Partner visas are for people who are married or in a de-facto relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible NZ citizen. These visas are under heavy scrutiny by the Department of Home Affairs, hence it is critical that your application is comprehensive with all the required evidences to prove that you relationship with your Australian partner is genuine and continuing.
Obtaining the permanent Partner visa is a two-stage process. You apply for both the permanent and temporary visas at the same time and pay only one visa application fee. Once your initial partner application is granted, generally you are issued with a Temporary Partner Visa. This will allow you to live in Australia with full work and travel rights, as well as access to Interim Medicare.
To be eligible for a permanent partner visa you need to wait about two years from the lodgement date of your visa application. After the two-year period, the Department of Home Affairs will ask you to provide detailed evidences to confirm that your relationship is still genuine and continuing and then will consider granting you the Permanent Partner Visa.
In a De-facto Relationship
You and your Australian partner must have been in a de-facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to making the visa application and you must have been living together for at least 12 months immediately before making the visa application. Same-sex couples are eligible for this visa.
The 12-month cohabitation requirement may be waived if you can demonstrate:
- compelling and compassionate circumstances, (i.e. you and your Australian partner have children); or
- you have registered your de-facto relationship in an Australian State or Territory Relationship Register
Your marriage must be legal under the Australian Law. If you were married in your home country and that marriage is still valid in that country, then generally it would be recognised as valid under the Australian law as well.
Same-sex couples are eligible for this visa whether they are married or in a de-facto relationship. However, there are some exceptions such as underage or polygamous marriages, which are not recognised under the Australian law.
In some circumstances, there may be a waiver available for the two-year wait period before applying for permanent residence. These circumstances are:
- If you have been in the relationship with your partner for three years or more at the time of visa application; or
- If you have been in the relationship for at least two years and there are dependent children of the relationship
Please also note in some circumstances, you may be eligible for permanent residence, even if the relationship has broken down before the two-year period.
These circumstances can be:
- If you and your Australian partner have children under 18 years of age; or
- If you or your dependants have been subject to domestic violence during this relationship period with the Australian partner; or
- If your partner has died during this period