In order to qualify for a partner visa, you need to either:

  1. Be married; or
  2. Be in a de facto relationship where you have lived together for at least 12 months; or
  3. Register your relationship and live together.

Since you have been living together for some time, you should have a good chance qualifying for a partner visa on de-facto grounds


You would need to gather the following evidence:

  • Cohabitation: You must either live together or not apart on a permanent basis. Evidence showing correspondence addressed to both of you at the same address.
  • Financial Interdependence: Joint bank accounts, joint ownership of property, joint financial commitment such as leases, mortgages, insurance policies.
  • Social Aspects: Joint travel, joint social activities, and joint participation in cultural or sporting activities, 2x 888 statutory declarations from Australian friends or family.
  • Evidence of contact whilst apart



Generally a 2-stage process for Permanent Residency:

  • Temporary Partner generally granted first
  • 2 years after lodgement, Immigration can consider permanent partner visa.

A waiver exists where you have been in a relationship for 3 years or have dependent children and have been in a relationship for 2 years.

Sponsorship Limitations – 5 year Ban

  • If you have previously sponsored a partner, you may be subject to a sponsorship limitation:
  • Limited to 2 sponsorships in your lifetime
  • These must be at least 5 years apart
  • The ban can be waived by showing “exceptional circumstances” – for instance if you have a child of the relationship


Schedule 3 Waiver

  • If you currently do not hold a substantive visa, then we would need to provide compelling reasons for waiver of the usual Schedule 3 criteria.
  • Generally, we would need to show compelling reasons affecting the interests of an Australian permanent resident or citizen
  • Partner applicants are eligible for waiver of s.48 bars where you have previously been refused or had a visa cancelled


Bridging Visa

  • Providing you lodge whilst in Australia holding a temporary visa, you will receive a Bridging A visa.
  • This will have full work rights which come into effect when the visa you held at application ceases.
  • The bridging visa would cease if you depart Australia – in this case, you would look at applying for a Bridging B visa


Processing Time:

  • Temporary Partner: 12-15 months

Speak to our experienced immigration agents and lawyers today to discuss the best option forward.

Free Case Appraisal

Leave us a message and we'll call you back!

Law Society