Australia – Residence visas for Spouses and Partners
There are several visa categories that can lead to Australian residence based on a relationship with a partner, married spouse, prospective spouse etc.. The following are some of the main categories of entry;
Partner Visa, Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 309 and 100)
Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
Partner temporary visa (subclass 820) and permanent visa (subclass 801)
What Relationships can be included ?
Australia permits many different types of relationships to apply under these categories, including;
Married spouses (same sex or opposite sex)
Defacto spouses (i.e. same sex or opposite sex spouses living together but not married)
Prospective spouses – those who intend to marry in Australia.
In all cases, applicants need to show that there is a genuine and continuing relationship. Many applications are delayed for want of sufficient evidence on this point. Regardless of the length of the relationship, this point is crucial.
In order to qualify as a Defacto Spouse (either through a same sex or opposite sex relationship), the applicant and sponsor must show the existence of such a relationship for the 12 months period immediately before the application.
Unfortunately, many applicants are rejected on this point by confusing a defacto relationship with cohabitation for 12 months. Applications are frequently submitted with evidence just showing cohabitation for 12 months and then expecting approval. This approach is not likely to receive approval without more evidence.
Cohabitation for 12 months is just one component of proving a defacto relationship. Unless, you can provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate all the components of a defacto relationship, then there is little point in applying.
Australia is generous compared to many other countries (such as the USA) that only recognise married spouses. However, the evidence required for defacto spouses is not something that is viewed lightly. Each application needs to be carefully assessed to ensure the key components are met.
The content of statements from the sponsor and applicant are crucial, as are those from family and friends. We regularly assist applicants to show that all the key components of a defacto relationship are being met.
Who can sponsor ?
Your application must be sponsored by your partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
Your sponsor can live in Australia or outside Australia. If your sponsor lives outside Australia then he / she should be intending to return to live in Australia with you.
Evidence of employment or other sufficient financial resources is often required from the sponsor.
Australia screens all applicants for spouse / partner residence visas as to whether or not they can meet the “character” requirement.
This requires a full declaration of all criminal convictions, regardless of whenever such convictions occurred.
Applicants also need to provide Police Record Checks for every country one has lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years since turning 16
Even if you have criminal convictions Australia can still determine that you meet the character requirement. This really depends on the dates of conviction (s) and most importantly the nature of the conviction.
Applicants need to provide detailed written statements and sometimes character references to support any application in which criminal convictions are declared.
In many cases, applicants with criminal convictions can still be referred to the specialist Visa Applicant Character Consideration Unit (VACCU) for more detailed scrutiny.
Annual quotas in these visa categories
Unlike other countries, Australia operates an annual migration programme, which places quotas on the number of visas that can be issued in any particular category (or subclass). Spouse / partner visa subclasses are subject to this annual quota or cap.
Therefore, every year there is a cap on the number of such visas that can be issued. Recently, the numbers of such visas have been reduced, leading to the situation where processing times are increasing for such applicants.
Also, remember the Australian visa year runs from 1 July to 30 June, so as the end of the year approaches the number of available visas can be reduced rapidly.
Typically, these applications can take 4 -6 months from submission for a decision to be made. This timeframe may well change in future months. It is crucial therefore to plan ahead if thinking of moving to Australia with your partner.
Your partner (which can include opposite, same sex, married or unmarried partners) can include their dependent children on their application.
Children usually need to be living with you and dependent on you.
In cases where children have turned 16, it is often necessary to produce additional evidence to show that they are still dependent.
Our service in applying for Australian spouse and partner visas
We have many years experience in securing Australian residence visas, through the spouse and partner subclasses, for our clients.
We can handle the whole application from start to finish. The service includes everything from pre-application advice, document review, completing forms, covering letter, drafting your personal statements, submission to the government and bringing to a successful conclusion. This continues throughout the whole process until your application is approved.
You will only deal with one dedicated immigration adviser to provide you with a focused one to one service.
Our success rate is second to none and we can provide numerous verifiable references from satisfied clients for you to review and inspect. We are immigration consultants based in the UK, assisting applicants all over the world.
At this stage, we just need you to complete this quick enquiry form on our website;
This should give us all the information we need to give you the correct advice.
We can then review in full and get back to you