Partner Visa Sponsor

Requirements of Sponsor for an Australian Partner Visa

After lodging a provisional partner visa application, the sponsoring partner will need to proceed with a sponsorship application. In most cases, the sponsorships are easily approved. There are, nevertheless, certain cases which Australian citizens or permanent residents are limited from sponsoring their foreign partner, if they:

  • Have sponsored a foreign partner for a partner visa in the last five (5) years.
  • Have sponsored two (2) foreign partners for partner visas.
  • Are holding certain Contributory Parent Visas.
  • Have an unresolved charge or conviction for a relevant offence.
  • Have a significant criminal history in relation to relevant offences.
  • Are holding one of the Woman at Risk Visas.
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Partner Visa Sponsorship Limitation

The Migration Regulation states that the Minister must not approve the sponsorship unless the Minister is satisfied:

  • The sponsor has not sponsored more than 1 other person for a partner visa; and
  • In the case of a previous sponsorship, five (5) years have lapsed since the date of making the application for the previous partner visa.

This effectively means that any Australian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor only two (2) partners in their lifetimes, with each sponsorship being at least 5 years apart.

Nevertheless, by operation of subsection (2) of the Regulations, the disqualifications can be waived if compelling and compassionate circumstances exist in relation to the sponsor. Such waivers are not invoked lightly. Common grounds for waiver include where:

  • The sponsor was a victim of domestic violence in a prior relationship;
  • The applicant and sponsor have a dependent child together;
  • The previous partner has died;
  • The previous partner has abandoned the sponsor with a dependent child; Where the new relationship is long-standing.

 

Sponsor’s Character Issues

Under Regulation 1.20KC, the Minister must refuse a sponsorship by a sponsor who possesses a significant criminal record in relation to relevant offence as prescribed under regulation. The relevant offences include:

  • Violence against a person
  • Harassment, molestation, intimidation or stalking
  • Breach of an apprehended violence order, or a similar order, whether issued by an Australian jurisdiction or an overseas jurisdiction
  • Weapon offences
  • People smuggling
  • Human trafficking, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, slavery or like offences

 

Partner’s Criminal History

The above offences will arise regardless of the nature of one’s criminal liability. This means attempting to commit a relevant offence, or acting as an accomplice or accessory to a relevant offence, will both be considered commission of a relevant offence in the context of sponsorship. However, simply having been convicted of a relevant offence will not necessarily raise the possibility of sponsorship approval. In practice, the regulation is only enlivened where the sponsor has a “significant criminal history” in relation to the relevant offences.

One’s criminal history is deemed significant where the sponsor has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of at least twelve (12) months or multiple terms of imprisonment totally in excess of twelve (12) months. It is noted that a drug rehabilitation or mental health residential program will be treated as imprisonment. Furthermore, where a sponsor is sentenced to periodic detention, the term of imprisonment will be the total time required to be spent in detention pursuant to said sentence.

 

Mitigating Circumstances for a Partner’s Criminal History

The Minister may elect to approve a sponsorship, notwithstanding a sponsor’s character issues with respect to the relevant offences. It can only occur where it is reasonable to disregard by reference to:

  • The time that has lapsed since the sponsor had completed the last relevant sentences;
  • Whether the approval of sponsorship is in the best interests of their child; and
  • Whether their relationship is longstanding.

 

Partner Visa Sponsor
Australian Partner Visa
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