Partner and fiance visa for Australia are indeed 2 different visa options. But, they have the same goal – to reunite partners in Australia.
Clients usually ask whether they need to be married to have their partner visa for Australia granted. Also, if they should apply for a fiance visa for Australia first.
To answer those questions, we need to look at both visa options closely.
Sponsor for Partner and Fiance visa for Australia
Every application for a partner visa for Australia is based on a relationship between a sponsor and visa applicant.
The sponsor needs to meet the following requirements:
- Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen,
- Be 18 years old or above,
- Meet the character requirements, meaning they do not have convictions or charges for specific offenses,
- Has never had a visa cancelled or refused in certain circumstances.
Requirements for the sponsor are the same for a partner visa or fiance visa for Australia.
Fiance visa is also known as a Prospective Marriage visa for Australia.
Partner visa for Australia
You can apply for a partner visa outside Australia (offshore partner visa) or while you are in Australia (onshore partner visa). The final goal is to obtain permanent residency.
This process can be much faster if the applicant and sponsor are married. But, you can also apply for a partner visa on the basis of your de facto relationship if all requirements are met.
The process goes in 2 stages. In some cases, the person can complete both stages with one application and get permanent residency straight away. If that is the case, be sure to have a well prepared and complete application and documents.
Partner visa for Australia – Application Stages
|Stage 1: Temporary Partner visa for Australia||Stage 2: Permanent Partner visa for Australia|
|You and your Australian partner (sponsor) are:
Apply for Stage 1 of a partner visa for Australia.
|Two years after applying for a temporary visa application (Stage 1), you and your Australian partner (sponsor) are in a continuing marriage or a de facto relationship.
You can apply for Stage 2 of a partner visa for Australia.
Fiance visa for Australia
You must be outside Australia when you apply for a fiance visa for Australia, as well as when the decision on your visa is issued.
If you came to Australia on a tourist visa while your fiance visa application was still being processed, then you will have to leave the country to have the decision issued.
On your fiance visa there will be a condition to make the first entry in Australia by a certain date. You will also be required by visa conditions to marry your partner before the visa expires.
Fiance visa allows you to work in Australia.
While in Australia, you can apply for a partner visa for Australia without leaving the country.
Fiance visa for Australia – Application Stages
|Stage 1: Prospective Marriage visa for Australia||Stage 2: Temporary Partner visa for Australia||Stage 3: Permanent Partner visa for Australia|
|You plan to marry your fiancé/fiancée and so you apply for a fiance visa for Australia.||You are coming to Australia with a Prospective Marriage visa. Then you marry before your Prospective Marriage visa for Australia expires. You apply for a Partner visa while in Australia.||Two years after you applied for a Partner visa you are still in a continuing marriage with your sponsor. You apply for a Partner visa to obtain permanent residency.|
Partner visa or Fiance visa for Australia?
As you could see in the tables above, you have an additional step in the process when applying for a prospective marriage visa for Australia. But, this step can be avoided if you already meet the requirements for a partner visa.
Processing times for fiance visa and offshore partner visa for Australia can be similar. In our experience on average it is about 12 months, sometimes shorter or even longer. This time can be quite difficult if partners are living apart at that moment.
The advantage of a prospective marriage visa for Australia is that you don’t have to rush with the decision to get married. When you enter Australia you have to get married during the visa validity period. In this way, you can also see what your life in Australia would look like and whether you would like it.
The disadvantage of a prospective marriage visa is that it is a visa on its own that needs to be well prepared with supporting documents, just like any other visa for Australia. Also, when applying you must be outside Australia.
Costs of application process for Partner and Fiance visa for Australia
Prospective marriage visa is more expensive than a partner visa for Australia.
Visa application charge for fiance visa and for both stages of a partner visa is $7,715 AUD. If you apply for a partner visa after fiance visa, you need to pay an additional fee of $1,285 AUD.
Apart from these fees there can be additional costs for each visa application. For example medical examination, biometric data collection (if required), preparation and translation of necessary documents, registered migration agent services and others.
Fiance visa for Australia is not so romantic
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of a fiance visa for Australia is that it is not so romantic even though it might sound differently.
Every prospective marriage visa has the condition “marry within visa validity”. It can affect visa holders and their sponsors in different and sometimes unexpected ways.
They can feel pressured to marry before the deadline someone else set for them. They might struggle to choose the right moment for them in the time frame given.
The doubts and stress can further negatively affect their relationship and even health. They might be trapped in a big dilemma of what to do even if they are sure about continuing the relationship.
Circumstances can change in the meantime and a solution must be found within a short time.
Booking just one consultation with a registered migration agent can often help to find a solution.
Fiance visa for Australia during COVID-19
When COVID-19 pandemic was announced, most flights for Australia were cancelled or they were significantly reduced. It became difficult to find a flight or maintain reservations.
Due to these circumstances many prospective marriage visa holders remained outside Australia, unable to enter before the first entry date.
For some holders the date of first entry on their prospective marriage visa for Australia was extended until 31 March 2022. This applies to those whose prospective marriage visa was valid between 6 October 2020 and 10 December 2020, and they were still outside Australia on 10 December 2020.
For all others it is expected that they will be entitled to receive a refund of visa application charge of $7,715 AUD or $7,160 AUD if the application was lodged before 01.07.2019. This was mentioned in an official statement released in October 2020.
In that case they will be able to apply for a partner visa for Australia. It was promised that those applications will be considered as priorities and will be processed faster if the application and the documentation are complete.
How we can help you
Be free to contact us if you:
- Had a fiance visa for Australia expired due to the COVID-19 restrictions (or some other circumstances),
- Have a fiance visa for Australia that is to expire soon,
- Would like to discuss both visa options – fiance or partner visa for Australia in relation to your specific circumstances.
You can contact us on (Viber) phone number +61423706205 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also book a consultation with our registered migration agent to discuss your visa options for Australia.
If you paid the consultation fee, we will give you a discount and reduce the payment of our full service for the price of consultations.
For updated information, check the website of the Department of Home Affairs.