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Failure with a partner visa application due to schedule 3 issues does not necessarily mean an offshore partner visa is out of the question

This is part three of a series ISL NEWs have undertaken on partner visa and Schedule 3 criteria.

Part one: Schedule 3 Policy Changes: Click here.
Part two: Here Unlawfully? Regularise you status before the holiday season: Click here.

Due to the changes in schedule 3 policy that came into effect on 1 July 2014, gaining approval on a partner visa application has become increasingly difficult. Immigration Solutions Lawyers (ISL) has a great amount of experience with the new policy changes and has had many successful cases. Success with applications is not achieved lightly and only comes with hard work, focusing on clients’ circumstances and addressing thoroughly the new criteria in schedule 3.  It is really a question of risk assessment and making a value judgment on the evidence whether schedule 3 criteria can be satisfied. Being in a genuine relationship however well-meaning is not just enough. A genuine relationship is a given and the starting point not the end point.

However, sometimes applications cannot be brought within the new policy and in these circumstances an offshore partner visa may be a viable consideration. It may not be the first choice for couples but in some circumstances an offshore application is the only option. In some cases applicants have lodged their own partner visa application and Schedule 3 has not been adequately addressed or the criteria cannot be met at all. Therefore, it is more prudent to adequately assess your prospects of success before proceeding any further. For this an expert opinion should be obtained from an Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyer.

A Recent Case example on point which may be useful is found below:

This is a case where ISL has elected to lodge an offshore application rather than an onshore application with a schedule 3 issue, and where the policy changes would have impacted negatively on the applicant’s chances of success onshore.

The Family Stream Section of ISL handles all partner visas including cases where there is a schedule 3 issue. The focus of this Section with Schedule 3 issues is to adequately undertake an assessment of the prospects of success before proceeding further with the application. It is essential that clients are adequately informed at the outset with detailed advice on prospects of success.

In this particular case, the applicant had remained in Australia for 3 years unlawfully. While in Australia the applicant entered into a relationship that had gone on for 4 years. Upon visiting ISL the applicant was informed of the changes in Policy and it was determined that it would be difficult to obtain approval for the visa onshore.

ISL successfully lodged an offshore partner visa application, with a detailed submission on character and proof of the genuineness and continuity of the relationship.

Due to the amount of time the couple had spent in the relationship and the extensive evidence provided, the applicant was issued with the temporary partner visa, subclass 309, and concurrently the permanent partner visa, subclass 100.

Although the decision to lodge an offshore application can be difficult for couples given the time apart and financial considerations, making an informed choice as to the best possible option and achieving a positive outcome are paramount considerations.

Anne O’Donoghue is an Accredited Specialist with more than 22 years of experience in all areas of Migration Law. She is the director and principal lawyer of Immigration Solutions Lawyers.

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