Valentines Day - a day when we all think of love and romance. But for some Aussies it means thinking about their significant other in an overseas country and wondering if they can ever be together. There is a way.
There are three Partner visa options for people in relationships with Australian Citizens or permanent residents, and another option for those who have fallen in love with our Kiwi mates.
All have slightly different requirements and you can find some basic information here (http://www.australianmigrations.com.au/visa_spouse.htm).
Your love story may be the stuff of Hollywood scripts or TV soaps, but the thing to remember is that the Immigration process is nothing like the movies. It can be easy to fall madly in love, have a whirlwind romance and declare that you will be together forever, but getting a visa for Australia is a little more complicated.
Firstly, you need to be able to provide documents to show that you are in a genuine, committed relationship. A Marriage certificate on its own is not enough. The documents can be anything, including emails, phone records, Facebook/Skype chats, mail showing you live together and, of course, photos. Most documents need to be from independent sources, so while you may be able to provide 20+ statements from family and friends, you will need to look at other things you can provide.
Secondly, you need to look at the specific requirements for the type of Partner visa you are applying for. For instance, if you want to apply on the basis of a De Facto relationship (i.e. you live together but are not married), then you need to be able to show that you have been living together for a minimum of 12 months prior to lodgement. Unless certain circumstances apply, if you do not have the 12 months worth of documents, then you will not be successful with the application.
Another issue to consider when planning a wedding in Australia is the need to submit a ‘Notice of Intention to Marry’ document at least one month and one day before your desired wedding date. You will need to factor this in when planning for lodgement, particularly if your soon-to-be spouse’s visa is due to expire.
Finally, you need to consider where you want to be while the application processes, and where you can be during processing. Two of the Partner visas can be lodged with the applicant in Australia or overseas, but if you want to apply for a visa on the basis of your engagement and intention to marry, then you cannot be in Australia when this is lodged. It is possible to visit Australia on a Tourist visa during processing.
Every relationship is different and so every application will be different. If you are unsure of the process or if you meet the requirements then talk to a professional as they can put you on the right track or even prepare the whole application for you.
AMVL has a dedicated Family Residence Team who can provide advice or assistance with lodging your application for a Partner visa. Contact them today!
Blog written by Christel Dajcz, Registered Migration Agent (MARN) 1066568 at Australian Migration & Visa Lawyers.