It’s the love month. Make your partner/spouse feel special by planning a way to bring him/her here in Australia. I have here the answers to the top eight questions about Partner visa.
Do I need to be married to my sponsor to be eligible for a Partner visa?
You can be eligible for a Partner visa even if you are not married to your sponsor. If you can show evidence that you have lived with your partner for at least twelve months or if you can provide a relationship registration and you can satisfy the rest of the Partner visa criteria, then you can still be eligible for the Partner Visa 820/801 or Partner Visa 309/100.
You can also consider the Prospective Marriage subclass 300 visa if you and your partner intend to get married in Australia within nine months of your visa grant.
Is it better to get married in Australia or in the Philippines?
It doesn’t really matter where you get married. What matters most is your ability to satisfy the Partner visa criteria which include showing how you and your partner/spouse share your financial and household responsibilities, explaining the history of your relationship, and demonstrating your commitment with each other and how you present yourselves to your social circles.
I have an eight-year-old son in the Philippines, can I include him in my Partner visa application?
Yes, you can include your son on your Partner visa application if both of you are in the same location when you lodge your application. For example, if both you and your son are on a visitor visa (without a “no further stay condition”) in Australia and then you decide to lodge your Partner visa application, you can lodge a combined Partner visa application with your son.
Can I stay in Australia while my Partner visa application is in progress?
Yes, you can if you lodged your Partner visa application while in Australia. After lodgement, you will be issued a Bridging Visa A which lets you stay in Australia while waiting for your Partner visa to be decided on. Note that your Bridging Visa will only activate once the visa you were holding at the time of application expires.
My partner sponsored his previous wife on a Partner visa. Can he still sponsor me?
As per regulation 1.20J of the Migration Regulation 1994, a person can sponsor maximum of two people in his/her lifetime and there should be a five-year gap between the two sponsorships. You should check the exact date on when the previous Partner visa application was lodged. If it was dated over five years ago, then your partner/spouse can still sponsor you.
Note that your regulation 1.20J can be waived if your sponsor can demonstrate compelling circumstances that affects his/her if you cannot be granted a Partner visa.
Will the Immigration Case Officer interview myself or my partner as part of our Partner visa application assessment?
This will depend on your Case Officer if he/she decides to interview you or your partner/spouse. In most cases, applications are decided on based on the contents of the application and the quality of the supporting documents. I have not had any case yet whereby the applicant and the sponsor were interviewed by Department of Home Affairs’ Case Officer.
Will I be able to get Medicare while I am waiting for my Partner visa decision?
Yes, if you lodged your application while you are in Australia, you can apply for a Medicare interim card. You can find the list of documents that you should bring to Medicare here.
I need to fly back to the Philippines while on a Bridging Visa A, will I still be allowed to come back to Australia on this visa?
No because your Bridging Visa A expires when you leave Australia. Therefore, it is important that you apply for a BVB so that you can come back to Australia after your travel and continue to wait for your Partner visa decision onshore.
Each couple is different with different circumstances. It is best that you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer for your unique situation to ensure that you are treading in the correct pathway for your Partner visa application.