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Changes to the Partner visas in the lead up to 10 June 2019, Student visas expiring soon, and the common mistakes made in 485 visa applications show how important it is to seek expert advice and guidance. This article highlights those changes, the types of mistakes often made.
There would be changes made that would impact partner visa applications, specifically, the how and when an applicant will be able to lodge with the Department of Home Affairs and possible ramifications.
Following recent developments, these changes will take effect before 10 June 2019 although the exact date is still unknown. This means, the change can be implemented at any time before 10 June 2019.
Part of the criteria for Partner visa permanent residence requires the visa applicant to be sponsored by an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen. Together, the visa applicant and their partner submit their applications to the Department of Home Affairs.
Lodging a valid partner visa whilst in Australia allows the visa applicant to obtain a Bridging Visa A (BVA) which will take effect when their current visa expires. The BVA holder will then be able to remain in Australia until a decision is made on the partner application. During this processing time the BVA holder will also be entitled to Medicare and have full work rights.
The new change will require the Australian partner to lodge their application and have this approved before the partner visa application can be lodged.
It is unclear how long the decision process of the sponsorship application will take. Current process times are approximately 12 to 18 months.
The Australian sponsorship application is not a visa application.
Some of the impacts we have already identified indicate that:
The changes are to effect before 10 June 2019 but, no further details have been released concerning the exact date. Our recommendation is that eligible applicants looking to lodge whilst in Australia, do so as soon as possible.
Many international students have just completed their studies which means their student visas will expire soon. So, what’s the next step?
For most, the best way forward will be with a Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa. This visa is useful in offering full work rights for up to 4 years or providing additional time for students to complete steps that will help gain relevant work experience or increase their points score when pursuing permanent residence.
However, the 485 visa is more complex than it initially appears, and many students find themselves in situations, post-lodgement, that are difficult to rectify. This article highlights where common mistakes are made in lodging a 485 application:
The 485 visa application must be lodged within 6 months of course completion. Many students confuse this with the graduation date which can occur many months after course completion date.
Most students will need to apply between the date of completion and the date their student visa expires. Depending on when this is completed, students may have minimal time in which to lodge the application. It’s critical that a complete application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs as it could otherwise be refused.
There are two streams within the 485 visa subclass and the correct stream must be selected at the time of lodgement, it cannot be changed afterwards:
If an application is made in the wrong stream, the 485 visa can be refused. If it is granted, it is likely to have the shorter validity period of 18 months instead of 2 to 4 years, which typically cannot be reversed.
There are a number of requirements that need to be meet at the time you submit the 485 visa application including the provision of specific supporting evidence.
If you do not provide these documents when the visa is lodged the application will be refused. That decision may be challenged at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), however, in this instance the appeal is unlikely to be successful and you may need to leave Australia.
Many students understand they must meet following as part of the Australian Study Requirement:
However, if there has been time spent outside Australian, for any reason such as returning home to complete an internship at a university outside Australia, or to go on holiday etc.., then students may be at risk of not meeting the 16 month study requirement and the application can result in immediate refusal.
Furthermore, the 5 points awarded for meeting the Australian Study Requirement can be lost when applying for a visa in the general skilled migration program
It is an exciting time when students complete their studies, and many will use this time to visit their families overseas.
It is important to understand that when the course has been completed the university or education provider is required to notify the Department of Home Affairs that this has occurred.
The Department of Home Affairs may cancel the student visa without notice if the student has left Australia at the end of their course. If the visa is cancelled the student will have no right to re-enter Australia unless they obtain another type of Australian visa.
Where possible, we recommend lodging the 485 visa application before leaving Australia as it will show there is an intention to return.
Unlike the general skilled migration program, the 485 visa is not points-tested.
The following criteria is common to both the Post Study Work and Graduate Work streams. It is important to ensure that at the time of lodgement:
The Partner visa application process may appear straight forward and in some instances this is. However, there are many complexities which can result in refusal with no refund of the visa application fees if you are not aware of some of the little-known facts
Similarly, a 485 visa provides students with a great opportunity to stay longer in Australia with full work and study rights but, it can be ruined by making a simple mistake in the application.
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Disclaimer: VisaAffix Services L.L.C. provides consultancy services to clients for temporary as well as permanent residency visa-related matters and deals with documentations and filing applications. It is neither a legal firm nor does it provide any kind of legal advice/assistance or suggestions to its clients/users/visitors. The information presented on our website should be used for reference purposes only and not as a substitute for any professional advice.