Partner visa eligibility

I am not married to my Australian partner…  Can I get an Australian partner visa, or do I have to get married first?

Partner Visa Advice

This is a question that is often asked, and it causes a lot of confusion amongst both applicants and sponsors alike.

Many would-be applicants fall into the trap that they believe they need to get married quickly so that they can apply for a partner visa.

But many peopole don’t realise that you don’t need to be married for your non-Australian partner to qualify for a partner visa.

Of course there are still a lot of criteria that you still need to satisfy before you will be granted a partner visa, but not being married alone will not preclude you from applying for a partner visa.

Partner visa eligibility


To be eligible for a partner visa you must either be legally married or in a de-facto relationship with your partner. Depending then upon your relationship status, married or de-facto, you would then apply for a partner visa based on being legally married to your partner, or a partner visa based on being in a de-facto relationship with your partner. You partner however must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Generally speaking a de-facto relationship is where to two people have lived together in a marriage like relationship for at least 12 months without any significant period of separation. DIAC will take many factors into consideration in determining whether a genuine de-facto relationship exists. This is why thorough application preparation and attention to detail is of paramount importance. To use the phrase, ‘when preparing a partner visa application you should leave absolutely no stone unturned’. All relevant supporting documentation should be submitted with the partner visa application so that the DIAC decision-maker can grant the visa in accordance with the migration laws.

Partner visas


Same sex couples who have also been in a de-facto relationship can also apply for a partner visa, referred to in this case as an interdependent or interdependency visa partner visa. As you can see there are many options when it comes to Australian partner visa migration.

Australia’s migration law’s embraces Australia’s vast multicultural society, and accepts that not everyone necessary believes in the institution of marriage. No less importance is placed on a de-facto relationship than a legally recognized marriage. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) looks at substance over form.

Regardless of whether you apply for a partner visa on the basis of being legally married or in a de-facto relationship, DIAC will need to be satisfied that your relationship is genuine and continuing. This is why thorough application preparation is of paramount importance.

Are you in the process of applying for a visa for Australia, for your partner or loved one?

If you would like more help, advice and valuable information that could make your Partner application a successful one, click here: Australian Visa Advice.

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