The Australian government has proposed a mandatory English language proficiency test for foreign partners of existing Australian residents looking to move to Australia with a partner visa to the country.
Australian Immigration Minister Alan Tudge described the new English language test requirement as a necessary step to ensure better “social cohesion” among Australians.
Foreign partners who will apply for an Australian permanent visa or Australian citizenship must pass the English language test, as the government aims to make sure that all Australian residents have a functional level of English.
Mr Tudge said there are about one million Australian residents who have poor or no English skills at all, which severely limit their work and social skills.
Moreover, more than 20 per cent of Australia’s population speaks a language other than English while at home.
If approved in the Australian parliament, this immigration requirement will be applicable from mid-2021, when applicants will be able to take 500 hours of English classes on a free, government-issued programme.