Australia's immigration system is continually evolving and shifting and this year is no exception. Here are 3 significant changes which will have a flow-on effect on visa applications and approvals this year.
1. Partner visas will take longer to process
The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 was passed by the Senate in November 2018. This new legislation will make it more difficult for anyone with a track record of domestic violence to sponsor a partner visa. All partner visa sponsorships will first have to be approved before a visa application is lodged. The approval process will involve subjecting all sponsors to greater scrutiny about their character and history.
The changes to the law will ensure that applicants can be fully informed if their sponsor has had past episodes of domestic violence. Some experts estimate that there will be a 12-week wait for the approval of the partner visa before the second step of lodging the visa application can be taken.
2. Visas for foreign parents
2019 also sees the introduction of the Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent temporary visa that will allow permanent residents and Australian citizens to sponsor their parents from foreign countries and bring them to Australian shores.
A maximum of 15,000 temporary parent visas will be issued per year. The validity of these sponsored visas will be for either 3 years (at a cost of $5,000) or 5 years (at a cost of $10,000).
In addition, these visas will be renewable for a total of 10 years when added together. It should be noted that each household will be able to sponsor one set of parents only.
3. Fairer pay for employer-sponsored migrants
In 2019, the Department of Home Affairs will collaborate with the Australian Taxation Office to identify companies that underpay employer-sponsored migrant workers.
There will be a matching of tax file numbers against current tax records to ensure that the migrants concerned are getting paid fairly and in line with their nominated salary.
At CNA Immigration, our highly experienced Migration Agents can help with all aspects of Australian immigration including visa applications and renewals. We are on top of all the latest developments in Australian migration legislation and can provide reliable advice and services to all of our clients at all times.