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The Partner Visa program allows Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens to sponsor their partners for a visa to permanently stay and work in Australia.

Similar to other pathways to migrate to the country, the requirements for eligibility for a Partner Visa are not straightforward – you or your partner will need more than just a genuine relationship to be successful in obtaining this visa.

With that in mind, we have set out below the 3 requirements that could make or break your visa application:

1. Length of your relationship

Unless you and your partner are married or have registered your relationship under the laws of your State, your partner needs to prove that he/she has been in a genuine de facto relationship for at least 12 months with an Australian citizen/permanent resident – this would involve providing evidence of the first day you and your partner committed to life together to the exclusion of all others.

The length of your relationship can also determine how fast your partner will receive his/her permanent visa: a long term relationship of at least 3 years could reduce processing time by 2 years.

2. Your partner’s current visa

Your partner can either apply for the Partner visa when he/she is in Australia or from overseas.

If the application is made in Australia, he/she must hold a substantive visa (for example: tourist or student visa) – not a bridging visa while waiting for a decision of another different application.

It is not always impossible to be granted a partner visa while not having a substantive visa at the time of application; however, it does make the application many times harder than usual.

In addition, if the condition of your partner’s current visa does not allow for further application, his/her application will most likely fail.

3. Sponsorship limitation

There are limits imposed on Australian citizens/permanent residents’ ability to sponsor their partners to Australia, namely:

  • if you have sponsored another person prior to the current application, the time gap between two sponsorships must be at least 5 years; and
  • you can only make 2 sponsorship applications in your lifetime, although this restriction can be waived in special circumstances

The above is only our short summary of a long and expanding list of requirements for a partner visa application. Feel free to contact our Migration team if you have further question – we recommend you to contact us prior to committing to your decision to sponsor/apply for the visa.