Important changes to sponsorship arrangements for Partner visas
Home Affairs 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 June 2019. There will be little prior warning before the changes are actually operating. I strongly recommend that if you are looking to apply for a Partner visa, you lodge it 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 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.
What are the changes?
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.
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 Oz Migration Agent do to help?
I recommend you lodge your 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. We deal with many people who have prepared and lodged their own partner visa applications, only to find that their applications are later refused by Home Affairs, through oversight or genuine ignorance.
To maximize your success we recommend seeking our specialist advice and guidance. Oz Migration Agent specializes in partner visa applications reuniting couples, taking the pressure off you in the application process.
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