Dealing successfully with partner visas to Australia requires a tactful and compassionate approach, as well as cultural sensitivity. It requires a practical and rational attitude to ensure that all the correct evidence and supporting documentation is provided.
Regardless if this is a new or long-standing relationship, the process can be very stressful, costly and frustrating, if not handled correctly. Every visa has different requirements that need to be met in terms of establishing the relationship and the supporting documentation. Certain visas can be applied for onshore, while others must be applied for offshore.
The “genuine relationship” requirement
In all instances, the applicant and sponsor must provide solid evidence that the relationship is genuine and on-going.
The “12 month relationship” requirement
De-facto applicants must provide evidence that they have been in a de-facto relationship for at least 12 months, before the application is lodged.
This requirement may be waived where there are compelling or compassionate circumstances or when the relationship has been registered.
Every relationship is different and there is no fast rule on what sort of evidence can be provided. People’s circumstances vary enormously and it is good practice to have an outsider look at the evidence you have in an objective manner.
A migration agent can help you collate relevant material and assist with statements where evidence may not be readily available. Some of the factors that will be considered are:
- knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances
- financial aspects of the relationship, joint financial commitments such as real estate or other assets and sharing day-to-day household expenses
- the nature of the household, including living arrangements and joint care and responsibility for any children of the relationship
- the social aspects of the relationship, provided in statements (statutory declarations) by friends and acquaintances
- the nature of the commitment, including duration of the relationship, how long the couple has been living together and whether they see the relationship as a long-term one
When making a valid application onshore you will be granted a bridging visa. Bridging visas normally have the same conditions as your last substantive visa. It is possible to apply for work rights while on a bridging visa with a “No Work” condition.
No further stay (8503)
If you are in Australia and you have a visa with condition 8503, then you will not be able to apply for a partner visa onshore, unless a waiver of the condition can be obtained first.
If you are in Australia without a valid visa, there may be some instances where you can apply for a partner visa (see also Schedule 3 criteria below)
Schedule 3 criteria
Schedule 3 requirements apply to people who, at the time they apply for a sc. 820 visa, are either unlawful or hold a bridging visa. If that is the case, the applicant must satisfy Schedule 3 criteria 3001, 3003 and 3004, unless the Minister is satisfied there are compelling reasons for not applying those criteria.
“Compelling reasons” is not defined in the Migration Regulations and this means that the meaning of this open to interpretation by case officers.
Previously many applicants managed to get a waiver from schedule 3 criteria relatively easily. However, the Department of Home Affairs have now changed their interpretation of ‘compelling reasons” and in most cases, it is much harder (if not impossible) to get the schedule 3 criteria waived.
If you are affected by schedule 3 criteria seriously consider if it is likely that you will qualify for a waiver and if it is worth to lodge an onshore application, as refusals are very expensive and immensely stressful.
If you have already applied for an onshore partner visa and you get a request to submit information regarding any compelling reasons to waiver Schedule 3, make sure you properly address the request.
If the relationship breaks down during the application process, there can be all sort of unintended consequences for both the sponsor and the visa applicant. For most people, it is incredibly stressful to have to deal with visa issues on top of the emotional turmoil of the relationship coming to an end, especially if there are children involved or there are family violence issues. We provide quick and discreet phone or email consultations so you can discuss your options and obligations.
Applying for an Australia Police Cerificate
Apply for a National Police Certificate Online
Only use the authentic Australian Federal Police Portal.
Do NOT use any third-party providers
1. Go to the AFP website
2. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Also read this entire document BEFORE you start.
3. Make sure you have prepared and scanned 100 points worth of identification documents, which contain your photo, date of birth, current residential address and signature. Save the documents in pdf. format. You can upload separate files or combine the documents into one file, see checklist here
4. Click the checkbox: “I have read and understood the instruction above”.
5. Click: “Start New Application Online”.
6. Select the relevant identification documents.
7. Click the checkbox: “I have scanned the identity documents specified above that will be loaded to my application”.
8. Complete your personal and email details
9. In the dropdown box in section-Purpose of Check, select ‘Commonwealth Purpose/Employment’.
10. In the next dropdown box, select 33- ‘Immigration /Citizenship’.
11. Click “Next”
12. Click the checkbox: “By selecting this box you are acknowledging that you have read the above terms and conditions and are consenting to the Australian Federal Police to complete a National Police Check on your behalf”
13. Upload identification documents you have selected in Step 3 and 6.
14. Click the checkbox: “I have uploaded 100 points of identification documents and have verified that these are the correct documents.
15. Complete the rest of the application
Important information to note:
- You must apply to Australian Federal Police (AFP), not your state’s police force
- You must include all variations of names used and known by including those listed in your passport (maiden, name changed by deed poll etc.)
- A fingerprint check is not required
- Do not request the police certificate be forwarded directly to the Department
- The certificate will be sent to you and you will need to send the original it to the Department (if requested) or upload it through your ImmiAccount.
- You can also nominate another delivery address (for example: a partner, a family member or a Registered Migration Agent)
Contact a Registered Migration Agent today to prepare and lodge your Partner visa application subclasses 300, 309, 100, 820 or 801.
We can also assist with travel exemption requests.