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Partner & PMV visas - changes to application arrangements

The MIA has received confirmation from the Department of changes to Partner (SC 309/100 & 820/801) and Prospective Marriage (SC 300) visa application arrangements mooted at the MIA National Conference.

On or after 18 November 2017 the following changes will occur to Partner and Prospective Marriage Visa (PMV) application arrangements:

• Partner and PMV visas must be lodged online.

• Paper applications received after COB on 17 November 2017 at any office of the Department, Service Delivery Partner, overseas embassy or High Commission will be invalid.

The following policy will be applied to applications lodged before and after 18 November 2017 and not finally decided:

• Undocumented or poorly documented applications lodged by RMAs, eg applicatons that only meet the basic Schedule 1 requirements for lodging a valid application, may be refused without notice and without requests for further information. 

• Where natural justice letters have been sent to RMAs, no follow up or subsequent reminders will be sent.  The Department will decide the application on the information before it, unless an extension of time has been requested and granted.

• For applications lodged prior to 18 November 2017, the Department will provide only ONE opportunity to submit additional information and/or documents or respond to a natural justice letter.

These measures have been implemented by the Department because of the high level of incomplete and undocumented applications lodged and are aimed at freeing Departmental resources to address the second stage processing backlog.

The Department has also indicated that it will prioritise well documented and low risk applications in 2017 - 2018.  AAT applications will also be remitted to one central office to speed up processing.

Source: MIA Notice No86 17 November 2017

Please be advised that on 01 July 2014, DIBP has changed its policy in relation to Schedule 3 - Criteria 3004, which may affect your application for a Subclass 820/801 visa if you made/make your application when your substantive has ceased or you were/are the holder of a bridging visa or you were/are an unlawful citizen or the last substantive visa you held contained the Condition 8503 ‘No Further Stay’, at the time of the application.

The new policy states:

Criterion 3004 requires that, if an application was made within 28 days after your substantive visa ceasing, you must meet ALL of the following provisions:

(a)           You are not the holder of a substantive visa because of factors beyond your control; AND

(b)          There are compelling reasons for granting partner visa; AND

(c)           You have complied substantially with any conditions subject to which your last visa was granted; AND

(d)          You intend to comply with any condition subject to which the partner visa is granted; AND

(e)          You would have been entitled to be granted a partner visa had you applied for the visa on the day when you last held a substantive visa; AND

(f)            The last substantive visa you held (if any) was not subject to a condition ‘8503 – No Further Stay’.

If you have not lodged your application or your applications are currently pending with DIBP, you will be likely invited to provide information addressing whether you meet the above criteria.  If you are unable to demonstrate that you meet Criteria 3004, the Migration Regulations state that the Schedule 3 criteria may be waived where there are compelling reasons for not applying those criteria.  The Migration Regulations do not prescribe the circumstances that need to be considered when assessing whether or not ‘compelling reasons’ exist to not to apply Schedule 3 criteria.  Circumstances are therefore considered on a case by case basis pursuant to policy.  The law provides firstly that policy must be applied flexibly, and secondly that the Regulations can not be limited by a too narrow policy.

Both the visa applicant and the sponsor should be invited to put forward any claims for DIBP to consider when assessing if compelling grounds exist.

The visa applicant should explain in detail the circumstances that led you to become the person who is not the holder of substantive visa and provide information relating to any compelling reasons you may feel apply to your case.

You will need to provide relevant documents to support your claims.

You will also need to provide documents and information in relation to Regulation 1.09A and 1.15A, which address all matters regarding the relationship between you and your sponsor such as Financial Aspect, Nature of the Household, Social Aspect and the Nature of Commitment to Each Other.

Source: DIBP