In his latest media release, a Nevada (US) based Hindu religious leader has criticized the Australian government’s announcement on Partner visa English language requirements for partner visa. Titled “Hindus call Australia’s English test for partner visas an unwarranted invasion into love lives”, Zed’s media release was circulated worldwide. AQs can be seen below, Zed got it totally wrong.
The Australian government has announced that from late 2021, a functional knowledge of English will be made compulsory for partners to obtain permanent residency visas to stay in Australia.
The media release by the Acting Immigration minister the Hon. Alan Tudge relevantly said:
From late 2021, new partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors will be required to have functional level English or to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English.
People will be able to demonstrate this through, for example, the completion of 500 hours of free English language classes through the AMEP.
Most partner visas are a provisional visa of two years before becoming eligible for a permanent visa. The requirement will have to be met at the time of the granting of the permanent visa.
In an unnecessary and foolish attempt to twist what the government has said, Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman based in the US, criticizing the Australian government asked:
When Australian residents fall in love next time, should they ask the partner on the first date—how is your English proficiency?
Not realizing what the government had announced, Zed continued asking:
When did it became a sin to love somebody who did not knew English?
“Australia seemed to be defying God/gods as love was the major component of all religions and no scripture told us to only partner with people who knew English”, Zed added.
“Governments should not be in the business of dictating people whom to love, what language your lover should speak, and defining which relationships were “appropriate”.”
“English language proficiency” and “love” were two entirely different issues, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Looking at what the government has announced and what Zed understood, one cannot but conclude that Zed has made a bunny of himself here jumping in without realizing what had been said.
Zed not only got it wrong and made a complete fool of himself but called on leaders of other religions “to openly condemn such proposals which created hurdles in love.”
There is no doubt Mr Zed got it wrong and he would be better advised to stick to his area of religion and not enter policy making. Clearly Mr. Zed has complete misunderstood the issue and picked up on the rhetoric of Opposition parties in Australia which is pretty risky and dangerous to do for a religious leader.
No where the Australian government or minister Tudge have suggested to check the English proficiency of partner before falling in live. What the government is asking Australians to do is to make the effort to learn English or make the effort to do so after they join their sponsoring partners in Australia and spend their first two years in Australia. To help them – the government is asking them to avail themselves of 500 free English language learning hours through the Adult Migrant English Language (AMEP) programs.
The idea is right spirited, perhaps badly announced as most of the implementations details are yet to be announced. No one should be fearful. There is nothing to suggest if partner fails the English test, they will be deported or separated from their families.