What You Need To Know About Partner Visas In Australia

What You Need To Know About Partner Visas In Australia

January 13, 2020 Off By Glespynorson

A partner visa is one of the most sought-after visas in Australia. It enables the spouse or partner of an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand to establish a life in Australia and live there together. When considering a partner visa, there are a couple of things you should know to ensure the process goes seamlessly as possible. Here are the things you need to know about partner visas in Australia.


To become eligible for a partner visa, the applicant must be married, engaged, or in a de-facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Your partner must sponsor you for 2 years under the partner visa. After the visa has been granted, the applicant may be eligible for permanent residency if the relationship is still genuine. Here are other factors you should consider to ensure your eligibility for a partner visa:

  • No record of a cancelled or refused visa while staying in Australia.
  • Meet specific relationship requirements.
  • Have a sponsor when lodging the application (which is your spouse or partner)
  • Meet character requirements.
  • Above 18 years of age.
  • Pay back existing debts to the Australian government.
  • Provide proof of legal marriage and genuineness of relationship. For de-facto partners, their relationship must be beyond 12 months prior to lodging their application.

Application process

The application process for a partner visa is done in two stages wherein you apply for both a temporary and permanent visa. The temporary partner visa grants the applicant a temporary stay in Australia while the permanent partner visa is being processed.

Temporary partner visa

If you lodge your application outside of Australia, you must also be outside the country when the visa is granted. Conversely, if the application is lodged inside the country, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. Once the temporary partner visa has been granted, you will be given the rights to:

  • Full employment rights
  • Access to Medicare
  • Permission to travel to and from Australia while waiting for the decision of the permanent partner visa application.

Permanent partner visa

A permanent partner visa can only be granted 2 years after the initial application has been lodged. However, a permanent partner visa may be granted earlier if the applicant exceeds certain criteria set by the Department of Home Affairs. The 2-year waiting period may be waived under the following circumstances:

  • The applicant has been in a relationship with an Australian permanent resident or citizen for more than 5 years (as a spouse or de-facto partner).
  • The couple have children together and have been in a relationship for more than 2 years.

Relationship requirements

The genuineness of the relationship can play a huge role on whether or not a partner visa application gets approved or refused. Applicants should be able to prove that they’re in a committed, long-term relationship with their sponsor. Otherwise, their chances of getting approved will be slim to none. This is done by supplementing the application with documents that evidence their shared life together.

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The documents should cover four key aspects of the relationship which are:

  • Financial state of the relationship
  • Shared property/household
  • Social standing
  • Nature of commitment

Other things to consider when applying for a partner visa

Potential strain on the relationship

The average processing time for a partner visa in Australia is around 23 to 31 months. With such a long waiting period, it can pressure couples to ensure the visa application is approved the first time around. Some couples end up facing long periods apart due to the processing times. Not to mention that the base government fees account for over $7,000 which also adds to the pressure of securing a visa approval.

Difficulty proving the relationship on paper

While it may be easy to convince relatives and friends about your relationship, the same thing cannot be said towards the Australian government. The Department of Home Affairs is very stringent at probing a couple’s relationship to ensure both parties are fully committed to each other. The applicant should be able to provide documents that fully convince the consulate of the genuity of the relationship. Telling others about your relationship versus proving it on paper is a whole different story so make sure you have enough evidence to support your relationship with your sponsor.

Partner visas have one of the highest refusal rates.

Partner visas are one of the most frequently lodged applications in Australia and it also attracts a very high refusal rate as well. The Department of Home Affairs can simply refuse an application if they aren’t fully convinced of the couple’s intent to establish a life in Australia and have a complete working relationship.

Keep in mind that there are no refunds when your visa application gets refused. Thus, it’s essential to come prepared when applying for a partner visa to ensure you don’t waste valuable resources while your application is being processed. Consider even using a local immigration agent such as Partner visa agent in Perth to help.