Posts Tagged ‘Visa’


Offshore partner visa applicants and biometrics if travel to Australia during processing.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

 

Subclass 309/100 applicants and biometrics if in Australia.

 

Biometrics (fingerprints and photo) are usually required to be provided by offshore partner visa applicants from many, but not all countries.

 

If a subclass 309/100 partner visa is lodged offshore and the visa applicant subsequently travels to Australia (on a visitor visa, for example) whilst the 309/100 application is being proccessed and the Immigration Department then requests that Biometrics be provided – what can the applicant do?

 

The best thing to do is to telephone the immigration department (Call 131 881) and speak to them.

 

It is quite possible, though not guaranteed, that because the offshore partner visa applicant is now in Australia, the immigration deprtment may waive (not require) the partner visa applicant to provide their biometrics for their offshore partner visa application.

 

 

Overall, if you are in this situation, you have everything to gain, and little to lose, by contacting the immigration department and requesting a waiver.

 

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 on April 30th, 2024.  But keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

What happens after your partner visa medical?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

 

After the partner visa medical

As we discussed in a previous post, the partner visa medical can only be completed by the visa applicant after the partner visa application has been lodged.

 

After you have completed the partner visa medical, the status of your visa application within Immiaccount (under the ‘Health Assessment’ tab) will change.

 

If the medical examination has been completed successfully and you have passed the health assessment, it will change to read:

 

Health clearance provided – no action required
All health examinations required for the specified visa subclass have been finalised. Processing of this person’s visa application can now continue. This will not occur until a case officer investigates the case in line with published processing times for the visa that has been applied for. Do not contact the department about health examinations in the meantime.

 

Importantly, other than this change to the Health Assessment status within Immiaccount, Immigration will not contact you or message you to tell you that you have successfully completed the medical examination.

 

What happens if you don’t pass the health assessment?

If you don’t initially pass the health assessment and so more medical information is required, immigration or BUPA (the medical examination provider) will normally send you (or your agent) an email that may request that you obtain, for example, further specialist medical reports.

 

If it’s conclusive from the initial medical examination that you don’t pass the health assessment (an example of this may be if you have HIV) then the Immigration department will normally send you (or your agent) a ‘section 56’ letter advising you that you have not passed the health assessment, why you have not passed it,  and that you have a right to request a waiver of the requirement that you pass the health assessment.

 

The time given to respond in the above two situations is very important – don’t miss the response deadline.

 

 

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 on April 2nd, 2024.  But keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

When partner visa applicants can do the medical examination and what happens if it’s not done in time.

Friday, March 1st, 2024

 

When can the partner visa medical be done?

The partner visa medical can only be completed by the visa applicant after the partner visa application has been lodged.

It would be useful if the medical could be completed before the partner visa application was lodged – so that an applicant with a health condition knows if they will pass the medical before they pay the (almost $9,000) visa application charge.

However unfortunately, this is not possible.

After the partner visa application is lodged, the immigration department advises the visa applicant to complete the medical examination within 28 days.

 

If it is not possible to complete the medical examination within 28 days (because, for example, there are no appointments available in that period), then it is crucial that the immigration department be advised of this before the 28 days expires – along with providing evidence of your appointment to complete the medical outside of the 28-day period.

 

Ocassionally, applicants have had partner visa applications refused for not completing the medical within 28 days and not advising the department within the 28 days of why they cannot complete it within the time period and showing the department that they have an appointment for a later date.

 

If there are no medical appointments available within 28 days, keep trying to book – appointments are sometimes cancelled and become available again.

 

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 March 1st, 2024.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

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.

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.

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.

Prospective Marriage Visas – how to show that you have met in person.

Friday, January 21st, 2022

 

It is a requirement for the grant of a Prospective Marriage visa that you and your fiance(e) have met in person – before the visa application is lodged.

If you cannot prove to the Immigration Case Officer who is deciding on your application that you have met in person at least once, and that both of you were aged 18 years or older when you last met in person and before the visa application was lodged, the visa application is very likely to be refused unfortunately.

 

How to prove you have met in person?

There are a number of pieces of evidence that you could potentially use to prove this, including:

  • Flight tickets
  • Hotel bookings
  • Photographs of the two of you together.

 

The Importance of photographs

Case Officers are increasingly reluctant to approve Prospective Marriage visa applications without seeing photographs of the couple together – in addition to seeing other types of evidence that the couple have met in person.

So, when you are together, even if it is only once – take photographs!  You can use them later as evidence.

 

Should you meet more than once before lodging the application?

Yes, if you can.  However, it is not strictly necessary.

 

 

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

Regards.

Ross McDougall.

Solicitor / Immigration Lawyer

www.rpmlawyers.com.au

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at January 21st, 2022.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.