Changes to Australian Partner Visa
Government announcements in conjunction with the Federal Budget suggest that Australia’s partner visa program will undergo substantial changes in 2021. Below, we outline upcoming changes to the Australian partner visa and how this may impact future applications.
Onshore applicants visa grants
Currently, applicants applying for the partner visa (subclass 309) must be offshore at time of visa grant. However this legislation is proving problematic amid COVID travel restrictions, and a new bill is being debated in parliament. If passed, it will allow a temporary concession for those applicants who are in Australia and are not able to travel offshore to be granted their visa due to COVID-19 related border closures. More information is expected early 2021.
New English language requirement
From mid-2021, those applying for a permanent partner visa will need to prove their English language skillset. Both the applicant and sponsor must evidence functional English proficiency as part of this change. You can see further details on our partner visa webpage.
Change to sponsorship
Next year sponsorship must first be approved before an applicant can lodge their visa. This includes the sponsor providing character checks and personal information with the department and the applicant. Essentially, an applicant’s Australian spouse or de facto partner must be approved before they can lodge a partner visa application. This is a measure to help combat domestic violence in relationships.
Implementation of the above changes is planned for 2021, however exact dates and specific details reman to be announced. You can monitor the latest visa news on our website. If you want to discuss emigrating to Australia you can arrange a consultation with our experienced migration agent.