Major Upcoming Changes to Partner Visa

A new bill has been introduced that will limit who can lodge a partner visa application while they are still in Australia. The Bill was passed through parliament in December 2018 however is yet to come into effect. Till this new bill comes into effect, applicants may lodge a Partner Visa under the Current Rules. Changes to Partner Visa

Current Rules

Currently partner visa applications, which consist of a sponsorship and visa application are lodged together by the applicant and their Australian Partner. In most cases immediately upon lodging the application, the partner is granted a Bridging Visa A which gives the partner full work rights and additional benefits like access to Medicare etc. BVA normally come into effect when the current visa held by the partner expires, so it gives a smooth transition to the partners, without any major disruption to their life and provides them the ability to remain legally onshore while their application is decided.

Upcoming Changes

Under the new legislation, the Australian partners will be required to first lodge a sponsorship application and have it approved, before their partner can lodge a visa application. Processing times of approval of sponsorships are unknown at this stage but could range from 12 to 18 months.

The impact of this change will imply that partners who have relatively short duration left on their current visas, will either have to lodge and hold another substantive visa while the partner sponsorship application is approved or travel back to their home country while the sponsorship is approved and a visa can be lodged. This will imply that the partners can no longer get a BVA or full work rights / Medicare instantly upon lodging a partner visa, thus cutting out applicants who leave their application till the last minute.


The changes can come into effect any time, the date is yet to be announced. So if you are interested to know more about partner visa, or thinking of lodging one, you must act now before it is too late.

Whether you or if you know someone who can apply for partner visa, encourage them to contact Migration Guru to see how we can assist. Migration Guru has assisted in countless visa applicants and has more than 50 years of collective experience in a dynamic team of Solicitors and Migration Agents in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra and Hobart. This experience ensures that staff can advise and navigate client’s through the new changes to find their best visa options.  We wish to remind readers that the first consultation with Migration Guru is free of charge.

Our team may be contacted by via email on or by calling 07 3036 3800. Readers are encouraged to follow us on Facebook for all the updates to Migration Law –

Disclaimer: – The above article constitutes only generic information on migration issues, and does not constitute specific migration advice to any entity or individual.



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