Immigration Changes from 1 July 2018

By 8 August 2018Immigration
Immigration lawyers sydney

The Department of Home Affairs of Australia has announced a number of changes in Immigration Law, which commence on 1 July 2018.

Below you will find some of the most important changes which affect your visa applications lodged after 1 July 2018.

VAC Increases

If you intend to lodge your visa application on or after 1 July 2018, you should verify whether you will be required to pay a higher amount of the Visa Application Charge (VAC) when lodging your visa application.

That is because some VACs will increase on 1 July 2018 pursuant to the Migration Amendment (Visa Application Charges) Regulations 2018 (Legislative Instrument – F2018L00833), dated 21 June 2018.

In particular, the Regulations amend the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) to increase first instalment of VACs for a number of visas, which will be applied for on or after 1 July 2018.

Although VAC increases are insignificant, failure to pay the correct VAC at the time of visa application will result in your visa application being invalid.

It is therefore essential that the correct VAC is paid.

Changes of Addresses for Lodging Visitor Visa Applications

Migration (IMMI 18/118: Arrangements for Visitor (Class FA) Visa Applications) Instrument 2018, dated 14 June 2018, makes changes to the addresses where applications for Visitor (Class FA) visa may be lodged.

In particular, the Instrument specifies changes of address for lodgement of Tourist, Sponsored Family and Business visitor streams from 1 July 2018.

The Instrument specifies that all non-internet applications made by applicants for a Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa in the Sponsored Family stream must be sent by post or courier to a specified address in Sydney, regardless of the location of the applicant’s sponsor.

In particular, all paper-based applications for Sponsored Family stream should be lodged by:

  1. posting them to:
    • Department of Home Affairs, SFVPC, GPO Box 9984, Sydney NSW 2001, AUSTRALIA, or
  2. delivering them by courier service to:
    • Department of Home Affairs, SFVPC, Level 3, 26 Lee Street, Sydney NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA.

Previously, applications made by post or courier had to be sent to a specified address in either Sydney or Brisbane, depending on the state in which the applicant’s sponsor was located.

The arrangements for lodging Tourist stream applications are a little bit different. If an applicant is in Australia, a paper-based application may be lodged by:

  1. posting them to:
    • Department of Home
      Affairs, Onshore Visitor Visa Processing, GPO Box 9984, Sydney NSW 2001, AUSTRALIA, or
  2. delivering them by courier service to:
    • Department of Home Affairs, Onshore Visitor Visa Processing, Level 3, 26 Lee Street, Sydney NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA.

All non-internet applications for Tourist stream made by applicants who are located outside Australia may be made at an appropriate diplomatic, consular or migration office maintained by or on behalf of the Commonwealth. The same arrangement applies to all non-internet applications for Business Visitor stream.

Please, however, note that the applicants may still choose to lodge internet-based applications and the above rules of lodgement of those applications remain unchanged.

If you intend to lodge a paper-based Visitor visa application within any of the above streams, we recommend you to verify the correct address for the lodgement. Your failure to lodge the application at the correct address will result in your visa application being invalid.

Changes in Arrangements for Lodging Partner Visa Applications

Migration (IMMI 18/103: Arrangements for Partner and Prospective Marriage Visa Applications) Instrument 2018, dated 14 June 2018, specifies the approved form, place and manner for making an application for the following visas:

  1. Partner (Residence) (Class BS) visa;
  2. Partner (Migrant) (Class BC) visa;
  3. Partner (Temporary) (Class UK) visa;
  4. Prospective Marriage (Temporary) (Class TO) visa; and
  5. Partner (Provisional) (Class UF) visa.

As a result of the amendment, the Instrument allows the required application form and address for lodgement of a visa application to be specified in the instrument rather than directly in Schedule 1 to the Migration Regulations 1994 thus allowing the Department more flexibility.

As specified by the Department, starting 1 July 2018, all applications for Partner and Prospective Marriage (subclass 820, 801, 309, 100 & 300) visas must be lodged online via ImmiAccount. Payment of the visa application charge will also need to be made online via the ImmiAccount portal. You can no longer apply for these visas in person. Paper applications will not be accepted.

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