Detail Question Of The Week

How can I lift my restrictions to work on my student visa when waiting for my partner visa?

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Question asked

Hi, my name is G. from Colombia, I applied the 21st of July with my boyfriend to my partner visa, we were told to wait for 12 months or less until it gets approved, I am also doing a Double Masters in Torrens University, which means that I have also a student visa finishing by march of 2019 and work restriction of 20 hours a week, I am finishing my masters probably by the middle of next year cause I have been doing well, after one year doing this Masters I have paid a lot of money cause I am not local yet and I need to keep paying for Uni every 3 months around 5.000 dollars just for Uni which I think I would be happy to pay if I had the right to work in Australia full time. My boyfriend has been paying for everything at home and I feel our relationship needs me to contribute a bit more in terms of money so I can afford to pay for rent, groceries an Uni, I have already paid to 2 agents consultation for my case and both of them have told me the same, that it is impossible until they approve the partner visa, I would like to talk more with you about it because it has been one year paying for Uni and I did well, I had savings, now I do not have savings anymore and I cannot pay anything at home and no one contract me for just 20 hours, I really need to apply somehow for an exception to the government so they can take off the restriction of my working time in the system, I have already got Medicare.

I would pay for a properl consultation so I can go with my boyfriend as well and get everything more clear. Please contact me if you see we can apply or not and please let me know so we can start signing all the documents for the exception. Would be awesome if you call me in Spanish.

I hope to be hearing soon from you.

Call me please in whatever moment,

Answer provided by our agents

Dear G,

Thank you for your inquiry.

I understand your situation, and how hard it is to feel you have no options when money is running out and you cannot find a job.

I will be happy to have a consultation with you and your boyfriend to discuss your case in detail and give you the available options. We can meet in person or we can do the consultation over the phone or on Skype. I would be available next week if you want to proceed with the consult.

In the meantime, and to give you an overview of the options I think you may have available:

The department is currently advising 20 Months processing time for onshore partner visa applications. We always hope an application does not take this long to be processed, and some of them can actually take much less if they were lodged decision-ready, however we need to be aware that it can take the full estimate.
Decision-ready means that all documents required, including police checks and visa medicals were lodged/provided at the time of lodgement.

As you mentioned, your student visa is still valid, and it will be until it expires, you are granted another visa (for example the partner visa) or until it is cancelled.

Therefore, the only options you would have would be to be granted another visa or to have the student visa cancelled.

Regarding the first option, if you are studying a Masters in Australia on a student visa which is 2 years long, you may be able to apply for a graduate visa once you finish your degree. Your eligibility will also depend on when you were first granted your first student visa to Australia.
The cost to apply for this visa is currently $1,500, and it takes an estimate of 55 days to have a decision. However, you can only apply after you have finished your Masters (as long as you also meet all the other requirements for this visa).
If you are granted this visa, it would be valid for 2 years – or until your partner visa was granted – and would allow you to work full-time once granted.

The second option, which I must let you know is not a good option and should be avoided at any cost, is to request the voluntary cancellation of your student visa. This can take a few months, but if the Department do accept to cancel it, you would then be unlawful and would need to apply for a Bridging visa E. The BVA you received when you lodged your partner visa and is not in force yet, would also be cancelled automatically in the process.
When a BVE is issued it has no work rights and no travel rights. You cannot change the travel rights limitation, which means that until you were granted the partner visa you could not depart Australia; if you did, you would most likely not be able to return (at least in the near future and easily). It is not possible to obtain travel rights on a BVE in any circumstances, therefore this is something you have to consider.
Regarding the work rights you could try to apply for these, asking the Department to grant you a BVE with work rights. However, this is only possible if you can show you are in financial hardship. This means you have to provide the Department with your and your partners bank statements and other evidence showing you have no means to support yourselves unless you are allowed to work. If any of you have any considerable savings the request would most likely be refused.
So, as you can see this is not a good option because of the situation it puts you in and the uncertainty it brings.

Additionally, having a visa cancelled in Australia usually has an impact on further visa applications while onshore, and if for some reason you depart Australia on a BVE you will be imposed a 3 year limitation on applying for temporary visas.

Other options you may consider before making a decision on the above is to make sure your partner visa application is complete and you have provided everything required, and request priority processing if you have compelling reasons do to so. It will be at the Department’s discretion to concede priority or not.

Lastly, another consideration to take into account, is that once you finish your course of studies you can work full time, unless your CoE is still valid. If you do finish your studies but your CoE is still valid, you can only work full-time when the course is not in session (during holidays).

I hope the above is helpful, and please let me know if you wish to go ahead with a consultation to discuss this in more detail.

Migration Agent