On or after 18 November 2017 the following changes will occur to Partner and Prospective Marriage Visa (PMV) application arrangements:
• Partner and PMV visas must be lodged online.
• Paper applications received after COB on 17 November 2017 at any office of the Department, Service Delivery Partner, overseas embassy or High Commission will be invalid.
The following policy will be applied to applications lodged before and after 18 November 2017 and not finally decided:
• Undocumented or poorly documented applications lodged by RMAs, eg applications that only meet the basic Schedule 1 requirements for lodging a valid application, may be refused without notice and without requests for further information.
• Where natural justice letters have been sent to RMAs, no follow up or subsequent reminders will be sent. The Department will decide the application on the information before it, unless an extension of time has been requested and granted.
• For applications lodged prior to 18 November 2017, the Department will provide only ONE opportunity to submit additional information and/or documents or respond to a natural justice letter.
These measures have been implemented by the Department because of the high level of incomplete and undocumented applications lodged and are aimed at freeing Departmental resources to address the second stage processing backlog.
The Department has also indicated that it will prioritize well documented and low-risk applications in 2017 – 2018. AAT applications will also be remitted to one central office to speed up processing.