PARTNER / SPOUSE VISA
Partner visas were the first visas to become provisional visas. Like all provisional visas, partner visas are subject to a two-stage process, however unlike other provisional visas that require lodgement of a visa application form at the first stage and another at the second stage, Partner visa applicants are only required to lodge one visa application form (at the first stage).
The visa application can be lodged online through immi account or can be a paper application. Paper application can be lodged by filling up and submitted For 47SP and is used to apply for both the provisional/temporary Partner visa and the permanent Partner visa.
If the first stage visa is issued (ie a Partner (Provisional) (Class UF) subclass 309 visa or a Partner (Temporary) (Class UK) subclass 820 visa), it remains valid until such time as a final decision is made by the Department (usually 2 years).
Should, at the first stage, evidence be provided that the partner relationship meets the criteria of a “long term partner relationship”, the second-stage visa (ie the permanent Partner (Migrant) (Class BC) subclass 100 or Partner (Residence) (Class BS) subclass 801 visa) is finalised soon after the lodgement of the first stage application. “Long term partner relationship” is defined in reg 1.03 of the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (the Regulations) as being a partner relationship with the sponsoring partner for 3 years or more, or 2 years if there is a dependent child or dependent children of the relationship.
In all other cases, at the end of the 2-year provisional period, the second-stage processing begins with applicants required to provide current evidence that their relationship is genuine and continuing as well as satisfying relevant health and character requirements.
As with the other provisional visas, dependents included in the permanent visa stage do not need to show that they continue to satisfy the dependency criteria. This is established at the beginning of the first stage. While updated health assessments are not required (see Introduction to provisional visas), all applicants are required to provide a new (and current) penal clearance for any country they have lived in for a cumulative period of 12 months or more since being granted the temporary Partner visa.
The applicant may be permitted to qualify for a Partner visa under the following circumstances:
- if the partner relationship ceases during the provisional stage due to the death of the Australian spouse;
- if the relationship breaks down but there are access and/or child maintenance issues; or
- if the applicant is a victim of family violence.