The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 has just been passed in the Senate. Final version of the Bill and a start date is not yet finalized however, the bill’s passing means that major changes are impending for prospective spouse visa applications to include the following:
- A partner visa application will require the approval of the sponsor before being eligible to lodge;
- There will be obligations imposed on sponsors;
- There will be sanctions if obligations are not satisfied;
- Personal information may be shared
These changes are designed to strengthen the integrity of the partner visa program and to place greater emphasis on the assessment of sponsors as well as improving the management of family violence in the program delivery.
Despite the well intentions of the program, this bill, once enacted, will mean a more lengthy assessment process and cause difficulty for those with limited time onshore to lodge a valid application.
Southern Stone will be providing further updates to these changes as they are announced.
If you are planning to lodge a partner visa, please CONTACT US now to discuss your options.