As of 17th of April, Australian Men need to pass character test to bring their spouse into Australia.
In November 2018 the Australian Government passed new legislation that would significantly impact the process for lodging family visas. The new requirement that sponsors for family visas be approved before a visa application can be lodged will take effect on 17 April 2019. It will apply to all Prospective Marriage Visa, Partner Visa or Parent Visa applications lodged from this date.
Any Australian with a criminal record or who has a history of domestic violence, with the passing of the Family Violence Bill in the Senate last November, partner visa sponsors need to apply for approval first as a sponsor before applications are lodged. This means any one with a criminal record or a history of Domestic Violence will be unlikely to be approved and that potential offshore applicants and sponsors will have to pass through a stringent process to assess their character and history.
This will then prolong the process of obtaining a partner visa.
From the 17th of April, 2019 it means if you apply for Prospective Marriage Visa, Partner Visa or even a Parent Visa your sponsor will need to first be approved by the Department of Home Affairs, this additional step in the approval process is expected to have an additional charge of $420.
It is important to note that there is an expected impact particularly on those planning to lodge a visa onshore, with the sponsorship approval process likely to exceed the validity of existing temporary visa's, bridging visa's will be unlikely and your spouse may need to go offshore and remain there until the sponsorship approval has been obtained and a visa application can be lodged.
It is important to be aware that if an Australian sponsor has a conviction or fails to meet the character requirements due to a history of DV and AVO's they may not be approved.