Partner visa sponsors will soon need to undergo character tests in domestic violence crackdown

Australians wishing to sponsor their partner to remain in the country will be forced to undergo a character test and have the results shared within the relationship before a visa application can be made.

The government says the new changes will protect migrants from domestic and family violence.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge revealed further details of the changes, first announced in last week’s federal budget, on Wednesday morning, including that any adverse findings from the sponsor’s character check would be shared with their partner so they can “make an informed decision” about whether to proceed with an expensive visa application. 

The results would include any information that suggests a potential threat of future violence, including past convictions and charges, Mr Tudge said.

Immigration officials, however, would still have discretion over whether a visa application can proceed.

While supporting the sharing of information between a couple, domestic and family violence

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The Week in Business: A Conspiracy Crackdown

The days are getting shorter, the election is getting closer and retailers are preparing for a truly weird holiday season. Here’s what you need to know in business and tech for the week ahead. — Charlotte Cowles

On Tuesday, after years of allowing the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon to spread lies and violent rhetoric on its platform, Facebook took an uncharacteristically hard line and banned the group altogether. Soon after, the e-shop Etsy halted sales of all QAnon merchandise. And on Friday, Twitter adopted a slew of new measures to control the spread of misinformation leading up to the election. But critics are still wondering what took the tech companies so long to crack down.

House Democrats have spent over a year investigating Silicon Valley’s “big four” — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — for “abuses of

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Trump administration’s H-1B visa crackdown: Expect big hike in foreign worker wage costs

Tech companies on Tuesday were hit with major changes to the high-skilled worker H-1B visa program that will make them pay foreign employees much higher wages. 

The changes to the skilled visa program were announced by the White House as the Department of Labor announced an interim final rule that aims to bring wages of foreign workers in line with wages paid to US workers in similar roles. The department’s rule takes effect once it’s been published by the Office of the Federal Register.  

The administration has framed the H-1B reforms and foreign employee wage requirement as a way to protect American workers as the coronavirus pandemic pummels the US labor market. 

The Department of Labor said the pandemic combined with potential abuses of the H-1B visa program required “immediate corrective action”. 

“The US Department of Labor is strengthening wage protections, addressing abuses in these visa programs, and ensuring American

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