New legislation has recently been introduced that will significantly change whether an Australian Partner Visa application can be lodged whist the applicant is in Australia. Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 will take effect on 17 April 2019.
Currently, the visa applicant and their sponsor can submit their application to the Department of Home Affairs jointly (visa application is done together with the sponsorship application)
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 will change?
The new Act will require the partner to first lodge their sponsorship application and have it approved before the partner visa can be lodged.
At the moment, it is unclear how long the decision process of the sponsorship application will take, current published processing time for Partner Visa is approximately 12 to 18 months.
How will this affect me?
This change will have huge impact on many onshore visa applicants if they are stopped from lodging an application till the sponsorship is approved.
Partner visa applicants with limited time remaining on their current visa will be required to either lodge a valid visa application that will allow them to stay in the country, or depart Australia and remain overseas until the partner visa is granted.
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.
Other visa that requires sponsorship are also affected by this change in legislation
When does this take effect?
From 17 April 2019
What should I do?
If you are eligible now, we recommend lodging the partner visa application before 17 April 2019.
Contact expert migration professionals at Australian Dream Visa if you need more information and help with your visa.