The SMH is reporting that
The federal government is promising it will not block foreigners who don’t speak English from obtaining visas to marry their partners following a backlash to an English language test announced in Tuesday’s budget.
The acting minister for immigration, Alan Tudge, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age nobody would be barred as a result of the new requirement that applicants wanting to marry Australians would need to pass an English language test.
Turns out that it was all a ruse to allow the government to bring in more EZFKA settlers, while slinging some dosh to all the fake training “colleges” that pass for “business” in the EZFKA:
He said the new budget measure would require foreigners applying to resettle with their Australian spouses from “late next year” to undergo 500 hours of free English language lessons if they could not demonstrate basic English language proficiency.
Wheeee, 500 hours of free lessons for 70,000+ EZFKA settlers every year.
English instruction would cost at least $20/hr, so we’re looking at a $700m (actually much more, once the government contracts are awarded) shot in the arm for the dodgy “college” industry.
What a deal!