Further changes for partner visas

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will implement reforms to strengthen the integration outcomes of the Partner program by the end of 2021.

Let me remind you, that currently, sponsorship and partner visa applications are submitted simultaneously and there is no English language requirement for the partner or sponsor.

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The new reforms, which are expected to take effect roughly in November 2021, set additional requirements for a Partner visa:

1. Introducing an English language requirement for permanent resident sponsors and Partner visa applicants

The English language requirement will apply to primary and secondary Partner visa applicants aged 18 to retirement age and sponsors who are permanent residents.

The new English language requirement for Partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors will encourage and support English learning.

English language skills assist partners to adapt, gain employment, independently access government services and seek help in emergency situations, such as when facing family violence at home or during medical emergencies.

  • Permanent resident sponsors will need to meet the English language requirement as part of the sponsorship assessment
  • Partner visa applications are processed in two stages and Partner visa applicants will only need to meet the English language requirement at the second-stage assessment, which is often two years after the provisional Partner visa application is lodged
  • Partners will continue to access government funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) classes to learn English

More information you will find HERE

2. The sponsorship application will be assessed separately and must be approved before a valid partner visa application can be submitted.

It means, sponsorship must first be submitted and approved before partner visas can be lodged. Applicants who are in Australia are likely to be adversely affected by these reforms if they will apply for a Partner Visa closer to their visa expiry date.

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will apply the family sponsorship framework set out in the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 (the Act) to the Partner visa program (previously implemented for the SC870 visa).

Future changes include:

  • separation of sponsorship and visa application processes;
  • support information disclosure relating to domestic and family violence to the sponsor or the applicant; and
  • the imposition of sanctions to be imposed on sponsors who breach sponsorship obligations.

The Department of Home Affairs is seeking community views to inform the development of settings and the implementation of the new English language requirement and the sponsorship framework for the Partner visa program.

My dear friends! If you are planning to apply for a Partner visa, I highly recommend you to book a consultation or get a FREE assessment to clarify how these changes might affect you.

It will be more beneficial for many couples to apply for a Partner visa before the new requirements take effect!

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