06 Jun Changes to Partner Visa Process – you may no longer be eligible for a bridging visa!
The Australian government has passed legislation to change the way Australian Partner Visas are processed.
The current process is to lodge the application for the non-Australian partner first and then submit the Australian partner’s sponsorship application to be linked with it straight after.
This is about to change!
The new law requires the Australian Partner to lodge their sponsorship application first. And – most importantly – for this application to be queued, considered and APPROVED before the non-Australian partner can lodge their visa application. Given the current processing times for Australian partner visa applications, this could be anywhere up to 2 years before the visa application can be lodged.
This will mean NO BRIDGING VISA will be issued for the non-Australian partner while the sponsorship application is being considered when the application is made onshore once these changes come into effect. A major shift and significant ramifications for any non-Australian partner wishing to stay in Australia while the application is being processed. They will need to get onto another visa whilst waiting for the partner sponsorship to be approved.
It may also cause much longer wait times for Partner visas to be approved. At the moment both the visa application and sponsorship application are considered at the same time. After the changes come into effect, each will be queued and considered separately which could mean a doubling of the already lengthy processing times.
The changes will affect all Australian Partner Visa applications – including de-facto Partner visas, spouse Partner visas, registered civil relationships and Prospective Spouse (fiancé) visas.
The law has been passed but has not yet come into effect – however, there are rumblings that it could happen any day now so if you are thinking about lodging an Australian Partner visa application, you may wish to submit it now!
We will post an update as soon as these changes happen, quite often these sorts of changes come about without warning these days to avoid large numbers of applications being lodged at once.
Book a call with us so we can let you know in more detail how this will affect you and the best way forward for your particular circumstances.