So you’ve managed to migrate to Australia and are happily building your new life. There is only one complication – your partner is not yet able to live here. How do you ensure that your partner is able to join you or stay with you in Australia, and how do you achieve this as soon as possible?
Getting a partnership visa application right can be time-consuming and confusing, but it is very important that it is done properly from the very beginning, otherwise you may find yourself back at square one.
This is particularly important at the moment, as there is currently a significant delay in certain types of partner visas being approved. High demand is resulting in wait times of up to 15 months for partner (temporary) visas (subclass 820) and partner (provisional) visas (subclass 309).
Although we always recommend that a registered migration agent is engaged to assist with any visa application or enquiry, here are four key additional tips on getting your partner visa application right from the get-go.
- Allow plenty of time
Given the lengthy delays involved with the determination process, it is important that you start your application pretty much as soon as you have decided to bring your partner to Australia. Apart from missing your loved one, if you or your partner are in Australia on a temporary visa, then delaying the application process may also result in the very real risk that your temporary visa may expire before the partnership visa application can be submitted, and one or the other of you may have to leave the country before restarting the process.
- Be prepared
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection needs to know a lot of information about applicants for partnership visas – and their families, and their extended families. Ensuring that this information is readily available will help to streamline your application process and make it more efficient.
- Ensure that you meet the requirements to prove your love
Believe in love at first sight? Too bad, the Australian Government doesn’t – at least not if you’re applying for a partnership visa! Before considering immigration to Australia, be aware that if you are in a de facto relationship, then you need to be able to establish that you have been committed to that relationship for at least 12 months immediately prior to your application. Remember to keep evidence of the practical and the social aspects of your relationship – this includes joint bills, common addresses, photographs, social media statuses and evidence of shared travel arrangements.
It is also important that you are in a position to describe, accurately, how you met, how long you have been in a relationship, or what domestic roles your relationship entails (for example, who does the cooking? Who takes the bins out? Who is in charge of the finances) so that you can demonstrate that it is a legitimate relationship.
- Make friends with locals
In addition, you will need to find at least two Australian citizens who can attest in statutory declarations that your relationship is genuine and ongoing. Obviously the longer you have known these people the better – so don’t leave it until shortly before your partner visa application is due to make friends and introduce them to your significant other! This statutory declaration needs to be in a specific format – known as the Form 888 – so make sure that your declarant is familiar with the information that is needed.
Applying for a partner visa can be a lengthy, complicated process due to the popularity of this type of visa. Increase your likelihood of speedy success by consulting with a registered migration agent who will ensure that you have completed all of the appropriate paperwork, collated all of the necessary information and highlighted the relevant aspects of your relationship to maximise your odds of being granted a partner visa as quickly as possible.