You have decided to bite the bullet ad apply for a partner visa. But do you know how many there are? Or which one you are applying for and why? This post can help answer your questions.
What is a partner visa?
A partner visa allows your spouse, or de facto, partner to come to Australia to live with you. In saying that, it means that you (living in Australia) must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand resident.
Are you already here or outside of Australia?
One of the key things to consider is whether you are applying on-shore, or off-shore. It’s important because it determines which visa subclass you apply for. In either case, you must have a temporary or provisional visa before a permanent visa will be granted.
Types of partner visas available
Some of the options available for partner visas were covered in our previous article, Online dating and partner visas.
If you are already in Australia
You can apply for a Class UK/BS, Subclass 820/801, assuming you can validly do so. You can potentially stay in the country until a decision is made on your 820 (on a bridging visa if your other substantive visa expires before a decision). The 820 is a permanent visa, and the 801 is a temporary visa.
If you are outside of Australia
You can apply for a Class UF/BC, Subclass 309/100. You have to wait for a decision on the 309 to enter Australia because you have to be off-shore when the decision is made. As with the on-shore application, a 309 is temporary and a 100 is permanent.
If you’re outside Australia but planning to marry
Then other options apply to you. You can see those here.
If you are a married, same-sex couple, you can’t get a spouse visa
Australian law does not recognise married same-sex couples. If you are a married same-sex couple, read this article here on the specifics of partner visas to your situation.
How long does it take?
The average processing time for an 820/801 visa is 12 to 15 months. You can see this on the Department of Immigration website, too.
It’s important to understand that your application may take some time to be processed. It can be a stressful thing, going through the visa process – and the timeframes can’t be shortened by any means.