Partner Visas are among our favourite visa types. For one thing, normally we are dealing with two people who can’t wait to start a life together in Australia. Secondly, we don’t have the added complications of employer sponsorship and changing occupation lists. As long as you’re in love, it’s legal and it’s genuine – we can work with that!
Recently we’ve had a run of partner visa inquiries from people who are desperate to lodge their application by the 10th June 2019. Why that date? Well, it’s because they have been advised that they need to get in and lodge early before the Partner Visa process changes.
Why the rush to lodge the application before the 10th June?
On the 10th December 2018, a piece of migration legislation became law, called the “Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures)”. This provides for a new type of sponsorship which will, in time, apply to all Family visas.
New legislation, once ‘assented to’, must come into operational effect within 6 months.
Based upon the information which was available at the time, many migration agents and lawyers were concerned that this meant the signalled Partner Visa Changes must take place before the 10th June.
However, this is not the case.
We saw the sponsorship for the new Temporary Parent Visa commence on the 17th April 2019 – effectively bringing the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) legislation into operation.
In future, the Department of Home Affairs plans to link the new legislation with all family visas – which include parent, partner, child, adoption, and remaining relative visas. But the roll-out will take some time.
The good news is – You DON’T have to lodge a Partner Visa before June 10th to avoid the new legislation!!
(Of course, you might need to lodge quickly for other reasons, such as your current visa expiring…)
Recently we have obtained new information directly from the Department of Home Affairs. The plan is for the Department to create new Partner visa legislation, and introduce this to Parliament. It will include a linkage to the new Family Violence Provisions, as well as other structural changes to the Partner visa.
Right now, we have a new Parliament, and Ministers have been sworn in today. It will be some time before Parliament starts sitting again, and creates new legislation. It will definitely not happen before the 10th June.
When new Partner Visa legislation is introduced to Parliament, we will know about it through the democratic and transparent government processes that we are lucky to have, and will be able to track its progress. After new Partner Visa legislation is passed, it must come into operation within 6 months.
In summary, there is no date estimate for the introduction of new Partner Visa legislation. It will happen in time, but definitely not before the 10th June.
However… consider a looming increase in the Visa Application Charge!
There could, however, be a good reason to aim to lodge your Partner Visa before the 1st July – and that is, the government lodgement charge is increasing by 5.4% on that day. That is due to add a hefty $387 to the cost!
You have a month left to lodge by the 30th June and spend that extra money on a treat for your loved one!