Major changes for Sponsored Family Visa program to come into effect 2019
The Australian Government has announced that the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 has been passed by both houses of Parliament and is awaiting royal assent.
This bill will introduce significant changes to the existing Sponsored Family Visa program for example;
- The requirement for sponsorship to be approved before the visa application can be lodged.
- Sponsorship obligations for family sponsors and sanctions for breach of obligations.
- The Department of Home Affairs can share personal information with sponsors, visa applicants and other government agencies.
What Visas will be affected
- Partner (De-Facto visa)
- permits for other relatives
We predict that the changes may come into effect between January and June 2019. Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens who wish to apply to sponsor a family member and family members who want to apply for a sponsored family visa will be affected by the changes.
We expect that the change will have a drastic increase in processing times that are currently at record highs, (as we wrote this blog Subclass 100 waiting time according to Department of Home affairs was 23 – 32 months).
Cyrus Mistry has said “I expect that the changes will have a detrimental effect on the Sponsored Family Visa program. For example applicants who visit Australia on short-term visas may not be able to lodge applications onshore as the sponsorship application may not be approved before the visa expires, meaning they will not be able to obtain a bridging visa. We expect to see significantly longer waiting times, which will be difficult for family members off shore waiting for an answer.
In addition to these changes we are expecting to see the introductions of more regulations which could include a refusal if the sponsor has debts to the Comonwealth or has crimnal record”.
If you are concerned that the new bill will affect you, please call our office on +61 8 9221 4888 and book a time to speak with our team of register agents.