When it comes to the Australian partner visa, there are more than just a few myths floating around.
Everyone on Facebook seems to be an expert in application loopholes and, although most people are well-meaning, they’re not always right.
Simon from accounts, or your cousin’s brother’s mate who you met at a BBQ, won’t be there to pick up the pieces if your application fails and the proverbial stuff hits the fan.
So, before you rush off to get hitched or conceive a baby with your Aussie partner in the hope of speeding up the visa process, we recommend reading this article.
By the end of it, you will have a much better understanding of the Australian partner visa.
And don’t worry this article was written by a registered migration agent with 100% success on nearly 1000 partner visa applications. So you can rest assure the information is correct.
Myth 1: Partner visas are easy
Because they don’t involve skill assessments and employer sponsorship, many people mistakenly believe that partner applications are easy; this is not the case.
Partner visas are expensive, have long processing times and require a considerable amount of preparation.
Whilst you may believe you’re in a de facto relationship, it’s often tricky to prove it.
The Government wants to see cold, hard proof of your joint financial commitments and shared life.
Depending on the visa you’re applying for, it could take up to two years for a decision to come through.
Imagine waiting that long to find out that your application was declined because of a simple mistake.
Myth 2: You can just get married
Getting married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident doesn’t equate to a free visa pass.
You still need to lodge a partner visa application and prove that you’re in a genuine and committed relationship.
As well you need to show that your relationship is ongoing.
You can’t submit a marriage certificate and then wait for your visa to roll in.
Myth 3: Having a baby will secure your visa
Having a baby with an Australian citizen or permanent resident will not result in a visa unless you’re in a genuine and continuing relationship with them.
Baby or no baby, you still need to show that you’ve been in a de facto partnership for at least 12 months or register your relationship (if you’re in a state where this can be done).
In some circumstances, the cohabitation may be waived if you share a child, but you cannot rely on this.
Myth 4: You can’t get a partner visa if you’re still married to someone else
It doesn’t matter if you or your partner are married to other people; if you’re separated from your previous spouse and have evidence of your ongoing relationship with your new partner, you can apply for a visa.
However, one thing you can’t do is register your relationship, so you’ll need to have the full 12 months’ worth of evidence of cohabitation, at the time of lodging.
Myth 5: You need to live together for 12 months before applying
Depending on your circumstances, this may not be the case.
Whenever partner visas are mentioned, you’ll often hear people say that you need to be living together and sharing financial commitments for at least a year before applying. Not always.
If you live in a state or territory where relationships can be registered for visa purposes – and meet the requirements for this – then you don’t need to have been living together for the 12 months prior to lodging the application.
In fact, you may be able to lodge a partner visa even if you have only been living together for a few weeks.
You don’t even need to have received your registration certificate by the time you apply; it can be added to a pending application.
Each state and territory has its own requirements, so you’ll need to do your homework before going down this route, but it is an option for some people.
Myth 6: You need a joint bank account
Having a joint bank account can go a long way towards proving your shared financial commitments, but it’s not an absolute deal-breaker.
You may be able to show your shared expenditure in other ways. For example, one of you buys the groceries one week and the other pays next time.
You might also transfer money between your accounts. A paper trail is crucial.
You can also compensate by showing other evidence, such as joint leases and insurance policies.
If you do open a joint bank account, be aware that doing it a week before you lodge your application can look a bit fishy! You also need to use the account.
Merely setting it up and leaving inactive will likely raise a red flag to the Case Officer.
Myth 7: Your visa fee will be refunded if your application fails
With most partner visas costing around $7,700, we really wish it was the case. Unfortunately, it is extremely rare for the fee to be refunded if their application is refused.
If you want to apply again, you’ll need to stump up the money a second time, which is why it’s so important to ensure your application is watertight when it’s lodged.
Myth 8: Immigration will tell you what information they need
They won’t. Case officers don’t have time to issue requests for dozens of documents. They may occasionally make a request, but don’t bank on it.
They expect your application to be in good shape at the time of lodgement and that ongoing evidence is added.
Myth 9: Being together for years guarantees success
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for a decade; if you can’t tick all the Department’s boxes, your visa will be refused.
It’s easy to be over-confident if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, but the reality is that years of photographs and messages isn’t a substitute for solid evidence of shared financial commitments.
The Case Officer assigned to your application is looking for proof of a mutual commitment to a shared life together.
They want to know about the nature of your household, whether your relationship is recognised by family and friends, and how you split costs.
Focus on all the areas of assessment, not just one.
Myth 10: Once the application’s lodged, you can relax and forget about it
It’s important to keep updating your application with fresh evidence. Partner visas take a long time to process, and a lot can happen in a year or two.
It’s a good idea to show the Department that your relationship is ongoing by attaching documents to your pending application every few months.
But beware – the number of attachments is capped so you need to be strategic about what evidence is attached.
Free partner visa eligibility check for your Australian partner visa
If your head is spinning after reading this, you may wish to speak with a Registered Migration Agent regarding your eligibility.
Whilst paying someone to manage your application isn’t a legal requirement, it can save you a considerable amount of time and stress.
Applying for an Australian partner visa isn’t like lodging a Working Holiday Application; there’s a heck of a lot more involved, not to mention a great deal more time and money at stake.
For a free assessment, contact the professionals at True Blue Migration Services today. The team has managed almost 1,000 partner visa case and has never had a refusal.
You can reach them at [email protected] or call (NSW) 02 8206 8869 (WA) 08 6189 5333 (VIC) 03 9038 9070.
The article was written by a Registered Migration Agent.
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