Australian Council of TESOL Associations

Australian Council of TESOL Associations

Historic Reforms to the Adult Migrant English Program

For decades, ACTA and other advocacy groups have argued against the limits on adult migrants’ access to the AMEP because of the eligibility requirements that were instituted in the 1992 Immigration Education Act.

On Friday 28th August, 2020, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge announced major reforms to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

The reforms extend migrants’ access to English language tuition by removing three key 1992 eligibility requirements:

  1. the limit on tuition hours (formerly 510 hours with various capped extensions)
  2. a time limit on when migrants can access the AMEP (formerly 6-12 months to apply and 5 years to complete) – it is now open-ended for all adult migrants in Australia prior to 1st October 2020
  3. the cut-off proficiency level (formerly less than “functional English”) and now less than “vocational English”, which is defined as English lower than IELTS 5.5 (which is approx. equivalent to ACSF 3).

These changes are therefore truly historic.

They will come into force once the Immigration Education Act is amended. In the meantime, greater flexibility within existing AMEP provision will operate.

Read the media release and find links to the Minister’s announcement, official advice from the Department of Home Affairs, plus past ACTA Advocacy on the AMEP on our Adult ESOL Advocacy page.