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Everything You Need to Know About the Australian Partner Visa

We've launched hundreds of partner visas over the years. With numerous aspects to consider, understanding the requirements and nuances of the application process is crucial. We aim to provide a guide, offering valuable insights into the Australian Partner Visa application, covering various aspects from types and stages to documentation, requirements, and common questions.

If you need to apply for a Partner Visa, please book an appointment here.

Types of Visas Related to Partner Relationships:

Currently, there are three types of visas related to partner relationships: the prospective marriage visa or Fiancée Visa, the partner visa offshore, and the partner visa onshore.  

Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300): Designed for those planning to marry their prospective spouse in Australia and subsequently apply for an onshore partner visa. The evidence required for a prospective marriage visa is generally less. You need to demonstrate your intention to be in a spouse relationship rather than being in a spouse or partner relationship.  

Partner Visa Offshore (Subclass 309 and 100): For individuals in a genuine and ongoing relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, applying from outside Australia. Applicants applying outside of Australia will need to apply for an offshore partner visa Subclass 309 which goes to subclass 100 for permanent residency. 

Partner Visa Onshore (Subclass 820 and 801): For applicants inside Australia, the process involves obtaining a temporary partner visa (Subclass 820) followed by a permanent partner visa (Subclass 801).

Stages of Partner Visa:

If you are in a married or de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen and you are being sponsored by your partner, you might apply for a partner visa.  The relationship must be genuine and ongoing.

There are two stages to the partner visa:

Stage 1: is a temporary partner visa.

Stage 2: is a permanent partner visa. 

Both temporary and permanent partner visas allow you to work and study in Australia and you are eligible for Medicare. 

Documentation and Evidence:

We know that every relationship is different, and the Australian Department of Home Affairs may need different kinds of documents to assess your application. Include evidence relating to the nature of your household, recognition of your relationship by family and friends, and your joint financial commitments to each other. 

Married relationship: If you're in a married relationship, you need to provide a legal marriage certificate or registration from in Australia or another country. The marriage document needs to be authentic and legally valid. 

De facto relationship: There are two ways to meet the de facto relationship requirements. 

  • Number 1: being in a de facto relationship, which is mutually exclusive, and you've been with your partner for at least 12 months before you apply for the partner visa in or outside of Australia.  In most cases, this would mean you've been living with your partner for 12 months.
  • Number 2: register a relationship in an Australian state or territory.  This can allow an application to proceed when the relationship is less than 12 months old. 

You need to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a de facto relationship exists between you and your partner. There are some exceptions to the 12-month rule. For example, if there's a child of the relationship. 

Same-sex couples:

Same-sex couples can apply for partner visas. They will need to demonstrate their relationship based on a married or de facto relationship. 

We’ve been successful with many applications for same-sex couples. 

Genuine and Continuing Relationship Criteria:

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has some standard criteria to assess a genuine and continuing relationship.  The main four criteria are:

  • Financial responsibilities: this could include a home loan, joint property, or rental property that is in both parties' names or an active bank account that has both parties' names. 
  • Evidence of a shared household: this could include things like bills and utilities. It could include evidence of living arrangements, and it could include things like shared financial responsibility for food and utilities.
  • Social commitment: this includes statements from friends and family which attest to you being in a relationship. It can also be shown by photos from social events. 
  • Commitment: this criteria includes considerations of how long the parties have been in a relationship and the future plans that the couple has. Such criteria might be addressed in a statutory declaration to help prove the application.

Providing strong evidence addressing these criteria is vital for a successful application.

Couple

How long does the process normally take?

Partner visa processing times can vary, typically ranging from six months to two years. Having strong evidence of your relationship can help with processing times. 

You can find the processing times at Home Affairs website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times

Sponsor Requirements:

Sponsors must be of good character and provide necessary documentation, including police clearances. There are limitations on sponsoring more than one partner within a five-year period.

Main reasons for partner visa refusals:

  • Lack of supporting evidence of the relationship. 
  • Inconsistencies in the application, and in relation to the telephone interview with the department, if they hold one.
  • Not meeting schedule three requirements. This is about not having a substantive visa at the time of application.
  • Misleading social media posts and inconsistencies in those social media posts.
  • Sponsor problems, for example, failing to update Centrelink that they are in a relationship. 

How can you make an application strong? 

A successful partner visa application requires meticulous planning. You need to have a genuine and continuing relationship and ensure all the documents are provided as part of the visa application. 

How much does a partner visa cost?

The Australian partner visa comes with a significant application fee of $8,850, making it one of the more expensive visa applications.

Obtaining an Australian Partner Visa involves a thorough understanding of the process, careful documentation, and strategic planning. If you have questions or need assistance in applying for a partner visa, our team is here to help. Contact us for personalized guidance throughout your partner visa application.

Sources:

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/partner-onshore

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/partner-offshore

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/prospective-marriage-300

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Partner Visa application.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

You can book an appointment online or call us at (+61) 8 8351 9956.

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Sunday, 21 July 2024

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