As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Department of Home Affairs announced changes to Australia’s Partner visa program will come into effect in November 2021.
2021 Australian Partner Visa Changes 1 - New Sponsors Pre-Approval for Partner Visa Applications
Currently, the sponsoring partner and partner visa applicants, lodge their applications at the same time.
As part of the reforms to the Partner visa program, the Australian Government will apply the family sponsorship framework to Partner visas from November 2021.
This change will split Partner visa applications into two steps:
- Firstly, the sponsor will need to lodge their sponsorship.
- Sponsorship will need to be approved before the Partner visa application can be lodged.
The framework mandates character checks and the sharing of personal information makes the sponsor liable for enforceable sponsorship obligations, and for Australian permanent resident sponsors (not Australian citizens) and visa applicants, a requirement to demonstrate they have made efforts to learn English.
2021 Australian Partner Visa Changes 2 - New English language requirement for Partner visa applicants
Under the family sponsorship framework sponsors who are Australian permanent residents and partner visa, applicants will need to provide evidence of a functional level of English or demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English when they reach the permanent Partner visa stage.
Reasonable efforts can include the completion of free English language classes through the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP). Migrants can now access as many hours as they need to reach functional English.
Prioritisation Australian Partner visas Applications
There will be an increased number of places for Partner visas (72,300 within the family stream visas) and onshore applicants will be prioritised.
Also, where the sponsoring partner resides in a designated regional area the application will be prioritised for the 2020-21 Migration Program.