When you are married to someone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, you will need to obtain what is known as a partner visa to help that person gain residency. You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia and New Zealand to apply for this visa.
But before you begin the application process, here are the answers to some important questions about a partner visa:
How Many Types of Partner Visas Are There? -- According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), there are two types of partner visas, the 820 Visa, which is the temporary visa, and the 801 Visa, which is the permanent visa. The DIBP requires that you apply for these two visas at the same time, and because you only need one application form, the process isn't taxing.
Issuance of the temporary 820 Visa allows your partner to work and live in Australia while the 801 Visa is being processed. Your partner can also attend school on an 820 Visa and is eligible for health care. In most cases, the permanent 801 Visa is issued two years after the temporary visa is granted and allows your partner to apply for citizenship or permanent residency.
What If One is Not Married To Their Partner? -- If you are not married, your partner may still qualify under the provisions of a de facto relationship. According to the Australian Government website, the Family Law Act of 1975 defined a de facto relationship as one in which a couple, heterosexual or otherwise, live together and think of themselves a couple.
To prove you are in a de facto relationship, you must show that you have lived together with your partner for at least two years, you must prove that you share financial responsibility of your household, and you must be sexually active with your partner. If you meet those standards, you can apply for a partner visa under the de facto relationship category.
What Factors Determine Approval of a Partner Visa? - Probably the most important determining factor of approval is proving that your relationship with your partner is real. Whether you are married or in a de facto relationship, you must provide documentation that shows you are a legitimate couple who own property together, pay bills together and socialise with people who consider you to be a couple.
Vacation photos, birthday cards and the testimony of friends and co-workers are important aspects of proving to the DIBP that you are a real couple and not just married or together so that your partner can obtain residency documents.