About the Australian Partner Visa (subclass 309 and 100)
This Australian Partner Visa (subclass 309 and 100) allows you to enter Australia on the basis of your relationship with your partner.
Your partner must be one of the following:
- An Australian citizen
- An Australian permanent resident
- An eligible New Zealand citizen
As the partner or fiancé of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you do not have an automatic right of permanent residence in Australia. You must apply for a permanent visa and be assessed against the legal criteria for the grant of that visa.
You apply for both a temporary visa and a permanent visa by completing and lodging one application.
If two years after you apply the relationship is ongoing, a permanent visa may be granted.
- Once your initial partner application is lodged, if you meet all the criteria for the visa to be granted, you will in most cases be issued with a Temporary partner Visa (subclass 309). This will allow you to stay in Australia with have full work and travel rights, as well as access to Medicare. This visa remains valid until a decision is made on your permanent visa, which is usually two years after you initially applied for your visa.
- After the two year period, you will be asked for current evidence of your relationship. If you still meet all requirements when your application is considered, you may be granted a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).
A waiver is sometimes available for the 2 year period before applying for permanent residence, if one of the following circumstances apply:
- if you have been in the relationship with your partner for at least three years or more at the time of application; or
- if you have been in the relationship for two years where there are dependent children of the relationship under 18 years of age; or
- if your partner was granted a permanent visa under the humanitarian program or was granted a protection visa and was in the relationship with you before the visa was granted and this relationship was declared to DIAC at the time.
You may be eligible for permanent residence even if the relationship has broken up before the end of the 2 year period, if your circumstances include:
- Your partner has died during this period; or
- You and your Australian partner have children under 18 years of age; or
- You or your dependents have been subject to domestic violence during this period
What does the Australian Partner Visa (subclass 309 and 100) allow?
If you have a temporary Australian Partner visa (subclass 309) you may do the following in Australia:
- Enter or remain in Australia with your partner, until a decision is made regarding your permanent visa
- Work in Australia
- Study in Australia, but you will not have access to government funding for tertiary study
- Enrol in Australia’s medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme, Medicare.
If you have a permanent Australian partner visa (subclass 100) you may do the following in Australia:
- enter or remain permanently in Australia with your partner
- work and study in Australia
- enrol in Australia’s medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme, Medicare.
- you may be eligible to receive certain social security payments (as you are exempt from the two year Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period)
- apply for Australian citizenship (subject to the residency eligibility criteria)
Australian Partner Visa (subclass 309 and 100) Eligibility
If you are married you will need to show evidence of being legally married under Australian law. If you were married in another country and your marriage is considered legal in that country, then generally your marriage will be considered legal in Australia.
Exceptions to this are under-age, polygamous or same sex marriages. Same sex couples are still eligible for this visa but will be recognised as de facto for the purpose of the visa application.
Defacto Relationship and Same Sex Partners – 12 Months Cohabitation
If you are in a defacto relationship (and or you are same sex partners) you will require evidence that you have lived with your partner for the last 12 months.
It is possible to get a waiver of the 12 month requirement in cases where you are unable to live together due to exceptional circumstances.
If you are married, you do not need to show 12 months of cohabitation, but will need to show that you are currently living together. If you have had your relationship registered in an Australian state or territory, you would be similarly exempt from this requirement.
You will need to show that you and your partner have a commitment to a shared life together, to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must live together, or if you live apart this must only be on a temporary basis.
To provide evidence of your genuine relationship, you and your partner must each provide a statement or statutory declaration regarding the history of your relationship, including:
- Relationship History: how, when and where you first met. How your relationship developed and when you decided to marry or to start a de facto relationship
- Domestic arrangements: (how you support each other financially, physically and emotionally and when this level of commitment began)
- Periods of separation: (when and why the separation occurred, for how long and how you maintained your relationship during the period of separation)
- Future plans: evidence can include future travel plans, house purchase, joint savings account
- Evidence of Cohabitation: usually evidenced through showing correspondence addressed to both of you at the same address
- Evidence of Financial Interdependence: For example, joint bank accounts, joint ownership of property, joint financial commitment such as leases, mortgages, insurance policies.
- Social aspects of the relationship: Joint travel, joint social activities, joint participation in cultural or sporting activities.
Health & Character
You will need to undertake full health and police checks. Do not undertake these until requested to do so by the department. If you do have a medical condition, a waiver of the ususal health requirements is possible where the cost to the Australian community of treating the condition is not undue.
Ability to Meet Sponsorship Obligations
The sponsoring partner (generally the partner of the applicant) must be 18 years or over and must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. They must also show that they are able to meet their sponsorship obligations by showing evdence of their income for the last 2 years. If the sponsoring partner’s income is very low, the Department of Immigration may request a Discretionary Assurance of Support. The Assurance of Support is a formal undertaking to provide financial support, would need to be provided by an Australian resident, and evidence of the assurer’s income would need to be provided.
Costs for Australian Partner Visa (subclass 309 and 100)
Application Fee to the Department of Immigration (DIAC)
- Visa Application Charge - $2680 (AUD)
Other costs may include:
- Medical examination
- Health Insurance
- Police checks in some countries
- Translation of some documents into English
- IELTS exam
- Migration Agent Fees
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