If you are married to an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, plan to marry one, or you are in a in a relationship with one (same-sex or opposite-sex), you can may be able to apply for Australian partner visas.
The applicant must be sponsored by their Australian independent or de-facto partner aged over 18 years, and the sponsorship must be for a minimum period of 2 years.
General requirements for Australian partner visas are:
- The sponsor of the applicant must be an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Both the applicant and the sponsor must be aged over 18 years.
- The applicant must be married to or in a relationship with the sponsoring partner for at least 12 months.
- A satisfactory proof that the relationship or the marriage is genuine, e.g. that you live together, that the relationship is strong and there is mutual commitment. This happens usually by attending an interview and providing documentation including photos, joint bank statements etc.
There are 2 types of partner visa: Temporary partner visa and Permanent partner visa.
Temporary Partner Visa
If you have applied for a partner visa while outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when you receive the temporary partner visa.
If you have applied for a visa while in Australia, you must be in Australia at the time you receive the temporary partner visa.
If you have been granted a temporary partner visa, you:
- Are allowed to travel in and out of Australia until a decision about your permanent partner visa is made.
- Can work and live in Australia with your partner.
Permanent Partner Visa
If you have applied for a permanent partner visa while outside Australia, you are allowed to be in Australia or outside Australia when you receive your permanent visa.
If you have applied for permanent partner visa while in Australia, you must be in Australia when you receive your permanent visa.
In most cases, permanent residence cannot be granted prior to two years from the time you have applied. However, you can get a permanent visa without having to wait for two yearsif at the time you apply you meet certain criteria.
The waiting period (of 2 years) for permanent residence can be revoked if at the time you have applied:
- You have been together (in a relationship) with your partner for 5 years or more (as a de facto partner or married ); or
- You and your partner have been in married or in a de facto relationship for 2 years and have children.