13 February 2019
Sponsorship of Partners
On 10 December 2018, the Governor General signed off on the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018.
This Act has not yet come into effect, however when it does, it will introduce a new requirement for Partner visas, that the sponsorship must be approved before the Partner visa application may be lodged.
The stated intention of the change is to reduce the risk of family violence that visa applicants and their children may be exposed to by their sponsors. All sponsors will be required to provide police checks and the results will be shared so that both parties can make fully informed decisions before committing to the visa application process. The objective is also to avoid the situation where a Partner visa is refused because of concerns about the sponsor.
While Ajuria Lawyers welcomes any change that strengthens integrity, we also believe that this requirement may have significant implications for Partner visa applicants who are applying in Australia, and whose current visa is of short validity (eg Visitor visa) or about to expire. A Bridging visa, which enables the applicant to remain in Australia for the duration of processing, is only activated upon lodgement of the Partner application, not upon lodgement of the Partner sponsorship. Unless processing of Partner sponsorships is substantially quicker than the current 20-24 months for Partner applications, some applicants may no longer hold a visa that would enable them to lodge their application in Australia.
The Act will come into effect on a day ‘fixed by proclamation’ or if this date is not proclaimed within 6 months of the date of Royal Assent (10 December 2018), the day after that date.
This means that the Act may come into effect at any time before 11 June 2019. Ajuria Lawyers will keep you informed via our newsletter.
DISCLAIMER This information is current as of 13 February 2019 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.