Partner Visa Article

Long-Term Relationship for Partner Visa Australia

Long-Term Relationship for Partner Visa Australia

What is Long Term Relationship for Australian Partner Visa and Why Does it Matter?

What are the perks when it comes to applying for a Partner visa in Australia if you are in a long term relationship? What is a long term relationship and why does it matter?

If you’ve been reading my previous articles and watching my previous videos about the Australian partner visa on this channel or even if you have done a bit of research about the partner visa process yourself already, you are most likely aware that this visa program is broken into a two-stage process which can be quite exhausting because of the time it takes to become a permanent resident visa.

However, did you know that the duration of your relationship might actually speed up this entire process?

The visas I am talking about today are both the provisional and permanent partner visas which are the subclass 820/801 onshore partner visa and subclass 309/100 offshore partner visa.

The question I will address today is ‘What is long term relationship for Partner visa Australia and why does it matter to you?’

This will be the topic of the day and I’ll explain this in more detail in this article.

Long-Term Relationship for Partner Visa Australia

Jay Son – Australian Immigration Lawyer

Jay Son is our Principal Immigration Lawyer and Director of Hummingbird Legal, admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Jay is based in Australia and practises exclusively in Australian immigration law.

Jay is a strong migration advocate and is highly experienced in challenging government decisions in relation to Australian immigration law. He solves difficult migration matters and visa problems including complex partner visas, AAT appeals, visa refusals, visa cancellations, Schedule 3 submissions, health waiver and character concerns.

If you want to learn more about Jay, click here.

#1 – What is “Long term relationship”?

What is ‘long-term relationship’ in terms of the Australian partner visa program and why it matters?

First of all, what is long-term relationship?

‘Long-term relationship’ can be quite a vague term for a lot of people. For some people it might be as little as one or two years or some might say it should be about five years which all can vary depending on individual’s opinions.

Thankfully, the Immigration law has a definition of what is considered a long-term relationship for the purpose of the partner visa program in Australia.

For immigration purposes, you are in a long-term relationship with your Australian partner,

(a) if you have been in your relationship for at least 2 years and there is a dependent child together (other than a step-child) OR

(b) if you have been in your relationship for at least 3 years if there is no dependent child between the two of you.


#2 – Why does it matter to you?

As you may already know, and as I said earlier in the article, whether you are applying for your partner visa in Australia or outside Australia, the program is split into a two-stage process which generally requires you to submit two visa applications in sequence where you first apply for your 1st stage partner visa which is a provisional visa, then you have to wait for this visa to be granted and also wait for 2 years since you’ve applied for your 1st stage partner visa application, to finally then be eligible to apply for your 2nd stage partner visa separately, which is a permanent resident visa.

The entire journey to become a permanent resident can therefore take some time.

Now, the good news is, if you are in a long-term relationship, that if you have been together for three years without a child together OR two years with a child together, Immigration can actually use their discretion and grant you the permanent visa straight away by granting you both 1st stage partner visa and 2nd stage partner at the same time.


#3 – How Can You Benefit From This?

Now, if you want to benefit from this arrangement, you must understand that Immigration won’t automatically grant both your 1st and 2nd stage partner visa just because you say that you have been together for 3 years or 2 years where there is a child involved.

The catch is that the long-term relationship requirement must be satisfied at the time of application.

And secondly and very importantly, you need to be able to demonstrate that during these relevant years, you were in a de facto relationship or marriage with your Australian partner where your relationship was genuine and continuing to the exclusion of all others. In other words, even if you have been together for 3 years in total, at the time of applying for a partner visa, if there is any discovery period between the two of you, out of the three years where you were both just starting out and had not quite committed to each other yet, you actually wouldn’t be able to count that particular time in terms of calculating towards the long-term relationship component.

And when you demonstrate your relationship for the duration of the relevant period, you must satisfy the commitment component of your relationship against the four pillars of relationship requirements for the entire period.

If you are wondering what I mean by the four pillars of relationship requirements, simply ‘click here‘ as I have a  video where I have explained this in more detail.

So yes, considering the current lengthy partner visa processing times, applying for a partner with your long-term relationship in mind is definitely something you want to keep in mind if this relates to you.

If you are applying for a partner visa and you think that you may be able to satisfy the Immigration’s definition of long-term relationship, please feel free to get in contact with us to help you check your eligibility.

Given your and your partner’s personal circumstances, I’ll be able to tailor my advice to both of you and advise you on your likelihood of success as well as any strategies in establishing the evidence for your long-term relationship partner visa case to help you guide you through the process as best as it can be.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about identifying the best time to apply for a Partner visa in your specific situation, feel free to get in touch with us to discuss.

We can advise you on your partner visa eligibility and help you identify the best time to apply given your circumstances surrounding your relationship status, readiness of your relationship evidence, your desired location at the time of applying for a Partner visa as well as any visa expiry and visa conditions that may apply to you.

You can call us, email us or send us an enquiry form on our website.

On the other hand, if you want to understand what some of the most common reasons why Partner visas are refused, watch this video.

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