A Partner Visa allows partners to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of their married or de facto relationship:
- on a temporary visa; (usually for a waiting period of approximately two years from the date you applied for the visa)
- on a permanent visa if, after the waiting period (if applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa.
The relationship must be a genuine and ongoing relationship and the Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen must provide sponsorship.
The following is a basic outline of a Partner Visa Application for permanent residence:
1. Migration Law Requirements
Under current Migration law, an applicant for a Partner Visa must be able to satisfy the legislative requirements, the most significant ones being summarised here:
- an applicant for a partner visa must be married to, or in a de facto relationship with, their sponsor.
- the sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- de facto partner relationships are recognised where de facto partners live together and jointly share financial resources as partners (for 12 months or more) but are not legally married.
- the relationship should be genuine and continuing, requiring the applicant and their sponsor to have a commitment to a shared life as partners, to the exclusion of all others; the visa applicant and the sponsor must live together, or not live separately and apart on a permanent basis;
- de facto partners must have been living in a partner relationship for 12 months immediately prior to applying for a Partner Visa;
- if de facto partners have their relationship registered then the 12 month cohabitation requirement does not apply, however substantial documentary evidence of the de facto partner relationship is required to support a partner visa application;
- each of the visa applicant and the sponsor must be aged 18 years or over;
- be of good health with satisfactory completion of a chest x-ray and medical examination; and,
- be of good character with police clearances required for any country (including Australia) in which the visa applicant has lived for a period of 12 months or more within the last 10 years.
2. Partner Visa Application Process
A visa applicant who applies in Australia or overseas for a partner visa undertakes a two-stage visa application process. A combined application is made to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for a temporary visa and a permanent visa.
At the first stage the temporary visa application is assessed. The second stage, usually two years after making the application, involves an assessment of the permanent visa application.
The first stage is the Partner Temporary Visa application with assessment of a visa applicant’s eligibility for a temporary visa. The applicant may be asked to attend an interview to enable DIAC to further assess the application. If the applicant successfully completes the first stage of processing, they will be granted a temporary visa valid until a decision is made on the application for the permanent visa, or until the application is withdrawn.
Where the applicant and sponsor demonstrate they are in a long term partner relationship the permanent residence visa is also granted at Stage 1.
The second stage is the Partner Permanent Visa application with this assessment taking place approximately two years after the applicant lodged the first stage visa application. This involves assessment of the applicant’s eligibility for a permanent visa.
The visa applicant and the sponsor may be asked to attend an interview separately or together.
At both processing stages, the visa applicant and the sponsor will be required to provide evidence that the relationship between them is genuine and continuing.
With the exception of certain circumstances, a Partner Temporary visa will be cancelled if the relationship ends before the second stage of processing.
A decision ready Partner Temporary visa may take up to 12 months to process and may take longer depending upon the circumstances of the application.
3. Preparation for lodgement of a Partner Visa Application
If the visa applicant is in Australia, and the visa applicant does not have the Visa Condition 8503 No Further Stay, the partner visa application must be lodged with DIAC before the visa applicant’s existing visa expires.
The visa applicant must be physically present in Australia at the time the application is lodged with DIAC and at the time the decision is made to grant the visa.
If the applicant wishes to travel outside of Australia during the visa application process our office must be advised as the visa applicant may be required to make an application for a Bridging B visa to enable return to Australia.
If the applicant is outside Australia at time of application, the visa applicant must also be outside Australia at the time of decision on the visa application.
A visa applicant, after lodging a Partner Visa application outside Australia, may travel to Australia while the application is processing, subject to holding a valid visa permitting travel and stay in Australia for a specified period.
Indicative List of Partner Visa Documentary Evidence
The following is an indicative list of documents that may evidence a genuine and ongoing partner relationship.
- Relationship Registration Certificate (if applicable)
- Statement from each of you and your partner giving details of:-
- How and when you met and the nature of your relationship.
- Your financial arrangements, including any joint ownership of assets or joint liabilities and how you share day-to-day household expenses.
- Your living arrangements and how responsibility for housework is distributed.
- Your social life together, such as shared interests and activities.
- Your future life together.
- Envelopes or any correspondence which is dated and addressed to either of you at the joint address.
- Any Electricity, Gas, Telephone or Internet accounts or receipts.
- Lease / Real Estate / Mortgage documents
- Joint bank account statements.
- Documents showing joint assets or liabilities, or other financial commitments, such as the terms of each party’s will, power of attorney, insurance policy.and / or superannuation policy.
- Evidence of shared social lives, such as joint membership of organisations or joint participation in social, cultural or sporting activities.
- Written statements by landlords, employers or bank managers confirming aspects of the relationship.
- Invoices and / or Receipts in both names.
- Letters (with envelopes) from family or friends.
- Photographs together, on social occasions or at home with the following information for each photo:
- date (mm/yyyy)
- name of each person and their relationship to you
- Two passport-style recent colour photographs for each visa applicant;
- Original, certified or notarised copy of your marriage certificate, defacto relationship evidence, documents evidencing any divorce (if applicable);
- Original, certified or notarised copy of an unabridged birth certificate (showing the full names of parents) for you, your spouse and children;
- Original, certified or notarised copy of your family’s and your current and any previous passports;
- Original, certified or notarised copy of your military discharge certificate (if applicable);
- Original, certified or notarised copy of evidence of your children’s enrolment in full-time study (e.g. current student card, most recent academic transcript etc) (if applicable);
- Original police certificate for each visa applicant 16 years of age or older for all countries in which they have lived for 12 months or more;
- Up to date CV for each visa applicant 16 years of age or older.
Strategic Migration can advise you about your eligibility for a Partner Visa.
Please email or fax to us the abovementioned for our review and contact us today to arrange an initial consultation.