DIY Partner Visa Overview
Among many migrants, submitting a partner visa application on their own is becoming increasingly popular.
It is possible to do your own partner visa and, in fact, you get to
We’ve put together some helpful tips to help you get through the partner visa application process by yourself.
Get your relationship status right
First and foremost, you must ensure that your relationship status is correct and that you have evidence to support it before submitting your application.
For a partner visa application, you and your sponsor must be in a ‘de facto’ relationship or ‘married’ to each other.
To be considered a de-facto relationship, you and your sponsor must live together for at least 12 months or your relationship must be registered with an Australian State or Territory.
Currently, only civil partnership registration in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory is suitable for immigration purposes.
Unfortunately, the registration in Western Australia, South Australia, or the Northern Territory is either not available or recognised for immigration purposes.
If you are otherwise married, your marriage (whether you married overseas or in Australia), must be recognised under Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).
In the case of proxy marriage, if a proxy marriage is legal in another country where the wedding was solemnised, it will most likely be legal in Australia as long as it does not violate any of the Act’s provisions, such as underage marriage.
So, for example, if you and your sponsor reside in South Australia and have been together for 6 months, this means you may need to wait a bit longer to qualify to apply as a de facto partner, or you may have to get married if you wish to apply early.
Make sure you cover the ‘four pillars’
It is not safe to assume that your de facto status or marriage certificate alone is enough to get you through. Covering the relationship status is merely a stepping stone; you must now demonstrate that the relationship is genuine and ongoing.
It can be difficult to decide what evidence to provide to the Department.
You’re probably preparing your first partner visa application, but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what the Immigration Department is looking for.
The Department evaluates your relationship based on the ‘four pillars’, and you must make sure that each of the ‘four pillars’ is well-established in order to be granted a partner visa.
The four pillars of partner visa include:
- Financial aspect
- Household aspect
- Social aspect
- Nature of commitment to each other
Simply stating in your relationship statement that you love each other and live together, as well as providing generic photos of you both together and copies of joint bank statements that you opened for a partner visa, will most likely not be enough to satisfy the four pillars. This will almost certainly result in a visa refusal.
Because each relationship is different, it’s impossible to list every piece of evidence in order to cover the four pillars of relationships in this article. The main point to remember is that your application should be personal and have its own distinct tone. Remember that you bear the burden of proof in establishing your relationship story against the four pillars.
Human errors can occur while taking a concerted effort to gather all of the evidence of a relationship. However, some errors can be fatal.
As such, genuine errors made by applicants could be misinterpreted by immigration case officers and this could sometimes raise questions about the relationship’s legitimacy, which can be fatal to the application.
Keep in mind that your evidence must be consistent to avoid this.
Think twice before submitting any documents to the Department, and if you have any doubts, ask questions.
If the immigration case officer notices any material errors, they will begin to doubt your relationship’s legitimacy, and it will take a significant amount of time and effort to persuade them otherwise, as this will be used against you and your application will be refused.
Even if you attended a significant event with your partner together, it can sometimes be difficult to recall where you were and what you were doing.
One good suggestion is to write a relationship statement from the applicant and one from the sponsor in chronological order.
You can go back and read each other’s statements later to see if there are any missing pieces.
This will help you deal with any inconsistencies in your relationship story.
Double check your visa status
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours and days preparing the best partner visa application possible only to discover that you may need to postpone your application or are not even eligible to apply.
Check your current visa status before submitting your application to the Immigration Department to ensure that you are eligible to apply.
Find your most recent visa grant letter, check your visa expiry date, and read the visa conditions on that letter as a starting point.
You can also use VEVO online to check your current visa status.
Unfortunately, the Immigration Department does not check your visa eligibility for you, and at best, they will send you a letter stating that your application cannot be considered due to the status of your current visa (or similar depending on the circumstances).
If you apply for an onshore partner visa while not on a substantive visa, for example, you will still be able to submit your application, but you will have to meet the additional Schedule 3 requirements.
While meeting the Schedule 3 requirements is not impossible, it is known to be difficult because it considers additional visa criteria, compelling and compassionate circumstances, in addition to the general partner visa requirements.
As a result, knowing your visa status before applying for an onshore partner visa will give you a better understanding of your options and allow you to be well-prepared in advance.
Get Professional Help
So you don’t always need a lawyer to submit a partner visa application as long as you understand the key requirements and demonstrate your relationship in the way the Department wants to see it.
However, if you have a complex situation to be granted a partner visa in any way but are serious about getting your visa, we strongly recommend talking to a lawyer about your issues.
If, in doubt, you can contact us for any questions or concerns you may have and we will be happy to navigate your partner visa eligibility for you.