Australian Partner Visas
The Australian Partner visas category is one of the most common pathways for immigration to Australia. It provides genuine couples with viable option to settle in Australia, which helps lead to permanent residence.
After two years of a partner visa application being lodged the applicant may be granted a permanent visa if you are able to provide evidence of your ongoing commitment to one another.
Who can apply for an Australian Partner Visa?
Partners or fiancés of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens may apply to enter and/or remain permanently in Australia.
Partner classifications include:
- people intending to get married (fiancés)
- married (de jure) partners
- de facto partners (including those in a same-sex relationship).
Your unique circumstances will determine which Australian visa within the partner category is most appropriate.
Partner Visa types
Australian Married or de-Facto Spouse Visa (Subclass 820 and 309)
You may be eligible for a partner visa if you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
You must either be married or be living together in a de-facto relationship.
Visa Conditions and Duration for Subclass 820 and 309
Once your initial partner application is granted, you will in most cases be issued with a Provisional Partner Visa. This will allow you to stay in Australia with full work and travel rights, as well as access to Medicare.
After the two year period – from when you lodged your initial application – the Department of Immigration will look to grant you a Permanent Partner Visa. At this stage, you will be asked for current evidence of your relationship.
In some circumstances, a waiver is available for the two year period before applying for permanent residence:
- if you have been in the relationship with your partner for three years or more at the time of application; or
- if you have been in the relationship for two years where there are dependent children of the relationship; or
- if your partner was granted a permanent visa under the humanitarian program or was granted a protection visa and was in the relationship with you before the visa was granted and this relationship was declared to the Department of Immigration at the time.
In some circumstances, you may be eligible for permanent residence even if the relationship has broken up before the end of the two year period. These circumstances include:
- If your partner has died during this period; or
- If you and your Australian partner have children under 18 years of age; or
- If you or your dependants have been subject to domestic violence during this period
Visa Criteria for Subclass 820 and 309
In order to be eligible for a partner visa, you must meet the following criteria:
You will need to show that you and your partner have a commitment to a shared life together, to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must live together, or at least not live apart on a permanent basis.
The Department of Immigration will look at a number of aspects of your relationship, including:
- Financial Interdependence
- Social aspects of the relationship
- Level of Commitment
Defacto Relationship – 12 Months Cohabitation
A defacto relationship would require evidence that you have lived with your partner for the last 12 months or if you reside in a state that recognises registration of relationships, you will be exempt from the 12-month cohabitation requirement if you have registered your relationship.
If you are married, you do not need to show twelve months of cohabitation, but will need to show that you are currently living together.
Health & Character
You will need to provide full health and police checks. If you do have a medical condition, a waiver of the usual health requirements is possible where the cost to the Australian community of treating the condition is not excessive.
Australian Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
The Prospective Marriage Visa (or fiancé visa) is a 9-month temporary visa which allows applicants to travel to Australia to marry their Australian partner. Once married in Australia, you would look at applying for a partner visa to obtain your permanent residence.
A Prospective Marriage Visa is valid for nine months from date of grant, during which you are expected to marry your sponsor. You will be entitled to full work rights for the duration of the Prospective Marriage visa. Once you are married, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence through a partner visa.
In order to be eligible for a Prospective Marriage Visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be engaged to an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Intend to get married within Australia, then live in a spouse relationship together
- You and your fiancé have met, in person, and are personally known to each other
- Both you and your fiancé must in general be aged 18 years or over
For a Prospective Marriage Visa, you must be outside Australia both at the time of application and time of decision.
Whilst it is easy to convince your family and friends that you cannot bear to be apart from the love of your life – convincing the Department of Immigration is a completely different matter.
Have you ever thought about what your relationship looks like on paper? Can you both recall the exact date you met? What about the exact date the relationship was ‘official’? What if your parents don’t approve your partner? What if one of your friends isn’t convinced? What if they ring to the Department of Immigration to relay their concerns?
The fact is all these issues are highly relevant to the DIBP when it comes to assessing a couple’s relationship on paper for a partner visa. Are you prepared?
The trust test of your love is not in sickness and health but whether an officer of the Commonwealth is convinced by the evidence in front of them.
Need further Information on Partner Visas?
Would like us to show how you can bring your Partner to Australia or Had your Partner Visa cancelled or refused? Call us on +61 (0) 2 9419-5411 or EMAIL US