Top 5 tips for Australian Partner Visa applicants

Are you sponsoring your partner for a visa, or going through the process yourself?  Here are our top 5 tips in preparing your application for lodgement to ensure a smooth process.

1. Be thorough

Don’t be hasty in filling out and lodging your application.  Aside from the cost and the personal importance of the application to you and your partner, you must submit accurate and complete information to ensure smooth processing of your application.  Take the time to fill in the forms properly, answer every question, and work through your document checklist to avoid delays down the track. Make sure the information you and your partner are submitting is consistent and supported by the evidence you are submitting with the application.

2. Do your research

The requirements for a successful Partner visa application are set by law.  If you and your partner do not meet these requirements, the Department of Immigration has no choice but to refuse your application.  If, for example, you’ve only been together for a short time or living apart for most of your relationship, have a complicated immigration history, or your partner has a medical condition or criminal record, educate yourself on what this means for the application.  The best way to do this is to invest in some professional advice to ensure you’re aware of the implications to your application and how best to manage it.
If you elect to use a Migration Agent, make sure they are registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority and provide you with a detailed written client agreement which clearly sets out their fees and services.

3. Be strategic with your location and timing

Whether you lodge an application from within Australia or outside Australia can impact on your ability to stay in Australia or visit Australia during the process and your work rights here. Your location can also be relevant to the ability for the Department of Immigration to grant your visa.   Make sure you understand bridging visas and the implications of your location on your current visa status.

4. Be transparent

Even a small lie can quickly bring an application undone and Department of Immigration case officers are experienced in picking up inconsistencies in statements.  Be sure to make full and proper disclosures on your application and give an accurate account of how your relationship developed. If you are nervous about your application due to issues like a short period that you have been together or long periods living apart, then seek professional advice.

5. Quality evidence, not quantity

When compiling the supporting evidence of your relationship, have a think about what your evidence will tell the case officer.  A common mistake made by Partner Visa applicants is not submitting the right evidence.  For example, receipts or concerts tickets with no names on them do not connect you and your partner.  Nor do photographs of one partner or photos of your engagement ring.  A 10-page phone record is not going to help you unless you can prove who each phone number belongs to on the record.  Social media records is also generally a less reliable form of evidence.  Think carefully about what documents from your past connect the two of you.  Submitting 10-15 reliable pieces of evidence that connect the two of you across the period of your relationship will ensure smoother processing of your application than submitting 200 pages of low quality evidence.

Written by : Sarah Loch-Wilkinson
Solicitor & Migration Agent MARN 0850888

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