Top Tips for lodging an Australian Partner Visa
With over 60 years of combined experience in the immigration industry, here are out top tips to consider when lodging a partner visa to maximise your chances and a successful application.
Choose the right partner visa
- Subclass 309 – Partner (Provisional) Visa- offshore
- Subclass 100 – Partner (Migrant) Visa – offshore
- Subclass 820 – Partner Visa (Temporary)- onshore
- Subclass 801 – Partner Visa (Permanent)- onshore
- Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage Visa- offshore
Don’t assume that you are guaranteed visa approval
Regardless of whether you are married or have your relationship registered, no applicant is guaranteed success. It is extremely important that you provide a range of evidence sources to support your application, as your relationship will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate commitment and genuineness.
Make your relationship known to friends and family
It will be quite difficult to prove that you are in a genuine and continuing relationship if you can’t provide letters of support from family and friends, or photos of you and your partner at social outings or events.
Communicate with your partner regularly
Particularly if you have been in a long-distance relationship, it is extremely important that you communicate with your partner regularly and maintain records of your communication. This will not only verify the duration of your relationship, but it will also show the case officer the nature of your relationship and degree of commitment. Your relationship will seem a lot more genuine if you communicate with your partner regularly and can show evidence of this.
Share your finances
One of the things, a case officer, will look into to determine the genuineness of your relationship with your partner is finances. It is, therefore, crucial to show how you and your partner share and manage your finances as a couple. The best way to prove this is to open a joint bank account. Buy your groceries, pay rent and other expenses from that bank account. If you are unable to open a joint bank, evidence of money transfers between your account and your partner’s account can also be great evidence.
Update the address of your bills & letters
It is a requirement of a partner visa that the applicant and sponsor live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis. For this reason, it is important that you can show evidence of joint residency. Updating the address on the bills and letters is a great way to show that you and your partner are living in the same address.
While you wait for the Department to process the second stage of your partner visa, remember to keep a record of the relationship. This is because the Department is likely to ask for further documents to show the continuity of the relationship. Remember to save all the photos of you and your partner at social events, family gatherings and travels.
Decision ready application
Partner visas can take years to process. However, you can prevent further delays by ensuring that you lodge a ‘decision-ready’ application. Decision-ready application is essentially lodging all the relevant supporting documents at the time of application. If all relevant documents are submitted, it will prevent the case officer sending out a request for information which adds to the delay of the processing time.
Below we listed down some standard documents you can provide to substantiate the partner visa application.
Evidence to provide
- One of the following
a) Marriage Certificate
b) Relationship Registration Certificate
c) Evidence of co-habitation for a minimum of 12 months
- Bank letters and/or statements showing either
a) a joint account in both the applicant & partner/spouse’s names
b) regular monetary transfers between the applicant & partner/spouse
- Evidence of a joint address
a) letters addressed to both the applicant & partner/spouse
b) letters addressed to individuals but to the same address
c) utility bills addressed to both the applicant & partner/spouse
d) lease agreement with both the applicant & partner/spouse’s names
- Joint Assets & Liabilities
a) house deed with both the applicant & partner/spouse’s names
b) vehicle purchase/registration details with both the applicant & partner/spouse’s names
c) mortgage agreement with both the applicant & partner/spouse’s names
d) child and/or pet adoption agreement with both the applicant & partner/spouse’s names
- Evidence of commitment & time spent together
a) Relationship Statements (details in ‘Tips’ section)
b) Photograph compilation
c) Document of screenshots with conversations over text, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.
c) Tickets and bookings to events, accommodation, etc.
d) Letter of support written by family & friends
- Statutory Declarations
These are required for application submission, and are also known as ‘888 Forms’ for the purpose of this application. At least two of these should be completed by family or friends, however they must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
Important things to note
- Partner Visa applications can take years to be processed, dependent on the number of other applications pending and the Department of Home Affairs’ workload. As of November 2020, the processing time for onshore (temporary) partner visa applications is 22 to 27 months (over 2 years), and offshore (temporary) partner visa applications is 17 to 25 (over 1 year).
- If you apply for a temporary partner visa onshore, you can remain in Australia on a bridging visa while your application is being processed. If you apply for a temporary partner visa offshore, you can come to Australia but only on an approved visa such as a visitor visa, which may only allow you to stay in Australia for a few months at a time.
- Statutory declarations must be witnessed by an authorized professional and be accompanied by photo ID and evidence of Australian citizenship or permanent residency status.
- when you lodge a Partner Visa application, your current visa is still valid for and it will remain valid until it expires.
- Don’t lodge your application on the last minute.
- Don’t assume if you are married, your partner can automatically come to Australia
- Where (in or outside Australia) and when (timing) to lodge your partner visa is important
- Be honest in your application and declare character issues if any
- Each application has different circumstances so don’t assume what you read on forums applies to your situation
- Police clearances are only valid for 12 months, so don’t apply for them too early.
- There is usually no interview for a Partner visa so remember you must demonstrate you meet the requirements based on your documents.
- Write a timeline of your relationship and highlight the important events of your relationship.
Engage us, the partner visa process is time consuming and expensive so you need to get it right the first time!
- Before you lodge your partner visa application talk to us.
- We will do an eligibility assessment, review your documentation and manage the entire visa process for you. We will act on your behalf and represent you until a decision is made on your application
- We will develop a strategy for lodging an application from within or outside Australia based on the particular needs of you and your partner.
- Let us know if there are character or health issues
- Dependent children from previous relationships and your partner visa
- Know about bridging visas and partner visas
- We make sure your application meets the partner criteria for grant of the Partner visa.
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