Up to 4000 Australian citizen’s partners will no longer be pushed to leave the country to obtain their visas after a public campaign from couples and the opponent to overhaul the laws amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary change is intended at helping the thousands of Australian partners who have been caught up in a complex tangle that has forced many to leave the country and come back through the covid-19 pandemic and bring up hotel quarantine.
The government walked to make the changes just before Labor MP Julian Hill announced a private member’s law in Federal Parliament that would allow applicants of the subclass 309 partner visa to be temporarily approved while onshore.
The government will make short-term changes via guidelines rather than a change in the law. It is not anticipated to support Mr Hill’s bill.
Government obtains said partners who had visas that were about to run out would be authorized to stay in the country until further changes were put in place in early 2021.
Also, Australian government confirmed there would be a “short-term concession” for partners who were in Australia and incapable to travel back to their home country due to border closings.
The changes will also apply to child, and prospective marriage visas.
Mr Hill said the changes comprised no precision about who will be covered or when precisely the change may occur, “so for months to come, partners still face a perilous and pricey round trip overseas just to have their visa granted”.
“Over 35,000 Australians are trapped overseas, nervous to come home. How many more isolation places will be wasted before Christmas while the minister neglects to act?”
The partner visa subclass 309 costs $7160, requires proof of marriage or proven de facto relationship, and applicants must be elsewhere the country when they apply.