Down Under Visa Logo

Regular readers of the Down Under Visa BLOG would remember an article in March about the DIBP wish to tighten up on the suitability of the Australian partner visa sponsor of the visa applicant, ie. the Australian partners, husbands and fiancé’s of the girls/ladies from the Philippines who are applying for Australian partner visas (spouse and fiancée visas). For reference, this was the article:


australian partner visa sponsors must have police checks and must disclose their criminal records to the visa applicant



The issue is safety of partner visa applicants! They’ve long wanted to know about the visa applicant themselves, by wanting police checks and clearances from all countries where they’ve resided for more than 12 months. The purpose of that is to protect Australia from migrating criminals and various undesirables. Interestingly, whilst we’ve had thousands of police checks (NBI Clearances and other penal clearances from OFW -served countries), we’ve yet to find a single applicant with a criminal record.


Protection of Visa Applicants


Where the existing visa requirements fell down was in protecting Filipina partner visa applicants from Australian sponsors (primarily men) who could put them in danger. Yes, your average Aussie man is a boisterous but fairly gentle bloke who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Most Australian men absolutely deplore the  notion of hurting women, as could be seen by the comments I had to the previous article. But of course in amongst these Aussie gentlemen are going to be a few misogynistic Neanderthals who have a history of domestic violence (or “family violence” as they call it now). The new moves from the Department are to protect women from this risk, especially whilst vulnerable in a new country.


New rules for partner visa sponsors – starting 18 November 2016


Yes, they gave no warning about this at all. There is a bill in the hands of the politicians at the moment, which is either still at a committee or may have been passed back with recommendations, and we (Registered Migration Agents) were all expecting this to be a mid-2017 thing. But this morning they emailed me something entitled “New limitations on approval of sponsorships for Partner and Prospective Marriage visa applications” (pdf attached here).

In short, it will require the following of all sponsors of partner visa applications (Subclass 309 and 820) and prospective marriage visa applications (Subclass 300) lodged from 18 November 2016 to:

  • provide Australian or foreign police checks to the department when requested; and
  • consent to the department disclosing their convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant(s).

“Relevant offenses” are violent and violence-based acts. They are not the bag of weed they found on you when you were 19. They aren’t the speeding tickets you didn’t pay. Full list is on the attached pdf above.

And note that these are matters that need to be DISCLOSED, ie. they will need to tell your Filipina lady about these things, and you need to agree to them doing so. These are also CONVICTIONS, and not merely charges or accusations. And yes, this does include breaching AVO’s (Apprehended Violence Orders) if you were charged and convicted. They will let her know, so that if she has any issues she can make an informed decision.

What if you WERE charged and convicted of breaching an AVO? What if you had a few too many drinks and called up the ex on the phone to tell her what you think of her, and next thing you know you’ve been hauled up before the man-hating female judge who’s given you 30 days in the slammer? Does that mean you bid goodbye to your chances of being together?

They may refuse the sponsorship if the sponsor has a “significant criminal record” for one of the “relevant offenses”. Significant criminal record is outlined in the pdf, but basically means you’ve spent a year or more in jail for the offense. You need to be a bit of a bad boy to spend 12 months or more in jail for something in Australia, so this hopefully won’t become a problem for the average fairly-harmless Australian sponsor.

There will also be opportunities to appeal where the crime happened a long time ago, and where the relationship is lengthy, etc.

We can hope that this new set of rules does actually save a few ladies from domestic violence. Fortunately at this stage anyway it doesn’t seem to be overly imposing on the Australian sponsors.


What do partner visa sponsors do now?


Right now? Nothing!

Applications that are already lodged? Not at issue.

Applications that will be lodged after 18 November 2016? They will no doubt request:

  • Police Clearances, which for most sponsors will just be one from the Australian Federal Police
  • Some sort of statement giving your consent to disclosure of prior convictions

But for now? Nothing to be concerned about. Relax! Read the pdf above. And we will let you know if there’s anything of further significance.


Similar articles

They’re toughening-up on Australian sponsors of partner visas

Serial sponsors? Do they exist?

To our gentlemen sponsors




Partner Visa to Australia - Frequently Asked Questions
Down Under Visa Christmas Break 2016


  1. kathy simioni

    Good Afternoon Jeff Harvie. A filipina and an Aussie guy reffered you. May i ask if you give consultation regarding Tourist Visa, what are my rights, protection from violence, safety of my daughter. And how much is the fee also? Thankyou
    Kind Regards

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Kathy. I would imagine we can help you. Please use our assessment form at and I can get back to you with details of the visa application including costs.

      I’ve never given a consultation on rights, protection or safety, sorry. All I can tell you is that you have full protection as any other person under the laws of Australia. If you were at risk of violence, or if you were assaulted, the police in Australia would protect you as if you were an Australian Citizen. That’s how Australia works.

      I would tell you though that if you are concerned for your safety, maybe this isn’t the man you should be visiting? Don’t rush in if you have any doubts that you will be safe.

  2. Hannah Kemp

    My partner of 5 years has oz passport we gave a 2 yr old daughter want to move to Adelaide in 2018, he has a record for common assault 2 yr suspended sentence from 1990 but never been in jail, what are our chances do you think of successful making partner visa application

    • Jeff Harvie

      Probably very good, Hannah. Please ask him to do one of our online assessments.

    • Ali

      Hi All,
      Can an Australian citizen with suspended sentence and good behavior bond of $2 ,000 since 2014 sponsor his wife to Australia??

      Kind Regards

      • Jeff Harvie

        It depends on the offence and the length of the sentence.

  3. James Smith

    Hello me and my partner have been together for 8 years, she is a US Citizen and I am an Australian citizen. We are finally getting married, I am a professional sales manager for a global company and she is a registered US Nurse. However I spent 12 months in prison for assault occasioning bodily harm for a drunken bar fight 5 years ago. What are my chances?

    • Jeff Harvie

      Not very good, sorry to say. 12 months in prison for a violent assault is pretty much instant refusal of your right to be a sponsor. It’s possible to apply for a waiver, but you need to accept the risk.


Questions: Please search our BLOG menu or Visa Knowledge Base

Submit a Comment

NOTE: Please restrict your comments to what's written on this page.

PLEASE NOTE: You may comment on posts, and you may ask general questions about the visa topic. However requests for “how-to?” information on how to lodge visas or how to deal with specific problems will not be answered. Please engage the services of a professional Registered Migration Agent for actual assistance or advice. Thank you.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Questions about visa types we don’t handle, or about countries we don’t apply for visas from, will not be answered, Philippines to Australia visas for couples and families only.

Do you have suggestions for topics you would like to read an article about? Click HERE and we will see what we can do!



How does it work?

How It Works Image

Search Our Site

Podcast Episodes

Jeff Harvie Podcast Image

HINT! Listen in the car...or the bus, or on the train.

Happy Couples

Happy Couples Image


Google Reviews

See All Reviews

Facebook Reviews

Subscribe to our BLOG

Migration Law

Registered Migration Agent Details Image

Should you use a Registered Migration Agent or not?



Migration Alliance Image

Latest Posts

Useful Links

Filipina Wives Image Down Under Visa - Visa Q & A Image Online Filipino Weddings Image
Online Weddings for Australian Filipina couples