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 Stellwho are experienced in this area of law. They are located atLevel 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.
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