the English language for a partner visa applicant is stated by Mr Tudge, from Immigration,to be:
“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.”

“And by reasonable efforts, we mean for most people that would be doing about 500 hours of free English language classes.”

This new language requirement would not need to be met until the applicant was applying for the 2nd stage of a partner visa, the subclass 100 or 802, which is usually two years after applying for the temporary visa.

A refusal to even attempt to learn the language of the country you move to, could be considered reasonable grounds to delay the final processing of the Permanent visa.





It is in many other countries, including those where the applicant from that country calls Australia racist for doing what their own immigration do.

One example of this is in Japan, where an application for Permanent Residency must be written in the Japanese language describing the reason for your application. An applicant for Permanent Residency in Japan is expected to know Japanese. Yet it was for a Japanese applicant to Australia that calls Australia racist for wanting applicants for Permanent Residency to have a basic understanding of English.

That 500 hours of Free English language classes is provided by TAFE, and my wife, who took this course, never considered it to be racist. Just a great opportunity to increase her English language ability.

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) delivers free English lessons to new migrants to Australia. The program offers up to 510 hours of basic English language classes to help you settle confidently into your new life in Australia. The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.

homeaffairs.gov.au/…/amep

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2 thoughts on “New language rules for Australian partner visas labelled Racist.”


  1. If you feel like sending $5 to buy me a cup of coffee, please click the donate button.


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  2. Another headline on this topic .

    “Race discrimination commissioner warns Australian partner visa changes could ‘segregate’ marriages”.

    How Does this Requirement affect People ?

    Partners of Australians are permitted to come to Australia on the standard temporary partner visa, WITHOUT an English test.

    There is no change to that.

    There is no reason to be segregated.

    If, after a year or two, the partner is still unable to speak basic English, with their Australian partner, they will need to take FREE lessons, before they can finalise their Permanent visa.

    I personally feel that being unable to speak the language of your partner and their country might be more of a reason to segregate that person.

    Learning the language is more likely to make the person more inclusive.


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  4. Some people are very anxious about the new English language requirement. Some are saying that they want their spouses here, they want their partners here, “they want to be together.”

    This new requirement does NOT stop them coming to Australia on a Partner visa, either 309 or 820.

    They do NOT need the English language for the 309 or 820 visas.

    If, after living in Australia on one of those visas, they are still not able to use basic English, they may have a problem in applying for a Permanent Visa, the subclass 100 or 801.

    These are the visas that will require some proof of basic English from late 2021.

    Taking advantage of the free language lessons might be one good option for those with severe limitations with English, even if only to help themselves to join in and understand what is happening in the language of their new country.

    I assume that most partners will want to become Citizens, for which there is already an English requirement. It seems logical to start learning early, once they arrive in Australia, if not before.

    Labor’s spokesperson for Home Affairs, Kristina Kenneally, said that the English language requirements, “smacks of racism”.

    Many countries actually have this requirement already, for Permanent residents. It is not uncommon.

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