Lebanese hoping to emigrate to Australia better brush up on their English the soonest.
Foreigners interested in going to Australia via a partner visa will have to be able to speak English at a “functional level” before being able to officially move there.
This also applies to spouses who are permanent residents in Australia but not Australian citizens.
“What this will mean is that we will require an applicant and a sponsor to have met functional level English or to have at least made reasonable efforts to learn English,” said Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge.
By “reasonable efforts” he explained that it was those who will learn 500 hours of free English language lessons through the Adult Migrant English Program, according to ABC News.
This new language rule will be implemented starting mid-2021 for those applying for permanency via partner visas, according to Australia’s Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge.
It is worth noting that the application for a partner visa takes place in two stages. First, one is able to live in Australian temporarily on this visa for around two years. After that, one may apply for permanency, during which the language requirement must be met.
“We want to encourage everybody to be able to learn English so that they can fully engage in Australian life, in every aspect of it, from employment markets to our democracy, to our society, to community activity,” said Tudge.
Australia is home to thousands of Lebanese families, some who have been there for generations, started businesses, and have taken important roles in the community.