Migrating is not easy, especially if it involves a spouse and/or partner. In Australia, non-Australian partners require a partner visa to live in the country. There are various types of partner visa available, but all require meticulous planning and preparation to ensure a foolproof application.
The process of applying for a partner visa can be a lengthy one, especially because there are multiple pathways to get a visa. Comprehensive documentation is needed, and forms must be filled out. This is where partner visa lawyers can come in to help you for a streamlined experience.
Our experienced lawyers at Nevett Ford have helped many couples successfully apply for partner visas. That is why we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to prepare a good partner visa application – and the role that partner visa lawyers can play in the process.
What is a Partner Visa?
A partner visa in Australia allows the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia. The application process involves demonstrating a genuine and viable relationship that meets specific eligibility criteria set by the Department of Home Affairs.
Applicants may need to complete health and character assessments and demonstrate substantial evidence of a true relationship. Partner visa pathways also differ depending on where you are when you lodge the application, as well as what visa you had before that. While waiting for a permanent partner visa, you may also not be entitled to any fee assistance.
It is possible to lodge a partner visa application on your own, but due to the often-complicated process, many choose to engage a partner visa lawyer to ease the process. With their experience in immigration law, these lawyers are well suited to guide couples through the visa application requirements and ensure all documentation is complete for the best chances of success.
Steps to Prepare a Partner Visa Application
- Initial Consultation with a Partner Visa Immigration Lawyer
If you decide to engage a lawyer, you will undergo an initial consultation with them. This serves to establish a foundation of understanding for both the lawyer and yourselves as clients.
During the consultation, the lawyer will provide an in-depth overview of the visa application process and outline the requirements. They will also conduct a thorough assessment of your circumstances and provide tailored advice on how you should proceed.
- Compile Comprehensive Documentation
It is important to be very thorough when compiling the necessary documentation needed for the visa application.
Besides standard identification documents such as copies of your passport photos, birth certificates and national identity cards, you will also need documents that verify your relationship, such as marriage certificates or – if you are in a de facto relationship – proof such as joint bank accounts, joint lease agreements and even personal correspondence.
It can be difficult to know which types of documents are important and which are less so. Partner visa lawyers will be able to provide advice on the sorts of documents you need, as well as help you compile and organise them to meet the requirements of the immigration authorities.
- Complete Visa Forms
There are at least three types of partner visas that you can apply for, not to mention various visa subclasses. Each covers a different situation: whether the application is onshore or offshore, the couple is married or about to be married, and whether the visa is temporary or permanent.
Once you have chosen the visa pathway to apply for, you will need to fill out the necessary forms. The main applicant must complete an application for migration to Australia by a partner form, after which the Australian citizen or permanent resident must fill out a sponsorship form. It is recommended to do this online as submission by post can be difficult to track.
Choosing the right type of partner visa to apply to is important because making the wrong choice can significantly delay the process. A good partner visa lawyer can advise you on the best visa pathway, as well as how to complete the forms.
- Address Potential Challenges
Complex relationship scenarios, such as long-distance relationships, cultural differences, or previous visa rejections, can pose challenges during the application process. Failing to pass the health and character assessments can also result in a failure to obtain a partner visa.
If you are not granted a partner visa, you can lodge an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. You will be asked to provide further information and documentation to support your case, and may even be required to attend a hearing, although it is not always necessary.
Finding ways to navigate or appeal these issues can be stressful and frustrating. Partner visa immigration lawyers can work closely with couples to ensure that any prospective issues are headed off at the application stage – and how to strengthen their case if it does go to an appeal.
- Navigate Immigration Policy Changes
Immigration policies are dynamic and subject to change over time. For example, the Department of Home Affairs recently announced updates on the partner visa processing time. It is important to keep abreast of these changes to ensure the greatest chance of success.
If you have engaged a good partner visa immigration lawyer, they should be able to keep you updated on the most current policy information and offer guidance on how it can impact your application.
Nevett Ford – Your Trusted Partner Visa Lawyers
Australia’s partner visa application process can be daunting for couples looking to make the big move Down Under. However, with the support of an experienced partner visa lawyer, the process does not have to be lengthy or onerous.
At Nevett Ford, our experienced partner visa lawyers in Melbourne have handled and successfully processed many partner visa applications. We are ready to help you navigate the application process with confidence, enhancing your prospects of securing a partner visa for you or your partner in your quest to settle down in Australia. Contact us today to see how we can help you.