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 Home Affairs 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 the Department of Home Affairs 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 the Department of Home Affairs 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 the Department of Home Affairs 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 Documents to bring to a Consultation for a Partner Visa Application
- Original passports.
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable).
- Relationship Registration Certificate (if applicable).
- Lease / Real Estate / Mortgage documents.
- Envelopes or any correspondence (including letters, cards, invitations from family or friends) dated and addressed to either at the joint address.
- Drivers licences showing both partners reside at the same address.
- Any Electricity, Gas, Telephone, Internet accounts or receipts.
- Receipts in both names or receipts issued to either partner for purchases made for the relationship.
- Joint bank account and credit card statements.
- Documents showing joint assets or liabilities, or other financial commitments, each party’s will, power of attorney, superannuation policy or insurance policy.
- Evidence of shared social lives, such as joint membership of organisations or joint participation in social, cultural or sporting activities.
- Documents evidencing joint travel.
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.