Who can apply?
In general terms married partners and de-facto partners (including those in a same-sex relationship) of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen may be granted a visa to enter Australia and remain here under the partner visa category.
The popular choice - the Partner visa (subclass 820 and 801)
This has to be one of the most common ways for immigration to Australia and offers genuine couples the option to settle in this country on a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820). You must be in Australia when you lodge it. To be eligible you must be married to, or in a common-law relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You must be in that de facto relationship for at least twelve months prior to lodging your application.
You do need to prove that this is an established relationship and will have to show evidence of this by submitting documents that include shared rental agreements, utility bills and joint bank account statements. Photographs are also useful to demonstrate the longevity of the relationship. After the initial two-year period, your will be invited to apply for a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).
Be mindful that during that two-year period you effectively have temporary residency, so you have access to Medicare, but this status can be revoked if the relationship breaks down. As of April this year the wait time for a Partner visa is around 18 months so submit your application as soon as possible.
Alternatives for those living outside of Australia
Partner visa (subclass 300)
This is effectively a prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) for people who want to come to Australia to marry their prospective spouse and must be lodged outside of Australia. It’s effectively a temporary visa for nine months in which time you must get married. You then lodge an application for a Partner visa (subclass 820 or 821) after your marriage and before the subclass 300 ends.
Partner visa (subclass 309)
This Partner visa (subclass 309) allows you to live in Australia if you are the spouse or de-facto partner of an Australian Citizen, resident or eligible New Zealand resident. You must be outside Australia when you apply and when it is granted. You then progress onto a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100). One application is lodged for both visas and the two stages takes two years.
Obtaining a partner visa can be stressful and time consuming and that’s where Visa Solutions Australia can help.
Visa Solutions Australia have many years experience of ensuring loved ones can live together in Australia. In my next post we’ll be hearing from real life couples who’ve managed to bring their loved ones into Australia by using our migration services.