AUSTRALIA PARTNER VISA
Australia Partner Visa
The Partner visa category is one of the most common pathways for immigration to Australia. It provides genuine couples with viable options to settle in Australia, which leads to permanent residence.
Who can apply for an Australian Partner Visa?
Partners or fiancee of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens may apply to enter and/or remain permanently in Australia.
Partner category visa options
There are three different types of Partner visas:
- Partner (Marriage) visa – Legally married to the sponsor;
- Partner (De Facto) visa – In a de facto relationship (living together like a married couple) with the sponsor, for a period of at least 12 months immediately before lodgement of the application, unless the relationship has been registered as a Civil Union or Partnership (as recognised in Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania only);
- Prospective Marriage (Fiance) visa – Engaged to be married to their sponsor, have personally met since they turned 18, and are free to marry.
Partner visa applications are lodged online and can be submitted while the applicant is in Australia (onshore) or overseas (offshore). The Prospective Marriage Visa must be lodged whilst the applicant is offshore.
Partner applications work in stages:
- A temporary visa is granted first, with full work and travel rights and access to Medicare
- Two years later there is further processing for a permanent residency visa
The Prospective Marriage visa has an extra stage where the first application is lodged offshore and once granted the applicant has nine months to enter Australia, marry their sponsor, and then lodge the Partner (Marriage) visa.
The staged process is the Department of Home Affairs way of safeguarding against people who are not genuine. If the relationship breaks down before the two years is up the permanent application may not be approved unless certain circumstances apply.
All partner applications are judged on the genuineness of the relationship and applicants are required to prove that they are in a long-term, committed relationship with their sponsor. This is done by providing documentation showing that they have a shared life and a commitment to each other, covering the four areas of assessment:
- Financial aspects of the relationship – bank accounts, joint purchases, money transfers
- A shared household – utility bills, lease agreements, mail
Prospective Marriage visa applicants are not expected to show evidence of a shared household but any documentation they have would strengthen an application.
De Facto couples who register their relationship as a Civil Union or Civil Partnership in certain States/Territories of Australia do not need to wait until they have twelve (12) months of living together before applying for a Partner (De Facto) visa. Please refer to the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in your State or Territory for further information on how to register a relationship.
As same-sex marriage is now recognized in Australia, same-sex couples are able to apply for the Australia Partner Visa (Marriage) and Prospective Marriage (Fiance) visas.
If the relationship ends while an applicant holds a temporary Partner visa, there are limited pathways to obtain a permanent Australia Partner Visa. Applicants may be eligible if you have suffered family violence, or there is a child of the relationship. In these situations, is highly recommended that applicants speak with a Registered Migration Agent regarding their options.
How long does it take to obtain a Partner Visa?
The published current processing times (2018), on the Department of Home Affairs website, states for Permanent Partner (subclass 801) visas is 19 to 24 months from your eligibility date. The processing times for the Provisional Partner (subclass 820) visas are also listed as 20 to 26 months.
Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) and Partner Provisional (subclass 309) are taking on average 14 to 17 months.
In practice, the processing can be a lot sooner than the published processing times.
How much does a Partner Visa cost?
The application fee is the main cost associated with the Australian Partner visa. The current (2018) fee is $7,160 AUD. This is the cost whether you apply in Australia Partner Visa or overseas and it covers the temporary Australia Partner Visa, followed by the permanent visa application.
Those applying onshore for an 820 visa as the holder of a Prospective Marriage, Subclass 300 visa, will pay a fee of $1510.00.
Migration Downunder fees are competitive and we offer a payment plan.
Additional Fees to your visa application
In addition to the costs above, the applicant will be required to complete visa medicals. The applicant and sponsor will be required to provide police checks (approximately $40-50 each) from all countries in which you have spent at least twelve cumulative months in the last ten years. Typically, this will be from Australia Partner Visa and your country of origin. Our office will provide instructions on how to complete Australia Partner Visa medicals and obtain the relevant police checks.
Australia Partner Visa