2021 Australian Partner Visa Changes: English Requirements and Pre-Approval

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 application 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:

  1. Firstly, the sponsor will need to lodge their sponsorship.
  2. 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 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 prioritised for the 2020-21 Migration Program.


Previous article on designated regional area (DAMA) can be found: 

Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA): 482 Visa, 494 Visa, and 186 Visa


No Borders Law Group can help

If you wish to lodge a Partner visa before November 2021, or anticipate that you or your permanent resident sponsor may have difficulties in meeting the functional English language requirement, please contact us now to discuss applying for a Partner visa prior to the family sponsorship framework coming into effect in November 2021.


Need help with getting Australian Visas?


Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000

Consultation:  https://www.noborders-group.com/form/free-consultation


We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry  or  book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].


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