If you are married to, in a committed (de facto) relationship with or the fiancé of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to obtain an Australian Partner Visa.   

Due to the complex nature of Partner visa applications, and the high number of visa refusals each year, legal advice and assistance is highly recommended to ensure that you can remain in, or come to Australia, to live with your Australian spouse / partner.

Applying for a Partner Visa is far from simple and being in a genuine and committed relationship doesn’t always mean that your application will be approved. The problem often lies with self-lodged applications which fall short of the required standard.

  • A large portion of self-lodged applications are refused,

  • The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) are increasing its scrutiny of visa applications,

  • Partner Visa rules are strict and many complexities can arise,

  • Not requesting professional assistance in the first instance means that applications are often not up to the required standard and may therefore be refused or substantially delayed.

It costs much more to ‘fix’ a Partner Visa refusal because:

  • The DHA Partner Visa application fee is $AUD7,098.00,

  • If the application has been refused, fixing the issue usually requires an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) appeal application or a new application – a costly, time-consuming and difficult process,

  • The right to work, access Australian healthcare, seek citizenship and suchlike are all delayed during the time waiting for visa approval

Common reasons why Partner visa applications are refused:

  1. Lack of evidence of relationship between the applicant and the sponsor

  2. Inconsistency in information and/or evidence provided to the Department

  3. The sponsor has already sponsored 2 partners on a Partner visa or has sponsored a partner within 5 years before the new Partner visa application

  4. Inability to show the required level of commitment to each other due to significant linguistic, age, cultural and social differences between the parties

  5. Inability to respond adequately at the interview

We will guide you through the whole application process. We have helped thousands of people gain temporary and permanent residency under the Partner visa stream.  A small mistake could ruin your application and that is why legal advice and assistance with the process is highly recommended.  We will ensure that all documents supplied to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) are correct, complete and assessed prior to lodgment to ensure that you get the visa.

AUSTRALIAN PARTNER VISAS TYPES:

1.    Subclass 820 / 801 Partner Visa is for visa applicants who are married or in a de facto relationship and who are onshore (in Australia) when they lodge their application.  The right to work and access to healthcare is automatic in respect of onshore applications.

2.    Subclass 309 / 100 Partner Visa is for visa applicants who are married or in a de facto relationship and who are offshore (outside Australia) when they lodge their application.

3.    Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa (also known as the Fiancé visa) is for visa applicants who are engaged and they have physically met their Australian partner in person.  The visa applicant must be offshore (outside Australia) when they apply for this visa.

4.    Subclass 461 New Zealand Family Relationship (Temporary) Visa is for the partner of an eligible New Zealand citizen.

5.    Same-sex relationships Australia accepts same sex relationships for Partner visa purposes (see more detail below).

All applicants for a Partner Visa must have an Australian sponsor who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Your sponsor must provide a written statement pledging to support you for your first 2 years in Australia, including accommodation and financial assistance to meet reasonable living needs.

Your relationship with your partner will be assessed as part of the application process. Additionally, applications are assessed against Australian health and character requirements.

Married Partners

To apply for a Partner Visa on the basis of your marriage, you must be legally married to your partner. If you were married in a country other than Australia, your marriage will generally be recognised as valid under Australian law. In order to be eligible for a Partner Visa, on the basis of your marriage, you have to:

  • be sponsored by an eligible person

  • be legally married to your partner (who is usually your sponsor)

  • show that you and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others

  • show that you have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner

  • show that you and your partner are living together or, if not, that any separation is only temporary

  • meet health and character requirements.

De Facto or 'Common Law' Spouse

If you are applying for a Partner Visa as a de facto spouse, you and your partner generally must have been in a de facto relationship for the 12 months immediately prior to lodging your application.  If you have not been in a de facto relationship for 12 months prior to application you may still be able to lodge an application if you have legally registered your de facto relationship according to the relevant State / Territory requirements where you live.  You must:

  • be sponsored by an eligible person

  • show that you and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others

  • show that you have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner

  • show that you and your partner have been in a de facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to lodging your application or that you have legally registered your de facto relationship

  • show that you and your partner are living together or (and if not, that any separation is only temporary)

  • meet health and character requirements.

Same Sex Couples

The Partner Visa also allows same sex partner migration to Australia on the basis of being married or being in a de facto relationship (as above).

Prospective Marriage (Fiancé) Subclass 300 Visa

A Prospective Marriage Visa is a temporary visa that is valid for 9 months. You must enter Australia as a fiancé and marry your sponsor within the period the visa is valid and then submit an application for a Subclass 802/801 Partner visa.

New Zealand Family Relationship (Temporary) Subclass 461 Visa

You could be granted a 461 visa if:

  • Your sponsor is a New Zealand citizen

  • You and your partner are married or can prove you have lived together for over 6 months

This visa does not lead to permanent residence. The subclass 461 visa is for a temporary stay in Australia and to apply for permanent residence you will need to take a different route. The 461 visa will grant you 5 years’ temporary residence in Australia and can be renewed once this period comes to an end.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applying for a Partner Visa is a 2-stage process. You apply for both a temporary and permanent visa in the one application at the same time.

Temporary Partner Visa

If you lodge your application outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the temporary visa is granted.

If you are granted a temporary visa, you will:

  • Have permission to travel to and from Australia until a decision is made on your permanent visa application; and

  • Be able to work in Australia.

Permanent Partner Visa

If you lodge your partner application outside Australia, you may be either in or outside Australia when the permanent visa is granted.

In most cases, permanent residence cannot be granted less than 2 years from when you lodge your temporary partner visa application. However, you may be granted a permanent visa without having to fulfil the usual 2 year waiting period if at the time you apply you meet certain criteria, as follows:

  • You have been in a relationship with your partner for 5 years or more (as a married or de facto partner); or

  • You and your partner have been in a married or de facto relationship for 2 years and have children.

PARTNER VISA REFUSALS

If you have had your Partner visa refused we can assist.  If your partner visa application has been refused, you often need to decide whether to appeal, or to apply again.

When an application for a Partner Visa is refused, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

An AAT Tribunal member will look at your partner visa application again.  They make a new decision about the factor your application was refused on. The Tribunal may agree with the refusal decision of the immigration department.  Alternatively, they may disagree with the refusal decision, change the decision, and send your application back to the department for further processing.

However, if you lodged an offshore partner visa application and it was refused you could apply again from offshore.

The best option needs careful consideration and we can help as we are immigration lawyers with many years of experience in this field.