Current UK fiancée and spouse visa processing times

December 24th, 2009

One of the most frequently asked questions our clients ask is “How long does it typically take to obtain a UK settlement visa?” We are pleased to provide the most up-to-date information regarding the current processing times for fiancée, partner and marriage visa applications at some UK visa-issuing posts abroad that our office deals with […]

Four States Help Promote the Potential End of the ‘Widow Penalty’

November 3rd, 2009

Four States Help Promote the Potential End of the ‘Widow Penalty’ The US immigration community has long been split over the fairness, and possibilities for moving forward fairly, of the so-called ‘widow penalty’. This situation arises when the widow or widower of an American citizen, and their children, apply for a green card. Currently, if […]

Additional checks strengthen dependant sponsorship safety in Australia

October 25th, 2009

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), has recently announced its plans to increase the measures already in place regarding the children in family class dependant applications. Set out by the department’s Family and Health Policy Branch as an addition to the Migration Regulations 1994 that address Partner and Child category visas, a further […]

Tightening of the Australian sponsorship requirements for partners

October 20th, 2009

Legislative changes to the onshore visa applications in Australia have come into force. Since 14th September 2009, section 48 of the Migration Regulations 1994 has been amended to reflect the changes, which directly relates to the circumstances in which an applicant who has had a visa refused or cancelled offshore is not eligible to apply […]

New stream for Nova Scotia family visa applicants

October 3rd, 2009

Shortages in the labour markets and certain demographics have lead to the expansion of the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP). Nova Scotia, the second smallest province in Canada, is on the far right of the country. The province’s immigration Minister Ramona Jannex spoke recently about the region’s need to increase its population within particular […]

Contentious ‘Widow’s Penalty’ Frozen for at Least Two Years

September 4th, 2009

A temporary suspension of one of the most contentious immigration policies has highlighted President Barak Obama’s interest in a ‘softer’ approach to some of the more painful consequences of US family immigration.

The current interpretation of one aspect of US family immigration under federal law, introduced as part of George W. Bush’s immigration crackdown, is now being frozen pending further notice from the US Department of Homeland Security and US Citizenship and Immigration Services, following a decision by the Obama administration.

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US immigration: update on emotional hearing for proposed UAFA bill

September 4th, 2009

The Uniting American Families Act saw an important development on 3rd June, 2009, as the Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearing to end the current discriminatory immigration policy for same-sex bi-national couples.

Currently, same-sex partnerships that have one non-American partner are unable to sponsor their loved one for US visa applications, unlike opposite-sex couples. With more than 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples affected by the law, an estimated 47 per cent of whom are raising children together, it is no surprise that this is an emotional and highly-charged issue.


Relocation of the DIAC processing centre to affect spouse visa applications

September 4th, 2009

The relocation of the previously-named Perth Offshore Parents Centre (POPC) on 25th May 2009 brought with it some important administrative changes which will affect the visa application process for spouse, parent and interdependency visas to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Since 25th May 2009, the POPC has been renamed the Parent Visa Centre (PVC) and has moved from its previous address of Level 3, 166 Murray Street, Perth, WA, 6000 to its new location at Wellington Central, Level 3, 836 Wellington Street, West Perth, WA, 6005.


Tighter personal interviews help root out sham Australian marriage visa applications

September 2nd, 2009

A stricter marriage visa interview has been introduced by the Australian Immigration department to deal with the increase in sham marriages and civil partnerships.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Bona Fides Unit is dedicated to assessing the genuine and on-going nature of marriages, de facto relationships and civil partnerships for those people applying for Australian partner and spouse visas.

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New fees and health screening changes to New Zealand visa applications

September 2nd, 2009

Two important changes to the New Zealand partner visa application process have come into effect since the beginning of August 2009.

The first change relates to the fees for family class applications, including marriage visa and de facto partner visa applications, lodged outside New Zealand from the 17th August onwards. It is important to note that those applications received after the 17th August with the old fee will not be accepted. This change is as a result of the significant currency changes over the past few months and, as such, does not relate to applications made within New Zealand and paid for in New Zealand dollars.

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