New legislation impacting Australian Partner Visa applications was passed through parliament in December 2018. These changes will affect how and when Partner Visa applications can be made, and we’ve received recent confirmation that changes will take place before 10 June 2019.
What are these changes and how will they affect Partner Visa applicants and sponsors? Our blog guides you through the changes and their impact – let’s explore further...
More about the new Partner Visa legislation...
A new Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill was passed through Parliament on 10 December 2018.This new legislation will come into effect before 10 June 2019.
The new Bill means that the sponsoring Australian partner will need to lodge their sponsorship application and wait for approval before the Partner Visa application can be lodged. This could mean a wait of several months, based on current processing times.
This change will have a major impact on whether an Australian Partner visa application can be lodged whist the applicant is living in Australia.
What’s the current process for a Partner Visa application?
Partner Visa applicants must be sponsored by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. At the moment, Partner Visa applications and sponsorship applications can be submitted at the same time to the Department of Home Affairs.
Lodging a Partner Visa application whilst living in Australia enables the applicant to obtain a Bridging Visa A (BVA) which takes effect when their current visa expires. The Bridging Visa A holder is then able to stay in Australia until they receive a decision on their Partner Visa application.
During this processing time the applicant has full work rights in Australia and is entitled to Medicare.
What impact will the changes have?
The new Bill means that the Australian partner will be required to lodge their sponsorship application and wait for approval before the Partner Visa application can be lodged. Based on current processing times, this could mean a wait of several months.
The sponsorship application doesn’t count as a visa application. This means that Partner Visa applicants with limited time left on their current visa will need to lodge a valid visa application that will allow them to stay in Australia, or leave Australia and stay overseas until their Partner Visa is granted.
Without the lodgement of a valid visa application in Australia, the prospective Partner Visa applicant will not be entitled to:
- A Bridging Visa A (BVA)
- Medicare, or;
- Full work rights, in some cases.
When will the changes take place?
This new legislation will come into effect before 10 June 2019, but we don’t yet have confirmation of an exact date.
If you’re planning to apply for a Partner Visa, we strongly advise lodging your application as soon as possible before the new legislation comes into effect.
For Partner Visa advice – contact FastVisa
Australian Partner Visa applications are often complex. Please contact FastVisa’s expert team for practical advice on your eligibility to apply for a Partner Visa. Our immigration law specialists can quickly advise you on your options.
Get in touch with our friendly team today: