80. The 2009 report of the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, Time for Action, acknowledged that:
Women who are sponsored by Australian citizens and residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to the threat of deportation. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, domestic violence practitioners became concerned about the number of repeat or serial sponsors who abused the women and then triggered their deportation. Predominantly, the concern related to the abuse of Filipino women by serial sponsors, although more recently concerns have increased about women sponsored from other countries such as Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and Fiji.
81. In Equality Before the Law, the ALRC expressed similar concerns about serial sponsors and recommended that where a prospective sponsor’s record showed past violence or previous sponsorships, information should be drawn to the attention of the applicant by a DIAC officer at an interview. The ALRC also recommended that the information must be provided in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner and the interviewer must be satisfied that the applicant understands the nature of the information provided.
82. Legislative changes to the Regulations that took effect from 27 March 2010, inserted a new sponsorship limitation for child, partner and prospective marriage visas. The new reg 1.20KB provides that the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship must refuse sponsorships when a child is included in a visa and the sponsor has a conviction or outstanding charge for a ‘registrable offence’. For a child visa, the sponsor’s partner or spouse must also not have a conviction or outstanding charge for a ‘registrable offence’. A ‘registrable offence’ is defined within the meaning of state and territory legislation dealing with registrable or reportable offences.
83. The Regulations also give power to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship to request that a sponsor or the sponsor’s partner submit to a police check, and to refuse sponsorship if the police check is not provided. Police checks can be obtained from the Australian Federal Police.
84. The ALRC is interested in comment on whether sponsors for partner visas should—in a manner similar to the requirement for child sponsorships—be required to submit to a police check in relation to past family violence convictions or protection orders, and whether such information should be given to the applicant. This requirement would be aimed at protecting the safety of prospective partners who may not be aware of a sponsor’s past history of violence, and allowing them to make informed choices about pursuing the relationship. In including such a requirement, a number of issues would have to be addressed, including: affording procedural fairness to the sponsor; avoiding discrimination on the basis of previous convictions; and privacy concerns.
Question 16 Should sponsors be obliged to submit to a police check in relation to past family violence convictions or protection orders when making an application for sponsorship?
Question 17 Should the Department of Immigration and Citizenship bring to the attention of prospective spouses information about a sponsor’s past family violence history? If so, how and what safeguards should be put in place, in particular to address:
(a) procedural fairness to the sponsor;
(b) discrimination on the basis of a criminal record; and
(c) the sponsor’s privacy.
 National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009–2021 (2009), [2.5] (citations omitted).
 Australian Law Reform Commission, Equality Before the Law: Justice for Women (Part 1), Report 69 (1994), Rec 10–7. This recommendation was aimed at protecting the safety of women and to assist them to exercise their right to fully informed choice in marrying.
 See Migration Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2010 (Cth).
 Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), reg 1.20KB(2).
 Ibid reg 1.20KB(13) defines ‘registrable offence’ as a registrable offence within the meaning of, or an offence that would be registrable under the following Acts if it were committed in that jurisdiction: Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW); Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006 (SA); Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005 (ACT). An offence is a reportable offence within the meaning of the following Acts: the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 (Qld); Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 (WA); Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2005 (Tas); Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Registration) Act (NT) .
 Migration Act 1958 (Cth) s 56 contains a general power for the department to collect information relevant to a visa application.
 Sponsors (or partners) must complete the National Police Check application form available from the AFP website. See Australian Federal Police, National Police Checks <http://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police-checks/national-police-checks.aspx> at 7 February 2011.