Are you thinking about applying for the partner visa to Australia? Or are you already in the middle of the process and finding it all too overwhelming whilst you’re trying to get your Australia visa?
Let’s face it – there’s not a huge amount of information online about applying for the spouse visa to Australia. So, I thought I’d share a huge update about it since I applied in 2014.
I’ve also partnered up with the best Immigration Australia Agent called AUREC Migration & Mobility to help update this popular post.
Turns out more than half of the people applying for the partner visa to Australia get refused nowadays (we’ll tell you more about why later in this post). BUT if you go through AUREC Migration & Mobility, they have 100% success rate.
So I’m going to show you what I did to get my visa although I applied without using a migration agent at the time just to show you what’s involved.
Watch my (terrible) partner visa video below!
I met Steve here in the Himalayas In India in 2011.
I came in on an Working Holiday Visa to Australia for one year in 2011 when I first met Steve (the Australian!). We then left the country after that one year and travelled the world for a year with actually no intention of coming back to Australia.
So we didn’t have any bills or rental agreements to supply when we decided to come back to apply for the partner visa in 2013. But, we had been together for over a year, in fact two years by this point and we could prove us being together the whole time with for example, airline print outs of our travels around the world.
…And we had Steve’s mum vouch for us as living with her for that year in 2011.
When I returned the following year in 2013, I came in on a three month tourist visa to Australia and then applied for the defacto partner visa.
Where applicants go wrong.
AUREC told us recently this is where a lot of the Australian visa applications go wrong.
They apply for the partner visa to Australia before they’ve been in a relationship for one year. This is how you’ll most certainly get refused.
Make sure you have been together at least one year which you can prove before applying for the spouse visa.
Not to scare you but…
There’s actually two parts you need to apply for the Australian visa. Yep, I had no idea either. Just to explain it’s split into the following parts:
820 visa which is this one I’m talking about in this post. This is the first one you need to apply for which is your temporary visa.
801 visa which is the second part to this visa (you can read my post about it here). You can apply two years after you’ve been granted your 820 visa. This is the permanent visa, aka your PR. Once you’ve got this you can chill. You can then look into citizenship after that but you’ll need to be in Australia for at least four years, with at least 12 months as a PR and with some travel restrictions
The good news is, once you pay out the fee for the first visa, it pays mostly for the second half too (bar like $200). With the second half, you’ll need to apply all over again BUT you just need to mainly prove your relationship since you applied for the 820 visa. Basically keep a folder on your desktop of things you would include and keep adding to it as time goes on.
Australia visa fees for the spouse visa
So the Australian visa cost isn’t cheap at all. As it currently stands the partner visa to Australia costs FROM AUD$7,715 if you apply in Australia. I remember paying a good few extra thousand dollars on top of cost for extras like the medical (although that’s around $400).
The interesting thing is if you apply for the spouse visa to Australia in your home country, it costs the same as applying in Australia – it used to be a lot less.
If you apply for the prospective marriage visa to Australia it costs a lot less from AUD$1285.
Partner visa processing time
As it currently stands the Immigration website states that it takes between 20 – 27 months to process. AUREC have mentioned to me that it might not take as long and could be up to just 12 months. I know, it’s crazy. If you apply for the partner visa from your home country, you’ll have to wait until it’s approved before you come to Australia.
Start your partner visa application to Australia straight away
Make a start on the application as soon as you are sure you are going to apply for the visa. Do not wait until the last minute as it will take you way way longer to get all the documents together than you think.
It took me three whole months and I wasn’t working at the time because I was on a tourist visa.
Do the following straight away
Get your relationship certified
Get your relationship certified as that takes a good 4 weeks before you get the certificate. If you’re in NSW you can apply for it here.
Find your birth certificate
Apply for birth certificate from home country as that can take a food 5 weeks for delivery to Australian address. I got a certified copy from here.
Ask Australian family and friends to fill out the 888 forms here (which they need signed by a JP too) and make sure you get them back in time to submit. I included six, that was four from Steve’s family, one of his family friends and one of my school friends who is now an Australian resident.
