309 Visa - Offshore Partner
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What is a 309 partner visa?
The purpose of the 309 – Partner visa is to allow the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to enter or remain in Australia. In most cases, the applicant is initially granted a temporary visa (309), and is eligible for permanent residency (100) if the relationship still exists after a two-year waiting period.
Both the temporary 309 visa and the permanent 100 visa are lodged at the same time.
In some cases, we are able to obtain the grant of the permanent visa immediately following the temporary visa.
The minimum requirements for this visa are as set out below:
Subclass 309 Requirements
If your application is based on a marriage:
- you must be legally married to an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen
If your application is based on a de facto relationship:
- you must have been in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen for at least 12 months prior to lodging your application (unless there are compelling or compassionate circumstances) AND
- you and your partner must both be at least 18 years old, and must not be closely related
NOTE: If you have not been in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months, we may still be able to assist you. We will need to assess your situation.
In all cases:
- you and your spouse/partner must be in a mutually exclusive relationship;
- that relationship must be genuine and continuing
- you and your spouse/partner must either live together, or live apart on a temporary basis only
Your sponsor must:
- be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen
- not have previously sponsored more than one other fiancé, partner, or spouse for migration to Australia, and not have sponsored a fiancé, spouse, or partner for migration to Australia within the last 5 years (unless there are compelling circumstances)
- not have been sponsored for a Spouse, Partner or Prospective Marriage visa by someone else within the last 5 years (unless there are compelling circumstances)
- provide police clearance certificates to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) for each country in which he/she has lived for at least 12 months during the last 10 years AND consent to the DOHA disclosing any conviction for a ‘relevant offence’ to you and any family members included in your application
Note: A relevant offence includes, but is not limited to: offences involving violence, intimidation, breaching a protection order, people smuggling, human trafficking and dangerous weapons.
Your sponsor will NOT be eligible to sponsor your visa application if he/she has a conviction for a relevant offence AND a significant criminal record.
It is important to note the difference between being in a relationship with your partner and strongly evidencing that your relationship meets de facto criteria as per the Migration Act and Regulations. This tends to be where most applications are refused. Solely being in a committed relationship or having a marriage certificate alone is not sufficient to meet the requirements of this visa. In addition, there are certain aspects of your relationship that need to be evidenced accordingly in order to meet the requirements of this subclass.
We can assist you with ensuring that your applications have the highest chances of success.
Step 1: Consultation & Assessment
The first step is to schedule a consultation with one of our Registered Migration Agents. During the consultation, we can assess both you and your partner’s current situations, your backgrounds, your relationship and your eligibility to meet the legal requirements for this visa.
Providing you and your sponsor will be eligible to meet the requirements of this visa prior to lodgement we will send you a fixed fee quote following the consultation.
We offer a split fee payment of our professional fees to assist you financially during the preparation stages of your partner visa journey.
Step 2: Preparation
We will then look after the entire process for you and assist you with strengthening your supporting evidence prior to lodgement. We have templates to guide you in preparing your evidence in accordance with the applicable legislation. We will provide you with your login details to our secure online portal upon commencement. This portal is used to safely and securely share important and confidential information and documents presented in your applications.
As every relationship and partner visa is different, we will provide you with tailored document checklists relevant to you and your partner’s specific situations.
We will complete all the necessary forms, applications and further submissions on your behalf.
You can rest assured that your Registered Migration Agent has prepared and lodged hundreds of applications similar to yours and is experienced in preparing ‘decision ready’ applications. It is important that we get it right the first time. For this reason, we will only lodge your applications once we are confident they have been prepared correctly.
Step 3: Lodgement
Your Partner visa application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs (the DOHA) on behalf of you and your sponsor. The main criterion is that the relationship and your sponsor meet the requirements referred to above. In addition, you must meet the standard health and character checks.
Following lodgement of your application, you and your spouse/partner may be asked to attend an interview with the DOHA. In some cases, the DOHA may visit your place of residence and/or conduct other checks to verify your relationship.
You must be outside Australia at the time your application is lodged, and when your visa is granted, unless a COVID-19 concession applies.
This visa, which is valid for a ‘stand-down period’ of approximately two years from the date of the application’s lodgement, allows you to enter Australia and remain there until your application for permanent residency has been decided by the DOHA.
Next Steps: Permanent Residency
In most cases, you will be eligible for permanent residency (subclass 100) two years after lodging a successful temporary partner visa application, provided your de facto partnership or marriage continues to meet the requirements listed above. At this stage, you will be required to provide further evidence to the DOHA to establish your eligibility for permanent residency. You may be either in or outside Australia when your permanent visa is granted. In some cases, we are able to obtain the permanent stage immediately following the grant of the temporary stage.
PLEASE NOTE: We estimate that it may take several weeks to prepare and lodge your application, with the time taken largely dependent on how promptly you (and your sponsor, if applicable) provide us with the necessary supporting information and documents.
The time that it takes the DOHA to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities.
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