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Tougher visa process for violent partners

Domestic violence is a crime occurring in full view, affecting thousands of people yet it provokes virtually no urgency in response. Source: NITV

People with history of domestic violence trying to migrate to Australia will face tougher application process under new law.

The new laws have passed the Senate, making it more difficult for people who have history of domestic violence to sponsor a partner visa.

More than two years after being introduced to parliament, legislation finally cleared the upper house on Wednesday to put more emphasis on sponsors' character.

The changes also ensure visa applicants are aware if their sponsor has a history of violence.

Under the existing regime, full character checks are a mandatory requirement for all visa applicants but sponsors are only required to provide police checks where a minor is included in the application.

The changes extend the grounds to refuse a visa for people with a violent criminal history.

When Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton introduced the bill in 2016, he said the government had made it very clear domestic violence was not acceptable under any circumstances.

The government passed an amendment to ensure the parent visa would not put additional burden on Australia's healthcare system.

If someone sponsored for a parent visa does not cover their own health costs while in Australia, the sponsoring child will be liable for the outstanding debt.

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