What are the options and documents required for an application for partner visa? Under the Partner Visa Stream, an applicant can be sponsored by their Australian spouse or de facto partner who must either be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Offshore Partner Visa (Subclasses 309 and 100)
- Onshore Partner Visa (Subclasses 820 and 801)
This article discusses things you need to know for an application for partner visa.
Partner (Provisional) Visa (309) means an applicant can apply for a partner visa in Australia even if they are residing outside Australia and only if the applicant is married or in de facto relationship with a permanent resident of Australia, an Australian citizen, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand.
The Subclass 309 visa allows the applicant to:
- Enter and live in Australia until the decision on the permanent partner visa is made,
- Study and work in Australia,
- Enroll themselves in Australia’s health care program, and
- Travel to and from Australia.
The visa type is temporary, but it can be converted to a permanent resident visa through the Partner (Migrant) Visa (100). The Subclass 100 visa is a permanent visa and can be applied for no sooner than 2 years after the Subclass 309 temporary visa has been granted.
To be eligible, you:
- Will need to already have the Subclass 309 temporary visa,
- Must not have had a visa cancelled or an application refused, and
- Must still be in a relationship with the person who is sponsoring you.
Once the applicant obtains a Subclass 100 visa, they become eligible to:
- Live in Australia,
- Study and work in Australia,
- Apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible, and
- Sponsor relatives for a permanent resident visa in Australia.
If the applicant is making an application from Australia, the onshore visas are applicable. A person who is in Australia will be eligible to apply for an Onshore Temporary Visa (820) if they are married or are in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, a permanent Australian resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant must also not have had a visa cancelled or an application refused and not hold certain regional visas.
Once an applicant obtains a Subclass 820 Visa, they would have the same benefits as those on a Subclass 309 Visa. Once the applicant manages to get the Onshore Permanent Visa (801), they become eligible to:
- Stay in Australia independently,
- Study and also work in Australia,
- Apply for Australian citizenship if deemed eligible, and
- Sponsor relatives for permanent residency in Australia
Application for Partner Visa Requirements
The requirements for the different types of visas are generally the same; the only difference is whether it was applied inside or outside Australia.
Relationship Requirements for Application for Partner Visa
You are a married applicant if your marriage is valid under Australian law and:
- you have a mutual commitment with your spouse to the exclusion of all others,
- your relationship is genuine and continuing,
- you either live together or don’t live permanently apart, and
- you are not related by family.
De facto Relationships
Under the Family Law Act 1975, you and your partner are in a de facto relationship if:
- you are not married to each other,
- you have a mutual commitment with your de facto partner to the exclusion of all others,
- you have a relationship as a couple who are living together on a “genuine domestic basis”, and
- you are not related by family.
As a general rule, you must be in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months immediately before applying for a visa. Time spent dating or in an online relationship might not count.
Proving the Relationship for Application for Partner Visa
The relationship requirement is the most important requirement in the application. You need to produce various documents to prove your relationship. Factors that may be considered in the application for partner visas include:
- As to finances. Documents that show that both parties have contributed financially to the relationship and have shared financial goals.
- As to household. How your household works on a daily basis.
- As to social matters. How you are seen as a couple by family and friends,
- As to commitment. Proof that you know about your partner’s background and have combined your personal lives,
- As to de facto relationships. Your relationship existed for at least 12 months prior to the application submission date, except under the exceptions previously stated.
Documents proving the relationship can include:
- Evidence of correspondence. These forms of communication should be addressed jointly. Examples include letters or invitations sent by mail addressed to you and your partner, letters from the bank with bank statements addressed to the both of you, or any other letter showing your joint home address.
- Evidence of joint financial commitments. This includes joint bank account(s), joint credit or debit cards, joint insurances, joint rental payments, joint utility accounts, joint gym membership payments, joint car loans, or other joint bills and financial commitments.
- Relationship statements. Documents with detailed statements of you and your partner’s relationship.
- Evidence of shared accommodation. This includes joint lease agreements, bond payment, mortgage documents, joint property ownership documents, utility bills showing your joint names, and photos of your home.
What if the Relationship Has Broken Down?
The partner visas generally require that the relationship must be continuing or ongoing. If you and your partner break up, there are various consequences, depending on whether the breakup occurred before or after permanent residency was granted.
Break up After Permanent Residency Is Granted
If you have obtained the Permanent Partner (Subclass 801 or 100) Visa and the relationship breaks down after the grant of the visa, your permanent visa remains in place. The grant of your permanent partner visa will not change any conditions even after the relationship is broken; the visa will continue to be valid as normal.
After obtaining permanent residency, the applicant will be a permanent resident of Australia; therefore, it will not affect the visa. A break up after permanent residency is granted will not lead to a cancellation of the visa.
Break Up Before Permanent Residency Is Granted
If the break up occurred before a party gets the permanent visa, there may be different outcomes. The DHA may cancel the application and refuse the visa. In this case, you have to inform the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) about your relationship break up. It is a condition of your visa that you inform the Department of changes in your situation as soon as you can.
In such circumstances, the Department may contact the applicant’s spouse and ask them to formally withdraw their sponsorship. However, you can still get permanent residency despite the relationship breakdown if:
- The applicant is a victim of family or domestic violence,
- The applicant and the former partner share a child, or
- The applicant’s spouse or de facto partner has passed away.
Read more on the consequences of a break up before or after permanent residency here.
Other Requirements for Partner Visa Application
- Age Requirements. Applicants must be 18 years or older when they apply.
- Character Requirements. You, any members of the family unit, or dependent children who apply for the visa with you must be of good character. Thus, you must not have a substantial criminal record.
- Health Requirements. You, any member of the family unit or dependent children who apply for the visa with you, must meet the health requirement. You must not have a condition that is likely to threaten public health.
- Have No Debt to the Australian Government. If you or any family members owe the Australian Government money, you or they must pay it back or make arrangements to pay it back.
Seeking Legal Advice from Expert Immigration Lawyers
JB Solicitors has a leading team of immigration lawyers that can assist you with your application for partner visa. We can advise you on the application for partner visa and work with you on necessary documents to ensure the success of your application.
Do you have any more queries on the application for partner visa? Contact us today.