Same Sex Partner Visa Advisor

Nilesh Nandan MyVisa Immigration Lawyer

Partner Visa for Same-Sex Couples

Same-Sex partner visa submissions will affect how fast you’ll get a visa grant. Better submissions could also make a difference to the outcome.

Is There A Special Visa Category For Same-Sex Partners?

No, There is no specific visa category called a “same-sex visa”.  The visa applications available to homosexual couples are the same visa options as are available to heterosexual de facto couples.

In the past, there was a special visa class “interdependent visa” for those in a same-sex or homosexual relationship, but this class has been abolished.

How Do You Qualify For A Same-Sex Visa grant?

If one partner in a same-sex, gay and lesbian relationship is an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident then a Partner Visa application is the commonly made application.

Partner Visas are applied for with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) either onshore or offshore.

Partners need to prove that they are in a genuine and continuing relationship with their sponsor, to the exclusion of all others for a period before they lodge. The period can be as long as 12 months before lodgement, depending on whether they are married or have registered their relationship.

Prospective marriage visas are a little different and do not apply to gay and lesbian partners and sponsors. These visas allow for entry of a prospective spouse to enter Australia with a view that the prospective spouse will marry their sponsor within 9 months. However gay marriage laws are yet to be implemented in Australia.

What If One Of the Same-Sex Partners Is Not An Australian Citizen Or Permanent Resident?

If you are unable to make a partner visa application then consider making applications under the other visa programs. These include:

  • General skilled migration; or
  • 457 work visa and employer-sponsored immigration; or
  • Refugee visa (also called protection visa).

At our consultations, we’ll help you to:

  • Identify the most appropriate immigration application you need to make; and
  • Prepare for and lodge your next application faster.

Call MyVisa today to arrange a time to meet.

Processing Time For Offshore Partner Visa

Immigration has recently reduced its published processing times for off-shore partner visas to 12 months, for most (three quarters) of all applications.

Which is faster onshore or offshore?

Where your partner visa application is lodged off-shore, then you can expect to have the decision made sooner than if your application was made on-shore.

This makes sense for at least two reasons.

Bridging visa eligibility for Partner Visa

One reason that processing time is faster for off-shore applications is that your migrating partner (off-shore) doesn’t have the benefit of a bridging visa associated with their off-shore visa application lodgement. You would otherwise be expected to be separated from each other for a longer period.

Work rights for Partner Visa

The other reason that visa application processing time is faster for off-shore applications is that on-shore partner visa applications will usually allow migrating partners to get full work rights, while waiting in Australia for their visa decision to be made.

What’s the problem?

The Immigration Department presumably takes the view that if your loved one is with you in Australia and has full work rights, then “what’s the problem” in waiting for an extended period time for the visa grant decision to be made?

For these two reasons, there is suitably not as much urgency associated with on-shore (subclass 820) visa application processing.

The difference in processing time

The processing time for three quarters of all on-shore partner visa applications is accordingly longer at 21 months in the case of three quarters of all applications made for partner visas onshore. Remember, the published processing time is 12 months for on-shore applications.

Partners Life on hold during visa processing

Of course the Department might not appreciate that your life and your partner’s life is effectively kept “on hold” until a decision is ultimately made, even if an onshore application is made. This is very stressful for almost all partner visa applicants and their sponsors and dependents.

Can the visa processing be faster?

It is my experience that complete applications which are lodged online and with the assistance of confident and reputable migration agents tend to get looked at quicker and also tend to get approved quicker.

Read Recent Article on Partner Visa

My comments on partner visa changes likely to affect all partner sponsored applications in the future, as reported by www.SBS.com.au.

Partner Visa Changes - Nilesh Nandan Special Counsel

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