Australian Immigration Rules Are About to Change

If you’re thinking of living, working or studying permanently in Australia, things just got a bit more difficult for you.
They’ve changed the visa requirements for foreigners and you now have to pass an English language test.
The Australian government says it is important that people can show a specified level of English proficiency before they are granted a permanent visa.
These new requirements could be in place from the middle of 2021.
Australia’s minister for immigration said: "We will require an applicant and a sponsor to have met a functional level of English or to have at least made reasonable efforts to learn English." He also said that these efforts would mean about 500 hours of free English classes on a government-run language programme.
These new measures have provoked heated discussion and controversy in Australia's parliament. Some politicians criticize this new language test and call it "discriminatory" and "racist".
They argue it targets people from non-Western nations and developing countries.
A spokesman for Australia's opposition party said: "English proficiency isn't a test of someone's love." He said it’s difficult enough for immigrants to pass through the application process and that the new language requirement would add an "additional burden".
An immigration expert said: "It certainly puts a lot of pressure on people and families who've been hit hard by COVID-19. Many of them have lost their jobs and now they've got this added challenge to pass an English test."

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