Partner Visa

If you are in a relationship with an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident, or Eligible New Zealand Citizen then you can consider applying for a Partner (a.k.a. Spouse) Visa.

To be eligible to apply for a Partner Visa the applicant must be able to prove one of the following;

1.) They are legally married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen - Partner (Marriage) Visa

2.) They have been in a de facto relationship (living together like a married couple) with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding lodgement of the application (unless they have entered in to a formal Civil Union as recognised in Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania only) - Partner (De Facto) Visa

3.) They are formally engaged to be married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, have personally met and are free to marry that person - Fiancé Visa

Basic Requirement

Most Partner applications work in two stages and unless you have been in a 'long-standing relationship' as defined by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP); the initial visa granted is a temporary visa only.

This means that most Partner Visa holders are temporary residents for two years, and then go through second stage processing which is when the permanent visa is granted. The two step process is DIBP's way of safeguarding against people who are not genuine and you should also be aware that if the relationship breaks down before the two years is up the permanent application may not be approved unless certain circumstances apply.

Fiancé Visas go through a three step process - the first part is lodged offshore and once granted the applicant has around nine months to enter Australia, marry their sponsor and lodge the Partner (Marriage) visa. 

All partner applications are judged on the genuineness of the relationship and you will need to be able to provide documents to show that you are in a long term, committed relationship with each other.

The 12 month requirement for De Facto visas can be waived if you can provide evidence that your relationship has been formally registered as a 'Civil Union' or 'Registered Relationship' in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory. Please refer to your local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for further information.

Applicants who lodge on the basis of a Civil Union relationship or Marriage would ideally need to show at least six months of a committed relationship, including evidence of a joint household. Fiancé visa applicants are not required to show that they have been living together, but must be able to show that they have personally met or seen each other since they turned 18, and that there is at least six months of a committed relationship.

If you have only been in a relationship for a short time, then any application you lodge will most likely be rejected. 

Partner visa applications can be lodged in Australia or overseas. The Fiancé visa must be lodged overseas at the Embassy responsible for the applicant's usual country of residence.

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa

Non-eligible New Zealand Citizens who hold a Subclass 444 Special Category visa (automatically gained upon entry to Australia) can sponsor members of their family unit to live with them in Australia via the New Zealand Family Relationship visa. 

This is a temporary residence visa, granted for periods of up to 5 years. It cannot convert to permanent residency at any stage, but can be renewed. 

This visa also requires documents to evidence your relationship, but has a lower requirement of 6 months living together for applications on the basis of a defacto relationship.