Family Sponsorship Approval Process Updated

UPDATE - Changes to Partner and Prospective Marriage Sponsorship NOT commencing on 17 April 2019

Published Date: 15 April 2019

We have been notified by the Department of Home Affairs that the separate sponsorship framework will be first implemented in the new Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa which will be open for sponsorship applications from 17 April 2019.

Further regulation and system changes are required for changes to the sponsorship framework to apply to other visas, including the following:

At this stage we have no indication as to when the new sponsorship framework will apply to these visas and therefore we can continue to lodge applications under the current framework.

What does this mean for your application?

If you are currently preparing to lodge an application for any of the visas listed above you can continue to follow the process that is currently in place. If applying from within Australia you will be granted a Bridging Visa as soon as your application has been lodged, you do not need to wait for sponsorship to be approved. It’s beneficial to lodge your application as soon as possible as these changes could come into effect at any time.

Stay tuned for further updates as more information comes to light.

ORIGINAL POST

Published Date: 9 April 2019

The Governor-General has announced that Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 will commence on 17 April 2019. The main purpose of the Act is to place a greater emphasis on the assessment of persons as family sponsors and improve the management of family violence in Australia. It is hoped that this will be achieved by establishing framework that:

(a) requires the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made; and

(b) imposes obligations on persons who are or were approved family sponsors; and

(c) provides for sanctions if such obligations are not satisfied; and

(d) facilitates the sharing of personal information in accordance with division 140AA of the Act.

The changes will impact any visa that requires a family sponsor including (but not limited to):

How might this affect you? 

If you are submitting an onshore visa application that requires a family sponsor then that sponsorship will need to be approved before your visa application can be lodged. If you are relying on a Bridging Visa to be granted in association with your visa application to remain in Australia, and your current visa expires before sponsorship is approved, then you will need to leave Australia and return on another visa. At this stage we have no indication regarding family sponsorship processing times or any applicable fees.

Stay tuned for further updates as more information comes to light.