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Partner Visa News

Changes for the Australia Partner Visa Application! Separate Sponsorship application and possibly more!

Changes for the Australia Partner Visa Application! Separate Sponsorship application and possibly more!

Key terms: Migration Policy Changes – Partner Visas – Subclass 820/801 – Subclass 309/100 – Sponsor Requirements – Family migration

2018 Update & Related Articles: 

Partner Visa Sponsorship & Policy Update 2018: Changes Affecting Processing Times & Force Offshore Partner Visa Applications

Planning to lodge a partner visa application? You will soon need to apply for sponsor approval first!

Amendments introduced in the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 describes that a separate sponsorship application is necessary before one can submit a partner visa application. Originally planned for implementation on 1 July 2017, we now know that the change will only be implemented in 2018 because the Bill has not been enacted.

At the time of writing there are still no details released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in relation to the process of applying for the sponsor approval.

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Australia Onshore Partner Visa Processing Arrangements are changing! Will your application take longer now?

Australia Onshore Partner Visa Processing Arrangements are changing! Will your application take longer now?

Key terms: Partner visa – Processing times – Partner visa subclass 801 – Partner visa subclass 820

2018 Update & Related Articles: 

Partner Visa Sponsorship & Policy Update 2018: Changes Affecting Processing Times & Force Offshore Partner Visa Applications

Australia partner visa applications allow an Australian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor a partner from overseas or a partner on a temporary visa in Australia. Partner visas can be lodged offshore (the applicant is not in Australia at the time of application) or onshore (applicant is in Australia at the time of application).

The Director for the Onshore Partner Migration management team has issued a letter announcing new processing arrangements for onshore partner visa application (subclass 820 / 801 /100). The letter states:

This year the Department is facing a particularly difficult resourcing environment with pressure to decrease staff numbers in line with the Government’s wider plans to reduce public sector expenditure. In the Partner Migration programme this is occurring in an environment of continued high application rates, growing pipelines onshore, and significant fraudulent activity.

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Australia Partner Visa Processing Times Update 2018

Australia Partner Visa Processing Times Update 2018

2020 UPDATE for Partner Visa Processing Times is available here: https://www.workvisalawyers.com.au/news/all/2020-australian-partner-visa-processing-times.html

2018 Partner Visa Australian Processing Times For The 801 Visa. Refusals For Partner And Spouse 801 and 820 Visas Increasing. Why Your Partner/Spouse/Family Visa Is Taking A Long Time. 

2018 UPDATE For Partner Visa Processing Times: Increased Partner Visa Refusals for Partner Visa Subclass 801 and Partner visa subclass 820. Partner Visa Application Points Calculator and Changes That Affect Processing Times.

Australia Partner Visas continue to face long processing times and increased scrutiny by the DIBP

A recent query to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in relation to a 2nd stage Partner visa (subclass 801) application has resulted in the following response:

“The current processing time for Permanent Partner (subclass 801) visas is 12 to 18 months from your eligibility date.”

The processing times for the Temporary Partner (subclass 820) visas are also listed as 12 to 18 months on the DIBP website.

The eligibility date refers to the date you become eligible for processing of the permanent partner visa, which is usually just before two years after you lodged your initial partner visa application. You can find out if you are eligible by using the DIBP Partner (Permanent) Calculator.

This means that a typical partner visa applicant will have to:

  • wait 12 to 18 months before the temporary partner (subclass 820) visa is granted
  • wait another 6 to 12 months before you can apply for a permanent partner (subclass 801) visa
  • wait another 12 to 18 months before you receive your permanent partner (subclass 801) visa

You will only receive a permanent partner (subclass 801) visa after 36 to 42 months’ (3 to 3.5 years) time!


 

While most will think that 3 to 3.5 years’ time is not an issue for a couple in a relationship, the timeframe also requires partners to:

  • continue in a committed and mutually exclusive relationship
  • continue to collect evidence which will demonstrate an ongoing and genuine relationship

Other indirect consequences may include the delay of starting a family or buying a home together before the permanent visa is obtained.

Why is the Partner visa taking a long time to process?

The partner visa has had its processing time increase year-on-year because of two main reasons:

  1. increasing number of applications but yearly planning levels for partner visas has not changed (there are 70,000 applications in the pipeline)
  2. increase in integrity checks by DIBP assessment officers on the relationship

The increase in integrity checks by the DIBP is in response to reported abuse of the partner visa programme in the past few years. News like this one reported in Queensland, where 16 bogus marriages were arranged for partner visa application purposes, means that the integrity checks and longer processing times are here to stay. There has been debate in the Australian Parliament for partner visas to be scaled down with increase requirements, as reported by the Herald Sun.

