GUIDE TO PARTNER VISAS AUSTRALIA
You are eligible for a partner visa to Australia if you are married, engaged or are in a de facto kind of a relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or even an eligible citizen of New Zealand. Benefits of the partner visa include the ability to live with a partner in Australia, work, study, or bring dependents over.
What is the Australian Partner Visa?
The Australian partner visa program allows applicants to be sponsored by their Australian or New Zealand partners or spouses. Once approved, the applicant gets to live in Australia temporarily as they seek a permanent partner visa.
The benefits of the Australian partner visa
The partner visa, once granted, lets a spouse, fiancé, or long-term domestic partner (de facto partner) stay in Australia with their sweetheart.
Apart from being able to live with loved ones, all types of partner visa holders have full work rights in Australia. Further, their dependents have full work and study rights in Australia. However, partner visas and their benefits can be cancelled when the relationship breaks down.
Australian Partner Visa Categories
There are three broad categories of the partner visa:
1. Temporary partner visa
The application for a partner visa in Australia is a 2-stage process. The first stage entails getting the temporary partner visa which is a provisional visa for de facto and spouses partners of Australian Citizens. Typically, partners qualify for the permanent partner visa two years after applying for the temporary partner visa.
2. Permanent partner visa
In most cases, partners need to prove that they have stayed for two years with their Australian partner after acquiring the temporary partner visa. There are exceptions to this rule. You may qualify for the permanent visa without having to wait for two years if:
- You have five years or more of marriage or de facto relationship with your Australian partner
- There are dependent children in your two years or more marriage or de facto relationship
- You were in a documented relationship with your spouse before thy obtained a protection visa or permanent visa
3. Prospective spouse visa
The prospective spouse visa is for fiancés and fiancées of future Australian marriage partners. The prospective spouse visa allows you to stay in Australia for nine months, during which period you can marry in the country and apply for a partner visa.
Requirements for the Australian partner visa
- Applicant and sponsor must be over the age of 18
- The sponsor must be a legal Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- At the time of the application, applicant and sponsor should have been in a verifiable relationship of least 12 months
- Couples must submit documentation of their relationship and pass the interview
- If you are married to an Australian partner, you must provide the legal documentation of your marriage
- Interdependency (Provisional) Visa
- Prospective spouse visa applicants must show proof of engagement
Onshore and Offshore Partner Visas
You can apply for a partner visa in Australia or overseas . If you lodge the application in Australia, you will typically be granted a bridging visa which allows you to stay in Australia during processing. A bridging visa has equal rights and benefits to a partner visa, except for a few limitations on work and study.
For both temporary and permanent partner visas, if you lodge your application while in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted.
Applicants can alternatively apply for the partner visa while outside Australia. If you lodge your temporary partner visa application while you are outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.
For permanent partner visas, if you apply while overseas, you may be either in or outside Australia when the approval is granted.
What is De Facto Relationship in Partner Visas?
A de facto relationship is where you live together with your partner, but are not legally or formally married. The following criteria can qualify your relationship as de facto during the Australia partner visa application:
- You are not formally married with your partner
- Your (same or different sex) relationship is stable and continuing
- Your relationship is exclusive, and you live together
- You are not related by family
Duration of De Facto Relationship in Partner Visas
The acceptable duration for your relationship is 12 months. At the time of the application and during the interview, you will be required to prove that you have lived with your partner on a permanent basis, for at least one full year.
The 12 months cohabitation requirement is mostly applied to permanent partner visas. You can apply for the temporary partner visa with less time of living together. You may also be exempted from the rule if:
- You have a dependent from the relationship.
- There is a ban on same-sex relationships in your country.
Documents to Prove Identity in Partner Visa Application
- Two recent colored passport photographs
- A national identity card
- A certified copy of the change of name, where needed
Documents to Prove Relationship in Partner Visa Application
Married couples will need to present a copy of their marriage certificate or relationship registration. Those in a de facto relationship must provide proof that they have shared the same residential address.
a) The documentation needed to verify cohabitation include:
- Copies of a property lease or ownership documents
- Copies of shared bank accounts or transfer of funds
- Copies of household bills; electricity, telephone gas, insurance
- Postal mail addressed to one or both of you at the stated address
Other ways to prove a de facto relationship include:
b) Demonstrating the social aspects of the relationship
- Statement of living arrangements
- Statement of shared domestic and financial responsibilities
- Proof of joint invitations to events and social gatherings
- Proof of joint sporting, social and cultural activities
- Proof of joint travel
c) Proving long term commitment in the relationship
- Evidence that you have declared the relationship to government bodies or public and business institutions
- Documents to show you are committed to each other for the long term
- Knowledge of each other’s background and personal circumstances at the interview
- Phone records, letters or emails that show you have been in constant communication when apart
We can help with a smooth partner visa application process that increases your chances of getting accepted. Contact us to find out which partner visa category is the right one for you.
We offer free online assessments (limited offer) and can help you get your application documentation right. Our visa consultants are on standby to support you through the application process. Book an appointment now to get started.