If you are applying for the Partner visa as a married couple (including arranged marriage), applying on de facto grounds but you are still married, and/or have some concerns about whether you will be eligible for the visa due to the circumstances of your relationship, you should read this article.
1. What is the Difference Between Applying for the Partner Visa As A Married Couple and A De Facto Relationship?
To be eligible for the Partner Visa, you are required to either be married or be in a de facto relationship.
If you are married, you will be lodging the Partner visa as a married couple. Hence, the Partner visa is commonly known as a Spouse visa.
If you are in a de facto relationship, you will be lodging the Partner visa as a de facto couple. Hence, people applying as this commonly refer to the Partner visa as a de facto visa.
Whether married or de facto, you are applying for the same Partner visa.
2. Will It Make My Partner Visa Stronger If I Am Married to My Partner?
Being married does not generally make your Partner visa application stronger. The Department will assess your Partner visa application based on the evidence you provide to satisfy the four criteria of the Partner visa.
Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, as long as you provide sufficient information to satisfy the four criteria of the Partner visa proving the genuineness of your relationship, your Partner visa application will most likely result in a positive outcome.
3. Can I Get Married to My Partner Overseas?
For a marriage to be valid under Australian law, you must be 18 years old or older. The Department accepts marriages from both Australia and overseas.
If you got married or is getting married overseas, your marriage will need to be valid under the law of that country. If you are unsure, we suggest contacting the Embassy, Consulate or other representatives of the country concerned to find out their legal requirements.
4. My Same-Sex Partner and I Got Married Overseas, Can We Apply for The Partner Visa as A Married Couple?
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia on 9 December 2017 (The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017).
If you and your same-sex partner had gotten married overseas and it is legal under the law of that country, your marriage will automatically be recognised under the Australia Marriage Act. Therefore, you can apply for the Partner visa as a married couple.
5. If I am Married to My Partner, Do We Need to Live Together For At least 12 Months Before We Apply for The Partner Visa?
If you are married, you do not have to be living together for at least 12 months to be eligible for the Partner visa. This is because you would have already met one of the Partner visa requirements of either being married or be in a de facto relationship.
You will only be required to be living together for at least 12 months if you are applying on the de facto grounds. In this case, your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa. If this applies to you, you can find out more on How to Meet The One-Year De Facto Relationship Requirement for The Partner Visa on our previous blog.
6. Does It Matter If My Marriage Is Arranged?
Arranged marriage is accepted in Australian immigration law as long as:
- both parties agreed on getting married to one another,
- your marriage is genuine and continuing
- you both have a mutual commitment to a shared life as a spouse to the exclusion of all others
If you haven’t gotten married but have plans to get married in the future, you may want to consider applying for a Prospective Marriage visa.
If your arranged marriage had already taken place, you can apply for the Partner visa by providing evidence to prove the genuineness of your relationship.
7. Will I Need to Meet Different Sets of Requirements for the Partner Visa If My Marriage Was Arranged?
No, the requirements for a couple whose marriage was arranged is not different from a normal marriage. You are still applying for the same Partner visa and will still need to meet the same sets of requirements.
What may be different is the type of information you provide to the Department. Couples who had entered an arranged marriage may experience difficulties proving that their marriage is genuine due to the lack of evidence. In this instance, we recommend speaking to a Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer as much planning is required to ensure that you meet the Partner visa criteria.
Whether you’re in a de facto, married (congratulations to our same-sex couples!), or seeking more information on how to satisfy the Partner visa criteria, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to ask!
8. I Am Still Married to My Ex-Partner, Can I Apply for The Partner Visa with My Current Partner?
You may still be eligible to apply for the Partner visa even if your divorce has not been finalised.
In this instance, you will need to apply for the Partner visa on the de facto relationship grounds, i.e. you must meet the 12 months de facto requirement.
IMPORTANT: You are not required to have your divorce finalised at any point during the application process. The Department will assess your relationship on the basis that you and your partner are in a de facto relationship and the information you provide to prove the genuineness of your de facto relationship. Find out how to meet the one-year de facto relationship requirement for the Partner visa.
How Can Crux Migration Help
We can help guide you through the entire Partner visa application process and help you prepare all documents involved, ensuring that documents meet requirements before we lodge your application. We can represent you from start and until a decision is made on your application.
You can book a consultation with our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents at Agape Henry Crux (also known as Crux Migration). We can assess your eligibility and tailor your partner visa application in accordance with your relationship circumstances.