The New Requirements:
The Australian Department of Border Protection (DIPB) have introduced two additional requirements. Firstly, Australian or foreign police checks are required to reveal any significant criminal records. Secondly, consent must be given to the DIPB which will disclose convictions for serious crimes, such as violence, firearms offenses, and smuggling.
Does this Affect You?
If your application was either lodged or approved before the 18th of November 2016, you do not have to meet these new requirements. This is the case even if the sponsor did not submit the sponsorship form until after that date. It is also important to understand that applicants that have already have temporary partner visas and are waiting for a permanent visa that is being processed do not need to meet these new requirements. If these new requirements do affect you, it is essential that you comply. If the sponsor refuses to provide relevant police checks or allow consent to the DIPB to disclose any convictions, the application will be automatically refused, and there will be no refunds.
What if You Have a Criminal Record?
As we have seen hiding this information or refusing to disclose it will prematurely end the application process and ensure refusal. However, it is important to note that a criminal record is not an automatic refusal. If the sponsor has a lengthy or significant criminal record, it is likely that the visa application will be refused. However, the DIBP has discretion, and they will decide what constitutes a significant criminal record. This can include several factors, such as the best interests of the applicant, if any children are involved, the length of the relationship and the amount of time that has elapsed since the sponsor completed a prison sentence. If you feel that your application may be a risk because of any of these issues seek help from a professional migration agent. They will be able to offer you the best advice and help with the checking of all relevant documentation before it is submitted.
If they would like more advice on obtaining a partner visa, Australia based applicants should contact us. Here at 888 Migration Services we have a wealth of experience in dealing with visa applications and offer a comprehensive immigration service. Get in touch with us today, and we will be happy to discuss your needs in further detail.