To be eligible for a Partner Visa you must be married to, or in a de facto (common law) relationship, with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Under the Partner Visa, your partner must sponsor you for a period of 2 years. After this, if the relationship is still genuine and continuing, you may be eligible for permanent residence.
To apply for the Partner Visa on the basis of marriage, you must be legally married to your Australian partner and sponsor. To apply from outside Australia, you must be legally married to your partner at the time of application or intend to legally marry your partner before a decision is made on the temporary Partner Visa.
You will be required to provide proof of your legal marriage and evidence of a mutual commitment and shared life; and
Meet the health and character requirements designated by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
De facto partners must show they have been in a de facto relationship for 12 months immediately prior to lodging their application. They must also show in their application proof their relationship is genuine and continuing, and that they live together and do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
Partner Visa Application Process
Applying for a Partner Visa is a 2-stage process. You apply for both a temporary and permanent visa in the one application at the same time.
Temporary Partner Visa
If you lodge your application outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the temporary visa is granted. If you lodge your application in Australia, you must be in Australia when the temporary visa is granted.
If you are granted a temporary visa, you will:
Have permission to travel to and from Australia until a decision is made on your permanent visa application; and
Be able to work in Australia.
Permanent Partner Visa
If you lodge your partner application outside Australia, you may be either in or outside Australia when the permanent visa is granted. If you lodge your application in Australia, you must be in Australia when this visa is granted.
In most cases, permanent residence cannot be granted less than 2 years from when you lodge your application. However, you may be granted a permanent visa without having to fulfill the usual 2-year waiting period if at the time you apply you meet certain criteria.
The 2 years waiting period for permanent residence may be waived if at the time of application:
You have been in a relationship with your partner for 5 years or more (as a married or de facto partner); or
You and your partner have been in a married or de facto relationship for 2 years and have children.