There are many ways to bring your life partner to Australia, for a visit or to settle permanently. There are visas for fiancés, married spouses and de facto partners (including same sex partners). New Zealand citizens (who are automatically given a work visa on entry) can sponsor their partner for a 5-year temporary visa with work rights. Most visas allow for a partner to be added later, if you enter a relationship or had reason to get your visa separately to begin with. All relationship visas are granted with full work rights and unlimited ‘come and go’ travel rights for the life of the visa.

Being in a relationship does not guarantee you a visa. We regularly handle appeals for people who were refused a relationship visa. The Australian Government requires every person applying for a visa to meet all their rules. Some common problems in relationship cases are:

  • Getting married or entering a registered de facto relationship may damage or improve your case, depending on your circumstances
  • The legal definition of spouse/partner is many pages long; meeting all the requirements is essential
  • Cases where sponsor and applicant have a difference of age, education level, religion or culture, or where they don’t both speak the same language fluently
  • Applicants from countries profiled as ‘high risk’ by the Australian Government
  • Australians are limited to sponsoring up to 2 persons in their life, and these must be at least 5 years apart (exceptions can be made in appropriate circumstances)
  • Sponsors with criminal records
  • Recent migrants wanting to sponsor a fiancé or partner (details may conflict with their migration application details)

Relationship cases have many practical challenges, including:

  • Which visa should I apply for?
  • Are there any hidden requirements?
  • Where should I lodge my application?
  • Will I be stuck overseas until it is granted?
  • How long will that take?
  • Can I do anything to make it happen faster?
  • Can I get another visa to visit my partner while we wait?
  • Could I lodge my application from inside Australia?
  • If my visa expires before I’m granted a relationship visa, would I be allowed to stay while a decision was made?
  • When do I get access to Australia’s free healthcare system (Medicare)?
  • What are the best documents to evidence my relationship?
  • How much evidence is too much, or too little?
  • What should I write in my relationship statement?
  • What police clearances will be required?
  • Are there trick questions on the forms?
  • Will I be interviewed? What will they ask?
  • Would having a baby improve our case, or cause problems?

The answers to many of these questions will depend on the circumstances of your case. In our first consultation with a new client we aim to find your best option, make a plan to get it, and answer all your questions and concerns about the process.

If you are considering marriage, or registering your de facto relationship, please contact us for advice before you enter into a legally binding arrangement. In some cases an ill-advised marriage or de facto partnership can harm your migration prospects. There may be other options. We can help you find your best option, make a plan to get it, and answer all your questions and concerns about the process.

In some cases, it is worthwhile considering other visa options such as:

  • Sponsored work visas
  • Student visas
  • Working holidays
  • Visitor visas
  • Business visas
  • Religious Workers
  • Occupational Traineeships

There are hundreds of visa types. We offer comprehensive advice on your whole case and can create a migration plan that is tailored for you.

If a relationship breaks down and family violence was involved there may be a legal solution allowing you to stay in Australia.

There are sponsorship limitations for most relationship visas. Details are included on the page about each visa.