What are the Australian Partner Visa requirements? This visa allows the holder to live in Australia, study and work in the country, apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible), and sponsor relatives for an Australian permanent resident visa.
Under the Partner Visa Stream, a party who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen aged over 18 years old can sponsor their spouse or de facto partner. The Australian partner visas include a temporary partner visa and permanent ones such as:
Subclass 309 is a provisional partner visa. This article discusses the Australian partner visa requirements.
Australian Partner Visa Requirements
The requirements for the different types of visas are generally the same; the only difference is whether the applicant applied for the visa from inside or outside Australia.
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 did not marry 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.
However, the authorities may waive the 12-month requirement if the applicant shows compelling and compassionate circumstances for the grant of the visa. The 12-month requirement also will not apply if:
- your partner holds or held a permanent humanitarian visa,
- you are in a de facto relationship with a partner who is an applicant for a permanent humanitarian visa, or
- you have registered your relationship with an Australian authority such as a registry of births, deaths and marriages.
Proving the Relationship
The relationship requirement is probably the most important requirement for the partner visa application. You need to produce various documents to prove your relationship. Factors that the DHA takes into consideration when assessing an application for partner visa 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.
Once the assessing officer is satisfied that you are in a genuine relationship, and you meet all the other criteria, you will be issued a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).
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 broke 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 permanent visa is granted, there may be different consequences.. The application will be cancelled and the visa refused. 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, permanent residency may still be allowed 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 is granted here.
Australian partner visa requirements include age requirements. Applicants must be of the right age to apply for a partner visa. Married applicants must usually be 18 years or older when they apply. This is because generally, you must be 18 or older to be married under Australian law. On the other hand, applicants in de facto relationships must be 18 or older when they apply.
To fulfil the Australian partner visa requirements, you must be of “good character”. You, any members of the family unit, or dependent children who apply for the visa with you, must meet the character requirement. Generally, the Department may refuse your application if:
- you have a substantial criminal record
- have been convicted of, had a charge proven for or have been found guilty of a sexually based crime involving a child
- your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character
- there is a risk that while you are in Australia you would:
- engage in criminal conduct
- harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person
- be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it
You must declare all criminal conduct you have engaged in. If you are not completely honest about your criminal history, the Department may refuse your application.
To meet the Australian partner visa requirements, you must satisfy health requirements. You and any member of the family unit or dependent children who apply for the visa with you must meet the health requirement.
You might have to go through health examinations to prove you meet the health requirement. The results of your examinations will be assessed by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). If you have a significant medical condition, the MOC will advise the Department on whether the condition is likely to:
- threaten public health,
- result in significant healthcare and community service costs, and
- place a demand on healthcare or community services that are in short supply.
Have No Debt to the Australian Government
To satisfy the Australian partner visa requirements, you must have not owe any debt to the Australian Government. If you or any family members owe the Australian Government money, you must pay it back or make arrangements to pay it back. This may even include family members who do not accompany you to Australia.
Seeking Legal Advice from Expert Immigration Lawyers
JB Solicitors has a leading team of immigration lawyers that can assist you with your visa application. We can advise you on the Australian partner visa requirements and work with you on the required documents to ensure that your application gets approved.
Do you have any more queries on the Australian partner visa requirements? Contact us today if you want help in getting permanent partner visas.