Australian Partner Visa Changes 2017

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. DIBP intend to introduce enforceable sponsorship undertakings;
  4. 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.

13 thoughts on “Australian Partner Visa Changes 2017

  1. Hi there,

    I am married with my husband in Apr this year and I planned to apply onshore partner visa and move to Sydney in Dec 2017.

    May I know if there is any specific impact of these changes except the sponsorship approval time?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Post Author markstevens

      Hi Isabel as the changes haven’t been formally announced, our agents can’t comment on future impacts at this point. We would be happy to discuss your situation with you directly.

  2. Hello there,
    On 19 December 2016 I filed the updated documents for 801 visa.In my app I added my son 20 year old.
    My son currently has 445 child-dependent visas and if he wants to do a school in Australia he has to pay for an international student.He also does’t have permission to work.
    Do we have any chance that our visa will be granted to us sooner?
    I say we are from Romania.
    Cheers Con

    • Post Author markstevens

      Hello Constantin

      Our agents advise that currently 801 visas are taking about 12 months to be processed.

  3. Hello,

    I lodged my 820/801 application onshore in August 2015 and received a my TR in may 2017. I will be eligible to lodge my PR application by the end of this month. Will the immigration base my application for the PR on the 2015 processing time for 801 applications or will they consider the new processing time they have provided?

    • Post Author EasiAdmin

      Hi Jeff
      Our agents advise that:
      1. the Department specifically state on their website that “Processing time for subclass 801 Partner (permanent) visa is from date of eligibility (2 years after the 820/801 application is lodged) to finalisation.”
      2. these processing times are averages, in our experience an application lodged “decision ready” may be processed considerably faster – which is a good reason to engage a professional agent experienced in this type of visa.

  4. Hello, has there been any changes to the sponsorship process at this stage?

    Thanks

    Luke

    • Hi Luke. Our understanding Is that the sponsorship part of the application Is now being considered before the visa application. Sponsors are being asked to provide police clearances and satisfy DIBP that they are of good character. We are expecting the proposed “big” changes to the partner visa processing structure to kick in towards the end of this year or early next.

  5. Hi Jeff,

    I became eligible for stage 2 processing (801) in March 2017 and lodged my application at that time. In the email from immigration requesting documentation for stage 2 they advised that processing times would be around 6-8 months. I have since read online that this has now increased to 19 months. Given that I had been quoted 6 – 8 months, do I go by the information in the email, or the new information posted online? I am eager to complete my teacher training and don’t want to have to pay international student fees.

    Thanks for any advice you can provide.

  6. Hi Jeff,

    I became eligible for stage 2 processing (801) in March 2017 and lodged my application at that time. In the email from immigration requesting documentation for stage 2 they advised that processing times would be around 6-8 months. I have since read online that this has now increased to 19 months. Given that I had been quoted 6 – 8 months, do I go by the information in the email, or the new information posted online? I am eager to complete my teacher training and don’t want to have to pay international student fees.

    Thanks for any advice you can provide. I should add I’m from the UK

    • Hello Jenna. The processing times shown on the Department of Immigration website are average processing times. Unfortunately, because so many people have elected to lodge their partner visa applications onshore -processing has slowed. The increase in onshore lodgements has been quite dramatic. Applicants who provide DIBP with all of the documentation required to enable a case officer to make a decision on their application, often find that their application Is finalised quicker than expected.

      Have you been accepted onto a teacher training program (Grad Dip?) for the 2018 academic year? If yes, it would be well worth providing a copy of the letter of offer to DIBP and asking DIBP (in writing) if they will consider finalising your Stage 2 application by the end of this year to enable you to start your course early next year. It’s always worth a try!

  7. Hello
    I and my daughter had our medical on 10/july/2017, how long our visa processing will take?
    Regard

    • Hi Shukria. The visa processing time can depend on many different factors. It impossible for us to offer advice without knowing much more about your situation, such as .. when was your application submitted? … where was it submitted? .. has the Department of Immigration requested further documentation from you? If you have engaged an Australian registered migration agent to manage the visa application process for you, it might be worth asking your agent to make contact with the Department of Immigration to request a progress update. We sincerely hope that your visa will be granted very soon.

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