It is quite often that you may fall in love with an Australian citizen. If you want to stay together in Australia with your loved one, you might need to lodge a partner visa application. So let’s check out these five less-known yet important facts about partner visas.

You can lodge an offshore spouse visa before you marry

Yes, it’s true. Though an onshore spouse visa demands a couple to be married at the time of application, the law of migration is slightly different for the offshore one. You may you lodge an offshore spouse visa before you are married. You would need to be married offshore before a decision is made on the application. If you meet all the essential criteria, you may be allowed to bypass the ‘marriage’ step, quickening the journey of permanent residency.

You may be able to renounce the 12-month cohabitation requirement

According to common law, if you want to apply for a partner visa without being married, you need to live in with your partner for at least 12 months. But it is not mandatory. If you are applying for a partner visa in Australia registering your relationship with your partner in the state or territory which allows registration for visa purposes, you can lodge a partner visa application without having to live together for the ‘minimum 12 months’ period prior to apply for the partner visa.

However you need to be living together during the processing time of the partner visa. You will also need to show or submit at least one of your proofs of residency such as superannuation fund statement, lease agreement, driver licence, tax office assessment, utility account, vehicle insurance policy etc

You can lodge a de facto visa, even if you are legally married (but separated) to someone else

Once you have 12 months evidence of living together, you can apply for an onshore or offshore de facto visa, even if one or both of you are married to another person.

You can add a dependent child during the processing time (change from non-migrating to migrating)

If you have a dependent child who is at a crucial stage of schooling, you may include them in partner visa as non-migrating dependents. If you decide to include him/her during the processing time it still is possible. He/she can be changed into migrating dependents by entering Australia and being added to the application.

Your visa can be refused if you do not continue to update relationship evidence during the processing time

One of the most important things is the immigration department needs to be fully convinced that you and your partner are a genuine couple. An immigration department receives more than thousand partner applications every month, and it is your responsibility to prove them that your relationship with your partner is genuine.

It is very likely for the couples who lodge their own partner visas to provide evidence at the start drops off and forget to continue providing updates. It’s crucial that the ongoing nature of the commitment is shown, across each of the financial, social, cohabitation and dependence criteria that the application is assessed against.

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