Foreign partners of residents who want permanent residence in Australia may soon have to pass an English test. Australia said people needed to show a certain level of English before they can get a permanent visa. This could start from the middle of 2021. The immigration minister said: "We will require an applicant...to have met a functional level of English." People can get 500 hours of free English classes on a government language programme.
Many politicians are critical of the new requirement. They called it "discriminatory" and "racist". They said it targets people from non-Western nations. An opposition politician said: "English proficiency isn't a test of someone's love." He said couples already faced an uphill struggle in the application process. An immigration expert said: "It certainly puts a lot of pressure on couples...and now they've got this added burden to pass an English test."