A partner visa allows the partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia. The first stage of a partner visa is the issuance of a temporary visa (Subclass 820) and if approved, it would lead to receiving a permanent visa (Subclass 801). Navigating the partner visa application process from start to finish can be challenging and a high volume of applications are rejected every year. Statistics from 2016 show that 47% of partner visa applications that have not been reviewed by a migration agent were refused.
The concept of a partner visa may seem pretty simple – anybody in a relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident should be able to get one. Well, the reality is quite different and in order to have a partner visa approved, you will need to meet a number of specific criterias and provide sufficient evidence. These are some reasons that your partner visa may be refused:
The validity of your relationship is the foundation of your entire application and if the Department of Home Affairs is not satisfied with the evidence to prove that you are in a genuine committed relationship, your application will not be approved. It is not enough to simply include a few photos of you and your partner together. One of the biggest mistakes made when applying is failing to provide evidence to cover the following four main areas:
Another mistake applicants make when applying for a partner visa is assuming that the Department of Home Affairs know their relationship is genuine and valid. Consistency in written statements, forms, evidence and interview answers is key, as it is used to judge whether your application is truthful. Any contradictory or inconsistent information could potentially result in your visa application being refused. Ensure that all dates mentioned in your statements, interviews and application forms are kept consistent. Some important dates that would be asked for evidence include:
If you apply for a visa that you aren’t eligible for, your visa application will be automatically rejected. These are some of the basic eligibility criteria for this visa, you must meet:
You also might not be eligible for a partner visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.
Even if your relationship meets all the eligibility criteria and you’ve provided high quality consistent evidence to support your application, you can still be rejected if you don’t pass the character test. Some of the reasons why you may fail the character test include:
If you have any kind of criminal record, you will need to consider whether your crimes will be likely to fall into any of these categories before applying to avoid rejection.
Your application may be rejected if you apply in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen (if you do not hold a valid visa) or if you hold a bridging visa. However, your application may be accepted in these circumstances if you meet Schedule 3 criteria.
Schedule 3 makes it possible for applicants to be eligible to be granted a partner visa while they remain unlawfully in Australia. In order to meet the criteria, you will need to ensure you apply for your partner visa within the specified time limit after you become unlawful and you must also prove that you have only become unlawful in Australia due to factors beyond your control. The specific criteria outlined in Schedule 3 are complex, so if you’re applying for a partner visa onshore as an unlawful non-citizen, it’s definitely worth talking to a migration agent to ensure you meet Schedule 3. If you are applying offshore or in Australia while on a valid visa, you don’t need to worry about Schedule 3.
The purpose of an immigration interview is to assess the legitimacy and truthfulness of your application. If you provide answers that are inconsistent with your written application or the answers provided by your partner. The representative may consider your relationship ingenuine.
Applying for any visa is a nerve-wracking process and the partner visa application process can be difficult to understand. In order to give yourself the best chance at having your application accepted on the first try, ensure you do the following:
If your partner visa has been rejected, you will need to decide whether you’d like to apply again from scratch or appeal the decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Either way, it’s best to seek the guidance of a migration agent at this point to ensure your application or appeal is not refused again. An experienced migration agent will be able to quickly identify the reason your visa has been refused and advise the best course of action.
If you’re considering applying for a partner visa or appealing a rejection, contact AustraliaMigrate today to give yourself the best chance of success. The AustraliaMigrate team are experts in partner visa applications and appeals.
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