Partner Visas

 Proposed changes to Partner Visa were expected in 2017 but it has been deferred to 2018.

This is because the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016(Cth) (“the Bill”) is still before the Senate and has not been enacted.

If the Bill is enacted, it will establish a sponsorship framework for partner visas, placing more focus on the assessment of sponsors.

In particular:

  • The sponsorship assessment would be separated from the visa application process
  • Sponsors would need to be approved before visa applications are made
  • Legal obligations would be imposed on approved sponsors
  • If sponsors fail to meet their obligations, sanctions may be imposed
  • In certain circumstances sponsors can be barred from sponsorship

The new regulations propose partner visa sponsorship applications would need to be lodged under stricter criteria and approved before the overseas partner visa application could be lodged.

The new two-step process is expected to delay the lodgement of the overseas partner application and require the overseas partner to have a valid visa until a visa application for the overseas partner can be lodged