Assurance of Support No Longer Required for Provisional Partner VisasBy Natalya Khodan
7 March 2012 The Department of Immigration has removed the discretionary Assurance of Support (AOS) requirement from provisional partner visas. Visas affected by the changes include:
- Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
- Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 309 and 100)
- Onshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 820 and 801)
What is a Discretionary Assurance of Support?The Discretionary Assurance of Support would be required by Immigration where it appeared that the sponsor and visa applicant might have difficulties supporting themselves in Australia. An Assurance of Support would need to be lodged by a friend or relative living in Australia - the friend or relative would need to attend a Centrelink interview, show evidence of their income and sign an undertaking to provide financial support during the first two years of the visa holder's stay in Australia. If an Assurance of Support is required by Immigration, this can result in delays in grant of provisional partner visas whilst the AOS is being completed.
Who Will Be Affected by the Changes to Special Benefit?The changes to Special Benefit will affect:
- All people who migrate or apply to migrate to Australia on a Provisional Partner Visa after 1 January 2012; and
- People who have arrived in Australia on a Provisional Partner Visa in the last two years and apply for Special Benefit after 1 January 2012.
Under What Circumstances Could I Claim Special Benefits as a Provisional Partner Visa Holder?Previously provisional partner holders could receive Special Benefit immediately on arrival in Australia. They were exempt from the two-year Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period (NARWP). Permanent partner visa holders on the other hand were subject to the 2 year restriction. From 1 January 2012, provisional partner visa holders wishing to claim Special Benefits during their initial two-year residence in Australia must prove they are in financial hardship and have experienced a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control since arrival in Australia. Examples of such circumstances would include domestic violence or death of a partner after entering Australia. Feel free to contact us if you would like a full assessment of your situation. Acacia can also assist with lodgement of your partner visa application.
Department of Immigration Website