Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. On 14 February across Australia, couples celebrate their love for each other. In recognition of St Valentine and in embracing love every day, we have profiled family and partner visa options that are available to couples who wish to live in-love together in Australia.
New Zealand Family Relationship Visa (Subclass 461)
If your spouse or partner is a New Zealand citizen and arrived in Australia on or after 26 February 2001, it is more than likely that they are the holder of a Special Category Visa (Subclass 444). The Subclass 444 visa permits the New Zealand citizen to live and work in Australia as a temporary resident.
New Zealand citizens who hold a Subclass 444 visa are able to add a foreign spouse or partner to their Australian based family unit and you may be eligible to apply for a New Zealand Family Relationship Visa (Subclass 461). This visa will permit you to enter Australia to live with your New Zealand spouse or partner as a temporary resident.
While you hold a Subclass 461 visa, you may work and study in Australia and travel in and out of the country for five years from the date the visa is granted. On the proviso that you continue to meet the set visa criteria, you may be granted subsequent Subclass 461 visas (each valid for five years of travel).
Are you already married or in a committed de facto relationship? The Partner Visa allows you to live in Australia based on your ongoing, committed relationship with your Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen spouse or partner. Unless special circumstance applies, you will be issued a temporary visa and then assessed for permanent residence after a period of about 2 years.
A combined application for the temporary and permanent visa Subclass 820/801is the onshore option. You must be made while you are in Australia and you must be in Australia when the visa is finalised.
If applying from outside of Australia, a combined application for the Subclass 309/100 must be made when you are outside of the country and you will need to be out of Australia when the visa is finalised.
Depending on your circumstance, you may apply for a Partner Visa if you are in one of the following kinds of relationships:
Legally Married – the marriage may take place in Australia or overseas, however it must be recognised by the Australian government. Both parties must be at least 18 years of age and of the opposite sex.
De Facto – You and your partner must provide evidence to support your committed and exclusive relationship for at least 12 months. This should include evidence that you live together or not permanently apart from each other on a regular basis. There is provision to satisfy a shorter period where compelling circumstances apply or you have registered your relationship (see below). In Australia, same sex De Facto relationships are recognised.
Registered Relationship – In the majority of Australian states and territories it is possible to register your relationship. Registering the relationship officially records your partnership and carries with it legal responsibilities. If you register your relationship, you can apply for a Partner Visa even if you have not met the 12 month De Facto relationship requirement. You will still need to provide evidence of your ongoing relationship, however the 12 month minimum is deemed to have been met.
During the visa application process, you will provide detailed information to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection to evidence your relationship together. The application is designed to provide the department with a clear view of your relationship, so they can be sure that your relationship is genuine, ongoing and to the exclusion of others. Your sponsor must meet any set requirements and agree to the sponsor obligations and you, as the visa applicant must satisfy all specified health and character criteria.
Whilst the concept of a Partner Visa may seem simple, the legal requirements are very complex. Our team of migration agents have assisted many happy couples to obtain their Partner Visa. We take the pressure off by expertly handling all aspects of the application to provide a smooth and efficient process for you.
Found love outside Australia? The Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) may be the appropriate option for you. If your loved one is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may be granted a Subclass 300 visa to enter Australia on the condition that you marry your partner and apply for a Partner Visa onshore before your Subclass 300 visa expires.
Similar to the Partner Visa you and your fiancé will present an application to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection that demonstrates your genuine, ongoing and exclusive commitment to each other and satisfies all visa requirements.
Let our visa experts streamline the process for you and manage your application. Leaving you free to take care of more important things, like planning your wedding!
For more information on any of these visas, please contact us.