Partner visas are part of the family stream of migration and encompass Prospective Marriage visas, Spouse and De facto Partner Visas. Together they contributed to around 25% of the total migration program in the past financial year.
The Partner Visa, allows the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to enter into Australia to be with their partner or to remain in Australia (if the visa applicant can apply from inside Australia). Whether you are married, in a de facto relationship, same sex or heterosexual, there is a visa that is right for you.
When you first start out on the Partner Visa Process there can be so many options to choose from. No wonder it can be a confusing and tumultuous process. Getting your own Australian Partner Visa sorted is no easy task, so stressing about the process is understandable.
That’s where our expertise comes in; we are experts in Partner Visas. As every relationship is unique and no two Partner Visa are the same, you should definitely get advice before applying for any visa or you risk a refusal.
If you want advice book in for a a Free Consultation now.
Partner Visa Pathways
There are two ways to be eligible for a Partner Visa. They are based on either a de facto relationship, or a married relationship (de jure).
Both pathways usually involve a two-stage process; a provisional partner visa stage and a permanent partner visa stage. When you lodge the provisional partner visa stage you are automatically applying for the permanent partner visa stage.
After the initial two-year period, you may be granted a permanent visa if you are able to provide evidence of your ongoing genuine relationship and live together or only live apart only on a temporary basis.
De Facto Visa
De facto visas make up less than 15% of partner visa applications and are the most difficult of the partner visas to have approved. De facto visas have a tricky element to them as the “12-month rule” is applicable, which means you need to prove you have been in a relationship with your partner for 12 months PRIOR to the lodgement of your visa.
However, the good news is that if you register your relationship in Australia, you can be exempt from the 12-month requirement (but you still need to prove that you are living together). The benefit of registering as a de facto relationship also means that you are legally recognized as a couple under state law. Unfortunately, you can only register your relationship in selected states in Australia
Marrying the love of your life is perhaps that most exciting and life changing event that most of us will ever experience. To apply for a spousal visa based on your marriage, you must be legally married to your partner.
The good news is that if you were already married in a country that wasn’t Australia, and the marriage is legally binding and valid in that country, then it is generally recognized as a valid marriage under Australian law.
Partner Visa Criteria
* Must at least 18 years of age
* Your relationship must be genuine, ongoing and mutually exclusive
* You both must either live together, or live apart only on a temporary basis
* Defacto Pathway: You must have been in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for at least 12 months prior to lodging your application (unless there are compelling or compassionate circumstances, or your relationship is registered with the relevant Authority)
* Marriage Pathway: You must be legally married
* Meet the Australian health and character requirements.
* Must at least 18 years of age
* Must not have previously sponsored more than one other fiancé, partner or spouse for migration to Australia, and not have sponsored a fiancé, spouse or partner for migration to Australia within the last 5 years (unless there are compelling circumstances)
* Not have been sponsored for a Spouse, Partner or Prospective Marriage visa by someone else within the last 5 years (unless there are compelling circumstances).
* Must pledge to support you for your first 2 years in Australia, including accommodation and financial assistance to meet your reasonable living needs.
In addition, you and your sponsor must meet the character requirements. The Department of Home Affairs take family violence very seriously. Your sponsorship will not be approved if your fiancé(e) has a conviction for a relevant offence and a substantial criminal history. A relevant offence includes, but is not limited to offences involving violence, intimidation, breaching a protection order, people smuggling, human trafficking and weapons.
With both Marriage and De Facto Partner Visas, you will be required to demonstrate the genuineness and ongoing nature of your relationship. There is a long list of requirements and your suitability for a Partner Visa will depend on a range of different factors. As such it is important you are able to evidence how you meet these requirements and this is often where couple’s struggle.
Depending on where you are in Australia or overseas when your visa is lodged will determine what visa subclass you can apply for and where you must be when your visa is granted.
For the Subclass 309 Provisional Partner you must be OUTSIDE Australia both at the time your application is lodged, and when your visa is granted. Alternatively for the Subclass 820 Provisional Partner you must be INSIDE Australia both at the time your application is lodged, and when your visa is granted.
If you are living unlawfully in Australia at the time of your application, you must also demonstrate that there are compelling reasons as to your unlawful status and why you are eligible to apply for the partner visa.
If you have lodged a partner visa outside of Australia, then while the visa is processing you can travel to Australia to visit your partner if you apply for and are granted a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa
New Zealand Family Relationship Visa
This visa allows someone who is not a New Zealand citizen to live in Australia with their family member who is a New Zealand citizen and who holds either a Special Category (subclass 444) visa and is living in Australia or is eligible to hold a Special Category visa (subclass 444) and is accompanying you to Australia.
You must be related to the New Zealand citizen as either their partner, their (or their partner's) dependent child, the dependent child of their (or their partner's) dependent child or a dependent relative.