If you are married to or in a de facto relationship with an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident, the most suitable visa for you may be a Partner Visa.
The Partner Visa is generally a two stage process. When you lodge your application, you are applying both for a temporary Partner Visa and a permanent Partner Visa. Your temporary Partner Visa will take upwards of 12 months to be processed. If the temporary visa is granted, you will be assessed for permanent residency after approximately 2 years of lodging your application.
If you have been living with your partner for at least two years prior to making your application (and can prove this), or have a child with your partner, you can be assessed for a permanent Partner Visa without having to go through the two stage process.
What do I have to prove if I am in a de-facto relationship?
Generally, you have to prove that you have been living together for 12 months. However, there is an exemption to the 12 month rule for couple who register their de de-facto relationship with a relevant government authority, such as the NSW Department of Births, Death and Marriages.
In addition, you must satisfy the definition of a de facto relationship in the Migration Act 1958, which prescribes the three key criteria below.
You must prove:
1. you and your partner have a mutual commitment to a share life to the exclusion of all others;
2. your relationship is genuine and continuing;
3. you live together, or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
You must prove each of these elements to be granted a Partner Visa on the basis of a de facto relationship.
Genuine and Continuing Relationship
For all partner visas, be they lodged on the basis of a de facto relationship or marriage, you must prove, amongst other things, the above three elements, particularly that your relationship is genuine and continuing.
The bar is set very high by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in this regard. They need to see a lot of evidence that shows your relationship is genuine and continuing if they are going to grant you a Partner Visa. They consider all aspects of your relationship, including the:
1. financial aspects of your relationship;
2. nature of your household;
3. social aspects of your relationship; and
4. nature of your commitment to each other.
It is important that the evidence you supply with your Partner Visa application addresses these aspects as clearly and definitively as possible.
You must also pass certain health and character checks to be granted a Partner Visa.
Where the visa can be lodged
Your Partner Visa can either be lodged in Australia or offshore.
If you lodge your application in Australia, you will be granted a Bridging Visa that will allow you to remain in Australia after your current visa (most likely a visitor visa) expires and until a decision is made on your temporary partner visa. If you lodge in Australia, you must be in Australia for your visa to be granted.
If you lodge your Partner Visa outside of Australia, you must be outside of Australia for the visa to be granted.
Our experienced immigration lawyers have handled many successful Partner Visa applications. We will ensure your application for a Parent Visa is given the best prospects of success.
We offer all our prospective clients an initial meeting, during which we will thoroughly explain the law surrounding Parents Visas and inform you of the process moving forward.
To organize a initial consultation with us, please contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers on (02) 9590 3987.