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To obtain a Spouse visa, the applicant must be legally married to or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen permanently resident in Australia.

De facto relationship ' Australian law also recognises de facto spouses. De facto spouses live together as husband and wife but are not legally married. For migration purposes, de facto relationship spouses must have been in that relationship for 12 months.

Obtaining permanent residence as a spouse, including de facto spouse, is a two-step process, with a Provisional Spouse visa being granted first, and then the Permanent Spouse visa. Applicants apply for both the provisional and the permanent visa at the same time. Unless the relationship is long term,applicants are initially assessed against the rules for the provisional visa.Once this is granted, the applicant can travel to Australia. Two years after the initial application, DIMIA will assess against the rules for the permanent visa. 

STAGE 1 ' Spouse Temporary Visa

This stage involves assessment of the eligibility for a temporary visa based on the application. The applicant will be asked to provide the following:

  • Evidence that the relationship is genuine and continuing;
  • Medical examinations and character clearances from countries in which the applicant has lived for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. 

STAGE 2 ' Spouse Permanent Visa

The second stage of processing will begin approximately 2 years after the visa application was lodged and involves assessment of the eligibility for a permanent visa.

During this stage, the Department of Immigration will ask for:

  • Evidence from the applicant and the spouse showing the relationship is genuine and continuing;
  • Declarations from two people who know the applicant and the spouse well and can support the claim that the relationship is genuine and continuing, and
  • An Australian police clearance if the applicant has lived in Australia for more than a year.

If the applicant meets the requirements, a permanent residence visa will be granted.


This Information Outline is provided courtesy of Yandell Wright Stell  who are experienced in this area of law. They are located at Level 5, 139 Macquarie Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 or call them on (02) 9252-2278 if you would like more information on thIS legal topic, or you wish to obtain formal advice regarding your situation.

Yandell Wright Stell Lawyers is a result oriented firm as distinct from a procedurally-oriented firm. The result is achieving your goals as quickly and efficiently as possible and to your best advantage. Our firm through its professionals and support team supply legal services in the following areas of law: *Property law including conveyancing, property development and planning matters. *Commercial dispute resolution and litigation. *Immigration law including all visa applications. *Banking and finance law. *Intellectual property law including trade marks, copyright, designs and patents.*Telecommunications and information technology law. *Insolvency and bankruptcy law. *Corporate, commercial and business law matters. *Family law. We are centrally located in Macquarie Street, Sydney from where we are able to deliver first class results and personal service to all our clients.

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