Find a JP
Find a JP (Justice of the peace) who will happily sign all of your stat decs and any forms you need signing to confirm your identity. This includes; copies of your passport, and the passport photos of you. They stamp the copies of the documents and sign it. We found one on the net that lived nearby who I called and they happily came round twice to sign everything for us. You can find your nearest JP here.
Wait until after you’ve lodged the application
There are a couple of time consuming things you can wait to do until after you’ve lodged your application for your visa to Australia which include the following:
• Apply for police clearance in the countries you have lived in as well as Australia, can take a good 4 weeks
• Book your medical. The waiting time isn’t that long so you can wait until after you’ve lodged it.
Now you probably know by now that there isn’t a lot of info out there on how to actually apply for this visa. I’ve decided to list the contents page from my application to at least give you a starting point in getting all your documents together which I’ve updated accordingly to reflect if you’re applying for the defacto partner visa to Australia in 2019.
How to get all of your forms together
The first section (Folder 1 – 4) is dedicated to forms and ID. Most of the contents in these folders need to be signed by a JP.
I actually sent my application off in the post but it’s all done electronically now so just use this as a guide for how to organise and submit your application.
FOLDER 1 – FORMS
FOLDER 2 – STATUTORY DECLARATIONS
FOLDER 3 – PERSONAL DOCUMENTS OF APPLICANT – that’s me
FOLDER 4 – PERSONAL DOCUMENTS OF SPONSOR – that’s Steve, the Aussie
Then there’s the next section dedicated to show how you are in a genuine relationship where you include house bills, photographs, etc below (Folder 5 – 8)
EVIDENCE OF GENUINE & CONTINUING RELATIONSHIP
Folder 5 – Financial Aspects: table of contents and documents
Folder 6 – Nature of the household: table of contents and documents
Folder 7 – Social Context of the Relationship: table of contents and documents
Folder 8 – Nature of Commitment to each other: table of contents and documents
Use the Partner Australian Forum for help too.
We found that the Australian Forum was really helpful in finding out exactly what was needed.
Below is the contents page we provided for our application. I thought it might help for any of you guys wanting to apply who are finding it hard to learn of what is needed.
The stat dec’s in folder 5 – 8 were written to say what it was we were submitting – so for example it was written along the lines:
‘In folder 7 we have submitted as much information of us being in a genuine and loving relationship and share an active social life together through emails, cards, letters from each other’s families, photo evidence of gifts together and social activities of us going to see Coldplay in Sydney’
you get the idea…
My personal contents page
This is my actual application, ready to send off! I told you it took me three months of full time commitment to get it ready!
So the application is split into two sections. From folder 1 – 4 it’s basically all about forms. Then from folder 5 – 8 it’s all about proving you’re in a genuine relationship which is where you’ll need to get a bit creative.
Folder 1: Forms
1.1 Subclass 820 Application Document Checklist
1.2 Form 47SP – Application for migration to Australia by a partner These forms are now done electronically
Form 40SP – Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia These forms are now done electronically
Folder 2: Statutory declarations
2.1 888 Form – Statutory Declaration by a supporting witness (x6)
2.2 Statutory Declaration by Applicant on the history of my relationship with Sponsor
2.3 Statutory Declaration by Sponsor on the history of my relationship with Applicant
Folder 3: Personal documents of applicant
3.1 Certified copy of the biographical data page of the passport
3.2 Recent passport size photographs (2x)
3.3 Certified copy of birth certificate
3.4 Certified copy of UK Driver Licence
3.5 Form 80 – Personal particulars for character assessment
3.6 Certified copy of most recent Bank Statement
3.7 Applicant Curriculum Vitae
3.8 Copies of current visa approval letters
Folder 4: Personal documents of sponsor
4.1 Certified copy of the biographical data page of the passport & recent passport size photographs (x2)
4.2 Certified copy of birth certificate
4.3 Certified copy of NSW Driver’s License
4.4 Original letter of employment
Evidence of genuine and continuing relationship
This is more of the creative section where you need to prove you’re in a genuine relationship.
