If you’re in a relationship with an Australian citizen and you’re planning to apply for a visa, this article is perfect for you. It will enlist everything that you need to know when it comes to applying for an Australian partner visa — costs, requirements, and processing time included.
What is an Australian partner visa?
An Australian partner visa is what you need if you’re in a committed relationship with:
- an Australian citizen
- a permanent resident or
- an eligible New Zealand citizen
and you want to be with him or her in Australia.
Are there different kinds of Australian partner visas?
Yes. The kind of visa that you will need to apply for will vary depending on:
- your relationship status
- the place where you are applying from
Permanent vs Temporary
A temporary visa is given if you’re simply visiting your partner for a specific period while a permanent visa is given if you have plans of staying in Australia for good.
You need to know that every submitted application is assessed as a “combined application” by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. With a combined application process, your application will be evaluated using both criteria for permanent and temporary visas. The visa that you will be given will depend on the criteria that you will meet.
Who is eligible for a permanent visa?
You will be eligible for a permanent visa if you can show that:
- you have been married to an Australian citizen for at least three years
- you have been in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen for at least three years
A permanent visa is effective for five years. If you’d meet residency requirements, you’d be able to apply for citizenship.
Who is eligible for a temporary visa?
You will be eligible for a temporary visa if you:
- have been married to an Australian citizen for less than three years
- have been in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen for less than three years.
If granted a temporary visa, you need to wait for two more years before becoming eligible to apply for a permanent partner visa. The two-year period will be counted from the initial visa application.
Offshore vs onshore
A partner visa application will also depend on where you’re applying from.
If you’re already in Australia and you’re applying for a partner visa, you are under partner subclasses 801 (Permanent) and 820 (Temporary).
If you’re not in Australia, you will fall under partner subclasses 100 (Migrant) and 309 (Provisional).
Different relationship statuses: married, de facto relationship, and prospective marriage
You don’t need to be legally married to an Australian citizen to be eligible for a partner visa. A de facto relationship will suffice.
A de facto relationship is one where two individuals who are in a romantic relationship already live together and have already been sharing life together for at least 12 months. The 12-month period is counted prior to the visa application. Australia honors de facto relationships between same-sex couples.
If you don’t have a de facto relationship with your Australian partner, you can still apply for a partner visa through a prospective marriage visa. A fiance visa or prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) is one given to couples who are set to get married in Australia. It lasts for nine months. Couples who do not qualify as one with a de facto relationship opt for this subclass. A fiance visa is unique because there is a need for the visa holder to marry his or her Australian partner before his or her visa expires.
Partner visa checklist
To assess if you can be qualified for an Australian partner visa, use this checklist:
- Relationship Status
- Married to an Australian citizen
- A civil partner to an Australian citizen
- Been living together and in a committed relationship with an Australian citizen for at least 12 months
- Set to marry an Australian citizen before emigration
- Set to marry an Australian citizen in Australia
- Shared responsibilities
- Shares household responsibilities with an Australian citizen with valid proof
- Joint finances
- Proof of joint financial obligations or finances
- Police clearance
- Can present police clearance from countries I’ve lived on for more than a year in the last ten years
- Genuine relationship
- Can show legitimate proof of joint finances
- Proof showing that you have traveled together
- Shared life
- Can present tickets, photographs, invitations, memorabilia, and items that can prove a shared social life
- Plans for the future
- Can show proof of solid plans for the future
How long does it take for an Australian partner visa to be processed?
It usually takes one to two years for an Australian partner visa to be processed. Migrate With Us is Western Australia’s number one choice for partner visa advice and they can help you in organizing and streamlining your visa application. You should reach out to them if you need any form of help or guidance when it comes to processing your partner visa.
How much does it cost to apply for an Australian partner visa?
You will need AUD 7,715 for the base fee of a combined application. For a fiance visa holder who will later apply for a partner visa, a payment of AUD 1,285 is necessary.
Money for police verifications and medical tests should also be readied. Such costs are non-refundable.