Are you looking to emigrate to Australia as a partner of an Australian Citizen or Permanent Visa Holder? Then you will need a Visa allowing you to relocate to Australia with your Australian partner. This article might be helpful to understand your how Australian partner visa application work.
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Step 1 – are you eligible?
The first point about eligibility for the Australian Partner visa is proving that your relationship is genuine and has been continuous for some time. The Australian Immigration Department wants to see that the partnership is ongoing, committed and real. You show that you have lived together on a permanent basis whether married or unmarried. In most cases applicants are expected to have lived with their Australian partner for at least 12 months prior to making the Australian partner visa application.
The proof required is quite stringent and includes showing how you share finances, how you lived together and shared duties in the household as well as how you communicated, your social life and your plans for a future together.
Because this is a tricky area, it is helpful to have an Australian migration consultant for guidance. They will help by explaining the documentation you need to submit and how you should handle the application with their help in order not to get tripped up.
So you may ask how you approach this if you have not lived together? Well there is an additional Visa you can consider, the Fiancee Visa which could be a good alternative. It has nine months duration and provided you do marry your partner while the Visa is still valid, you can then apply for the Australian Spouse Visa.
The applicant, that is your partner, will need to complete health and character assessments if they are to be awarded this visa and failure to pass these tests will result in the visa being declined. So if you have a substantial criminal record or a real medical issue, you will need the help of an Australian immigration agent right at the outset.
Step 2- Understanding the application costs
Unfortunately, the Australian Partner visas can be comparatively expensive. The current cost is AUD$7,715 (*as accurate at August 2020) . If you have children under 18 then there is an added AUD$1,935 for each child. If they are over 18 you will need to find another AUD$3,860 per child.
These fees are however reviewed annually on July 1 each year, the date incidentally of the new Australian Financial year.
As for the application costs there are other budgeting considerations for the medical and police reports required by the Australian Government. You will need to plan for aroundAUD$50 to AUD$100 for anyone over the age of 16 and around AUD$300-AUD$500 per person for medical reports.This excludes certain categories such as Doctors and Nurses who need to undergo additional checks and the associated costs with these.
Many applicants, realising how complex this all is, will want to enlist the help of a specialist lawyer and, whilst they ultimately save you time and money, there are fees here to be factored in too.
Step 3 – How long is the waiting time?
The Australian Partner visa is not a rapid application process and can be as much as 24 months to process. Presently, you cannot pay over and above the costs to speed this up. The Australian Spouse and Australian Partner visas have long processing times and it is not possible to calculate the timing.
You should therefore factor this into your travel plans and keep flexible on your movements until you have more visibility and the Visa has been granted. The times can fluctuate for many reasons depending on quotas, how many applications are currently being handled, Government policy and so on.
Many candidates choose to enlist the assistance of a specialist lawyer in Australian immigration and this can help speed up the process as well as smooth the path for you in terms of preparation and lodging the prepared documentation with the authorities. Bear in mind too that your own circumstances can affect your success and the timing; these might include your travel plans, pregnancy or other issues affecting family members. The lawyers will also assist with complexities such as having a police record or medical issue – in this case using experienced advisors will help to smooth and speed up your path from beginning to end.
An Australian Migration Agent or lawyer will also provide sound guidance on which documents you need, but also how to lodge them in the correct order and format so as to be well received by the Australian Immigration Department.
Step 4- Visa approval
Once successful, you will receive a notification letter informing you of your status. Please note that you must travel down under within one year of being granted your Australian Partner Visa. Make sure you keep this communication safe and scanned for reference as it will inform you of the date the visa was granted and the latest point at which you can move to Australia.
Once you have the visa you will have to stay living in Australia for a minimum of two out of every five years and this will also enable you to extend your visa for a further five years should you wish to do so. Applications for permanent residence can be made after two years of making the first application.
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