When is the best timing to apply for Australian partner visa?

The Australian Government announced as part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget that it will be implementing reforms in relation to the way partner visa applications are applied for. 


These new reforms will consist of the following:

  • Introducing an English language requirement for permanent resident sponsors and Partner visa applicants; and
  • Applying a new sponsorship framework that will require Australian sponsors to become ‘approved sponsors’ before an applicant can proceed to lodge a partner visa.


Australian Partner visa Sponsorship approval

At present, a partner visa application can be lodged at any time, without needing to first get the sponsor to become approved.

As part of the Partner visa reforms, the Department of Home Affairs will introduce a new sponsorship framework requiring sponsors to be approved before their partners can apply for a Partner visa. 


English language requirements

The Australian Partner visa program does not presently require applicants or sponsors to meet any English language requirements.

The upcoming Partner visa reforms will require visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors to provide evidence of a functional level of English or to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English at the time of the permanent Partner visa stage.


What is considered as ‘Reasonable Efforts’?

Reasonable efforts will include the completion of 500 hours of free English language classes through the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP).


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​About Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) for Australian migrants 

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is a free service to help eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants with low English levels to improve their English language skills and settle into Australia.

When you are in an AMEP class, free childcare is available for children under school age.


The AMEP has been improved to increase access for eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants in Australia with no or low levels of English. If that sounds like you, the changes mean:

  • you can now access unlimited hours of English classes until you reach vocational English
  • you can apply to enrol, even if you’ve enrolled in AMEP before and have been living in Australia for many years
  • you can keep studying, even if you’ve completed 510 hours (the previous limit), until you reach vocational English


Help in other Languages

Information about the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is translated into many languages to help you understand the program better.



Who will be exempt from the English language requirements?

These requirements will apply to passport holders from countries other than:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United States
  • United Kingdom


How No Borders Law Group can help with your Australian Migration  

If you are planning on applying for a partner visa in the near future, we highly recommend that you consider applying for the partner visa application prior to the implementation of these new requirements.

Once these new requirements come into effect, applicants will need to have enough time on their current substantive visas to allow their associated sponsor to become approved before they can proceed to lodge their partner visa application.

We highly recommend contacting our office for assistance if you or your permanent resident sponsor may have difficulties in meeting the English language requirement, so an application can be made before these changes come into effect.

If you would like further information on the Australian Partner visa reform, assistance applying for a Partner visa or for further assistance with any other migration matters, please contact our office.


Need help with getting Australian Visas or Visa Appealing?


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 applications. We will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa, 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]

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.