11 Nov 2016

Family sponsors to undertake police and character checks

To help address family violence, the Federal Government has introduced the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and other measures) Bill 2016, which will make character checks compulsory for all sponsors of family visa applications.

Currently police checks are only required for sponsors of visa applications where children are involved, however the changes are designed to protect other visa applicants at risk of family violence.

According to the Migration Institute of Australia, 529 partner visa applicants claimed they were victims of family violence in 2015-16, compared to 458 claims made in 2014-15.

The legislative changes will not only allow the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to refuse sponsorship applications in circumstances where the sponsor has been convicted for paedophilia and other offences against children, but also for other acts of violence.

A number of factors will be considered by the DIBP upon refusing a visa application for reasons of violence, including:

• The type of offence
• How recently it occurred
• The relevance of the offence to the family relationship

If you have any queries about the proposed legislative changes or family visas in general, please feel free to contact Sheila or Elain at

Source: The Migration Institute of Australia.

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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