Another day, another potential PR visa change.
Eligible for Australian permanent residency? You might want to apply sooner rather than later after the Government signalled the possible introduction of ‘provisional visas’ for PR applicants.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton last week released a consultation paper focusing on modernising the country’s visa system. He claimed that Australia’s system is ‘in many respects an artefact of a bygone era’.
The consultation period runs until September 15th and other reforms could include a period of provisional residency.
“Most of the permanent visa categories do not have a provisional stage, and applicants do not have to spend any time in Australia prior to applying for – or being granted – permanent residence,” the consultation paper states.
“Australia’s approach differs from like-minded countries. For example the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and others have a more formal assessment process and period for evaluating those who seek to stay permanently.”
Other PR visa changes could include the collection of more biometric data and a reduction in the number of visa categories that are available to applicants.
Although nothing is concrete yet, the fact that these planned changes are already being mooted means they may very well be introduced in the near future.
It’s also likely that further Australian partner 309/100 visa changes will also come into effect at some point over the next year. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has signalled its intent to tighten requirements.
It’s likely that changes will include a more rigorous sponsor approval process, which will need to be finalised before a partner application can be lodged. Furthermore, Australians with extensive criminal histories could be barred from sponsoring a partner.
One of the main drawbacks about these rumoured changes is the increased time it will take to prepare and lodge an application. If sponsors have to apply for pre-approval and wait for the outcome before lodging, it could spell the end for last-minute applications.
If you’re currently eligible for an Australian visa, partner or PR, we highly recommend that you get your application in before any of these changes are formally announced.
For a free consultation with a Registered Migration Agent, call (WA) 08 6189 5333 (VIC) 03 9038 9070 or email [email protected]