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.