The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have indicated that they intend to further tighten the requirements for Partner Migration this year in line with their focus on the safety and security of Partner visa applicants, including their dependent children.
While there is currently no draft legislation available to us, we understand that:
- Sponsors of Partner visa applicants will need to go through a much more rigorous sponsorship approval process than in the past. This will include a mandatory requirement for the sponsor to provide police clearance certificates, possibly at the time the sponsorship application is lodged;
- The sponsorship approval process will need to be completed before a partner visa can be lodged, which may significantly impact the timing of the Partner visa application;
- DIBP intend to introduce enforceable sponsorship undertakings;
- DIBP may begin refusing or barring sponsorships based on a criminal history or failure to comply with undertakings. This extends the changes made on 18th November 2016*.
These changes will make it much more difficult to lodge a Partner visa application in time critical situations, such as where a currently held visa is about to expire. This will be particularly important for onshore Subclass 820/801 visa applicants.
If you are already eligible to apply for a Subclass 820/801 (or 309/100) Partner visa, or a Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) visa, we strongly recommend that you consider lodging your application prior to 1 July 2017.
If you are considering submitting a partner visa application, you can check whether you meet the basic eligibility requirements HERE, or CONTACT US directly to arrange a consultation. Our partner visa eligibility checker should not be used where there are complex issues involved.
Our team provides a complete “review and check” service for people keen to submit their partner visa application themselves.
If you are a sponsor and have a relevant offence and/or significant criminal record (see HERE for details of what this means), we recommend speaking with a Registered Migration Agent before submitting a Partner visa application.
*On 18 November 2016, DIBP introduced changes to the partner visa process, which require sponsors to obtain police clearance certificates if requested. The sponsor is also required to provide a consent which allows DIBP to disclose any convictions for ‘relevant offences’ to the visa applicant. As of this date, DIBP are also able to refuse a visa application if the sponsor has a relevant offence and a significant criminal record. More information on these changes can be found HERE
If you would like to find out more, please CONTACT US for a consultation.