If you are in a relationship with someone who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may be able to bring your partner to Australia by applying for a partner visa. A partner visa allows your partner to live, work, study, and access health care in Australia. However, applying for a partner visa Australia can be a complex and lengthy process that requires meeting certain eligibility requirements, providing various documents and evidence, and paying a substantial fee. In this article, we will explain the basics of the partner visa, the different types of partner visas, the application process, and some tips to help you succeed.
What is a partner visa?
A partner visa is a type of visa that allows you to bring your partner to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. Your partner can be either your spouse (legally married) or your de facto partner (living together as a couple). You and your partner must be at least 18 years old, and your relationship must be genuine and ongoing. You must also meet the health and character requirements, and have a sponsor who agrees to support you financially and emotionally during your stay in Australia.
What are the types of partner visas?
There are two main types of partner visas: the temporary partner visa and the permanent partner visa. The temporary partner visa is the first stage of the process, and it allows your partner to stay in Australia until a decision is made on the permanent partner visa. The permanent partner visa is the second stage of the process, and it allows your partner to stay in Australia permanently.
Depending on where you apply from, there are different subclasses of partner visas:
- If you apply from inside Australia, you can apply for the temporary partner visa (subclass 820) and the permanent partner visa (subclass 801).
- If you apply from outside Australia, you can apply for the temporary partner visa (subclass 309) and the permanent partner visa (subclass 100).
You can also apply for a prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) if you are engaged to an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, and you intend to marry them within nine months of arriving in Australia. This visa allows you to enter Australia and marry your partner, after which you can apply for a temporary and permanent partner visa.
How do I apply for a partner visa?
To apply for a partner visa, you need to follow these steps:
- Check your eligibility: You and your partner must meet the eligibility requirements for the type of visa you are applying for. You can check the requirements on the Department of Home Affairs website or consult a registered migration agent or lawyer
- Gather your documents: You need to provide various documents and evidence to support your application, such as proof of identity, relationship, health, character, sponsorship, etc. You may also need to translate any documents that are not in English. You can find a checklist of documents on the Department of Home Affairs website.
- Apply online or by paper: You can apply for the partner visa either online through ImmiAccount or by paper by filling out the relevant forms and sending them to the nearest processing office. You need to pay the application fee when you submit your application. The fee for both the temporary and permanent partner visas is $7,850 as of July 2021. You may also have to pay additional charges for health assessments, police certificates, biometrics, and translation of documents.
- Wait for a decision: The processing time for the partner visa varies depending on the complexity of your case, the completeness of your application, and the availability of places in the migration program. As of July 2021, the estimated processing time for the temporary partner visa (subclass 820) is 17 to 24 months, and for the temporary partner visa (subclass 309) is 13 to 17 months. The estimated processing time for the permanent partner visa (subclass 801) is 15 to 19 months, and for the permanent partner visa (subclass 100) is 12 to 16 months. You can check the status of your application online through ImmiAccount or contact the Department of Home Affairs by phone, email, or post if you have any questions or concerns about your application.
- Comply with your visa conditions: Once you are granted a partner visa, you need to comply with certain visa conditions and obligations during your stay in Australia. For example, you need to notify the Department of Home Affairs of any changes in your circumstances, such as address, relationship status, employment, etc. You also need to ensure that your partner does not overstay their visa or breach any other visa rules.
What are some tips to help me succeed?
Applying for a partner visa can be a challenging and stressful process, but there are some tips that can help you increase your chances of success:
- Seek professional advice: It is advisable to seek professional advice from a registered migration agent or lawyer before applying for a partner visa. They can help you understand the requirements, prepare the necessary documents, and avoid any potential pitfalls that may delay or jeopardise your application.
- Provide sufficient and consistent evidence: You need to provide sufficient and consistent evidence to prove that you are in a genuine and ongoing relationship with your partner. This may include joint bank accounts, shared bills, photos, correspondence, statements from friends and family, etc. You may also have to attend an interview with an immigration officer
- Apply as early as possible: You should apply for the partner visa as early as possible, as the processing time can be long and unpredictable. You should also keep your documents and evidence updated and ready in case the Department of Home Affairs requests more information or clarification from you.
- Be honest and cooperative: You should be honest and cooperative throughout the application process, as any false or misleading information or documents may result in your application being refused or cancelled. You should also respond to any requests or queries from the Department of Home Affairs promptly and courteously.
Bringing your partner to Australia can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be a complex and lengthy process that requires careful planning and preparation. Therefore, it is important to do your research, seek professional advice, and follow the steps and tips outlined in this article. We hope this article has given you some useful information and guidance on how to bring your partner to Australia. Good luck with your application!