Partner visa hopefuls will no longer have to leave Australia to get their applications approved under temporary changes expected to help 4000 people.
The changes will kick in early next year and are to assist people attempting to navigate coronavirus-related travel restrictions and hotel quarantine.
Acting immigration minister Alan Tudge said the change would apply for those currently in Australia who weren’t able to travel offshore because of coronavirus-related border closures.
“I know this will be a relief to those Australians who were concerned that their loved one may have to leave the country with no certainty as to when they could return,” he said on Monday.
The move applies to the partner, prospective marriage, child migration, adoption and dependant child visas.
The minister’s announcement coincided with Labor MP Julian Hill introducing a bill to make the travel change for partner visa applicants.
Mr Hill flagged his intention earlier this month to make the changes, urging the government to support the move.
He said partner visa applicants were spending thousands of their savings and taking up hotel quarantine places.
The Victorian-based MP shared the story of a couple who sold their unit in order to fund their partner visa application, including a $6000 round trip to Singapore to fulfil the regulations.
The changes would save people from “risking their health, exposing themselves to COVID-19 overseas and also trashing their savings on this expensive, pointless trip”, Mr Hill told parliament.