Relevant Spouse Visa Categories For Australia
The immigration system in Australia is much like Canada. It is based on the point-based system whereby the government allocates points and then invites you to get a permanent residency (PR) visa to stay in Australia. Australia too is in need of skilled workers and so encourages the foreign skilled workers to apply for permanent residency. Many do so willingly, allured by the high standard of living and job opportunities in the country. But what if you are married and now want your spouse to stay with you? How can you bring your spouse to Australia on a permanent visa? Let us find out the relevant spouse visa categories for Australia.
Which is the relevant spouse visa category for Australia?
Australia has many categories under which a spouse can apply for a permanent visa. The categories will depend on the location of the spouse, whether he/she stays inside or outside Australia, the relationship status of the partners, visa category of the sponsor, etc.
The most common and useful category is when a spouse of an Australian permanent citizen is staying outside Australia and wishes to apply for permanent residency. The category, in this case, is a Partner (provincial) Visa (subclass 309).
What is Partner Visa (subclass 309)?
The Partner Visa Subclass 309 is the category designed for those applicants, staying outside Australia, who wish to stay with their spouse or de facto partner who is the Australian permanent resident and so want to apply for a permanent residency visa.
What are the eligibility requirements for the Subclass 309?
You as an applicant are allowed to apply for a permanent resident visa under this category only if you are married or in a de facto relationship with a person who is:
- Australian permanent resident
- Australian citizen
- Eligible citizen of New Zealand
- At the time of application, you stay outside Australia.
Is the Partner Subclass 309 a permanent visa?
No, the partner subclass 309 is not a permanent visa. It is a temporary visa allotted to you that will allow you to stay in Australia for a limited period of time.
Once in Australia, you will have to convert this visa into a Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 100), which will allow you to live permanently in Australia with your partner.
What is the procedure to apply for a permanent visa?
Once you have applied and are selected under the Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309), you do not again have to apply for the Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 100).
The application for both these types of visas is the same. There is a single application for both these types of visas. You are not required to pay any extra fees either as the charge is for a single application only.
The application is processed in two stages. The first year is for the processing of the temporary subclass 309 visa and the second year if for the processing of the permanent subclass 100 visas. So you are required to wait for a year to get a permanent visa.
What are the benefits of the Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309)?
This visa even though temporary allows you to:
- Travel to Australia and stay there till the Partner visa is processed.
- You can pursue studies in Australia. But there will not be any government funding.
- Enroll for a job opportunity.
- Enroll for a healthcare scheme, i.e., Medicare in Australia.
What are the key benefits of the Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 100)?
Once you are allotted the permanent visa you can:
- Live in Australia with your spouse for an indefinite period.
- Study and Work in Australia.
- Make an application for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible).
- You can sponsor your relatives for permanent residency (if they are eligible).
- Enroll yourself for Social Security Payments.
So if you wish to stay with your spouse who is already an Australian permanent resident, then you can do so by following the above-mentioned steps.
It is important to note that the Permanent Partner Visa will allow you to stay in Australia for a period of 5 years without restrictions. After 5 years you are required to renew the visa (if you haven’t already got an Australian Citizenship). If you do not renew your visa, you may be asked to leave the country.
You may also like,