17 January 2019 Australian Spouse Visas Approval of Sponsors

The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 was passed yesterday and is awaiting Royal Assent.

That ACT when assented to, paves the way for regulations to require, amongst other things, a prior approval of a Sponsor BEFORE a valid application is lodged.

The purpose of the Bill is articulated as follows:

The purpose of the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (the Bill) is to amend the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (the Act) to introduce a sponsorship framework for the sponsored family visa program.

The proposed changes will:

• separate sponsorship assessment from the visa application process

• require the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made

• impose statutory obligations on persons who are or were approved as family sponsors and provide for enforceable sanctions if such obligations are not satisfied

• allow the Minister to refuse a sponsorship application and cancel and/or bar a family sponsor where inappropriate use of the program or serious offences are detected, especially those involving violence and

• improve the sharing of personal information between parties to the application and the program more generally.