Posts Tagged ‘Partner’


Good news – you can now be inside or outside of Australia when your subclass 820 or 309 visa is granted.

Friday, December 29th, 2023

On 24 November 2023, there was a significant amendment to Australian immigration law that is potentially of benefit to partner visa applicants.

 

Prior to this amendment:

  • Applicants for subclass 820 (onshore) partner visas had to be in Australia when they applied for the visa, and in Australia when the visa was granted.

 

  • Applicants for subclass 309 (offshore) partner visas had to be outside Australia when they applied for the visa, and outside Australia when the visa was granted.

 

The November 24th amendment means that subclass 820 and subclass 309 partner visa applicants can now be granted a visa regardless of whether they are inside or outside Australia when the visa is granted.

The changes apply to (undecided) applications lodged prior to the changes being made, and applications lodged since the changes were made.

 

Subclass 820 applicants still have to be inside Australia when they lodge the application.

Subclass 309 applicants still have to be outside Australia when they lodge the application.

Overall, it’s a welcome amendment.  Previously, applicants sometimes had to leave, or return to, Australia – merely to be in the required place for the grant of their visa. This will no longer be required.

Subclass 300 applicants

Unfortunately, these changes  do not  apply to subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage visa) applications – subclass 300 applicants still need to be outside Australia when they lodge their application and when their visa is granted.

 

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

 

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

contactus@rpmlawyers.com.au

This information is correct at December 29th, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

A Bridging Visa for subclass 309 partner visa applicants? – possibly.

Monday, June 19th, 2023

 

Subclass 309/100 partner visa applications and Bridging Visas

Applicants for a subclass 820/801 (onshore) partner visa are automatically granted a Bridging Visa A with work rights – as long as they held a substantive temporary visa at the date they applied for the partner visa.

Applicants for a subclass 309/100 (offshore) partner visa are not automatically granted a Bridging Visa.

However, in some – limited – circumstances they can obtain a Bridging Visa in Australia

The Limited Circumstances

An applicant for a subclass 309/100 (offshore) partner visa can potentially obtain a Bridging Visa in Australia – if they held a substantive temporary visa (such as a visitor visa) at the date they lodged the application for the subclass 309/100 visa.

 

An example of how this works.

A person is outside Australia and holds a valid subclass 600 visitor visa.

Whilst outside Australia and holding that visitor visa, they apply for a subclass 309/100 partner visa.

Whilst the subclass 309/100 application is being processed, they travel to Australia on their visitor visa.

Whilst in Australia on the visitor visa, they apply for the Bridging visa that is associated with their application for the subclass 100 visa to be granted.

If/when the Bridging Visa is granted it will not have work rights unfortunately.

However, it will allow the applicant to lawfully remain in Australia after their visitor visa expires and until they receive the decision on their subclass 309 partner visa application.

 

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at June 19th, 2023. But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

The government’s partner visa application charges will increase on July 1st, 2023. More Immigration Case Officers are to be employed.

Monday, May 15th, 2023

 

In the recent Federal Government budget there were two announcements that affect Australian partner visa applicants.

One will negatively affect applicants, the other may positively affect applicants.

The negative

From July 1st, 2023, the government will increase its visa application charges for partner and prospective marriage visa applications.

The increase in visa application charges for partner visa and prospective marriage visa applications will be 6% (an approximately $500 increase).

This is on top of the existing government partner visa application charges that are already very high!

These new partner visa application charges only apply to visa applications lodged after July 1st, 2023.  Applications lodged before then won’t be affected.

The Positive – (potentially)

In the budget the government also announced that they will be ‘onboarding’ (hiring) 500 new Immigration Case Officers over the next 12 months.

This is potentially good news for partner visa applicants who currently experience the injustice of paying a very high government visa application charge, which is frequently combined with slow processing of their visa application.

Hopefully, a significant number of new Case Officers will be allocated to processing partner visa applications – we shall wait and see.

 

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

 

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at May 15th, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Second (permanent) stage partner visa processing – new police checks needed?

