Significant Partner Visa Changes

Back in October 2020, we wrote a blog about upcoming significant changes to Partner Visas. 

The indicative date for these changes, was suggested to be November 2021.  This was based on information from the Department of Home Affairs at the time.

So, when will these changes happen?

For the last several months, the Professional Association for Registered Migration Agents, the Migration Institute of Australia, has been trying to seek confirmation that the partner visa changes will occur, and if so, when this might happen.

To date, there has been no official confirmation from the Department of Home Affairs, either way.

However, a Legislative Amendment was released last week which provides for a range of (unrelated) migration changes to be made, on the 13th November 2021.  This will coincide with a major upgrade of Departmental ICT systems, resulting in some expected system outages between the 5th and 13th November.

We know that the legislation to permit sponsorship of a partner visa applicant, is already in place and operating, as it’s part of the Temporary Sponsored Parent (Subclass 870) Visa.  Major changes in procedures always require a significant update to departmental systems.

We believe that the Partner Visa Changes could happen at any time, without further warning.

So, we would like you to be aware of this too.  It is not uncommon for the Department to implement significant visa changes with very little notice (sometimes less than 24 hours).  It stops a last-minute rush on the systems.  Plus, we have known about the upcoming Partner Visa changes for some time now.

How will this affect your future partner visa application?

In our previous blog, we outlined what we believe the impacts will be.  If you think you will be affected – either as a sponsor or a visa applicant – and you are in a position to get your Partner Visa lodged with urgency to avoid the changes and potential higher costs, please contact us as soon as possible, if you’re looking for guidance

We stress that we are not confirming partner visa changes will take place on the 13th November 2021.  We are cautious, however, that a major system upgrade, in combination with the previously suggested timeframe, could be a signal that the Partner Visa changes are imminent.

If you’ve already lodged, or been granted, your Partner Visa – either temporary or permanent – you will not be affected by these changes. 


Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)