Monday, 12 September 2016

Latest update on Spouse Pass - September 2016

I had this information from a good friend recently; it sounds as if there may have been some changes to the spouse pass application process. This was for a renewal:

I recently renewed my Spouse Pass and there’s been a few changes to both policy and process. Firstly, it used to be something like 6-12  months pass was given for an initial application then 3-5 years for a renewal followed by 5-10 years for all subsequent passes.

But the new policy is dependent on whether the couple have children. So a 6-12 month initial pass is given then 1-2 years for all subsequent passes if the couple remain without children. The Immigration Officer told us the length of the initial pass depends on which Authorising Manager is working that day.

If the couple subsequently have children the applicants will be considered for longer passes of between 3-5 years. It seems there are no more 10 year passes available.

I asked if it was retroactive and if a couple without kids who had previously been given a 5 year pass would be moved down to rolling two year passes or if they would be allowed to stay on the old policy. Unfortunately the officer couldn’t tell me but bear in mind this may be the view of one officer only and another officer may have told us something different.

The other main change was in process. We got our renewal done all in one day, so the new process was:
1. Visit Commissioner of Oaths for signature and stamp on ground floor.
2. Go to 1st floor. Collect queue number from counter. Sit Down
3. Wait for number to be called (about 30 mins) to have documents inspected and hand in passport. Sit back down
4. Wait for number to be called (about 1 hour) to pay at cashier counter. Sit back down.
5. Wait for number to be called (about 1 hour) to collect passport with new pass. This number will be called amid a batch of other numbers collecting their passes so stay on your toes. Once collected, you can go.

Given it’s now a one day process, it is probably preferable to get there early in the morning. It may mean more queuing initially, but you should get done before lunch.

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