Need to ensure your Partner Visa application is the best it can be?
Easy tips and tricks to give you the best chance of success!
The Australian Partner Visa is one of the most complicated visa to apply for. It also has the most mistakes and honest omissions by applicants than any other Australian Visa Category.
As a result of simple errors, the visa is unsuccessful and the applicant sadly loses the non-refundable $7k fee paid to the Australian Government. It may even lead to the applicant departing Australia, with no further options to consider.
The reason for so many errors, is because every couples’ situation is in fact unique. Even though at a broader level, the common goal for all applicants is for a successful application, the underlying approach and required documentation is often individualised and personal.
Having said that, we outline the best 8 Australian Partner Visa tips and tricks for you. Please remember, that this is general advice and if you are unsure of your application, we strongly recommend seeking the advice of a Migration Agent.
If you want to know the simple basic Partner Visa tips and tricks, then please read on.
Tip 1. Prepare early
The Australian Partner Visa needs at least 12 months relationship evidence. This means you need the ability to provide this evidence 12 months ago.
Preparing in advance is critical for a successful application. There are requirements that need the submission of evidence that reverts to 12 months of more into the history of the relationship. The more evidence that is reliable and clear will increase the chances of success.
Therefore, the earlier you can perform the following, the more strength you will have in your application.
Joint finances – create joint bank accounts, have deposits and payments go into the joint account, change utility bills into both couple names, change other bills into couple names, have lease agreements or mortgage in both names. And any other expenses, have them addressed to both names.
Cohabitation – change all mail to be addressed to both names. Use a shared email address that has both names within the email address, and make sure it is being used by both applicant and sponsor. Use online calendars such as gmail that syncs with each.
Social Evidence – have photos of you and partner with friends and family. Ensure that date and time stamps can be clearly shown. Use various forms to demonstrate social cohesion, social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc. Photos, clips or footage, event tickets, travel tickets, itineraries, travel logs, etc.
If you are in a long distance relationship, then the application will not be as strong as a couple that is living together. You need to demonstrate correspondence, with date time stamps.
And remember, Australian sourced evidence is looked upon more favourably than overseas evidence. The government deems the risk of fraud and false documents from overseas higher than within Australia.
Tip 2. Planning and Timing
Have a plan that is right for you and be aware of the timing.
Your plan goes hand in hand with being prepared. Be aware that your plan may not be the same as other couples. Yes, there are general generic high level plans that can be used, but the detail may be different. It is crucial to understand the differences and to thoroughly consider pros and cons of all options.
Having the right plan to execute will avoid a lot of stress when the submission date arrives.
Below I list out the points to consider for a high level plan:
- The expiry date of your current valid visa.
- The collation of evidence that meets the needs of satisfying the government that you are in a genuine relationship.
- Current processing times of the partner visa by the department of home affairs.
- The need to be onshore if you have applied for the 820/800 and estimated timing.
- The need to have sufficient funds on submission.
- Commitments for travel for work, family or friends that may present a risk to weakening the application.
A high level plan will highlight deficiencies in implementation. It is highly recommended to seek professional advice if you are unsure or do not fit within the high level plan.
Tip 3. Registration of relationship at a State Registry
Cohabitation of at least 12 months is looked upon favourably. Register your relationship as soon as possible with a State registery.
If you can prove that you have been cohabiting for at least 12 months, which satisfies a de facto relationship then you are in a good position. If you not have at least 12 months of living together, you can strengthen satisfying a genuine relationship by registering at a State or Territory service centre.
You need not be married to perform the registration. Both applicant and sponsor needs to be present at registration.
Tip 4. Relationship statement and Nature of Commitment statement
At least three A4 pages is needed for each statment.
There are at least two necessary statements that every couple must submit in the partner visa application. The Relationship History and Nature of Commitment statement must each be at least three (3) A4 pages in length. It can be more, but generally do not exceed six pages.
The statements must also be consistent with evidence provided, and be written to satisfy that a genuine relationship exists.
Tip 5. Do NOT lie, be honest and truthful
If you intentionally lie and are caught, not only is your application rejected but you also lose the application fee and potentially black listed.
Do not lie in your application. This includes providing fraudulent copies of documentation, falsifying recording, misleading statements and other short cuts.
Be honest and truthful in your application. And complete supporting documents correctly.
- Statutory declarations – yes, this maybe a pain to do, but do it properly. Seek out qualified Justice of the Peace to complete the statutory declaration.
- Don’t fake timeline– you may believe you don’t have sufficient relationship history to support a successful application. If so, do NOT fake the timeline. You will be caught out.
- Don’t falsify statements – trying to get around insufficient evidence through falsifying utility bills, bank statements, police checks etc, will lead to disaster. Not only will your application be declined, but you could be deported if you are in Australia, and black listed from returning.
Tip 6. Consider the impact of Covid
Covid is disrupting global travel and visa processing times
At the time of writing, Covid 19 has disrupted the travel plans of not only partner visa couples, but Australians in general. Without obtaining an exemption:
- most Australians are not permitted to leave Australia,
- there is a ban of travellers from high risk countries,
- only overseas Australian citizens and permanent residents are permitted to re- enter some States in Australia,
- those allowed to re-enter must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel self paid.
(There are some exceptions to the above).
There is a lot more points of consideration for Covid which cannot be concisely detailed in a short paragraph. But suffice to say, think about the impact to travel and the potential delay in processing of partner visas if you intend to leave Australia and try to re enter.
There is a heightened risk of breaching visa conditions and requirements in the current Covid environment, especially if travel is involved.
Read More: Partner Visa Covid 19 Impact
Tip 7. Wait until you are informed of stage 2 before obtaining health check and other documents
Potential delays in processing, wait until informed of stage 2.
Often applicants will proceed with a health check without knowing that the department will only accept documents that are within the past 12 months of issuing. Therefore, the health check will be invalid and the applicant will need to perform another health check.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with performing another health check, but it wastes time and money. The partner visa is already expensive enough, so why add further costs to the process.
Tip 8. Professional Advice
If in doubt, seek professional advice from a migration agent
The partner visa application process might be simple for some couples, especially for those who are both onshore, live together and have prepared and planned well. But for some, it may be a lot more difficult. If you do not fit nicely in an ideal partner visa application that does not mean it cannot be successful. However it does mean other approaches need to be considered to enhance the probability of success.
It is therefore recommended to seek professional advice, if you need clarity, seek other options or are unsure.
Currently the cost of seeking advice from a migration agent averages $3,000 (excluding GST), depending on circumstances. For many, this is not cheap, but it provides a peace of mind that ensures the best chance of success.
The partner visa is a lengthy and drawn out process that requires preparing, planning, research and attention to detail.
- Be thorough with documentation and the provision of evidence.
- Be consistent with timelines and events and do NOT lie, be truthful and honest.
- Be aware that every couple will not have the same plan as you, and some decisions made by the department for some couples maybe exceptions to the rule and not the norm.
There is no full proof guarantee of obtaining a partner visa, but if you at least adhere to the above simple tips and tricks, you will have given yourself the best chance of success.
Case Study: Australian Partner Visa
Oz Visa Central does not assume any liability or responsibility with the application of an Australian Partner Visa when using the general advice written in this article. The reader is informed that each Partner Visa applicant is unique and the recommended general advice may or may not be applicable. The reader assumes responsibility for their own actions when applying for the Partner Visa.