Australia partner visa options

To go into more detail about one key area – Australian partner visas.

These are split into different options, or sub-options:

Married, ‘de jure’ spouse:

Such an Australian spouse visa application would be for people who are married before they apply. (or technically will be married before the time of the decision on the visa grant)

If the couple have been married for 5 years – or married for 2 years and have a child – at the time of visa application, then they may apply for the full Permanent Resident visa.

If not, then they may apply for the two year provisional Permanent Resident visa. Then, two years after that visa grant, they re-apply for the full Permanent Resident visa, of course if they are still in a spousal relationship!

‘De facto’ spouse visa:

This means if the couple are not married, but are in a spousal relationship, and have been – living together – for at least 12 months before their Australian partner visa application.

They need to prove evidence of cohabitation such as mail or registrations at the same address.

If they have been living together for 5 years – with real evidence – or for two years with a child, then they may apply for the full Permanent Resident visa.

If not, then they also may apply for a two year provisional Permanent Resident visa, as above.


The interdependent route is for ‘same-sex’ couples, which means homosexual (gay, lesbian) relationships.

In the visa route, this is the same as the defacto spouse visa – 12 months of cohabitation is required to be able to lodge the application.

Prospective spouse visa:

This is for unmarried couples who do plan to marry in Australia. After the visa is granted, they would have 9 months to do so.

Then the applicant would receive the two year provisional Permanent Resident visa, and then after two years, apply for full Permanent Residence.


The provisional phase:

On the provisional Permanent Resident visa, in all aboves routes, the sponsorship of the sponsor is still valid and the relationship must remain as a genuine spouse relationship, in order to finally apply for the full Permanent Residence.

So if the relationship breaks down, the sponsor may remove their sponsorship, for any reason, and the applicant would need to leave Australia.

As soon as the applicant has full Permanent Residence, they are an independent PR and there is no sponsorship – i.e. it does not matter what happens to the relationship.

Evidencing a spouse relationship for an Australian visa application:

The evidence that a case officer may want to see, is such as:

Social recognition: this means that they should show evidence that their family and friends recognise and are aware of the relationship. This means showing photos of such people together, and getting statements from such people about the relationship. They can state things such as they knew when the relationship started, where and when they live together, and what plans they know the couple has for the future.

Financial aspects: It is not a must for a couple to have e.g. a joint bank account or share finances, but they should be able to explain or show how they use their funds as a normal couple together, supporting each other.

Cohabitation: for the claimed times spent together, they should be able to show and explain where they lived, and the relevant details.

Other aspects: Explaining what plans they have for the applicant in Australia (jobs, language classes if needed, where they will live etc.), as well as how they communicate when apart. Evidence such as telephone bills, emails or communication records and such, can all help.



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