What are the Partner Visa Changes for 2018?

What are the changes to the Immigration for 2018?

Migration laws and regulations in Australia are subject to constant change and frequent amendments. It’s important we keep tabs on all changes and in this blog, we introduce a few of these and briefly explore what some of these changes may mean for you.

Why did Immigration change their name?

The Department of Immigration and Border Security has been superseded by the Department of Home Affairs. Home Affairs now deals with all aspects relating to Immigration in Australia.

In brief, the Home Affairs Department is a centralised, umbrella body now responsible for Immigration and border security. The function of the department as described on the homepage is to bring “together Australia’s federal law enforcement, national and transport security, criminal justice, emergency management, multicultural affairs and immigration and border-related functions and agencies.”

Get a FREE copy of our Partner Visa Roadmap

Download our free Partner Visa Roadmap and use it to do a self assessment of where you are at in the process. Try filling out as much information as you can and see if you have everything that is required.

As with all big inter-departmental changes, there may be some glitches to overcome, hopefully not something that you as consumers or us as representatives to couples going through the partner visa process have to deal with but we at Freedom Migration are here to help you negotiate the new system – we’ve got your back!!

What are the Proposed Partner Visa Changes?

Planned changes to the Partner Visa Programme were expected in 2017 but have been deferred to 2018. The changes have not been applied yet as the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016, which amends the Migration Act of 1958, is still before the Senate.

The proposed amendments introduce a sponsorship framework for the Sponsored Family Visa programme and are summarised below:

  • The sponsorship assessment would be separate to the visa application process for family sponsored visas;
  • Persons nominated as family sponsors would need to be approved by Australian authorities BEFORE visa applications are made;
  • Persons approved as sponsors would be subject to legal obligations;
  • Approved sponsors could face civil and administrative penalties if they fail to deliver on their commitments;
  • Sponsorship applications could be refused and family sponsors may be banned, especially where family violence is involved.
  • Changes would facilitate the disclosure of relevant personal information between parties in the application;

In line with the new proposals, this means Partner Visa sponsorship applications would need to be lodged under stricter criteria and importantly, approved BEFORE the overseas Partner Visa application can be lodged.

Unfortunately, this may mean a delay in the lodgement of the overseas partner application and result in altered visa requirements for overseas partners.

Have the Costs increased for 2018?

The GOOD news is…..there is currently no indication the department will increase the cost of the lodgement of the partner visa to cover the changes.

And so from our side, we hope this has been helpful – please keep your feedback and questions coming and we will respond to any of your queries.


If you have any questions about this blog then please comment below, we love your feedback and we promise to answer.

About the Author Emma Drynan

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.

follow me on: