A Partner Visa allows partners to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of their married or de facto relationship:
- on a temporary visa; (usually for a waiting period of approximately two years from the date you applied for the visa)
- on a permanent visa if, after the waiting period (if applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa.
The relationship must be a genuine and ongoing relationship and the Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen must provide sponsorship.
The following is a basic outline of a Partner Visa Application for permanent residence:
1. Migration Law Requirements
Under current Migration law, an applicant for a Partner Visa must be able to satisfy the legislative requirements, the most significant ones being summarised here:
- an applicant for a partner visa must be married to, or in a de facto relationship with, their sponsor.
- the sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- de facto partner relationships are recognised where de facto partners live together and jointly share financial resources as partners (for 12 months or more) but are not legally married.
- the relationship should be genuine and continuing, requiring the applicant and their sponsor to have a commitment to a shared life as partners, to the exclusion of all others; the visa applicant and the sponsor must live together, or not live separately and apart on a permanent basis;
- de facto partners must have been living in a partner relationship for 12 months immediately prior to applying for a Partner Visa;
- if de facto partners have their relationship registered then the 12 month cohabitation requirement does not apply, however substantial documentary evidence of the de facto partner relationship is required to support a partner visa application;
- each of the visa applicant and the sponsor must be aged 18 years or over;
- be of good health with satisfactory completion of a chest x-ray and medical examination; and,
- be of good character with police clearances required for any country (including Australia) in which the visa applicant has lived for a period of 12 months or more within the last 10 years.
2. Partner Visa Application Process
A visa applicant who applies in Australia or overseas for a partner visa undertakes a two-stage visa application process. A combined application is made to the Department of Home Affairs for a temporary visa and a permanent visa.
At the first stage the temporary visa application is assessed. The second stage, usually two years after making the application, involves an assessment of the permanent visa application.
The first stage is the Partner Temporary Visa application with assessment of a visa applicant’s eligibility for a temporary visa. The applicant may be asked to attend an interview to enable the Department of Home Affairs to further assess the application. If the applicant successfully completes the first stage of processing, they will be granted a temporary visa valid until a decision is made on the application for the permanent visa, or until the application is withdrawn.
Where the applicant and sponsor demonstrate they are in a long term partner relationship the permanent residence visa is also granted at Stage 1.
The second stage is the Partner Permanent Visa application with this assessment taking place approximately two years after the applicant lodged the first stage visa application. This involves assessment of the applicant’s eligibility for a permanent visa.
The visa applicant and the sponsor may be asked to attend an interview separately or together.
At both processing stages, the visa applicant and the sponsor will be required to provide evidence that the relationship between them is genuine and continuing.
With the exception of certain circumstances, a Partner Temporary visa will be cancelled if the relationship ends before the second stage of processing.
A decision ready Partner Temporary visa may take up to 12 months to process and may take longer depending upon the circumstances of the application.
3. Preparation for lodgement of a Partner Visa Application
If the visa applicant is in Australia, and the visa applicant does not have the Visa Condition 8503 No Further Stay, the partner visa application must be lodged with the Department of Home Affairs before the visa applicant’s existing visa expires.
The visa applicant must be physically present in Australia at the time the application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs and at the time the decision is made to grant the visa.
If the applicant wishes to travel outside of Australia during the visa application process our office must be advised as the visa applicant may be required to make an application for a Bridging B visa to enable return to Australia.
If the applicant is outside Australia at time of application, the visa applicant must also be outside Australia at the time of decision on the visa application.
A visa applicant, after lodging a Partner Visa application outside Australia, may travel to Australia while the application is processing, subject to holding a valid visa permitting travel and stay in Australia for a specified period.
Further Information & Essential Readings
For further information on how Strategic Migration can assist you in developing a Strategic Plan, please read the following:
- Attachment 1 – Decision-making of Your Application by the DHA - What You Need to Know;
- Attachment 2 – Your Application Processing at the DHA - What You Need to Know;
- Attachment 3 – Common Mistakes by Unrepresented Applicants or Non-Specialists.
We recommend a professional consultation to discuss the abovementioned information and to review your eligibility.
A professional consultation will enable us to explain the process comprehensively, appropriate options and strategies, timelines and costs and your prospects of success.
Please refer to consultation page.
"Philip is a reliable and skilled professional who delivers accurate and insightful advice in the area of migration law. He was extremely helpful with his guidance which assisted in my partner obtaining his permanent visa."
Now living happily with his partner in Australia
"The team at Strategic Migration are knowledgeable, patient and professional but remain relaxed and approachable. The team handled my partner visa application and provided a faultless service. I can't recommend Strategic Migration highly enough.
“Philip Summerbell is a consummate professional and performs at the top of his game. At Ouvrir we are very particular about the clients we engage with and I have no hesitation in recommending Philip and Strategic Migration not because he is a client, but because there really is no better migration practice for a professional considering migration to Australia.”
Co-founder & Consultant, Ouvrir
Was a consultant or contractor to Philip at Strategic Migration, from Southampton, UK now happily living in Australia with his partner.
"Thank you for securing our future!
Philip Summerbell and his team at Strategic Migration made our dream to live in Australia a reality. We came across Philip by way of referral and we thank our lucky stars every day. Philip and his extensive knowledge of the Australian immigration system gained our family permanent residency in Australia, which would have been tricky for us if we didn't use his services. There is no doubt that our current circumstances would have been different (and most unfavourable) if it wasn't for Strategic Migration. They gave us 5 star service all the way!
"Like most trying to achieve a successful immigration outcome, we found the world of immigration confusing and even scary. We were concerned that we would not be able to continue building our lives together in Australia, that our baby girl would miss out on growing up here and how this could affect her future, and that we would need to close our successful business and start over again in the UK.
"Luckily we were referred to Philip Summerbell of Strategic Migration. He secured our future here in Australia via a spouse sponsored visa and made the process so quick and easy. But most importantly, Strategic Migration allowed us to live our dream and comfortably got us through an extremely stressful period of our lives. We wouldn't recommend using anyone else!"
Danny & Vesna
Ashfield NSW now happily growing a family and a family business in Sydney.
"Thought I had better send you a couple of photos to show we have done it!!
5 years down the track and Zoe and the kids are Aussie's. all thanks to you and your wonderful team there We can't thank you enough for all you help.
Geoff and Nanette are here as I type and send you all there love and best wishes."
with his wife, Zoe, and their three children - the moment the family achieved their Australian Citizenship after an arduous journey toiling through temporary and permanent residency via Partner Migration.
“Over a period of six years Strategic Migration advised on, and managed, the processes involved in obtaining a Partner Resident Visa, and a subsequent Resident Return visa. Their services were professional, thorough and efficient, their fees transparent, and most importantly, the grants of both visas were successful and achieved quickly. Strategic Migration made the processing of dealing with the potentially complex process of visa applications simple and stress free. We would recommend their services to those who wish to have professional management of their migration needs.”
Owen Johnstone-Donnet and his Japanese partner, Takako Ishige
founder of St James Rail, a boutique travel agent which has offered fully escorted trips by rail in Australia and around the world.
For news of the Partner Visa and other news about Australian Migration, please refer to the Immigration News page.
Disclaimer: This website contains information relating to some of the abovementioned visa categories and has been sanctioned by a Registered Migration Agent. The information is for general guidance only and readers should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their personal circumstances before taking any action. Strategic Migration expressly disclaims any liability should the reader act without a professional engagement with Strategic Migration under which you have.