Securing the right for your partner or spouse to remain in Australia can be done if you take the time to learn about the process. But learning about the process is just one important step. It is also very necessary that you go through the process fully informed so that you can successfully complete the paperwork required and be prepared for the cost. But most importantly it is highly recommended you and your spouse/partner seek legal assistance to reduce your chance of having your visa request denied.
First, one of you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia or an eligible New Zealand citizen in order to sponsor a spouse, intended spouse, or de facto partner.
Second, are only two statuses that will allow your partner to be considered for a partner visa. You and your partner must either be;
- Married at the time you apply for the visa or engaged (with the intent to marry within nine months) or
- Living in a de facto relationship
However, claiming any of these statuses is not enough. Proof of marriage, engagement or a de facto partnership will be required.
As part of the application process you will need to show that your marriage/engagement is genuine. Hence, you will have to present proof of the following;
- If you have a current Visa, you will need to discern if the conditions of your current visa allow for you to apply for a partnership visa
- Your engagement must be shown to be official with the intent to marry within the required time frame
- Your marriage must be legal. If you were not married in Australia then if the marriage was legal in that location, it will probably be considered legal in Australia
- There must be genuine evidence that you and your partner intend to live as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others
- You and your partner must be residing together. If you have lived apart, it must be substantiated that the time apart was temporary
Also, claiming your status as a de facto couple is not enough to support a visa application.
- Your current Visa must allow for you to make an application for a partner visa onshore
- You and your partner must have been living together for at least 12 months prior to submitting your application. This time cannot be interrupted by any period of living separately
- You and your partner must show a mutual commitment to each other to the exclusion of all others
When reviewing and assessing applications there are five (5) main lifestyle areas that will be reviewed by the examiner. These include;
- Level of Commitment – It must be clear that you and your partner are mutually committed to one another. This will be ascertained by your written statements as to what you know about each other’s personal history, friends, family and other personal issues
- Financial Intertwinement – You must be able to show that you are financially united in your care of one another. To prove this, you will need to show joint financial accounts including banking statements, mortgages or rental agreements, joint savings and/or investments etc.
- Living Arrangements – You will need to show that you live together full-time and share the household chores, costs of living and possibly even the care of any existing children
- Social Acceptance – It will be necessary for you to show that you and your partner share a social circle of friends and family.
- History – As partners for life you will be asked to explain how your relationship came to be and the memories and history that you share
The actual type of Visa you will need to apply for can be complicated. They are referred to as Partner Migration Temporary Partner Visa Sub Class 309 and 820.
309 Visa – This Visa is for a partner who is currently offshore. This Visa is lodged while the partner is offshore. The partner must remain offshore until the visa is granted.
820 Visa – This Visa if for a partner who is lodged within Australia and submits their request while still living in Australia. To receive this visa, you must be in Australia at the time it is granted.
While it is true that these visas are temporary, you will make an application for your permanent visa at the same time as you apply for your temporary visa. However, even if you are granted your temporary visa status, it can take up to another two (2) years for your permanent visa to be granted. During this time, you will be able to travel freely to and from Australia and even work or study in Australia.
Getting a partner visa is a complicated, time consuming and expensive process which can be made easier by seeking legal assistance from the inception of the process. It is highly recommended that if you are seeking a temporary, and eventually a permanent visa for a spouse or de facto partner, that you seek guidance before even beginning the process.
If you find yourself in need of assistance with this, or any other legal issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.