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Partner visa, De facto visa

In this blog I will explain some of the important concepts in relation to Partner visa. The partner visa is for applicant who has an Australian spouse, or de facto partner, including same-sex partner. The applicant?s partner must be either an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant must be sponsored.

Two stages and Three Pathways for Partner visa

All partner visas go through a 2-stage process. Stage 1: a provisional visa is granted for the applicant to enter and remain in Australia. Stage 2: usually starts 2 year after the grant of provisional visa. A permanent visa is issued at this stage.

Pathway 1- 820 / 801 visa: this is for applicant who is in Australia and can lodge an application inside Australia.

Pathway 2- 309 / 100 visa: this is for applicant who is overseas and lodges an application outside Australia.

Pathway 3- 300 then 820 /801 visa: this is called Prospective Marriage visa.

Genuine relationship

For obvious reasons, the most important aspect of a partner visa is to prove the relationship is genuine. Whether you claim the relationship as marriage or de facto, you must prove

(a)  a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others; and

(b)  the relationship is genuine and continuing; and

(c) you live together; or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.

Further more, according to the Migration Regulation you need to provide evidence in following areas of your relationship:

(a) Financial aspects of the relationship,

(b) The nature of the household,

(c) The social aspects of the relationship, and

(d) The nature of the persons? commitment to each other.

My observations from above requirements are: 1. It is really important to collect all the documentation that can help to prove your relationship. You need to start early. Some examples are joint bank account statement; various household bills; joint travel tickets; rental agreement etc; 2. There is no one ?correct? way to prove your relationship.

The Regulations also separately impose a minimum length of relationship requirement (12 months) on persons claiming a de facto relationship. However, this requirement does not apply if you can establish compelling and compassionate circumstances.

Partner visa for same sex couples

Significant legal reforms have taken place and implemented in Migration law since July 2009. Same -sex couples are recognised as having the same legal rights as heterosexual de facto partners. Some of the visa categories are renamed and re-organised to reflet that equality.

I do notice one area of discrepancy still exist. For heterosexual couples do not meet the 12 ?month relationship criterion, sub class 300, or Prospective marriage visa is available. Applicants are given 9 months to get married and therefore extra time to meet the requirement. This visa is not available for same?sex couples and there is no equivalent of 300 for same-sex couple. However same ?sex couple may register their relationship under various state schemes. The 12-month minimum relationship requirement may be waived. For further details, contact our registered migration agent.

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