Australian Visa Article

Can a New Zealander sponsor your Australian Partner visa?

Can a New Zealander sponsor your Australian Partner visa?

Australian partner visa – the question raised is, who can sponsor you?

If your sponsoring partner is from New Zealand, can a New Zealander sponsor your Australian Partner visa?

To be eligible for an Australian partner visa, either onshore or offshore, as a visa applicant, you will need to be sponsored by your partner who is either your de facto partner or your spouse.

The partner visas that I’ll be discussing today are:

  • subclass 820/801 Onshore Partner visa (Provisional and Permanent)
  • subclass 309/100 Offshore Partner visa (Provisional and Permanent)

As obvious as it sounds, if your partner is an Australian citizen, he or she is someone who can definitely sponsor you for a partner visa. But there are at least two other types of people who can also sponsor you for your partner visa application, including some New Zealand citizens in Australia.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, continue on and I will explain them further in this article.

Step by step guide

Jay Son – Australian Immigration Lawyer

Jay Son, our principal migration lawyer and Director of Hummingbird Legal is based in Australia. Jay is 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 has assisted many New Zealand citizens with their permanent residency and Australian citizenship options and is able to guide you through the entire process.

Jay is also highly experienced in complex visa cases as well as challenging government decisions in relation to Australian immigration law. He solves difficult migration matters and visa problems including the AAT appeals, visa refusals, visa cancellations, Schedule 3 partner visa criteria submissions, health waiver and character concerns.

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

#1 – Australian Citizens

First things first, I’ll briefly address partner visas with Australian citizens and permanent residents to start with.

As I said earlier, Australian citizens can sponsor you for a partner visa.

So your partner might be an Australian citizen because he or she was born in Australia to a parent who is also an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, OR he or she was born outside Australia to a parent who was an Australian citizen at the time of your partner’s birth.

Your partner might also be an Australian citizen if he or she was born elsewhere but later migrated to Australia as a permanent resident who then obtained Australian citizenship by conferral.

In either of the circumstances, if your partner is an Australian citizen, you can apply for your visa with your partner’s sponsorship.


#2 – Australian Permanent Residents

Australian permanent residents can also sponsor you for a partner visa. Permanent residents are people who hold a nationality other than Australia but who also holds a visa to Australia which entitles them to stay in Australia permanently.

There is a whole lot of different types of permanent residency visas in Australia but in a nutshell, as long as your partner has been granted permanent residency which is still valid and not cancelled, your permanent resident partner can also sponsor you.


#3 – Eligible New Zealand Citizen

Now, this is the main topic of our article today. Can your New Zealand Citizen partner sponsor you for a Partner visa Australia?

If your partner is from New Zealand, your partner may be able to sponsor you for a partner visa depending on the duration of your partner’s presence in Australia.

It’s important to first understand that not all New Zealanders can sponsor their partners for a partner visa. They need to be an eligible New Zealand citizen.

I’ve explained in detail about what entitled someone from New Zealand to be an eligible New Zealand citizen in my past article and you can read it here.

But for the purpose of our article today, just to give you a quick snapshot, you are an eligible New Zealand citizen if

  • If you were in Australia on 26 February 2001;
  • If you spent at least 12 months in Australia holding a special category visa in the two years immediately before 26 February 2001
  • If you commenced or recommenced living in Australia within 3 months from 26 February 2001; or
  • If you were usually residing in Australia on 26 February 2001, but you were temporarily away

if your partner is in any one of the above circumstances, he or she is an eligible New Zealand citizen, so you can apply for a partner visa with your NZ partner.


#4 – But my Partner is not an Eligible New Zealand Citizen. What do I do?

On the other hand, if your partner is from New Zealand but not an eligible New Zealand citizen, you will need to apply for a different kind of relationship visa, which is called subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa.

This visa entitles you to stay in Australia for 5 years with the possibility of further extension. However, the major difference between this visa and the partner visa is that this visa is only a temporary visa so you won’t enjoy the government benefits that are only available to Australian permanent residents.

Now, while not every New Zealand citizen is an eligible New Zealand citizen, many New Zealanders actually have the benefits of being a NZ citizen when it comes to their eligibility for permanent residency in Australia, because in many cases, New Zealanders may be able to gain certain exemptions and/or concessions which may be because of their employment, business and/or earning income in Australia.

Therefore, if you are wanting stay in Australia with your New Zealander partner permanently, it might be worthwhile to explore your partner’s permanent residency options in advance. This is because if your New Zealander partner is eligible for permanent residency, it might be better off for both of you to apply for a permanent resident visa together, instead of the New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa.

I’ve made two special articles and videos just about options for permanent residency for New Zealanders in Australia. You can find them below:

Either if you are wanting to apply for a partner visa or the New Zealand citizen Family relationship visa (461 visa) OR you want to talk to someone and check your and your New Zealand partner’s permanent visa eligibility, please feel free to contact us. Depending on your individual circumstances, we will be able to advise you on your best course of action that is both cost effective and time saving.

Our contact details are provided in the description box below, so you can call us, email us or send us an enquiry form on our website.

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