It’s been just over three years since our Australian Partner Visa was approved and I wrote about how it was granted in six months on the blog. In the three years since then I have received thousands of blog comments, emails, Facebook and Instagram messages from people either going through the process who had questions or to thank us for the detailed blog post about our experience. I have tried to answer most questions and comments over the years and I thought it was probably time that I put together an Australian Partner Visa Application FAQ’s article. I’ve shared the most common questions that we have received in the hope that it continues to help people going through this epic and stressful (but totally worth it) process.
How do you prove Australian citizenship or permanent residency in relation to completing form 888?
We provided certified copies of passports with all 888 forms. You can also provide birth certificates.
How did we know that the visa had been granted? What contact did we receive?
We received an email asking us to looked at the attached correspondence which was headed “Notification of grant of a Partner (Provisional) (class UF) Partner (Provisional)(subclass 309) visa“.
This was a 2 page letter and six page visa grant notice detailing the conditions of the visa/when we had to enter Australia by etc.
Do you need to send your passport away to have a visa stuck in it?
No, the visa is electronic so no documentation or stickers will be placed in your passport. It’s just electronically linked to your passport.
We did take a printout of the visa grant on Dan’s first entry into Australia just in case, but we didn’t need it.
Should you apply onshore or offshore?
This is up to each individual couple based on your circumstances. We applied offshore as I had enough time left on my UK visa so we wouldn’t have to be apart.
In addition, the offshore ones are usually processed quicker!
Is there a limit to the number and size of documents you can upload?
Files need to be under 5mb and there is a limit of 60 files per person (applicant and sponsor).
We compressed the larger files (such as bank statement and photos) and they all ended up coming under 5mb.
We also uploaded all documents as PDF’s as it is not good practice to upload or send anything as a word document.
Should you submit a year (or more) of utility bills etc?
We submitted a few months worth of each of the bills etc that we were using as evidence and put a note on them that we were happy to provide more if requested.
We did however upload 12 months of highlighted and annotated bank statements as we felt they were really important.
What should you do with your bank statements?
We downloaded them off our internet banking and printed them in colour before highlighting & annotating them. I then scanned them in, compressed the file and we then uploaded them as a PDF.
Don’t have enough evidence to prove you have been living in a de-facto relationship?
My advice here is 100% to contact a migration agent or visa. This is such a large sum of money and you want to ensure that if you are submitting the visa that you meet all the necessary criteria.
Do I need to include a cover letter and what should I include?
A cover letter isn’t required but we thought it would be a good little addition to our application that would help explain who we are and also let them know we were willing to jump through any hoops necessary!
Our cover letter was basically just an intro into who we were, a quick summary of our relationship and we also wrote that if they needed us for an interview or required any further information from us at any point we were more than happy to do anything we needed to!
Do you need to supply certified copies of documents when you apply online?
We had our passport’s and driver’s licences certified and then uploaded everything else as coloured scans.
Is the cost of the de facto visa something you would consider is shared or a cost for the person applying to migrate?
I’ve been asked this question SO many times. We shared the cost, however it is again up to each couple to decide. For us, we shared every aspect of our lives and planned to continue that when we moved to Australia so it was a no brainer.
Can you explain the difference between the relationship statement and four commitment statements?
We both wrote relationship statements (individually) and then together we wrote the 4 commitment sections (listed below) as 4 separate documents which we uploaded separately.
- Evidence of Financial Aspects of the Relationship
- Evidence of Social Aspects of the Relationship
- Evidence of Nature of the couple’s mutual commitment to each other
- Evidence of Nature of the couple’s household
We typed the statements on blank A4 paper & both signed and dated before scanning and uploading.
A lot of the information was repeated but we felt a lot of the information crossed multiple categories so it seemed okay. Personally, I would rather give too much information than not enough and it obviously worked for us!
How did we link our statements to the question box?
In each part of the application that related to the statements above, we just wrote Please see attached document “Financial Statement of relationship” etc because I couldn’t fit it in the 2000 word limit.
Should I upload documents twice if asked for them?
We only uploaded documents once – despite them being required in multiple areas, as a lot of things cross over.
The biggest thing you need to be concerned about is you can only upload 60 documents so you don’t want to upload things twice (e.g. passport etc).
Should I use a migration agent?
Early on we did think about using a migration agent because the Australian partner visa was so important to our future and we didn’t want to risk that, but we decided against it and now we cannot believe we actually spent time considering this.
Our case is quite a simple one, we met all the criteria, had not been apart at all during our de-facto relationship and we had no dependents (family or children) that we were trying to migrate to Australia with.
I think unless your case is complicated, you have dependents or aren’t sure if you meet the criteria then you can probably do it on your own.
If your case isn’t clear-cut though and you aren’t sure if you meet the criteria or you are massively lacking in evidence then I would at least consult a migration agent or lawyer.
From my research I understand that some migration agents offer a free first consultation.
I will continue to update this post with any questions that any of you have. If you do have any comments or questions at all, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as I can.
The whole process is stressful and so time-consuming, however so so so worth it and hopefully these Australian Partner Visa Application FAQ’s will assist you with some of your questions. You can also check out our original post about how our Australian Partner Visa was approved in six months.
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DISCLAIMER: We are by no means migration agents or legal professionals, just two people who have been through the process and wanting to share our experience to hopefully help others.
Please don’t rely on our information alone in these Australian Partner Visa Application FAQ’s, we don’t hold any responsibility if it is not factually correct (as it is just based on our own personal experience), or if dates, prices or requirements change.