An Australian partner visa is suitable for anyone who has an Australian partner. This means the main applicant should either be a PR holder, an Australian citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen to apply for a partner visa (subclass 820 and subclass 801).

Anyone can apply for a partner or an Australian visitor visa as an individual, but it is easier and simpler to lodge it with the help of an immigration agency.

It is comparatively easy to get a partner, de facto or spouse visa for Australia. If the main applicant is already residing in Australia, they can act as the sponsor for the partner. Let’s focus on the requirements to have a successful partner or spouse visa.

An applicant is referred to someone whose visa will be processed. A sponsor is referred to someone who is the PR holder, an Australian Citizen or a citizen of New Zealand willing to bring his/her spouse to Australia.


DOCUMENT CHECKLIST FOR APPLICANT

The following is the list of documents that needs to be submitted by an applicant while applying for a partner visa in Australia
  • A birth certificate (with both the parent’s names);
  • A valid passport. The page should contain the signature;
  • A national identity card if available;
  • In case the name of the applicant is changed, proof of name of change should be presented;
  • A medical certificate or health documents (will be sent by the doctor of the immigration’s approved panel physician or clinic). The applicant must be examined by the clinic or physician approved by the immigration;

A character certificate.

If a dependent child is included in the visa, a passport copy and a birth certificate must be provided. If the child is above 16 years old, an AFP police check is necessary.


DOCUMENT CHECKLIST FOR SPONSOR

A sponsor can submit the sponsorship form once the applicant has submitted the visa application and provided you with the application ID or Transaction Reference Number (TRN).

Here is a list of documents that should be submitted for partner visa application
  • An Australian Passport showing their signature (if issued);
  • An Australian driver’s license;
  • Any document that proves the sponsor is a PR of Australia, an Australian Citizen or an eligible New Zealand citizen;
  • Document to proof Australia as their usual place of residence;
A police certificate showing as part of the character check.

Anyone can be a sponsor for the applicant as long as they are an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible citizen of New Zealand. 

One can sponsor the applicant on behalf of their child but they have to provide a court document that represents information about the marriage between the applicant and the child. They also have to present documents to prove that they are the child's parent or guardian.


CHARACTER CHECK CERTIFICATE

A character check, also referred to as a police check is needed during application submission for a partner visa. It should be provided by both the applicant and the sponsor.

In the case of the applicant, the AFP police check can be obtained from every country the applicant has lived for. If they had been to Australia previously on a temporary partner visa, it is possible to get an Australian police check issued by the Australian Federal Police. An Australian Police Certificate is valid for 12 months starting from the date of issue for immigration purposes.

The sponsor should be able to get an Australian police check along with a consent to reveal any convictions if found, that is relevant to the applicant. They must also acquire a police clearance from all the other countries they have been to (if resided there for 1 year).

A police certificate issued by any other accredited body is not accepted by the immigration. For immigration purposes, a police check must be obtained from the Australian Federal Police.

A form known as form 80 must be completed by the applicant as part of their character checking process and submit it with the application. It is an assessing document that checks the character along with some personal particulars.

As a part of the character check process, a discharge paper or military service records must be submitted along with a police clearance certificate by people who worked as a part of the armed forces in any country.

DOCUMENTS TO BE PROVIDED BY BOTH THE APPLICANT AND SPONSOR

  • Both the applicant and the sponsor must submit the following documents:
  • A character check certificate from the Australian Federal Police;
  • A relationship proof certificate such as a marriage certificate, wedding photographs or a statutory declaration stating that the relationship is genuine which should be signed by a witness. A parent can submit a birth certificate;
  • Financial documents shared by the couple such as leasing document, loan documents, utility bills which has both the people’s names or a bank account statement indicating it’s a joint account, emails or mails addressed to both etc.;
  • Any document to prove both have travelled together, attended any social events together, any joint social or cultural activities document (optional);
Other documents could be a phone record such as texts or calls, emails, chats on social media between each other, information about each other’s nature, interests, hobbies, family details etc. (optional).

GROUNDS ON WHICH A PARTNER VISA COULD BE REFUSED

Character check plays a major role in the visa approval or refusal decision. If the applicant does not meet the character requirements in Australia, their visa could be refused. The information might be disclosed in the national police clearance certificate. Based on the reasons mentioned below, a character test will be declared as fail if:
  • The applicant has been found involved with a criminal conduct association or group;
  • The applicant committed a crime in the detention centre of immigration;
  • A criminal record has been found against them such as death sentence, imprisonment for 1 year or more or life imprisonment. They are known as a significant criminal record;
  • The applicant is a potential risk to the Australian community;
  • A conviction against child based assault such as sexual offences is found;
  • Suspected of involvement with war crimes, slavery, human trafficking, humanity based crimes, people smuggling, genocide or any crime considered serious internationally;
The applicant's involvement with a risk such as stalking, harassment, intimidating, molesting or any other criminal conduct etc.


GROUNDS ON WHICH A SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION MAY BE REJECTED

The character record of a sponsor plays a significant role as much as an applicant's police record does. To protect the Australian community from any kind of violence, a law has been introduced by the government where a sponsorship application could be refused for a partner visa. This could be disclosed in the Australian police check. The criteria are similar to the significant criminal record of the applicant.

However, there is another category called relevant offences. It includes involvement in the following offences along with procuring, aiding, counselling or abetting them:
  • Human trafficking;
  • Using dangerous weapons such as firearms;
  • People smuggling;
  • Stalking, harassing, intimidating or molesting someone;
  • Apprehended violence order breach;

Threat of violence, assault, murder and sexual assault (not limited to these).

All the circumstances will be considered while deciding on an application. But it is wise to provide all the information correctly and truly to the immigration. It is always a crime to give false information about criminal history. This will result in the visa being refused.