9.4.6.05 Duration of the AoS Period
The AoS period starts on the day the person is granted the visa, or on the day they enter Australia, whichever occurs later.
The duration of the AoS depends on the visa subclass. In the case of contributory parent visas (subclass 143 and subclass 864), the AoS periods ends 10 years after the day the person is granted the visa, or 10 years after the day the person enters Australia, whichever occurs later.
For a subclass 202 (Global Special Humanitarian) visa under the Community Support Programme, the AoS period ends 12 months after the day the person is granted the visa, or 12 months after the day the person enters Australia, whichever occurs later.
For a subclass 115 or 835 (Remaining Relative) visa, or a subclass 117 or 837 (Orphan Relative) visa the AoS period ends 2 years after the day the person is granted the visa, or 2 years after the day the person enters Australia, whichever occurs later.
For all other visas, the AoS period ends 4 years after the day the person is granted the visa, or 4 years after the day the person enters Australia, whichever occurs later.
Note: There are some circumstances where a person is granted a temporary visa before being granted a permanent visa.
- a temporary visa subclass 309 (Spouse/Partner) is usually granted before a permanent 100 (Spouse/Partner),
- a temporary visa subclass 820 (Spouse/Partner) is usually granted before a permanent 801 (Spouse/Partner).
With effect from 1 January 2012, amendments to SSAct (section 739A(8)) and the Social Security (Class of Visas - Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period for Special Benefit) Determination 2011 have changed access to SpB for 309, 820, 310 and 826 temporary visa subclass holders. As a result of the SSAct changes, since 1 January 2012 the discretionary requirement for an AoS has been removed from the Migration Regulations for temporary visa subclasses 309 and 820; temporary visa subclass 300 (prospective marriage); and the permanent visa subclasses 100 and 801.
Prior to 1 July 2009, the Spouse/Partner visa category included Interdependency visas (subclasses 310, 110, 826, and 814). The Interdependency visas have been repealed subsequent to the introduction of the Same Sex Relationships Act 2008, and they and the Spouse visas are no longer available to new applicants, who are now given Partner visas. The Department of Home Affairs advised in late 2011 that there are no outstanding 310 interdependency visa applications, but there are some 110, 814 and 826 interdependency visa applications yet to be decided. As it is unlikely that the Department of Home Affairs would be able to amend the Migration Regulations to remove the AoS requirement on repealed visas, the Department of Home Affairs advised that this caseload would be managed through policy, and the Department of Home Affairs case officers would be advised to not request an AoS for the repealed visas.
Any AoS that has been accepted for a Spouse/Partner category visa that was granted on or before 31 December 2011 remains in place.
There are also situations where a person is granted a visa which has an AoS requirement but is subsequently granted another visa with no AoS requirement. In this situation, the AoS does not cease simply because the person is granted a new visa which does not have an AoS requirement. There are, however, some specific situations where an AoS can be cancelled (126.96.36.199).
Death of an assurer/assuree
There may be instances where an assurer passes away during the AoS period. In these cases, the AoS period ends at the death of the assurer. However, any social security debts, which accrued while the assurer was still alive is a recoverable payment owed to the Commonwealth. Such debts can be recovered through the assurer's estate through the normal debt recovery procedures.
There may also be cases where an assuree dies. In these instances the AoS period ends at the death of the assuree. The bond amount should be released to the assurer and any social security amounts owing to the Commonwealth should be deducted.