Important changes to partner visa applications

New legislation has recently been introduced that will significantly impact whether an Australian Partner visa application can be lodged whist the applicant (partner or spouse) is in Australia.

On 10 December 2018 the new Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill was passed through Parliament.

It has not yet been confirmed when the new law will take effect. Partner visa applications lodged until the changes come into effect will be assessed under the current partner visa application requirements.

Who will be affected?

Partner visa applicants with limited time remaining on their current visa will be required to either lodge another visa application that will allow them to stay in Australia legally, or go offshore and remain overseas until the partner visa is granted.

Background:

Part of the criteria for Partner permanent residence requires the visa applicant to be sponsored by an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen. Currently, the visa applicant and their partner submit an application to the Department of Immigration.

When a valid partner visa application is lodged while legally living in Australia, you will be issued with a Bridging Visa A (BVA).

When your BVA associated with your lodged partner visa comes into effect you can work full time and will be entitled to Medicare.

Impact:

The new Bill requires the partner to first lodge their sponsorship application and be approved before partner visa can be lodged.

It is unclear how long the decision process of the sponsorship application will take, current process times are approximately 12 to 18 months.

When does this take effect?

There is no commencement date yet but the changes could happen anytime soon.

SeekVisa Analysis

We highly recommend lodging the partner visa application as soon as you meet the criteria.

Partner visas are not as straight forward process as they appear, to maximise your chances of success contact SeekVisa for expert advice and guidance from a reputable Registered Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer.

The registered migration agents and lawyers at SeekVisa are highly expreinced and knowledgeble and would discuss your situation in detail when you book a consultation

Other changes in this bill:

  • separate sponsorship assessment from the visa application process for family sponsored visas;
  • require the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made;
  • impose statutory obligations on persons who are or were approved as family sponsors and provide for sanctions if those obligations are not satisfied;
  • facilitate the sharing of personal information between parties identified in a sponsorship application;
  • enable the refusal of a sponsorship application and the cancellation or barring of a family sponsor in certain circumstances;
  • enable the regulations to prescribe details for, and in relation to, the operation of the sponsorship framework; and make consequential amendments.
Legislation