NEW LIMITATIONS ON APPROVAL OF SPONSORSHIPS FOR
PARTNER AND PROSPECTIVE MARRIAGE VISA APPLICATIONS
From 18 November 2016, sponsors of Partner and Prospective Marriage visa applicants are required to meet additional legislative criteria pertaining to their character.
Sponsors will need to provide Australian or foreign police checks to DIBP when requested and consent in their sponsorship application for DIBP to disclose their convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant.
When defining the term ‘relevant’ offences, these include the general character offences DIBP targets:
- violence against a person, including (without limitation) murder, assault, sexual assault and the threat of violence;
- the harassment, molestation, intimidation or stalking of a person;
- the breach of an apprehended violence order, or a similar order, issued under a law of a State, a Territory or a foreign country;
- firearms or other dangerous weapons;
- people smuggling;
- human trafficking, slavery or slavery-like practices (including forced marriage), kidnapping or unlawful confinement;
- attempting to commit an offence involving any of the matters mentioned above or below;
- aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence involving any of the matters mentioned above.
This only affects those who have submitted a Subclass 820/801, Subclass 300 or Subclass 309/100 visa application after 18 November 2016. Even if the sponsorship application is submitted after 18 November, as long as the visa application was submitted prior to this date, they will not be affected by this legislation.
If a sponsor does not consent to DIBP disclosing their convictions, the application by law must be refused. If a sponsor does not provide a police check within the requested time period, then the application may be refused.
It is important to be aware that if a sponsor has a conviction for a relevant offence, but no significant criminal record, the visa application cannot be refused on this basis. However, if a sponsor has convictions for a relevant offence and a significant criminal record, the visa must be refused, unless it is considered reasonable not to refuse. The factors taken into consideration when considering not to refuse include:
- the length of time since the sponsor completed the sentence(s) for the relevant offence(s);
- the best interest of any children of the sponsor or primary visa applicant; and
- the length of the relationship between the sponsor and primary visa applicant.
A sponsor has a significant criminal record if they have been sentenced to one of the following:
- imprisonment for life;
- a term of imprisonment for 12 months or more; or
- 2 or more terms of imprisonment where the total of those terms is 12 months or more.
The aforementioned change stipulates the importance of assessing not just the applicant’s but sponsor’s character prior to submitting a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa.
To ensure you and your partner are eligible for an Australian Partner visa, have a consultation with First Class Migration.
If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact ua.mo1624400360c.noi1624400360targi1624400360mssal1624400360ctsri1624400360f@ell1624400360ehcim1624400360