Dont let Australian immigration laws keep you apart. Expert visa advice for Australian partner migration & partner visas
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AUSTRALIAN VISITOR VISA FOR PARTNERS

Tourist or Partner application?  Issues for partner migration

This is a common question which many partner migration enquiries will ask.  Can my partner apply using a tourist visa and then stay in Australia.  If it is your overseas partner's intention to migrate and reside in Australia then it is more appropriate that your partner apply for partner migration.  This will depend of course on all circumstances and facts.  Your partner may already be in Australia e.g. it could be as a tourist  or on a visa permitting work such as on a 457 business skills visa.   Your partner if overseas at time of applying may still be a fiance (so still engaged) in which case you can apply for a Prospective Marriage subclass 300 (also referred to commonly as a fiance subclass).  If you are already married or in a de facto (including same sex) relationship then you would apply for a partner visa option (offshore or onshore options exist).  Partner visa processes require that you generally be first granted a 2 year temporary partner visa and after 2 years you will be granted a permanent partner visa.   There are some few exceptions where the 2 year wait period may not apply for permanency.   Applying for a partner visa class means your partner will be subject to various partner migration processes - these include various checks, health and character assessments      


Visit your partner in Australia

The law does not prevent you visiting your partner in Australia however tourist visa is for the purpose of tourism purposes or to visit family and friends not for the purpose of partner migration.  Does this mean you cannot apply onshore as a partner?   Visitor visas are assessed based on genuine intention to visit - the evidence that is submitted must prove this is the case (or your visitor application will not be granted).   A number of factors may impact on any onshore partner visa application - what visa was used to enter Australia, what conditions  were imposed,  not to mention some very practical issues (if your partner applies onshore and their existing substantive visa (e.g. tourist or 457 etc) expires they will be left on a Bridging Visa A - they cannot travel back home on this particular visa.   They must obtain another type of Bridging Visa to travel (usually for no more than several months).   If your partner has plans to remain onshore then they would probably need to finalise various affairs overseas - this would prove to be a negative for the visitor application if they cannot supply required evidence e.g. your partner may cease their overseas employment to travel - so they may not have employment to return to - this one factor could result in a visitor application being refused.  To prove a genuine visit you must provide suitable evidence.  A registered migration agent can assist.   Partners who seek to invite their overseas partner to Australia to visit would be wise to first consider seeking professional assistance from a migration agent.    

Internet relationships  -  meeting your partner in Australia 

partnermigration.com has assisted fiances to meet in person for the purpose of applying for Prospective Marriage Visa  - perhaps the Australian partner cannot travel e.g. medical grounds, or perhaps the overseas partner lives in a high risk area subject to 
DFAT travel warnings  - the facts of the case must be well prepared and explained to prove a genuine visit       

To apply for a Prospective Marriage (fiance) visa you must have met your partner in person (physically) as adults - meeting over the internet using Skype or other video calls is not sufficient   

So pure internet relationships are not accepted for fiance applications unless the couple have met (overseas or in Australia)  


Prospective Marriage (Offshore) Subclass 300 (for fiances)

This visa is for persons from overseas to enter Australia and marry their fiancé within the visa's 9 months validity period. The Australian partner must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and must provide sponsorship for you .  Once married, holders of this visa can then apply to remain permanently in Australia.

This visa requires that you enter Australia before you marry your partner.  It will enable you to 

  • leave and re-enter Australia (multiple entries permitted) before the visa ceases (nine (9)months after visa grant)
  • work in Australia
  • apply onshore for Partner Subclasses 820/801 in Australia after you marry your fiancé
  • study in Australia (but not government funded study)
  • gain access to Australia's public health scheme Medicare, if you are in Australia and have already applied for partner visa. 
     
Partner (Offshore) Temporary (subclass 309) and Permanent (subclass 100)

These subclasses are commonly referred to as Spouse Visas.  In fact you may be either married or planning to marry or in a de facto relationship (includes same sex) of 12 months duration before applying for this visa.  If you are engaged and lodge the Prospective Marriage (for fiances) subclass 300, then marry before decision, your application will then be treated as a subclass 309 Partner application (evidence of marriage must be supplied) - note that you cannot marry before entering Australia if you will enter on a Prospective Marriage (Offshore) Subclass 300 visa (see above).

The Partner (offshore) visa is a two stage process. The Subclass 309 visa allows you to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of your married or de facto relationship with your partner:
  • on a temporary partner visa (for a waiting period of approx two (2) years from the date you applied for the visa)
  • on a permanent partner visa if, after that 2 year waiting period (as applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa.
 

Your partner must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and must provide sponsorship for you 


Partner Visa (Spouse Visa) Australia (Onshore) Temporary (subclass 820) and Permanent (subclass 800)

This is the onshore version for those partners in Australia.  Again it is referred to generally as a Spouse Visa but you may be either married or alternately in a de facto relationship (includes same sex) of 12 months duration before applying for this visa.

The Partner visa onshore is also a two stage process. The Subclass 820 visa allows you to remain in Australia (or exit and re-enter) on the basis of your married or de facto relationship with your partner:
 
  • on a temporary partner visa (for a waiting period of approx two (2) years from the date you applied for the visa)
  • on a permanent partner visa if, after that 2 year waiting period (as applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa.
Your partner must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and must provide sponsorship for you
 
Unlawful partner visa applicants in Australia

If your partner has become unlawful (e.g. due to visa expiry) or has had their visa cancelled they may still be able to apply onshore using a Partner (onshore) application 
 
Speak to our registered migration agent about your case.  It is essential that the applicant (previous lawful visa holder) knows at all times their visa status - the entry visa type (subclass) and the expiry date to avoid becoming unlawful.  Ideally they should also be aware of the visa conditions that apply and whether they have overstayed within 28 days of visa expiry or more than 28 days.  DIBP are no longer required to evidence visas in passports with labels in most cases (unless necessary/requested eg some countries overseas must have proof of your Australian visa).  ETA visa holders are one group that has a high risk of overstay more often than not simply due to not knowing their visa entitlements (e.g. permitted length of stay).  All onshore visa holders can now verify their visa entitlements online using the
Departments  VEVO system >>  CHECK
VEVO.    


 

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