English Requirement for Partner Visas

New English Language Requirement for Partner Visas

The Morrison Government has announced new requirements for partner visa applicants and their sponsors to make ‘reasonable efforts’ to learn English.

Only 13 per cent of residents with no English skills are currently working, compared to 62 per cent of residents who speak English well.

The Morrison Government also highlighted that those migrants without sufficient English language skills are particularly vulnerable to family violence and exploitation. They are also less likely to know how and where to seek advice and assistance.

The number of people in Australia with low or no English language skills has risen sharply over the past decade and has reached almost one million people, with almost half of those being within the working age range.

From late 2021, new partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors will be required to have functional English or demonstrate that they have made ‘reasonable efforts’ to learn English language by undertaking 500 hours of English language classes.

This English requirement will need to be met at the permanent visa approval stage, so this will affect those who have already lodged their 309 or 820 applicants if their visa is not granted before these changes are introduced.

The Morrison Government will make further announcements on these changes in the coming months

What is Functional English?

To prove that you have Functional English you can provide evidence of one of the following:

English Test Average Score
IELTS 4.5
TOEFL iBT 8
PTE Academic 30
OET na
Cambridge (CAE) 147

 

Passport
A valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.

IELTS
An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test result of an average band score of at least 4.5 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, listening and writing.

TOEFL iBT
A Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) test result of a total band score of at least 32 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.

PTE
A Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test result of an overall band score of at least 30 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.

CAE
A Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test result of an overall band score of at least 147 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.

Schooling
• You have completed all years of primary education and at least three years of secondary education in an educational institution in or outside Australia and all instructions were in English.
• You have completed at least five years of secondary education in an institution in or outside Australia and all instructions were in English.
• You have completed at least one year of full-time study or equivalent part-time study towards a degree, higher degree, diploma, or associate diploma in an institution in Australia and all instructions were in English.
• You have completed a degree, a higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate that required at least two years of full-time study or training in an institution in or outside Australia and all instructions were in English.
Improve your English score

Do you need to increase your English score before you can apply? Click here for details about short English courses for PTE.

Partner Visa Application Backlog

The Australian Government has increased the migration cap on Partner visas by over 80% this financial year to process the current backlog of applications in the system.

Are you looking to apply for a Partner Visa?

Find out more about the Partner Visa options at the links below