Australia

Partner visa English test ‘paternalistic’

Refugees and female advocates say requesting migrants to apply for a partner visa to pass the English test would be a “paternity” measure to tear the family apart.

The Home Office is considering adding language requirements for partner visa applications. The proposal requires that both the person applying for the visa and the person sponsoring the visa pass the English test.

According to a consultation issued by the ministry, this measure will protect potential victims of violence by encouraging them to learn English.

“Immigrants who do not have sufficient English proficiency may be more vulnerable to domestic violence and other exploitation,” the newspaper said.

“They are unlikely to have an established support network or to know Australian law and how to seek help.”

English-speaking people can seek help independently in emergencies such as domestic violence, he says.

However, the Australian Women vs. Violence Alliance (AWAVA) and Refugee Advice and Casework Services (RACS) have accused the proposal of being paternalistic.

“This language creates a false link between domestic and domestic violence and non-English speakers,” said Hannah Gray, a RACS lawyer who coordinates the Center’s Women at Risk program.

“We make unsupported claims that the way to combat such violence is to make it more difficult for non-English-speaking partners to get visas and reunite with their families,” she said. Added.

Ms. Gray said domestic violence occurred in all cultures and language groups, and it was “very reductive” to suggest that the problem was exacerbated by the survivors’ English proficiency.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the government has promised to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, regardless of language proficiency.

They said public consultation would inform policy setting and implementation.

RACS consulted with a wide range of professional women’s services. They all confirmed that they were “strongly opposed” to the English requirements.

“For these groups, the suggestion that violent survivors lack English is seen as just another form of victim blaming,” Gray said.

AWAVA’s program manager, Tina Dixson, said women with temporary visas need to be helped to access essential services in times of crisis.

Ms. Gray added that the English test would create barriers and delays to refugee family reunions and, in some cases, completely prevent family reunions.

“Family reunification is already very difficult. This proposal is yet another hurdle that negatively impacts the lives of Australian refugees,” she said.

The organization has submitted a joint submission to a department that has expressed strong opposition to the idea.

The reforms were announced as part of the federal budget for 2020-21. The submission of the proposal was completed on March 31st.

The Home Office did not answer the question.

Partner visa English test ‘paternalistic’ Source link Partner visa English test ‘paternalistic’

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