Changes to Australian Partner Visas coming in effect 17 April 2019
On the 28 November 2018, the Australian Government approved the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill. Under this Act, all Partner Visa sponsors are required to be approved by the Department of Home Affairs prior to the Partner Visa being made.
This change is commencing on 17 April 2019. The purpose of this change is to improve the management of family violence within the family visa regime and advance the protection of visa applicants and vulnerable sponsors. The Australia Government is aware of the ongoing concern of family violence and the ‘power imbalance’ that has been found between visa applicants and their sponsors.
What does this mean for you?
Sponsorship application must be lodged and approved prior to the lodgement of a Partner Visa application. This will likely result in an additional application fee for the separate Partner Visa Sponsor application.
Further, in the event that a decision has not been made in relation to the Sponsorship Application and your current visa has expired, you may be required to leave Australia and apply offshore
It is unclear as to the processing time for the Partner Visa Sponsor application but nevertheless, this will increase the already lengthy application process.
Sponsors will now be more heavily scrutinised before a Partner Visa is issued to manage potential family violence.
Given these changes, we highly recommend that you prepare your Partner Visa as soon as possible you meet the criteria set out by the Department of Home Affairs to avoid any complications that may (likely) arise due to these changes.
If you require further information in relation to these new changes, please contact one of our friendly staff at Bambrick Legal today on (08) 8362 5269.