Folder 5: Financial Aspects
5.1 Joint Statutory Declaration stating a summary of our Financial Aspects.
5.2 Original letters of joint bank accounts
5.3 Relevant purchases made for before/during our trip around the world
5.4 Flights booked for our trip around the world
5.5 Room bookings made for our trip around the world
5.6 Bank statements of applicant showing all purchases made since the relationship started.
5.7 Bank statements of Sponsor showing all purchases made since the relationship started.
Folder 6: Nature of household
1. Joint Statutory Declaration stating a summary of the Nature of our Household.
2. Statutory Declaration from landlord stating rental lease.
3. Confirmation Emails for household purchases.
4. Applicant proof of address living with Sponsor in Australia.
Folder 7: Social aspect of the relationship
1. Joint Statutory Declaration of the Social Aspect of our Relationship
2. Photos of Applicant and Sponsor together & with friends every month and every country visited from****.
3. Joint cards from Applicant & Sponsor’s families
4. Personal cards to and from the Applicant & Sponsor
5. Photos of Applicant & Sponsor with both families.
6. Photo evidence of gifts to and from the Applicant & Sponsor
7. Email confirmation of gifts to and from the Applicant & Sponsor
8. Gig tickets confirmation
9. Joint gym membership
10. Screen shot of mutual friends on Facebook
11.Cards from friends to Applicant
12.Screen shot of website both Applicant & Sponsor built in Malawi, Africa
13. Postcards of Applicant & Sponsor’s trip around the world to Sponsor’s mother
14. Personal Emails between Applicant, Sponsor and Sponsor’s mother.
15. Personal Emails between Applicant and Applicant’s Sister re: Sponsor.
Folder 8: Nature of the commitment to each other
1. Joint Statutory Declaration of our Nature of Commitment to each other (this basically means it’s a letter of us detailing our commitment and our future plans for our life in Australia.)
2. Certified certificate of Births, Deaths & Marriages – Relationship certificate.
3. Screenshots of proof that Applicant & Sponsor are each other’s beneficiaries for their Super Funds.
4. Applicant’s Application Form for working for **** company from **** stating Sponsor as the emergency contact (dated ****)
5. Evidence that Applicant’s second year Working Holiday Visa was approved and sent to Sponsor’s email for confirmation.
6. Time spent apart – Leaving cards, emails and postcards sent to each other whilst Applicant went back to UK.
7. Personal cards to each other – Birthday, Valentines, Christmas and Anniversary Cards. (these were photocopied and signed by JP to prove they are real).
8. Facebook status screenshots stating when Applicant and Sponsor made their relationship official on social media.
9. Private Facebook conversations between Sponsor and Applicant.
10. Emotional support emails and cards to each other.
11. Applicant & Sponsor’s joint blog re: their trip around the world.
12. Proof of Applicant & Sponsor’s Will’s. (we just signed up to a cheap will service)
Why you need to go through AUREC Migration & Mobility
So I’ve shown you what to expect when applying for the partner visa to Australia. After having a chat with AUREC Migration & Mobility, here’s some of the reasons why you really need to strongly think about using them to help you secure this visa.
1. Not only is the cost to apply for the partner visa so high, you’d be mad to risk it not getting approved. Like I said before, AUREC Migration & Mobility have a 100% success rate in securing your golden ticket to moving to Australia.
2. I wonder whether my application would get approved now that immigration has become stricter with the applications. We didn’t have proof of financial bills or rental agreements in place back then because we were staying with Steve’s mum or we were travelling the world.
3. You really, really need to make sure you have been together for over 12 months when you apply for the spouse visa to Australia. If you apply before you’ve been together for 12 months, it will get rejected.
4. You don’t need to get your medical or police check before you apply because they expire after 12 months. Seeing as the current wait time is at least 20 months, you’ll only have to get them done again.
5. Every application is different so you need AUREC to help you make sure yours is completely clear and concise. The wording in your application is absolutely crucial and they know exactly what to do.
As I state in the disclaimer below, I can not tell you how to apply for the visa, I am just stating what I did.
If you have any questions about applying for the defacto partner visa to Australia, drop AUREC Migration & Mobility an email HERE and they will do their best to answer it for FREE!
Disclaimer – I do not work for immigration, I am just someone who has been through the visa process and have written this post to state what I did in 2014.
If you have any questions, I do advise you to contact AUREC Migration & Mobility. They are the only people who can give you the most up to date and correct answers.