Legislative changes came into effect to partner and prospective marriage visas lodged on or after 18 November 2016 whereby Sponsors of applicants will be required to provide the following to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection:
Australian or foreign police checks to the Department when requested
Consent to the Department disclosing convictions and/or charges awaiting legal action
Permission to disclose any or all of their convictions to the visa applicant
A “relevant offence” is an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or a foreign country that involves matters such as violence against a person, harassment, aiding, abetting and others as defined in migration legislation. If the sponsor has convictions for a relevant offence, the final visa decision by the Department will be based on the sponsor’s criminal record, length of relationship between the sponsor and the applicant and other key factors. If the sponsor fails to provide evidence of police clearances within a reasonable time or to give consent for disclosure, the visa may be refused.
These changes do not impact visa applications lodged before 18 November 2016, and applicants for permanent partner visa subclasses 801 or 100 who already hold temporary partner visa subclasses 820 or 309.
The visa application charge is non-refundable if an application is refused because of these new changes. Hence it is important that partner visa applicants and sponsors must consider the impact of these mandatory requirements on their application before lodgement. Consult one of our Registered Migration Agents at Southern Cross Alliance to discuss your partner visa prospects and the best pathway to a streamlined process.