Australian partner visa answers

Thursday Answers are a response to questions submitted by readers on our regular Ask Mondays posts.

Every Monday I ask people to send in their questions and concerns and I select one to answer. In doing this, I hope you will see that a) you’re not alone in this, b) there are no stupid questions and c) we’re all here to help!

Today we’re looking at sponsorship bans – that is, circumstances where you as the Australian sponsor cannot sponsor your partner to migrate to Australia.

Q. Hi! We have been to a number of migration agencies and they have been telling us that if my husband sponsored another person, we should wait 5 years. However, I’ve come across a person who did not wait and got the visa granted! Do you have an idea how this is possible?

Q. My partner is an Australian citizen. She sponsored one person years ago, that went through. Then she was with another person and they started the process again, but cancelled before it was approved. She was told this counts as a sponsorship, even though it wasn’t approved and the person never moved to Australia. We are planning on getting married the end of next year and I would like to relocate to Australia. Will she still be able to sponsor me?

Sponsorship ban is a real thing. If you (the Australian sponsor) have been sponsored yourself in the last 5 years or you have sponsored someone in the last 5 years, then you cannot be the sponsor of a foreign partner for partner visa purposes.

These are the rules.

You have to understand the circumstances of that person’s case. Unless you’ve seen their application and understand exactly how it was done, you really don’t know what has happened in their case for them to get around the sponsorship ban. Theoretically, that person could have stayed in Australia on a completely different visa but you assume it’s a partner visa because that’s how you know that person – as a foreign partner of an Australian citizen. The point is, what worked for someone else will not necessarily work for you because you simply don’t know what differentiating circumstance they have.

The law is clear on the sponsorship ban so if in your current situation, your partner has sponsored before or was sponsored themselves, then they cannot sponsor you in a partner visa.

In regards to the second situation, you have to know the difference between a visa refusal and an application withdrawal. If the visa was refused then yes this counts as a time that she sponsored someone. If the visa didn’t go through because the visa application was withdrawn, then the withdrawal does not have any effect and in that circumstance that sponsorship wouldn’t have counted.

That concludes this week’s Thursday Answers.

Until next time,


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Australian partner visa guides download 2019