Currently, sponsors face little scrutiny in the application process and do not require police clearances unless there are children under the age of 18 involved in the application. The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill, introduced
in the March parliamentary sitting, however is seeking to screen Australians with a history of family or domestic violence from sponsoring a Australian partner visas.
Three Type fo Partner Visa.
"We have, in relation to domestic violence, a very strong position as a government and that is we are not going to facilitate these arrangements where we think there is a reasonable risk that there may be violence in the relationship," explained
Home affiars Minister Mr Peter Dutton.
In summary, the Bill aims to do the following:
- Require a separate sponsorship assessment process;
- Require that a person is approved as a sponsor before a visa application is made;
- Impose statutory obligations with real consequences on approved sponsors; and
- Improve the management of family violence in the delivery of the program by allowing the refusal, cancellation, or barring of a sponsorship application where inappropriate use of the program is detected.
According to a report on the ABC, Department of Immigration statistics show several hundred people on partner visas seek help for domestic violence issues, but it does not keep statistics on people on other visas.
At any one time, up to half of the emergency accommodation being provided to victims of domestic violence are women on visas. In a foreign culture and unfamiliar legal framework, victims can be too scared to report the abuse for fear they will be deported.
The average processing time for a partner visa application lodged in Australia is currently 18 to 24 months. New partner Visa changes 2019.
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