Australia Spouse Visa

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Australia applies its typically liberal policies to spousal and partner visas. There are several kinds of these visas, depending on the legal status of the partners. The Australian Partner Migration Program enables Australian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their overseas partner to migrate to Australia. Relationships that are not recognized by the government and not eligible for visas are polygamous marriages, marriages between close relatives, and marriages in which one partner is under the legal Australian age--18 years old--for marriage.

Criteria for Partner Migration

Applicants for a spouse visa must be married or engaged to, or in a de facto relationship with, an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. The philosophical basis for these various visas is that the relationship is genuine and ongoing. "De facto" refers to a common-law marriage in which the partners are not legally married, but live together in a spouse-like relationship. In this case, the partners must have co-habited for at least 12 months.

Another sub-type is the Prospective Marriage (Fiance) visa. As in the other visas, the sponsor must be the Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant must be outside of Australia, must be engaged to the sponsor, and must plan to marry.

The Interdependency Visa applies to homosexual or lesbian couples, although it is not restricted to same-sex relationships. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and in an interdependent relationship with the sponsor, who must also be at least 18. The sponsor must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

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