Lombard and Laurence Newsletter — October Migration Updates

Changes to Partner Visa requirements

In 2020, the Department of Home Affairs announced several changes to be made to Partner Visa requirements. These are to be introduced at the end of 2021.

Australian permanent resident sponsors and visa applicants will soon need to demonstrate a functional English level, or that they have completed a certain number of English classes, prior to the grant of permanent residency.

Sponsors will also soon need to lodge their sponsorship applications first. The Sponsorship will need to be approved before the visa applicant can lodge their application. This will impact visa applicants who may need to apply before the expiry of their existing visa as they will now need to wait for Sponsorship approval.

We wish to emphasise that while we expect these changes to be introduced next month, they will not impact applications submitted before then. Therefore, we would strongly advise that anyone hoping to lodge a partner visa application do so as soon as possible.

If you have friends or family looking at applying for a partner visa, we recommend that they speak with our office as soon as possible before the changes are implemented.

Fast-tracked travel for NSW

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed support for a plan to allow NSW to move towards allowing international travel faster than other states due to high numbers of vaccination. New NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, has also said that he hopes to be able to re-open travel as soon as possible for vaccinated people and is looking at introducing a home quarantine program as soon as possible for the state.
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George and his team have many years’ experience in preparing health waivers and are capable of advising visa applicants facing the prospects of a health waiver.  Our team recently assisted a client obtain a health waiver where the estimated costs for the health condition were $2.5 million.  Congratulations to our deserving clients.

Change to ‘Significant Health Costs’ Threshold

The Department of Home Affairs has made changes to its health requirement threshold. The previous policy determined that individuals with medical conditions with costs greater than $49,000 over a period of ten years do not meet the relevant health requirement. This costs threshold has now been increased to $51,000 over ten years.
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Australian Agriculture Worker Visas

The Department of Home Affairs announced the introduction of new visas for agricultural workers in key industry sectors such as horticulture, meat processing dairy, wool, grains, fisheries and forestry.

This new program will be structured to fill specific needs in Australian industries and will be open to applicants from countries with bilateral agreements with Australia.

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Don’t leave your Australian visa to chance.  Our team are experienced in solving complex visa issues and identifying appropriate pathways to Australian permanent residency.  We provide forthright and strategic immigration advice and we look forward to helping you.

Please note that the above information is only general information and is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. Please contact our office for immigration advice specific to your situation.