Thursday, April 20th, 2023

 

Second stage Partner visa Processing.

 

The temporary partner visa (subclass 820 0r 309) and the permanent partner visa (subclass 801 or 100) are both applied for at the same time and in the same online application.

Initially, applicants are processed for the temporary partner visa.

Two years from the date the partner visas are applied for, applicants are eligible to be processed for the permanent partner visa (permanent residency).

 

Documents required for second stage partner visa processing

To be processed for the permanent partner visa, there is an online form that needs to be completed, updated relationship evidence needs to be provided, and Statutory Declarations from the sponsor and witnesses need to be provided.

 

Are new police checks required?

 

As part of applying for the temporary visa, visa applicants and their sponsor would have provided police checks for each country that they have spent a year or more in (cumulatively) in the last ten years.

For the second stage partner visa processing, the sponsor is not required to supply new police checks.

However, the visa applicant is required to provide a new police check for each country they have spent a cumulative period of a year or more in since they were granted their temporary partner visa (subclass 820 or 309).

For many applicants, this will mean they will need to provide a police check for Australia.

Some applicants will need to provide a new police check for other countries – it all depends where they have been living since the grant of the temporary partner visa, and how long they have been living there for.

 

Further Information

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything discussed here.

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at April 20th, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Benefits of a joint bank account as partner visa evidence.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

 

Why have a joint bank account?

 

Basically, it’s good evidence for a partner visa application that as a married or de facto couple, you have combined your finances and you are financially supporting each other.

 

Do we both need to contribute to our joint bank account?

Ideally, yes.  Although sometimes only one partner will have an income, so in that situation it’s ok if only one partner contributes to the joint bank account.

When both partners are contribuitng to the account, it’s not necessary that it be on a 50/50 basis – one partner may be earning more than the other, for example.  So, 80/20 or 60/40 contibutions, for example, are also OK.

 

Should we spend our funds in the joint bank account?

 

You could have a joint bank account just to save money in – for a rental bond, or a home loan deposit, for example.

Or – and this is good as evidence for a partner visa application – you could both use the funds in the joint bank account for your day to day living expenses – your groceries, rent, car expenses, clothing, entertainment, etc. etc.

Some couples have two joint bank accounts – one for saving and one for their living expenses – that’s good evidence.

 

How long should we have the joint bank account for?

 

The longer you have had, and used, your joint bank account before you lodge the partner visa application, the stronger it is as evidence.

 

Further Information

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at March 23rd, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Partner visa processing slowed down recently? – it appears so.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

 

Partner Visa Processing Times Extending

Recently, we’ve noticed a distinct slow down in partner visa processing.

This slowdown of partner visa processing appears to apply to partner visa appications lodged onshore (Subclass 820) and those lodged offshore (subclass 309).  The permanent stage partner visa processing (subclasses 801 and 100) has also slowed down.

Overall, partner visa processing definitely appears to be taking longer than it was a year ago.

 

Why?

This apparent slowdown in the processing of partner visa applications appears to have commenced soon after the Federal Government changed in May 2022.

We imagine that this is because the new government is giving higher priority to processing visa applications that potentially address the workplace ‘skills shortage’ in Australia.

So, some employer-nominated and ‘skilled’ visa applications appear to be being processed quickly.

Possibly, the immigration department has re-assigned some of its staff from the partner visa processing section to the skilled visa processing section.

 

What can be done?

For those applying onshore for subclass 820 partner vias, the slowdown in processing is frustrating.  However, they would normally hold a Bridging Visa A (with full work rights) and have access to medicare.  Importantly, they are together in Australia with their partner during the processing period.

For subclass 309 parter visa applicants offshore, the situation is often more challenging as many of them are separated from their partners during the visa processing period.  That’s difficult, and extended processing times are very unfair to them.

One thing that partner visa applicants can do to speed up processing after it commences is to lodge a partner visa application that is ‘decision-ready’.  That means an application that can in theory be dcided upon on the first day that the Case Officer starts processing it – nothing is missing.

 

When will processing speed up again?

