Visa Tips when applying for Partner Visa
So you are in a relationship with the love of your life! You finally found that soulmate you have been searching for.
Life seems perfect and you are excited about your new life together. There is just one catch – your partner does not have a visa to live in Australia permanently. Or even more difficult - your partner is living outside of Australia. This article covers a few tips on how you can ensure that your partner is able to join you or stay with you in Australia, and to help you achieve this as soon as possible.
Putting together a partner visa application can be time-consuming and confusing. It is very important that it is done correctly from the very start. Otherwise you may receive a visa refusal or find yourself dealing with all sorts of unexpected requests for further information, which can cause delays.
Currently there are significant delays in the processing of certain types of partner visas. A high volume of applications to the Department of Home Affairs is resulting in wait times of up to 17 months for partner visa applications.
Although we encourage you to use a registered migration agent to assist you with submitting a complete decision-ready application, here are a few tips on getting your partner visa application correct from the start.
1. Plan ahead of time
Taking into account the current timing involved with the processing of partner visa applications, it is important that you start your visa application as soon as you have decided to bring your partner to Australia. Apart from being separated by countries, if you or your partner are in Australia on a temporary visa, then delaying the application may also result in the risk of the temporary visa expiring before a partner visa application can be submitted. If this were to happen, then the temporary visa holder may have to leave the country before restarting the visa application process.
2. Plan your evidence
The Department of Home Affairs requires a lot of information (evidence) that they use to assess the genuineness of your relationship. It is not that they do not believe that your relationship is genuine; they simply have a set of legislative requirements they must follow in determining eligibility for a partner visa application. It is important to make sure you familiarize yourself with those requirements.
Ensuring that the required evidence is readily available will help to streamline your application process and make it more efficient. The following aspects will be taken into account by a visa processing officer when determining your eligibility for a partner visa: the level of your commitment to each other, the duration of your relationship, shared financial responsibilities, household arrangements and how others (family and friends) view your relationship.
3. Introduce your Partner to your Friends
You will be asked to provide at least two statutory declarations from friends who can attest that your relationship is genuine and ongoing. These need to be completed by Australian citizens or permanent residents who have personal knowledge of your partner relationship. Obviously the longer you have known these people, the better – so do not leave it until shortly before your partner visa application is due to make friends and introduce them to your significant other!
Do not panic if you are one of those couples who met and spent most of their time together away from Australia and simply do not have any Australians who would be able to attest to your relationship. In this situation, there are alternatives to providing a statutory declaration from an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
In conclusion, obtaining a partner visa can be a lengthy, complicated process due to the demand of this type of visa. Increase your chances of speedy success by consulting with a registered migration agent who will ensure that you have completed all of the appropriate paperwork and accompanied it with the proper evidence to maximize the chances of success for your partner visa application.
If you would like advice on a partner visa application, please book a consultation with one of our Registered Migration Agents and we can discuss requirements with you.