In a long-term marriage or de facto relationship?
If you are in a long-term marriage or de facto relationship at the time you apply for an Australian partner visa, you may be eligible to be granted the permanent partner visa immediately after you are granted the temporary partner visa.
That means that you don’t have to wait until two years after you apply for the partner visas to be processed for the permanent partner visa. It’s a great result, if you can get it.
What does the Immigration Department regard as a long-term relationship?
Basically, it’s three years, or two years if you have a child of the relationship at the time you apply for the partner visas.
At the time you apply for the partner visas you must have been married or in a de facto relationship (not just in a relationship) for at least these amounts of time. You must also be able to prove this.
Will the permanent visa definitely be granted without waiting?
Unfortunately, no. The authority for a Case Officer to grant the permanent partner visa immediately after the temporary partner visa for applicants in a long-term relationship is contained in Immigration Department policy, not in migration law.
This authority that Case officers have is known as a ‘non-compellable discretion’.
‘Non-compellable’ means that the Case Officer can’t be forced (by law) to do it. ‘Discretion’, means that they can choose to do it, or not – they don’t have to immediately grant the permanent partner visa to an applicant that is in a long-term relationship.
What is Immigration’s usual practice?
In my experience, Case officers will usually grant the permanent partner visa immediately after the temporary partner visa to applicants that are in long-term relationships.
However, it’s possible that is my experience because when I’m representing an applicant who is in a long-term relationship I write to the Case Officer and point out to them Immigration’s policy for applicants in long-term relationships and request that the Case Officer exercise the discretion that is allowed to them under policy to grant the permanent as well as the temporary partner visa.
So far, that has always been successful.
So, if you are genuinely in a long-term marriage or de facto relationship at the time you apply for the partner visa, you have everything to gain, and little to lose by asking the Case Officer to grant the permanent as well as the temporary visas.
Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this.
Tel: 08 8528 9187
This information is correct at February 21st, 2019. But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.
Information (or the lack of it) contained here does not take into account anyone’s individual circumstances and should not be relied upon as immigration assistance or legal advice.