2021 Australian Partner Visa Reforms

Major reforms to the Australian Partner Visa program will be implemented by the Australian Government in Nov 2021.

 These changes to “strengthen the integration outcomes of the Partner Visa program” were announced as part of the 2020-2021 federal budget.


A new English language requirement will be imposed on the Partner Visa Applicant as well as their sponsor if the sponsor is a permanent resident. This change will require:

Permanent residents wanting to bring their partner to Australia will need to first meet a new language requirement before their partner can apply for a Partner Visa
This condition will not apply to Australian citizen sponsors: and 

1. Meeting the English language requirement

Partner visa applicants to meet the new English Language Requirement when they apply for the second-stage assessment that transitions their visa from provisional to permanent. 

This usually occurs 2 years after the partner visa is granted. Assumedly, a partner visa holder will remain a provisional visa holder until they meet the English language requirement.
Provisional partner visa holders will have access to government-funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) classes to learn English. 

2. How to meet the English Language requirement

Partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors would be able to meet the English requirement if they can demonstrate that they have made a ‘reasonable effort’ to learn English.
A reasonable effort to learn English may include participating in government-funded AMEP tuition.
Previously, AMEP participants could access up to 510 hours of tuition.
The AMEP program now offers unlimited hours of tuition, and changes continue to be made to improve accessibility to online learning, including for persons with caring responsibilities. 
The government is still undertaking a public consultation process and has not yet announced the level of English language proficiency that will be required to partner visa holders and their sponsors.


Before applying for an Australian partner visa all applicants will need to first make sure that their Australian partner has been pre-approved as a Partner Visa Sponsor.  A partner visa application will not be able to be lodged without being linked to a previously approved sponsor application.

For more information or want to process your partner visa with us, please contact our migration agent – Pual and Sarah. 

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