The main changes are:
- The partner visa process will have an extra stage added (as if it wasn’t hard enough already!), where the Australian partner has to apply for “permission” to sponsor a foreign partner into Australia, and then wait for it to be approved before your partner’s visa application can be lodged. No one knows how long this process will take or how strictly they will process the applications.
- This waiting period could prevent you from applying before your foreign partner’s current visa expires, so you need to apply ASAP.
You cannot apply for a partner visa until you have been granted permission to sponsor your foreign partner…so if the decision is not made before your visa expires, you will have to leave Australia and re-enter, or apply off-shore.
- The visa fee has also been increased (yet again!) to $7000.
- The Australian needs to show they are fit to sponsor – which means any record of bankruptcy, or domestic violence or criminal charges may disqualify you from getting your loved one a partner visa!
This seems to be a part of Australia’s new tough stance on anyone who has committed a crime (no matter how historical) – an article we posted last year goes through how his has impacted permanent residents in Australia who have not converted their PR to citizenship: http://www.themigrationplace.com/2016/06/13/kiwis-deported-australia-children-issues/
If your visa is expiring soon, or your Australian partner has a record of some kind, then this could mean that you can no longer apply.
All partners need to get advice ASAP as 1 July is less than two weeks away.
Some extra information about partner visas:
- Always use an experienced migration lawyer – the days of being able to apply yourself are well and truly over as evidenced by the fact that the majority of self-represented applications are refused, refusals of partner visas are generally on the rise, and over a quarter of all applications are being refused: http://www.themigrationplace.com/2016/02/24/partner-visa-refusals-rising/
- Many of our partner visa clients come to us after they lodged it themselves, and had it refused, and on examination it is clear that very few self-lodged applications are up to the required standard. You should not make the mistake of assuming the process is simple, nor should you assume that the genuineness of your relationship will get you through.
- The facts:
- Not engaging professional assistance means that applications are often not up to the required standard and are refused.
- A refusal is a nightmare – you lose both the fee (which is now $7000!) and you lose the time it took to process the application (currently about 18 months on official processing times) and you’ll need to start the process all over again (under whatever new rules are in place at that time).
- The rules are getting increasingly strict, and the DIBP (Immigration Department) are ramping up their scrutiny of visa applications.
- The decision to self-lodge is often due to a desire to save money, however it costs a lot more to fix a refusal and (more importantly) any issues with the application will place unnecessary stress and burden on your relationship (and your wallet!).
Contact one of our experienced registered migration lawyers quickly to lodge your partner visa application before your visa expires.
For more information, visit our website: http://www.themigrationplace.com/what-type-of-visa-do-i-need-for-australia/visas-for-couples/