A short guide to offshore partner visas
As specialised family lawyers, we offer a range of services for a number of different family and partner related matters. In addition to this, we have a registered migration agent who is able to provide advice and representation in family related immigration cases.
One of the most common enquiry is from prospective new clients seeking to bring their married spouse or defacto partner to Australia. There are a number of different partner visas available, depending on the location of the partner or spouse, whether the parties are engaged but not yet married, whether the party living in Australia is a visa holder, a permanent resident or Australian citizen, as well as the temporary and permanent subclasses available.
For the purpose of this article, we shall focus on the Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309), which is a temporary visa for a person who is married to or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and where the applicant lives outside of Australia.
To be eligible to apply for a partner visa to Australia, you must be 18 years of age or older, at the time of lodging the application and must also be the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, who is at least 18 years of age.
There are certain health requirements which must also be met as well as character requirements. Applicants will be required to complete necessary forms and undertake certain testing, which is dependent on the country the applicant is living in at the time of making the application.
Once granted a temporary visa, the applicant is able to come to Australia to live until such time that a decision is made on the permanent visa.
During this period, the applicant is able to work and study in Australia, travel outside of Australia and apply for certain government benefits, such as Medicare.
The applicant is able to include dependent children or stepchildren in their application, who will have the same rights and visa conditions as the primary applicant. Please note that there are additional application costs when adding supplementary applicants to the original application.
The sponsor of the application, which is the spouse or de facto partner living in Australia, must also comply with a number of obligations, including but not limited to providing accommodation, financial assistance and other support such as child care, for two years after the applicant first arrives in Australian on their Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309).
If you would like some more information about partner visas or any other visa, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.
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