If you are in a relationship (including a same-sex relationship) with an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand citizen then you may be able to apply for a Partner Visa.
There are 5 partner eligibility pathways that are discussed in this article:
With the exception of a couple who can establish that they have been in a ‘long-term partner relationship’, partner applicants must first obtain a provisional or temporary permit granting temporary residence (309 or 820 – depending on location). After two years after submitting, Home Affairs begins to assess the second stage (100 or 801). Provided you meet further criteria (ongoing and genuine relationship), the permanent residence may be granted.
The Partner or de factor visa allows people who are in a relationship (including same-sex relationships) with an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident to emigrate to Australia. The relationship should have existed for a full 12 months prior to applying. That is to be able to demonstrate that you have been living together for at least the 12 months prior to lodging the application.
For a Spouse Visa (also known as a Partner Visa), this is based on marriage, as opposed to a de facto partner relationship. This also includes marriages of the same-gender relationships. As a couple you must be legally married, be in a genuine relationship. You must also show you have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others. Being married can “replace” the 12 month living together requirement strictly imposed on de facto relationships. You must still demonstrate you are in a genuine relationship despite being married.
All people applying to migrate to Australia as a Partner (whether they apply inside or outside Australia) must be sponsored. The sponsor gives a written undertaking to provide the applicant/s with support for their first two years in Australia, including accommodation and financial assistance as required to meet their reasonable living needs. You must be sponsored by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. The sponsor must be 18 years or over. Partner applicants must also be sponsored by their partner in Australia. If the Australian partner is under 18 years of age, the applicant can be sponsored by their partner’s parent or guardian.
Like all migrants, partner applicants are assessed on an individual basis and they must be assessed against Australia’s health and character requirements.
The Prospective Marriage option allows the fiance/fiancee of an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident, to enter Australia on a temporary basis.
Essentially, you are engaged to be married at a point in time in the future.
This validity period is for 9 months from the day it granted. You will be expected to travel to Australia, marry and then submit the onshore partner application (820/801). You must do this within the 9 month validity period.
There are additional fees to when you apply for the Prospective marriage (300) and then a partner (820/801). This is as opposed to applying straight away. Sometimes though it is unavoidable.