Legally, yes but they haven’t actually been implemented yet, weird, I know!
Changes are designed to protect visa applicants and create more accountability for sponsors to uphold their sponsorship requirements. There’s a particular focus on sponsors with criminal history and sponsors who’ve breached their sponsorship obligations.
So when are they going to be implemented? I don’t actually know yet.
This is a guess because we don’t actually have the regulations as yet. What we expect however is that sponsors will be required to provide police checks from all the countries that they’ve lived in for the last 10 years for a 12 month period or more at the time of applying for sponsorship.
And I would expect the sponsorship is going to need to be approved before the visa applicant can actually lodge their application.
If implemented the way we expect, the biggest impact will be on couples who are applying from inside of Australia who have a visitor visa or potentially a working holiday visa or any other visa that allows you to apply for the Partner Visa from inside Australia. If you have an expiry date looming then there’s a chance that it could affect you.
Lodge your application as soon as possible. It’s really important that you get one-on-one advice now to see if you are in a position to lodge and in turn avoid the impact of those changes.
Processing times fluctuate. Sometimes from day to day, from week to week. Overall what we’re seeing is on average 18 months for unsure applications. Immigration website does advertise up to 20 months for Onshore application processing.
For offshore cases, we’re seeing on average maybe 15 months. The online advertised processing times are 18 months. The diversity or the change that we see in processing times, it comes down to a number of different things.
“Where is that application going to be processed? Is it an onshore or offshore application? Is it a complex case? What Australian Embassy around the world is going to be processing it if it’s an offshore application? “
So lots of things that could affect the processing times. Most importantly if you are wanting to keep on the shorter side of those, use an experienced migration agent who knows what they’re doing when it comes to Partner Visa processing.
If you are going to be looking at doing it on your own, look for some kind of support along the way to make sure that your case isn’t complex firstly and proves that you meet the legislative requirements.
Need more help? Freedom Migration is happy to lend a helping hand. For more information visit our Partner Visa FAQ and Partner Visa Pathways. Need some advice? Contact us.
I am the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. I am extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because I’m the product of a partner visa family.
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