Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force

Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force

Brisbane, Queensland

GLITF Qld – We guide you along the way!

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What If? Answers to commonly asked questions.

What If – we are just short of the 12 months cohabitation requirement?
The Immigration Law is not open to interpretation on this point, it unambiguously states:
Regulation 1.09a Para 2(d): subject to subregulation (2A), where either of them is an applicant for an Extended Eligibility (Temporary) (Class TK), General (Residence) (Class AS), Interdependency (Migrant) (Class BI) or Interdependency (Provisional) (Class UG) visa – the Minister is satisfied that, for the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of applicationof the party relying on the existence of the relationship. So, for example, if you have 11 months, 2 weeks of cohabitation prior to lodging your application, it would be unlikely your application would be accepted as the regulation clearly states, 'for the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of application'.

For more information please contact GLITF, you can also read Regulation 1.09a.

What If – my partner and I have lived together overseas for some years?
Whether you apply offshore or onshore, a new regulation allows for couples who have been together for more than 5 years to be granted Permanent Residence without waiting the 2 years, post application period. BUT:- you must have been living together immediately prior to submitting your application.

Couples who have been living together for several years, then have a gap of many months, will need to live together for 12 months before they can submit an application. Anytime you have had together previously is all good supporting evidence and proof of your commitment. It must be 12 months – 11 months and 2 weeks cannot be accepted.

What If – I have sponsored someone before?
The regulations changed in November 1996 and from that time there has been a 'Limitation on approval of sponsorships'. This is set out in Reg. 1.20J. Simply, it states that a person may only sponsor 2 people in their lifetime and that the second sponsorship must be at least 5 years from the time of application of the first sponsorship. There are very few exceptions to this. One is for spouse class visas and says if the relationship has been in existence for at least 2 years and there is a dependent child involved. However it is unlikely that a waiver would be made under normal circumstances.

Generally, if in doubt come and see GLITF or e-mail us.

What If – I want to travel after lodging the application?
You are permitted to leave Australia, however you must apply for a Bridging Visa class 'B' before you depart. You would generally show that you have good reason for leaving such as, illness in the family, visiting immediate family members etc.

What If – I want to work?
After your application has been accepted for lodgment you will be issued with a Bridging class 'A' which will carry the same conditions as you previous substantive visa. So if your previous visa disallowed work then that condition will carry on to your Bridging Visa when it becomes active.

However you may apply to have the conditions for work changed if you can prove financial hardship. You may apply on form 1005 to be allowed to work. There is a fee involved for this application.

It is important that you do not conduct yourself contrary to the conditions of your visa.

What If – I become ill while waiting for the application to be finalised?
In most cases you will be entitled to MediCare (Government Health benefits), once the EETV takes over. To obtain a Medicare card, apply at the Medicare office for enrollments in your State; take along the following documents:
• letter or visa from DIMA that says you have been granted a visa with permission to work or the evidence of it in your passport.
• DIMA receipt of your application.
• a completed Medicare enrollment form.
• your passport.

What If – I am HIV +?
Australia has very strict Health Requirement checks, keeping this point in mind it would be very unlikely that an applicant testing HIV+ will be granted a visa to remain in Australia. Currently all applications lodged from overseas, by persons HIV+ are being denied with little delay. Applications lodged within Australia are also being denied, but the process takes some time before a decision is made.

If you are HIV+ and elect to lodge an application it is advised you submit a Health Waiver with your application. The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) can assist you with this. Additionally it is recommended you seek the assistance of a lawyer qualified in this field. GLITF has contact with such persons.

What If – the Immigration Law changes after I lodge the application?
The Regulations and Law which affect your application will be the Law applying at the time you made the application. Any changes usually only affect applications made after the date of the changes.

What If – I am here on a 3 month Tourist Visa and it is about to expire?
The current policy is that a person may remain here as a visitor for up to 12 months provided they are genuine visitors and have a return ticket and enough funds to keep themselves. Visitor visas are not intended to help you to meet the 12 months relationship criteria.

However, if you want to stay past the 3 months allowed on most visitor visas you can apply here in Australia for a further visitor visa. This will override the multiple entry visa you arrived on and will have a fixed expiry date. You will not be able to leave to gain further time on this new visa. The visitor visas granted onshore are usually for 6 months and it will usually be possible to apply for a further 3 months once the 6 month visa has expired.

For more information please contact GLITF or a registered Migration Agent.

What If – I am here as a visitor and I have seen advertisments for work visas?
There are a number of agents who offer to get work permits for visitors. In fact they make an application for a Protection Visa which is asking for refugee status. There are very few genuine refugees and almost all applications for Protection visas are rejected within 28 days. Then the Agent applies to the Refugee Tribunal and it may take 6 to 9 months for a hearing. You will be rejected and have to pay an application fee of A$1,400. You will also find it very difficult to get a temporary visa, that is another visitor, a student or temporary business visa, to come back to Australia during the next 5 years.

What If – my application is denied?
You may appeal by making an application for review to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) on form, MRT01 and lodging it with the application fee within the relevant time limit. There are very strict time limits and there is no discretion to accept an application outside the time limit. The fee will only be refunded if your appeal is successful.

In all cases for review it is strongly recommended that you contact a GLITF office or a registered Migration Agent before lodging your Application for Review.