Thinking Australia Migration Services
australia | migration | news | jobs| pensions | finance | travel | property | contact | ask the experts
FREE assessment |FREE events | FREE callback | about us | faq | news | testimonials | chatabout

Page Title

Loading time and date

Who can apply for an Australian spouse visa?

Applicants for an Australian spouse visa must be married or in a de facto relationship with their sponsor. The sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Relationships that are recognised

  • Marriages : In general, migration law mirrors the Marriage Act 1961 in determining the recognition of marriages. Whether a foreign marriage is recognised under migration law depends first on whether it is recognised as valid in the country in which it was performed.
  • De facto relationships : are recognised where the partners are not legally married to each other, but live in a spouse-like relationship (sometimes known as "common law" spouses). If applying on the basis of a de facto relationship, the partners should have been in the relationship for at least 12 months at the time of application.

Relationships NOT recognised

  • Polygamous marriages;
  • marriages between close relatives; and
  • marriages where one party is under the Australian marriageable age (18). (It is possible in limited circumstances for a couple to marry lawfully in Australia if they are under 18 years of age if they have an Australian court order allowing them them to marry.

Australian Visa requirements

Genuine relationship requirement - You must be able to prove:

  • you and your spouse have a commitment to a shared life as spouses, whether or not you are legally married, to the exclusion of all others;
  • your relationship is genuine and continuing; and
  • you and your spouse live together, or don't live separately and apart on a permanent basis.

De facto relationship requirement :

For migration purposes, you and your de facto spouse partner must have been in a spouse-like relationship for 12 months immediately prior to applying for your Australian spouse visa, unless :

  • your partner was granted a permanent humanitarian visa and was in the relationship with you before that visa was granted and this was declared to the department at the time; or
  • you can establish compassionate and compelling circumstances - these include having dependent children from the relationship.

Age requirement :

  • In Australia, you must be aged 18 years or over to legally marry. A person 16 or 17 years of age who lives in Australia may only marry if they have an Australian court order authorising them to do so.

Visa Application process

People applying both in Australian or overseas under the spouse category go through a two-stage process. The process involves applying for a temporary visa and a permanent visa.

At the first stage the temporary visa application will be considered. The second stage, two years after making the application, involves consideration of the permanent Australia visa application.

Stage 1 - spouse temporary Australian visa

  • This stage involves assessment of your eligibility for a temporary Australia visa based on your application. You may be asked to attend an interview to enable the department to further assess your application.
  • You will also be asked to undergo a medical examination and provide character clearances.
  • If you successfully complete the first stage of processing, you will be granted a temporary visa which will be in effect until a decision is made on your application for the permanent visa, or that application is withdrawn.

Stage 2 - spouse permanent visa

This stage of processing will begin approximately two years after you lodged your Australian visa application and involves assessment of your eligibility for a permanent visa.

There are provisions to waive the two-year wait period. These include :

  • where you have been in the relationship with your spouse for five years or more at the time of application; or
  • where you have been in the relationship with your spouse for two years at the time of application and where there are dependent children of the relationship; or
  • your spouse was granted a permanent visa under the humanitarian program or was granted a protection visa and was in the relationship with you before the visa was granted and this relationship was declared to the department at the time.

At both processing stages, you will be required to provide evidence that the relationship between you and your spouse is genuine and continuing.

If you have lived in Australia for more than one year, you will be required to provide an Australian police clearance.

You may also be required to provide clearances from other countries you have visited since your spouse temporary visa was granted.

You and your spouse may be asked to attend an interview.

If you meet all the requirements you will be granted a permanent Australian visa.

If the relationship ends before the second stage of processing

If the relationship ends while you have a temporary visa, you must inform the department immediately. You may still be eligible for a permanent Australian visa, without having to fulfil the normal two-year waiting period, if:

  • after entering Australia the relationship breaks down and you or a member of your family are the victim of domestic violence committed by your spouse; or
  • after entering Australia the relationship breaks down and you and your Australian spouse have children under 18 years of age; or
  • after entering Australia, your spouse dies.

For more information see :

Have you completed your free migration assessment? It only takes 3 minutes and you will receive a reply from a registered migration agent within 24 hours


Watch Us On YouTube
Follow Us On Twitter

Free Migration Assessment Request a Callback About Us Book a FREE Event
Free migration Assessment Migration Callback About thinking australia Visit our migration messageboard

Working Partners

The following companies provide additional services that people migrating to Australia will find useful. The companies have been carefully selected and are recognised leaders in their field.
MoneyCorp Foreign Exchange PSS international National Australia Bank Australia New Zealand Migration Publications PBS Pet Travel Specialists
Global Pension Transfers Smart Line Mortgagae Advisors Chase Manhattan Business Brokers

phoning australia | australian weather | australian postcodes | your emigration questions answered | australian zoo

About Australia | Migration | Jobs | Finance | Relocation | Travel | Property | OzDirectory | Contact Us
Contact us by phone in the UK on 0845 850 40 40
2015 The Thinking Group Ltd