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The Partner Visa in Australia: new features for 2022

Since 2020, the Australian immigration department has launched several projects to review the conditions for obtaining the various visas. Among them, the Partner Visa in Australia, sesame to become a permanent resident, has undergone some changes.

We explain what’s new and how expats can become permanent residents in Australia.

Increase in the number of Partner Visa in Australia in 2021

The first important thing to note is the dramatic increase in the number of Partner Visas being issued. Indeed, during the October 2020 review, the Department of Immigration chose to allocate 77,300 places for Partner Visas in Australia for 2020-2021. This is an increase of nearly 50% over the usual quota. This sharp increase is explained by delays due to the health crisis of 2020. Indeed, there are currently more than 90,000 requests pending.

Thus, Ophélie explains to us that she applied for a Partner Visa in Australia in August 2018. She received her response fairly quickly for the first step, but since then she has been waiting for the final validation.

“I have not been able to return to France since the start of the health crisis. I was supposed to come back in May last year, but everything was cancelled. Fingers crossed for a wedding in France in early 2022! »

Indeed, not yet having her permanent visa, if she returns to France, Ophelia risks being stuck and not being able to return to Australia. Since March 2020, the country has closed its international borders and entering the country can be very complicated. A decision that has paid off, but which leads to complications, especially for expats.

A good level of language will be required

The second change regarding the Partner Visa in Australia is the language level. Indeed, the government has announced new requirements for Partner Visa applicants to make “reasonable efforts” to learn English. Thus, new partner visa applicants and their permanent resident spouse must have a English functional or demonstrate that they have made an effort to learn the language. It is recommended to follow 500 hours of English lessons.

This new requirement on the level of English must be met at the permanent approval stage of the visa. In other words, people who are awaiting validation of their permanent visa are now affected by this change.

The levels of English required according to the tests

In order to validate your command of functional English, you must provide proof of the result of one of the following tests:

English quiz Minimum score
IELTS 4.5
TOEFL iBT 8
PTE Academic 30
Cambridge (CAE) 147

Thus, for expats who wish to obtain permanent residence in Australia, the year 2021 portends good news. With the increase in the number of visas issued, some may have seen their dream come true. However, in 2022, new changes are announced.

What’s new for the Partner Visa Australia for 2022

In November 2021, the government announced a major change for the Partner Visa Australia. For the moment, partner visa applications are made in two steps:

  • Visa application
  • Sponsorship request

Thus, at the present time, the “sponsorship request” is made after the applicant’s visa has been obtained. It was not necessary to have her spouse’s sponsorship application approved first.

In November, the government announced that sponsors must be approved BEFORE applying for a visa. However, the new rule has not yet gone into effect and it looks like it will take effect shortly.

This is a significant change, especially for people who are currently applying for a visa. Indeed, a sponsorship validation can take several months and this puts the applicants at risk of ending up illegally in Australia. Immigration offices find themselves overrun with partner visa applicants.

Thus, Australia opens its borders to internationals and increases its Partner Visa quota, but remains demanding on certain points.

To find out more about the conditions for obtaining a partner visa in Australia, go directly to the government page.

  • Elodie Quincieux fell in love with Australia. So much so that she founded an agency and a blog dedicated to French-speaking travelers who want to discover the mainland island. Naturally, she is our local correspondent.

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