Under current rules, upon applying for a partner visa, the sponsoring ‘Australian’ partner lodges a sponsorship form with the visa application, it is one application that includes the sponsor’s form.
But when the new rules start, the Department of Home Affairs will make the sponsoring partner apply first, requiring this stage to be approved BEFORE the partner visa application can be lodged.
This is to allow for checks that the sponsor has no history of domestic/family violence. The Department of Home Affairs says it may take 6 months or more to assess the sponsor. Only then can the visa stage be lodged.
This is likely to have serious consequences for anyone in Australia on a short-term visa or a visa expiring soon and hoping to apply for a partner visa onshore.
Under the proposed two stages, if you are here on a visitor or other temporary visa expiring soon, it is likely your visa would expire before your sponsor’s application has been approved.
Applying for another temporary visa could present problems as immigration will see you have been named in the sponsor application and are therefore not a genuine temporary visa applicant.
A date for the new rules as not been set, but it is expected to be introduced soon and with little notice.
So for anyone planning a partner visa application, it might be best to consider lodging as soon as practical.
Under the new process there will also likely be an extra application fee for sponsors and longer processing times.
If you have any questions about these changes and what they might mean for you please contact us to speak with one of our registered migration agents.