Proposed changes to the Partner Visa Program

Traditionally, Sponsorship and Partner visa applications are lodged at the same time. As part of the Partner visa reforms, the Department of Home Affairs will be introducing a new sponsorship framework, requiring sponsors to be approved before their partners can apply for the Partner visa. The requirement for a separate sponsorship component/application will increase processing times and likely adversely impact onshore Partner visa applicants wanting to lodge a visa application prior to their substantive visa expiring.


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


The requirements will apply to passport holders from countries other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


These new measures will complement existing family violence provisions within the Partner visa program and provide further opportunities for migrants to maximise opportunities in Australia, including job opportunities and social cohesion.


We can help

If you anticipate difficulties with your Partner visa application due to these changes than don’t hesitate to contact us at AIS Immigration Solutions to discuss the possibility of applying for the Partner visa prior to the reforms coming into effect.

It is anticipated reforms to take effect from November 2021.