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Understanding Some Important Details About Getting a Partner Visa in Australia

A partner visa is the visa given to someone who is married or in a relationship with someone in Australia, giving them the right to move to the country even if they don't have a job there and are not a citizen themselves. If you're the Australian citizen looking to bring your partner into the country or are the partner living elsewhere, it's good to understand some details about how to get this visa and what is involved, so you know what to expect. Note the following.

1. Relationship

A partner visa is not reserved just for married couples; it can be extended to what is called a de facto partner. This refers to someone in a committed relationship that has been in place for 12 months or longer, and one that is similar to being married, meaning that you have lived together or have been in that relationship exclusively. While it's not for those who are dating casually or who have just recently met, it's good to know that you don't necessarily need to be married to qualify for this partner visa.

2. Citizen

The partner visa in Australia is also not reserved just for Australian citizens who want to bring their partners to the country, but can also be extended for those who are permanent residents in the country, and for eligible New Zealand citizens also. 

3. Proof of relationship

If the couple applying for this partner visa is not married, they will need to provide proof of the relationship. This can be joint checking accounts that prove they have shared financial responsibilities, a mortgage or rental agreement in both their names that show they live together, joint tax returns that demonstrate their relationship, and even shared utility bills for a common residence. 

4. Temporary partner versus permanent partner

Typically, a temporary partner visa is first issued to the partner in question, and this is the first step toward them obtaining a permanent partner visa. If you wish to eventually obtain a permanent partner visa, it's best if you would lodge both applications together and pay one application fee. It typically takes about two years for the temporary partner visa to then expire and the permanent partner visa to be granted. It's good to understand that you don't first apply for a permanent partner visa; apply for both at once so you save filing fees once the temporary partner visa is about to expire.