Australian Spouse applications are judged on the genuineness of the relationship and an applicant will need to show that he or she is in a long-term, committed relationship with an Australian spouse. This relationship must be of at least 12 months or more.
It is unlikely that a person can make a successful application for a spousal visa if they have only known their Australian partner for a short time or have not met.
To be eligible to apply for a Spousal visa or Fiancee Visa to Australia the applicant must be able to prove either of the following:
1. They are legally married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen;
2. They have been in a de facto relationship (residing together) for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding lodgement of the spousal visa application;
3. They are formally engaged to be married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or eligible NZ Citizen)
4. Free to marry that person.
A person who is granted an Australian spousal visa is entitled to work in Australia. They will also have access to Medicare and multiple travel rights.
Spousal applications work in stages and unless a couple has been together for 5 years or have children together the initial visa granted is “temporary” or “provisional”. This means that the initial Spousal Visa will be granted for 2 years (or until such time as a decision is reached on their permanent visa). What this means in practical terms is that the Department of Immigration will contact the visa holder shortly before the 2 year’s time frame is up.
The 2 years runs from the date of lodgement of the initial visa application. They will be asked to provide some more information and evidence of their genuine and ongoing relationship (joint accounts, bills, photos, statements, fresh police clearances and other documentation). They may have to do medicals again if they have traveled to and spent time in a high-risk country.
The second stage visa process is relatively straightforward and does not take long to finalize.