Further to our earlier articles on the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill that was recently passed in parliament, we wish to remind potential Partner visa applicants that there will be significant changes to the visa process, and these changes are coming soon.
Immigration intends to bring in a separate application for Partner visa sponsors, which must be lodged and approved before a Partner visa application can be lodged.
This could have a significant impact on whether a visa applicant can apply while in Australia, as there would be no bridging visa to allow them to stay here while the sponsorship application processes. At this stage, there is no set date for the sponsorship application to be implemented, though this will happen on or before 10 June 2019. There may be very little warning before the changes are actually brought in, so we strongly recommend that if migrants are looking to apply for a Partner visa, this is lodged as soon as possible.
What is the current process?
At present, migrants lodge a Partner visa application with an online form, identity documents, and evidence of the relationship. The sponsor then fills out a separate sponsorship form and provides police clearances and their supporting documents.
Lodging a valid partner visa whilst in Australia allows the visa applicant to obtain a Bridging Visa A (BVA) which will take effect when their current visa expires.
The BVA holder will then be able to remain in Australia until a decision is made on the partner application. During this processing time, the BVA holder will also be entitled to Medicare and have full work rights. Further information on the Partner visa process is available here.
What will the impacts be?
Partner visa applicants with limited time remaining on their current visa will be required to lodge another type of valid visa application to allow them to stay in the country, or they will need to depart Australia and remain overseas until the sponsorship application or both stages of the application process are approved. p>
Until a valid visa application is lodged whilst in Australia, the applicant will not be entitled to a BVA, Medicare or (in some instances) full work rights.
What can Acacia do to help?
To minimize the impact, we recommend lodging the partner visa application as soon as you are eligible.
The Partner visa application process may appear straight forward and in some instances this is. However, there are many complexities which can result in refusal with no refund of the visa application fees if you are not aware of some of the visa requirements.
To give yourself a great chance of success we recommend seeking expert advice and guidance. At Acacia Immigration we have highly skilled and experienced Consultants who can assess your situation and provide advice on the best pathway forward for you.
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