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Visa requirements in Australia just got a little [toughen / tougher] . Foreign partners of existing residents who want a [permanent / permanence] residence visa must soon have to [pass / passing] an English language test. Australia's government says it is important that people [proof / prove] a predetermined level of English [proficient / proficiency] before they are [granted / grafted] a permanent visa. The prerequisite could be in place from the middle of 2021. Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said: "We will require an [application / applicant] and a sponsor to have met a [functioned / functional] level English or to have at least made [reasonable / reasons] efforts to learn English." He said such efforts would [retail / entail] about 500 hours of free English classes on a government-run language programme.

The proposed requirement has [stoked / staked] controversy in Australia's parliament. Politicians [crucial / critical] of the planned measure called the new language test "discriminatory" and "racist". They [argument / argue] it targets people from non-Western nations and [them / their] partners. A spokesman for Australia's [opposition / supposition] party said: "English proficiency isn't a test of someone's love." He said couples already faced an [uphill / upper] struggle in the application [progress / process] and that the new requirement would add an "additional burden". An immigration [expert / expat] said: "It certainly puts a lot of [pressurise / pressure] on couples who've been hit hard by COVID. Many of them have lost their jobs and now they've got this [added / adds] burden to pass an English test."

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