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In December 2018 the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 received Royal Assent and it proposed changes to the way the sponsorship element of an application for a Partner Visa works.


The Act should have commenced in 2019 but this didn’t happen. In March and April 2021 public consultations on the changes were conducted and there was talk that the changes would come into effect in November 2021, but the government has confirmed that at this stage there is no specific commencement date.

The changes come in an effort to scrutinize sponsors more and avoid family violence and change how the sponsorship and partner visa applications work, as well as introduces an English language requirement.

The changes don’t affect applications that have already been lodged.

* The Sponsorship application will have to be lodged and approved, before the Partner Visa application can be lodged.This means that if you leave your visa application for the last minute, you may not have time enough to lodge the sponsorship and receive a result, before you are able to lodge your visa application and therefore, be granted a Bridging Visa to keep you lawfully in the country.*

Requirement for Functional English

Partner visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors will be required to have Functional English or demonstrate that they have made ‘reasonable efforts’ to learn English language by undertaking 500 hours of English language classes. This doesn’t apply to Citizen sponsors.

What is Functional English?

English Test                 Average Score
IELTS                            4.5
TOEFL iBT                   8
PTE Academic             30

Showing evidence of studies in English in Australia for 1 year towards a Diploma, among other ways of claiming functional English via secondary and tertiary studies in the language.

If you are planning to lodge a Partner Visa application, you should plan strategically and we can assist you with that. If you and your partner are in Australia please contact us and we can offer a Free Initial Chat to establish if you qualify and when and how your should apply for your visa to ensure the best result.

Bravo Migration – 02 – 9216-6600 – customers@bravomigration.com.au