Additionally genuine partners, who submitted weak applications or did not collect sufficient evidences to demonstrate their relationship is genuine and ongoing, face harsh and detailed assessments by the DIBP. It may be best to assume that the DIBP will view your relationship as bogus if you do not provide enough evidence and information to suggest otherwise. Additional areas which may raise suspicion include:

  • de facto relationship of over three years at the time of lodgement
  • Australian citizen children from a previous relationship who are in the care of the sponsor
  • lack of financial ties and interdependency (common among low-income couples)
  • lack of social recognition of the relationship in Australia from the applicant’s side (which is a challenge if the applicant did not socialise while in Australia)

With the increased scrutiny Work Visa Lawyers has received increasing enquiries from applicants whose partner visa applications were refused. In such a scenario the applicant will need to submit an appeal and review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If you need to know more about what needs to happen to lodge an appeal, read our article here.

Source:

  1. https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/801-
  2. https://www.wavefm.com.au/news/national-news/111793-qld-indian-wedding-scammers-thrown-in-jail
  3. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/federal-government-urged-to-crack-down-on-partner-visa-loopholes/news-story/0b57ad4a49ca7d193a7882c19a61c7a9

This information is accurate on 1 March 2017

 

Comments by Principal Migration Agent and Lawyer Chris Johnston

Partner visa applications have been experiencing huge grievances with longer processing times as the number of applications continues to be well above the annual planning levels. Additionally there have been more cases of partner visa refusals as the DIBP mentality is somewhat edgy when assessing the genuineness of the relationship. As such you are advised to submit applications which are supported by documents and information beyond the minimum requirements, to avoid negative results. Seek professional advice for your partner visa application if you need to because a visa refusal 12 to 18 months after your lodgement results in:

  • loss of visa application fee paid – A$ 6865
  • delays in starting your life in Australia
  • stress in the relationship caused by the uncertainty of the visa status, and additional financial expenses to submit a review or new application

You are reminded to continue collecting evidences showing a genuine and ongoing relationship for the assessment of the temporary partner visa application and also for at the permanent partner visa application stage. The number of review applications received by the AAT for partner visa refusals has increased in the 6 months from July to December 2016 as compared to the previous year.

2018 UPDATE & Related Articles: 

Partner Visa Sponsorship & Policy Update 2018: Changes Affecting Processing Times & Force Offshore Partner Visa Applications

INCREASED PARTNER VISA REFUSALS: 20,000 Less Skilled, RSMS, and Partner Visas Granted Due to New Integrity Measures from Australian Immigration Department

UPDATE ON CHANGES:  Changes for the Australia Partner Visa Application! Separate Sponsorship application and possibly more!

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Crackdown on Partner Visa Applications – Australia Immigration Department gets tough!

Crackdown on Partner Visa Applications – Australia Immigration Department gets tough!

Submitting a visa application is the first step in obtaining temporary or permanent residence in Australia. While most visa applications are finalised in 6-12 months, some visa applications such as the Partner Visa can take up to 24 months to finalise.

As such it is important to consider not only the documents, information and situation at the time of submitting your application, but also to be aware of what needs to be done until the visa is granted.

2018 Update & Related Articles: 

Partner Visa Sponsorship & Policy Update 2018: Changes Affecting Processing Times & Force Offshore Partner Visa Applications

What do you need to do after you have submitted your partner visa application?

24 months of uncertainty over the visa application outcome can add stress to the relationship between partners. It is important that the relationship remain strong throughout the application process and also continue to collect and build evidence that shows an ongoing and growing relationship. Even after submitting your application, you should continue to:

  • gather documents that show co-habitation, such as utility bills in both names or letters to both addressed to the same address
  • compile photographs of both together at social events
  • share financial responsibilities and actively use joint bank accounts for financial transactions

There are more that can be done but the above are some examples that require continuation even after lodging your partner visa application. Case officers can call to ask questions, or make site visits to determine the authenticity of the relationship and application. Any deterioration or adverse effect to the relationship will decrease the chances of a successful visa application.

The 2 Year Provisional Period

Most partner visas that are approved are provisional for a period of at least 2 years from the date of visa application. While the applicant holds Australian temporary residency and has access to Medicare, the temporary residency status can be revoked if the relationship dissolves within 2 years from the date of visa application lodgement. Therefore it is important to note that the relationship must continue to exist for at least 2 years from the date when the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) received the partner visa application.

Once the 2 years have passed the applicant and sponsor should pro-actively contact the DIBP if they have not received any contact from the Department. You can initiate the second stage assessment for the permanent partner visa by using the information and instructions on the Partner (Permanent) Calculator on the DIBP website. Usually the Department will send you correspondence for this so it is very important that you update the Department if your residential or correspondence address has changed over the 2 year period.

