2019 Partner Visa Test

Peter Dutton is making his mark on Australian migration, but not just in detaining children or inappropriately revoking citizenship. The Minister has now created a piece of legislation (which has received the Royal Ascent), to split the partner visa process in two.

The intention of the amending provisions seems to be to split Australian citizens/permanent residents and any overseas citizen, but the exact test has not yet been made clear by the Department.

What we know

It will be unfair, time consuming, costly and entirely subjective. It will treat people like corporations and case officers will be untrained, unprepaired and overwhelmed. The Department will claim it is in Australia's interests, which means more money in the government coffers and both major parties will like it, because it adds to their budget bottom line. We know it will discriminate - as the Migration Act already does and we know it is likely to be targetted at people in 'non-western relationships'. We also know:

  1. The Minister is creating a two stage process, much like the very complicated and unnecessary skilled sponsored visa scheme;
  2. The Department will be responsible for determining if an Australian citizen or permanent resident is 'worthy' to be a sponsoring partner of an overseas person;
  3. The case officer will have 'subjective' decision making powers to refuse an Australian citizen or permanent resident from being eligible to be the partner of an overseas person.
  4. The processing time for partner visas will follow the same trend as skilled visas - up to 3+ years processing will likely become normal, and refusals will increase dramatically;
  5. Visa applicants will need to wait for sponsorship applications to be granted before lodging a visa, meaning those applicants who are inside Australia on a visitor visa or simillar will need to leave Australia and wait offshore, seperated from their partner for 2 to 3 years - with no appeal rights...

Immigration: is the lawyer or agent better?

Who's better? In fact, it doesn’t matter. As a immigration client you will generally come across three types of immigration consultant and each have a requirement to understand and update themselves regularly about immigration Law. As there are around 11,000 who are Registered with the Migration Agent Registration Authority (MARA) you will absolutely find different levels of experience and ethical behaviours, but that's standard business practice. It's worth remembering you will be with your immigration advisor for 6months to 2 years, so finding someone you trust is possibly more important than their credentials.

New Western Australian Graduate Stream

The Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Migration Services branch have announced a new ‘Graduate Stream’ application process. If you meet the Graduate Stream criteria and your occupation is on the WA Graduate Occupation List (GOL), then you may apply for either a subclass 190 or 489 visa.

This visa is only open to university graduates who have gained a higher qualification (LLB, Masters or PHD), after having studied for at least two years in Western Australia at a Western Australian university.

Invitation Rounds

From October, the WA State Government will issue invitations on the 2nd Thursday of each month.

More Information

The occupation list is only valid at the time of lodging your application. You should always review the source list, however the below will give you some idea of what to expect as at 25 September 2018.

Source Western Australia Occupation Lists


Compare Sponsored Visas

The following table compares essential criteria of the subclass 482 temporary skills shortage, 186 permenant and 187 regional permenant visas. Prior to the March 2018 changes these employer sponsored or nominated visas used to be very different and specific insentives were in place to attract people to regional areas of Australia. For example: based on our anaysis there is no longer any reward to applying for a regional 187 over a 186 - unless you require a occcupation only on the regional occupation list.

Please be aware the table is created for quick comparison only and you should seek professional advice specific to your circumstances.

 2018 Comparison Table

Price Hike For Employers or Visa Applicants?

The latest change to the skilled immigration program is here and it’s not nice for employers. The Skilling Australians Fund – Training Contribution Charge increases employer application charges for all sponsored visas by not less than $1,300. However, for your average employer (and visa applicant) the increase means much more.

For every subclass 482 temporary visa an employer applies for as a business earning less than 10 million it will cost $1,300 per year. This means a minimum $2,600 for those with occupations on the STSOL (short term list) and a whopping $5,200 if the occupation is on the MLTSSL (4 year list).

For those businesses with a turnover of 10 million / year +, the yearly figure for each 482 rises from $1,300 per year, to $1,800 per year and for those employers who decide to sponsor an overseas worker for a permanent visa the one off figure is either $3,000 or $5,000 – the latter applying to businesses with a 10 Million + turnover /.