Australian Partner Visa
Whether or not you are married, there are many options for obtaining an Australian partner visa to allow couples to be together. First, you will have to decide on your goals and determine your current situation, and then you can build up a strategy. If you’re confused about any parts of the process, an immigration lawyer can explain the different options as they pertain to you. Additionally, they can easily outline the timeline, costs, and likelihood of success for each.
Australian Visa for Couples
Couples don’t have to be married or even plan to be married in order to get an Australian partner visa. However, the process of marriage will generally make things more straightforward. Either way, all cases require that one partner be an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, or permanent resident of Australia. There are possibilities for people who are already living in Australia, as well as those who aren’t.
Married vs Unmarried
Marriage is a big decision that probably shouldn’t be done purely for legal reasons, however, knowing your long-term plans can help shape your strategy. Getting an Australian visa for couples usually requires going through multiple stages, and there are usually waiting periods (usually about two years) to prove that it is a lasting relationship. After this, the non-Australian partner will be eligible to receive a permanent visa. Because of this process, it’s advisable to know at the beginning whether you will be legally married or not, so you will be able to apply in the correct fashion throughout this period of time.
Marriage Route of Australian Visa for Partner
Once you have decided to get married, you will have to choose whether you would like to do it inside or outside of Australia. Ultimately, both pathways will lead you to the same result of being able to live in Australia together, but the process of getting there is slightly different.
Getting Married Abroad
This situation is most popular among people who are already living abroad, or those who have very specific reasons for wanting to perform a legal marriage in another country (such as religious requirements), and there are two potential pathways here. First, you can apply for a prospective marriage visas that grants the holder a period of nine months that they can use to come to Australia to get married. Under this visa, the marriage can be performed in Australia or abroad.
The second step comes after the wedding, or if the couple has already been married, they should just skip straight to applying for this. The couple will apply for a provisional (temporary) visa for the non-Australian spouse, and the first stage will be a temporary visa. About two years later, the holder will be able to apply for a permanent visa. Fortunately, while on the temporary visa, the holder will be allowed to work, study, and live in Australia.
Getting Married in Australia
For couples who wish to get married in Australia, the situation will vary depending on whether they are already living there, or if one is still abroad. If they aren’t both already Australian residents, then they should apply for the prospective marriage visa that was mentioned above, but they must have their wedding in Australia. After that, they will follow the same pathway of a temporary visa that precedes a permanent version of an Australian partner visa that is used by marriages abroad.
Keep in mind that the exact visas applied for are different depending on whether the application is sent from inside or outside of Australia!
Domestic Partnership Visa
In Australia, a de facto partnership is one where a couple is living together on a genuine domestic basis, and this can be either same or opposite sex couples. If you’re seeking a domestic partnership visa, this is the definition that you’ll have to follow. In these cases, it’s possible for them to apply for a domestic partnership visa, as long as they haven’t been legally married to each other in the past. Even though the couple isn’t married, it allows them many of the same rights as those who are. The holder is allowed to live, work, and study in Australia, and they are eligible to enrol in Medicare. Unfortunately, it still requires going through the process of a temporary visa for two years before getting permanent status.
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