To be eligible to apply for a Partner visa, you must either be married to, or in a de facto relationship with, your partner at the time you apply. Your partner must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
Applying for a Partner visa is a 2-stage process. However, you apply for a temporary and permanent partner visa at the same time. Applications for partner visas are made online through the Australian Government's visa application program, IMMIAccount.
Once you have applied for the partner visa, your partner must also submit an application to sponsor a partner to migrate to Australia. This process is also done through IMMIAccount.
If you meet all the initial criteria, you will be granted a temporary partner visa. This visa remains valid until a decision is made on your permanent visa application, which is generally 2 years after you initially applied for your partner visa. If you continue to meet all legal requirements and provide the required additional documentation you will be granted a permanent partner visa.
A partner visa allows an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen to sponsor their spouse or de facto partner and dependent children to become permanent residents of Australia.
To apply in Australia for a partner visa on the basis of marriage
, you must be legally married to your partner (in most cases, your sponsor). To apply outside Australia on the basis of marriage, you must either be legally married to your partner at time of application or intend to legally marry your partner in the near future (before a decision is made on a temporary partner visa).
If you were married in a country other than Australia and that marriage is valid in that country, generally it will be recognised as valid under Australian law. There are some exceptions, such as underage or polygamous marriages, which are not accepted in Australia.
To apply for a partner visa as a de facto partner
, you and your partner must show that you have been in a de facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to lodging your application.
The 12-month relationship requirement does not apply if:
1. you can establish that there are compelling and compassionate circumstances for the grant of the visa, such as you have children with your partner or cohabitation was not permissible under the law of the country where you resided for the 12 months before you applied;
2. your partner is, or was, the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa, and before that permanent humanitarian visa was granted, you were in a relationship with your partner that satisfies the requirements of a de facto relationship; or
3. your de facto relationship is registered under a law of a state or territory in Australia. It is important to know that relationship registration is not available in all Australian states or territories and eligibility for registration also differs depending on the state or territory. Prospective applicants considering registration of their relationship should check with the relevant state or territory Births, Deaths and Marriages agency for further information.