It’s difficult to say. The current apparent policy to prioritise processing of skilled and work visas could change at any time – next week or next year.  Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Partner visa applications are still currently beng processed – just more slowly.

 

Further Information

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at February 23rd, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Australian Permanent Residents – how soon after getting PR can you sponsor your partner?

Thursday, January 19th, 2023

 

The Issue

Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents can potentially sponsor their partner (spouse or de facto) in a partner visa application.

The question often arises – how soon after I am granted my Australian permanent residency visa can I sponsor my partner?

It is understandable that there is some confusion around this – permanent residents cannot immediately sponsor relatives for all the different visa types.

For example, an Australian permant resident that wishes to sponor a parent (mother or father) for most types of parent visas, must wait until they have held their Australian permanent resident visa and been ‘settled’ (lawfully resident) in Australia for two or more years, before they can sponsor their parent.

The same two or more year ‘settled’ requirement applies to permanent resident sponsors of ‘Aged Dependent’, ‘Carer’ and ‘Remaining Relative’ visas.

 

The Good News

However, the good news is that the two or more year ‘settled’ requirement does not apply to Australian permanent resident sponsors of partner visas.

So, Australian permanent residents can potentially sponsor their partner for a partner visa immediately after they are granted their Australian permanent residency visa.

 

Further Information

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at January 19th, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Recently married and lodging a partner visa – should you change your family name?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

 

Are you required to change your name to your spouse’s family name?

No, you are not required to do so.

You can do so, but you don’t have to – some people do change their name, other’s don’t.

 

For the partner visa application, is it beneficial to change your name to your spouse’s family name?

Some applicants think that it is potentially beneficial – possibly because they think it makes their marriage look more ‘committed’ or ‘genuine’.

However, this is not necessarily the case in Australia.

Estimates vary slightly, but it appears that approximately 25% to 30% of women and around 97% of men do not change their name after marrying in Australia.

So if you don’t change your name after marrying, you would be among a significant minority of women, and the overwhelming majority of men, who do not do so.

 

If you do choose to change your name, it may be best to wait – for these reasons:

  • Partner visa applicants are required to provide a police clearance for each country they have spent a year or more in (cumulatively) in the last ten years. These police clearances are required in every name the applicant has ever been known by. The more names that you have been known by, the harder that becomes.

 

  • The partner visa application is lodged using the name recorded in the applicant’s current passport. Yes, it’s possible to get a new passport in a new (married) name – but, how long will it take and how much time do you have before you need to lodge the partner visa application?

 

A potential alternative to changing your name before lodging the partner visa application (or during its processing).

An alternative if you do want to change your name, is to consider waiting until your permanent partner visa application is processed and granted.

Why? – it potentially just keeps things a lot simpler with the partner visa application.

Changing your name doesn’t necessarily display to the immigration department that your marriage is more committed and genuine – many married partner visa applicants don’t change their name and are granted partner visas.

 

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

 

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at October 26th, 2022.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Partner visa applicants and joint bank accounts.

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

 
Couples lodging a partner visa application need to show immigration that they have combined their financial affairs.

Having a joint bank account (a bank account in both of the couple’s names) is one piece of useful evidence that a couple’s finances have been combined.

It’s important that both of the couple actively use their joint bank account after they open it – ideally both making deposits into it and using the funds in it for day-to-day living expenses.

 

Sometimes, one of the couple will be in Australia on a temporary visa – a visitor visa for example.

Can the couple open a joint bank account in Australia if only one of them is an Australian permanent resident or citizen?  The answer is possibly – it depends on which Australian bank you approach.

 

In the recent past, the following banks have been known to open joint bank accounts for a couple where one of the couple is in Australia on a temporary visa (such as a visitor visa):

  • Commonwealth (Google ‘CBA migrant banking’)
  • Westpac
  • ANZ
  • BankWest

 

This list does not include every Australian bank that provides this service – some, but not all, other banks do also.

Keep in mind that banks change their account products from time to time – what they offer today, they may not offer tomorrow.

All the best with opening (and using!) your joint bank account.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.

 

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at September 8th, 2022.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.