April 17 - Partner Visa Changes
As of 17 April 2019 the old partner visa application process will no longer be accepted by the Department of Home Affairs, giving way to the new 2 stage partner processing system.
This means those who want to apply for a partner visa must:
- Apply for their eligible Australian partner - spouse to become a 'sponsor';
- Wait until the sponsor application is processed and approved;
- Apply for their partner visa.
The Department - in their explanitory memorandum - state the intention is to align Australians sponsoring overseas spouses and partners with Australian companys sponsoring temporary overseas skilled workers.
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:
- The Minister is creating a two stage process, much like the very complicated and unnecessary skilled sponsored visa scheme;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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;
- 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?
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.
From October, the WA State Government will issue invitations on the 2nd Thursday of each month.
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.
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.