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Immigration: Visa Laws for Foreign Nationals who Have Australian Partners

Have an Australian partner and want to join him or her in Australia? Or maybe you have a foreign partner, and you want the process of your reunification to be as smooth as possible? The read on. In this article, we will break down the different Australian visa options you can explore if you want to join your partner in Australia or if you want your partner.

What visa subclasses are available for foreign nationals who wish to join their Australian partners in the country?

If you are planning to marry your partner before the end of the visa period, then the Subclass 300 or Prospective Marriage Visa is for you.

If you want to apply for a partner visa in Perth but you’re going to lodge your application from outside Australia, then you’ll have to apply for the Partner Visa Subclasses 309 and 100.

If you are already in Australia and you want to lodge an application for an Australian partner visa, then submit an application for the Partner Visa Subclasses 820 and 801.

Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)

When you have the Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300, you can stay in the country for up to nine months after it has been granted. It allows you to work and/or study in Australia, as well as travel to and from the country whenever you want. Keep in mind, however, that this is a temporary visa, and that you must be outside the country when you lodge an application.

The cost of applying for this visa subclass starts from AU$7,160. You and your partner will also need to shell out money for an additional family member (say, a child or a sibling). The initial cost does not cover police clearances or certificates, medical exams, and biometrics.

Now comes the hard part: the waiting game. According to the Department of Home Affairs, 90% of the applications will be processed within a 16-month period. The rest, on the other hand, will receive the result within a 13-month period. Keep in mind that the processing time will be longer if you made mistakes in filling out the forms or you did not include all the documents the department requires from you.

Partner Visa Subclasses 309 and 100

The Partner Visa Subclasses 309 and 100 allow you (whether you’re the spouse or a partner) to live in Australia. You should be outside the country when making an application for the Visa Subclass 309. But what’s the difference between the two subclasses?

The Visa Subclass 309 is also known as the provisional visa for foreign partners, while the Visa Subclass 100 is known as the partner (migrant) visa. Both visas allow the spouse or de facto partner of Australian permanent residents or citizens, as well as eligible New Zealand citizens to live in the country. The first subclass is only a temporary visa, while the second subclass is a permanent visa. You must be a holder of the Visa Subclass 309 for you to be considered for a Visa Subclass 100. The Visa Subclass 309 allows you to stay in the country temporarily until a decision regarding your application on Visa Subclass 100 has been reached.

To qualify for these visa subclasses, you should be in a genuine and committed de facto relationship with or married to an Australian citizen. The same also applies to people who are in a relationship with an Australian permanent resident or an eligible citizen of New Zealand. If you and your partner are in a de facto relationship, you must have evidence that you have been living together for the past twelve months. If you have lived apart during the course of your relationship, make sure that the periods were only a short amount of time so as not to complicate your visa application process.

Partner Visa Subclasses 820 and 801

There are many similarities between the Visa Subclasses 309 and 100 and the Visa Subclasses 820 and 801. But if you’re already in Australia, you should apply for the latter instead of the former. If you’re applying for the Subclass 820, then remember that this is a temporary visa. This particular visa is the first step towards obtaining a permanent Partner Visa Subclass 801.

If you are granted the Visa Subclass 820, you can live, study, and/or work in the country while your application for the Visa Subclass 801 (permanent) is being processed. You can also travel to and from the country as much as you like. It also entitles you to attend free English language classes.

Once your Visa Subclass is granted, you can stay, work, and/or study in the country permanently. It also allows you to sponsor family members given, of course, that they are eligible. You can also apply to be an Australian citizen if you are eligible.

There is, of course, the issue of the cost of applying for the visas. Those who have the Visa Subclass 300 or Prospective Marriage Visa will need to shell out $1,195 or more. The price, however, becomes steeper for other applicants. Those who have other visas will need to shell out $7,160 or more for the visa application process. But don’t worry, as the cost will cover the application for both Visa Subclasses 820 and 801.    

If you find the visa application process too complicated or if you feel that your case is complex and you need help navigating the Australian partner visa application process, then it’s best to hire a registered migration agent in Perth for you.

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