The partner visa is an option for anyone who has been in an exclusive and continuing relationship with an Australian or Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen for 12 months or more at the time of application. In some circumstances the 12 month period can be waived, for instance if you are married.
You can apply for this visa either while you are in Australia or from overseas. If you lodge the application while in Australia on a tourist visa without restrictions, then when the tourist visa expires you will have access to full work rights during the bridging period.
The initial partner visa (Subclass 820 in Australia and Subclass 309 outside Australia) is a provisional visa and, after two years from the application date, the department will ask for more information to determine whether the relationship is continuing.
If your relationship has been longer than 2 years at the time of application then it is possible that Immigration will grant a permanent (Subclass 801) visa from the outset, however it is at their discretion.
The paperwork involved in this visa is enormous. The department looks at four main elements of the relationship to determine whether it is genuine. You don’t need to provide a document for every element but it is important to provide evidence for all four elements.
- Joint tenancy of property
- Bills and accounts in both names, including bank accounts
- Bills in separate names but coming to the same address
- Any transfers from and to each other’s accounts, or to other family members
Evidence that you are living together and have done for a year minimum
- Joint tenancy as above;
Statutory Declarations from Landlords if the lease was in one name and you were living together.
Things in both names and going to the same address (including previous addresses if possible)
If you were living apart for a period, then evidence of communication (i.e. emails, phone records) will need to be provided.
Social context of the relationship
- Statements from the two of you about one another
- how, when and where you first met
- how your relationship developed
- when you decided to marry or to start a de facto relationship
your domestic arrangements (how you support each other financially, physically and emotionally and when this level of commitment began)
any periods of separation (when and why the separation occurred, for how long and how you maintained your relationship during the period of separation)
- your future plans.
Statements from friends- especially Australian friends who have known you both for more than a year
- Statements from employers, past and present, regarding your relationship.
- Invitations to things that have both your names on them
- Evidence of joint participation in sporting, or social activities
- Joint travel
- Social Media records
The nature of your commitment to each other
- Statutory Declarations from your Immediate family members.
- Naming each other as Superannuation beneficiaries
- Written Wills naming each other
If you have any questions about your partner application or need help, please contact us.
Please understand that the advice on this website is general in nature and subject to change without notice. We try to keep it as accurate as we can, however keeping up with changes in the Migration environment is sometimes very challenging.
This website does not replace personal advice about your specific situation. You can contact us via the free visa assessment tool and we can then advise you of the options available to you.