Guide to Australian Partner Visa Costs: Everything You Need to Know
Embarking on the journey of obtaining a partner visa for Australia is a significant step towards reuniting with your loved one.
However, understanding the costs associated with the process is crucial for a smooth application.
In this comprehensive guide, I will delve into the various aspects of partner visa Australia cost, including:
- how much you have to pay for government fees
- how much you have to pay for legal professional fees, should you engage a migration specialist to prepare your visa application
- financial capacity of Australian sponsor
- unexpected fees or charges that may arise during the process and why
- budgeting strategies
Understanding Australian Partner Visas
Everyone knows that love knows no boundaries. People from different countries find themselves falling in love and embarking on international relationships. However, when it comes to making these relationships official and allowing partners to live together, the concept of partner visas comes into play.
If you want to apply for an Australian partner visa, one of the following visa subclasses is available:
- Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa also known as the fiancee visa – Ideal for those planning to marry in Australia.
- Subclass 309/100 or 820/801 suitable for de-facto or married couples – Suited for couples in de-facto or marital relationships.
- Subclass 461 NZ Family Relationship – Designed for New Zealand citizens in a family relationship
VISA LOUNGE offer expert advice on partner visa applications and offer end-to-end management of your application as part of our top-rated Partner Visa Service.
Visa criteria and document requirements vary if you lodge your visa application from inside or outside Australia. Your immigration status is also very important as it determines the type of bridging visa and bridging visa conditions that you receive if you lodge the visa application from inside Australia.
Financial Commitments and Sponsorship
Not many people know that the Australian sponsor has financial obligations towards the applicant. Although not a critical aspect of the partner visa application, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring partner to demonstrate financial capacity and also provide some level of financial support to the applicant upon arrival in Australia.
One of the most common ways to demonstrate the financial capacity of the sponsor is by way of payslips and tax returns for the last two financial years before lodging the visa application.
If the sponsor is on social benefits, this must be declared in the visa application and also notify Services Australia of change of civil status. The acknowledgement of your relationship by government authorities can be used as supporting document.
Current Partner Visa Costs and Additional Expenses to Consider
The cost of obtaining a partner visa can vary significantly depending on several factors.
Some of the key determinants include the type of visa application, the complexity of the case, the number of applicants. Understanding these factors is crucial to navigate the financial implications of the partner visa application process effectively.
The partner visa cost comprises several components, including:
- government processing fees also known as the visa application charges (VAC),
- migration agent fees,
- health examinations,
- police clearances
- translations and document certifications.
I will break down each element, providing clarity on what to expect so there are no surprises along the way.
Partner Visa Application Fees Breakdown
The visa application for subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa, subclass 309 offshore partner visa or subclass 820 onshore partner visa is the same AUD$8,850 for the main applicant.
For any additional applicants, the fee is AUD$4,430 for over 18 applicant and AUD$2,215 for under 18 applicant.
However if you apply for the subclass 820 onshore partner visa in Australia as the holder of a subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa, the lodgement fee is AUD$1,475 as the main applicant because the amount of AUD$8,850 has already been paid when you lodged the 300 visa.
For subclass 461 NZ Family Relationship visa the lodgement fee is AUD$420 for main applicant, AUD$215 for over 18 applicant and AUD$105 for under 18 applicant.
All lodgement fees are subject to the 1.4% credit card surcharge for online payments.
Utilising the pricing estimator on the Department of Home Affairs website aids in determining the total of the lodgement fees.
Migration Agent Fees
The migration agents usually charge a set fee for preparation and lodgement of a partner visa application and this fee normally varies between AUD4,000 to AUD6,000, depending on the complexity of the visa application and number of applicants.
If the application is for the last stage of a partner visa, the permanent stage, the fee is usually half the price of the first stage.
In real life, the migration agent is required by law to provide you with a written quote, confirming all the costs associated with the visa application.
If you accept the quote, the migration agent will issue a client agreement for your review and signature and subsequently send you an invoice.
Once you return the signed client agreement and payment, the migration agent commences work on your visa application.
Translation of Documents and Certifications
If any of your supporting documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, police clearances are not in the English language, you need to have them translated by an approved translator in your country of residence or in Australia by a certified NAATI translator. This can incur additional costs.
All visa applicants are required to undergo a medical examination to ensure they meet certain health requirements.
The cost of these examinations can vary depending on the country of residence and the complexity of the medical tests involved. However roughly the cost is around AUD300-500 per applicant.
You can find information about health examinations for an Australian visa and approved panel doctors from the official government page as well.
As part of the visa application process, applicants are required to provide police clearance certificates from all countries they have lived in for at least 12 months since the age of 16.
Obtaining these certificates may increase the overall partner visa costs, especially if you need to request them from multiple countries.
In Australia, you need to apply for an Australian Federal Police check on the authority’s website using code 33.
Tips to Manage Partner Visa Costs
Probably the best strategy to minimize the impact of partner visa costs on your finances is to start planning early. From creating a realistic financial plan to exploring potential cost-saving measures, having a good understanding of your timeline and required supporting documents is critical.
Most people start by booking a visa consultation with a migration specialist which provides them with the information they need to make a plan.
Planning for Additional Expenses
The complexity of the case can impact the cost of partner visas. Certain circumstances, such as previous visa refusals, criminal records, or health issues, may require additional documentation or legal assistance, leading to increased expenses. The out-of-scope services are usually charged at hourly rate depending on the complexity of the matter.
Common FAQs Answered
- What is the total estimated cost of obtaining a partner visa for Australia?
We will break down the estimated partner visa costs in our quote and client agreement after we discuss your case with you and assess your eligibility for the visa. However for one applicant, the cost of the partner visa can be approximately AUD$14,000 including migration agent fee, lodgement fee, medical examination, police checks.
- Can I apply for a partner visa in Australia?
Yes, if you have arrived in Australia on a valid visa, you have complied with the conditions of the visa and you still hold a substantive visa at the time when you apply for the partner visa. Most substantive visas allow the lodgement of a partner visa in Australia.
- Can I work in Australia while on a temporary partner visa?
Yes, the temporary partner visa doesn’t have any work limitation conditions, you can work unlimited hours and for any employer.
- How long does a partner visa take?
In Australia, as of February 2024, the processing time of a partner visa is between 5 months and 33 months. If you apply from outside Australia, the processing time is 11 to 24 months. For a 300 Prospective Marriage visa, 10 to 25 months.
- How can I minimize the overall costs of the partner visa application?
By seeking professional advice, carefully planning the timeline and the immigration strategy, and being proactive in gathering the required documents.
The Impact of Immigration Laws on Partner Visa Costs
Immigration laws are constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with any changes can provide valuable insights into potential impacts on partner visa costs.
Changes in legislation, policy shifts, or shifts in political climates can influence the requirements and financial implications associated with partner visa applications. Therefore, it is crucial to remain informed throughout the process, seeking professional advice if needed.
Tips to Avoid Unnecessary Expenses During the Application Process
While applying for a partner visa can be financially demanding, there are ways to streamline the process and avoid unnecessary costs.
Seeking professional advice, carefully planning the timeline, and being proactive in gathering the required documents can help you avoid potential pitfalls that may lead to unforeseen expenses.