Australian partner visas or ‘partner migration‘ forms part of Australia’s ‘family migration stream’.
The family migration stream is somewhat different from the skilled migration stream as the visa applicant is in some way related to their sponsor who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
Are Partner Visas Points Based?
Skilled visas are points based visas where applicants must reach a certain minimum level of points in order to qualify for the particular skilled visa that they are applying for. Points are awarded to the applicant depending upon many factors such as age, English literacy, qualifications and skills, recent and relevant employment history related to their particular skill. Skills that are in high demand attract more points.
Partner visas are not points based visas.
Primary Criteria for a Partner Visa
One of the primary criteria that need to be satisfied for the successful grant of a partner visa is that there is a genuine relationship between the applicant and sponsor, who as previously stated must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. There are many other criteria that must also be satisfied for the grant of a partner visa, but without satisfying the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) that the applicant is in a genuine relationship with the sponsor, the application will be refused.
Not all relationships will qualify.
The applicant and sponsor must either be legally married or in a de-facto relationship, and satisfy DIAC that their relationship is genuine and continuing.
There are many factors and circumstances that DIAC will take into consideration in determining whether the applicant and sponsor are in fact in a genuine and continuing marriage or de-facto relationship.
A thoroughly and well prepared partner visa application will include substantial supporting documentation that clearly evidences the genuineness of the relationship. For this reasons application preparation is usually lengthy and processing time once the application is lodged can take several months.
If an application lacks the required supporting documentation considerable delays in processing should be expected. It is up to the applicant and sponsor to submit all of the required supporting documentation.
Australia also recognizes same sex relationships for the purposes of partner migration. Same sex relationships are known as an independent relationship. If the applicant has been in a same sex relationship for at least twelve months, and they can satisfy DIAC that their relationship is genuine and continuing, then the applicant may qualify for a spouse visa. Currently Australia does not recognize same sex marriages for partner visa migration purposes however.
Get all the help you need on your Partner Visa application. Find out how, here: Australian Visa Advice.