Spouse Visa Changes
You need to read this if you are applying for a spouse visa in the near future .
I promise you this will be the most important thing for you to know before the visa lodgement .
Just forget the information and the documents required to start the process. This major change could be in effect anytime now . Although, it’s predicted that the change will come into effect in the month of May or June 2019 .
Okay…Okay Before you stop reading this and move to the next page , I will switch to the details. Our Parliament passed a bill on the 10th of December 2018, which will significantly change the process to lodge a spouse visa application .
Current Process :
At the moment ( without the proposed changes in effect ) the law allows the lodgement of a spouse visa application along with the sponsorship application .This means that the visa applicant will get a bridging visa to legally stay in Australia if they applied for the visa onshore .
After the changes to Spouse Visa :
Once the change as per the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 comes in effect, the law requires the sponsorship application to be processed and approved first . One cannot lodge the visa with the sponsor’s application .
Consider this like a video game where you had the choice of playing the Level 1 or Level 2 . The sudden change of rule forces you to clear Level 1 first before you become eligible for playing Level 2 . The problem is that you have limited battery in your game console allowing you to play only one Level . Forcing you to play Level 1 would exhaust the limited battery and you would not be able to play Level 2 .
First Major Impact :
This means that if your partner or spouse is in Australia , they will not be getting a bridging visa to maintain their legal status if their initial visa expires . They will have to apply for an extension of their current visa or plan to leave Australia. Needless to say that this could cause severe stress to both of you .
Second Impact :
If any of your friends have applied for a spouse visa , you would have definitely heard them complaining about the long wait times of up to 18 months or higher . These ridiculous wait times would be even more painful with the new change . The two staged process will lead to further delays and some experts are of the view that the processing time would blow out even further.
Third Impact :
Not a major one but I believe it’s worth mentioning . In the good old days and untill the new changes arrive , the Medicare benefits extended to the visa applicant after the visa lodgement . This will change as the applicant will not be able to lodge the visa along with the sponsor’s application . They will have to wait for their sponsorship approval before they become eligible for visa lodgement and Medicare benefits .
If you are planning to lodge a partner visa application , make sure you lodge the application before the change . If I was you, I would have also looked at All you need to know about Partner Visa to get myself prepared to lodge the application .
Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback . Any questions related to the topic are most welcome .