Were you planning on applying for an Australian partner visa? Are you currently stuck overseas due to the current travel restrictions? Many clients we've spoken with are also stuck like you, unsure how to apply for the onshore partner visa that they wanted, while they're offshore.
Long distance relationships can be hard. No doubt you want to reunite with your partner and come to Australia as soon as possible. We are here to help!
Here's our experts recommendation on what you should do, and how you can apply for your partner visa while borders remain closed.
The 3 options for partner visa applicants currently stuck overseas:
If you're currently offshore and want to come to Australia to apply for your onshore Australian partner visa, you can:
Apply for a travel exemption. As non-citizens currently cannot freely travel to Australia, you'll need to apply for a travel exemption. It's worth noting that these travel exemptions are not guaranteed.
If you successfully receive your travel exemption - Hurray! You can apply for your onshore partner visa when you're in Australia.
If you're unsuccessful with your travel exemption - There's no need to panic. The Department has started processing offshore partner visas. Rather than waiting around for the borders to re-open or applying for another travel exemption, we recommend applying for the offshore 309 partner visa.
FAQs & recommendations from our Partner visa experts:
Quick summary: Try for the travel exemption. If it doesn't work, consider applying offshore to get your partner visa faster, rather than waiting indefinitely for the borders to reopen.
"I've heard it's always better to apply for the onshore 820 partner visa"
We understand that you'd rather apply for your 820 onshore partner visa, because it means you can live in Australia with your partner while you wait for your visa. You can certainly try to obtain a travel exemption to come to Australia, but the likelihood of success is very uncertain.
It is currently unknown when the borders will reopen, or whether your travel exemption will be approved. Considering the government has increased the partner visas processing quota by as much as 3 times, onshore partner visas are currently being processed much faster. We believe it's likely offshore Partner visa applications will see the same benefit now that they're being processed as well!
So if you're unable to come onshore, we suggest that you consider applying offshore to get your partner visa faster, rather than waiting indefinitely for the borders to reopen.
"What about the Prospective Marriage visa?"
It appears that the Department has drastically slowed processing of Prospective Marriage visas at this stage. In light of this, if you're planning on applying for a Prospective Marriage visa right now, our migration experts advise that it's better if you wait until you're eligible for the offshore partner visa, and apply for this visa instead.
However, if you cannot eventually become eligible for the Partner visa, then you may as well apply for this visa now to get yourself in the queue.
Need help applying for your partner visa?
Book in for a free consultation to speak 1-to-1 with our migration experts today!