Once the assessment is completed the applicant will receive the permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801). You can only sponsor relatives when you receive the permanent Partner Visa.

What if there are complications to the relationship during the 2 year provisional period?

While it is a requirement to fulfil the 2 years before obtaining the permanent Partner Visa, it is possible to have the permanent visa granted earlier if the following circumstances occur:

  • your sponsor or de facto partner dies, the relationship would have continued if they had not died, and you have developed close business, cultural or personal ties in Australia
  • the relationship breaks down and there is a child of the relationship
  • the relationship breaks down due to family violence

You will need to contact the Department immediately if the events above occur. It may also be helpful to seek the advice of a Registered Migration Agent first to assess the situation.

What if there is Domestic Violence?

There are provisions in the Migration Act to protect holders of the provisional partner visa against domestic violence. The provisions aim to protect provisional partner visa holders from being abused by partners who use the provisional visa status as leverage. While it is unpleasantly true that such cases do occur, the victims of domestic violence must provide enough evidence to the Department to support such claims.

You are advised to seek the advice of a Registered Migration Agent with experience in such cases to assess the evidence you have to claim domestic violence in the relationship.

Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers

The Australian Partner Visa application has been plagued with increasingly longer waiting periods and this has made the uncertain waiting period a test to a couple’s relationship. It will be harrowing to find out that the visa application is refused after waiting for close to 24 months. As such it is best to submit an application that is strong with supporting evidence at the beginning, to ensure the best chances of success for the application. Prepare your application well before submitting it to the DIBP.

Another note is that applicants with Schedule 3 considerations, where the applicant was unlawful in Australia at the time of application, are less likely to receive waivers as the Department has been very strict in assessing the “compelling reasons” criteria. If you are an applicant with Schedule 3 considerations, please check with a Registered Migration Agent first before lodging your Partner Visa application.

This information is accurate on 8 April 2016

Source:

https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/801-

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Partner Visa Application Fees Increasing on 1 January 2015

Partner Visa Application Fees Increasing on 1 January 2015

 The price of assisting your fiancé, de facto or married partner to obtain an Australian residence visa is getting costlier.  The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced an increase in visa application charges (VAC) for partner visas.  The 50% VAC increase will be effective 1 January 2015.  Here are the numbers:

  • Offshore provisional and permanent partner visas - currently $3085 increased to $4630.00
  • Prospective marriage visa - currently $3085 increased to $4630.00
  • Onshore temporary and permanent partner visas - currently $4575 increased to $6865.00

This move is expected to provide DIBP with an additional A$373.6 million over four years, for the purpose of funding whole-of-government policy priorities.

At the same time DIBP has announced a planned increase in the intake of refugees for the year 2017-18.

What Do We Think

  • The significant increase of 50% in the VAC is in effect a punishment for Australian citizens and permanent residents who have partners from overseas
  • There is no promise of better service or shorter process times to go with the increase in fees.  Rather it is 50% higher fees at the same level of service.  From the date of application partner visas currently take approximately 1 year to be granted
  • Bringing a partner in to Australia to start a family and contributing to the planned population growth will be more difficult financially

(net overseas migration currently contributes to 60% of Australia’s population growth)
Source: DIBP Fact sheet 15 - population growth

  • The VAC increase is similar to what Skilled Migration applicants experienced in July 2013 when fees were changed to charge per person instead of per family application.  Read our previous article here

What Can You Do

  • If you intend to apply for a partner visa, submit your visa application before 1 January 2015 to avoid the VAC increase
  • If you need information about your current situation and to find out which visa is best for you to bring your partner into Australia, contact a Registered Migration Agent now

Source:

DIBP Website

http://www.immi.gov.au/News/Pages/increase-in-partner-vac.aspx

https://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/15population.htm

SBS Website

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/12/15/govt-cash-visas-foreign-love

This information is accurate on the 16 December 2014.  DIBP will change requirements in an ongoing manner and all current requirements must be established prior to lodging an application.

Do You Need Help?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants with the Family Migration Stream which includes Partner Visa applications.  We can also assist with Skilled Migration visa applications for candidates looking for other options.

If you require further information regarding an application or your Australian visa options you can contact us through:

 (08) 7225 5091 or +61 8 7225 5091 

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Our South Australia Immigration Lawyers

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business visas, Employer-Sponsored visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review, and Ministerial Intervention. Based in Adelaide South Australia, our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents provide migration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

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Contact us on (+61 8) 8351 9956

Office: 230 Henley Beach Road, Torrensville, SA 5031, Australia

Post: PO Box 3057, Hilton Plaza, South Australia, 5033, Australia

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