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English Requirement for Australian Partner Visas

Are you moving to Australia with your partner? While completing all necessary paperwork, do not overlook the essential “English Requirement,” which completes your Partner Visa checklist and ensures you have everything in order so you can soon celebrate with a pop of champagne and start packing your bags.

In Australia, applicants for Partner Visas need to demonstrate Functional English as part of the application process. This means they need to show they have basic English language skills to communicate effectively in everyday situations in Australia.

But these are just the basics. To gain a more in-depth comprehension, consider consulting with a registered migration agent or explore our blog. Discover detailed insights into the English requirements for partner visas, enhancing your prospects of successful visa approval.

What are the English Language Requirements for Partner Visas?

The English language requirements for Partner Visas applicants in Australia are designed to ensure applicants have the necessary language skills to communicate and integrate effectively into Australian society. The requirements for a visa may vary depending on the type of visa being applied for and the individual’s specific circumstances.

A functional level of English proficiency fulfils the partner visa English requirement. It indicates that the visa applicant has the necessary language skills to engage in basic social and employment-related interactions in Australia. 

The language requirement is not mandatory for the temporary subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa, subclass 309 Partner (offshore) Provisional visa, and subclass 820 Partner (onshore) Provisional visa. This requirement only applies to the permanent partner visa subclass 801 or subclass 100.

Also Read: What are the difference between onshore and offshore partner visa?

Note: Starting in 2021, the partner visa applicant and permanent resident sponsor will have to demonstrate functional English proficiency or show evidence that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English.

New English Language Tests for Partner or Spouse Visas in Australia

For Australian visa applications, the Australian Government acknowledges scores from various English language tests conducted at secure test centres. These include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson Test of English (PTE), Cambridge English (CAE), Occupational English Test (OET), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).

As per the Australian Department of Home Affairs, as of December 14, 2022, IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) became available for certain test takers, allowing them to retake one of the four test components in reading, writing, speaking, or listening (once only). 

Effective July 26, 2023, TOEFL iBT ceased offering English language tests for Australian visa and migration purposes until further notice. Moreover, starting February 12, 2024, only results from the paper-based Cambridge C1 Advanced test will be accepted for Australian visa and migration purposes.

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Minimum Test Score for Partner Visa Application

In order to prove that you have Functional English, you must obtain a minimum score in one of the following tests in the 12 months prior to your visa application:

English Test Average Test Score
PTE Academic30
Cambridge (CAE)147

Also, you can provide evidence in one of the following ways:

  1. Hold a valid passport from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland. (British National (Overseas) passports are not accepted.)
  2. Completed a degree, diploma, or trade certificate in an institution where all instructions were in English, either in or outside Australia, requiring at least two years of full-time study.
  3. Study at an English language institution in or outside Australia:
    • Full-time primary and at least three years of secondary education conducted in English.
    • At least five years of secondary education in English.
    • One year of full-time study or part-time equivalent in English for a tertiary award in Australia.

What if you have not undergone any language testing?

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How to Meet the English Requirement for Partner Visas?

For those without prior English language proficiency, there are options available to fulfil this requirement.

Even if you have not formally reached the minimum score on an English language test or completed approved training, showcasing your genuine efforts to learn English can significantly strengthen your visa application. This demonstrates your commitment to integrating into Australian society and your willingness to invest in your future there.

English Language Class

While demonstrating reasonable efforts is helpful, consider pursuing more structured learning options like:

Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP): 

Applicants need to complete 500 hours of free English language classes through AMEP. This government-funded program provides English language classes to qualified migrants and humanitarian entrants with a permanent or eligible temporary visa. Additionally, Australian citizens who previously held a permanent visa are also eligible for participation in the program.

The program provides a structured learning environment to help improve your overall English proficiency and prepare you for the required tests. Additionally, it is available in around 300 locations across Australia, including major cities as well as regional and remote areas.

Why is Learning English Crucial for Australian Partner Visas?

English is the primary language spoken in Australia. It is not just a visa requirement but also a vital role in integrating into Australian society. It allows you to connect with your community, pursue educational and employment prospects, and build a satisfying life in your new home. Having a functional level English skill can make it easier for you to access better job opportunities and participate more effectively in the Australian workforce.

Clear communication is a basic requirement no matter where you go. And English language in addition to being an essential step in the Australian partner or spouse visa process, it presents an opportunity to unlock a richer life in your new home. If you are unsure of your current English proficiency, seek guidance from partner visa professionals. At 4Nations International, our team is ready to assess you to determine your current level and guide you toward the most suitable approach to meeting the requirements. Contact us today to ensure you meet the English language requirement and embark on your journey towards a fulfilling life in Australia.

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