Australian Partner Visa Online Application Tips


Anyone who has done it can tell you why there is no good checklist for the Australian Partner Visa Process aalso known as an Australian De Facto Visa. Isn’t exactly straightforward. Trying to get my head around it for the first time nearly left me with a headache.

Lists abound full of words like “might” that make the whole process even more confusing.  The immigration website was a labyrinth to me, with a ton of info about Australian partner visas sprinkled across multiple website pages.  I never found an official, simple Australian Partner Visa checklist – probably because there are too many different situations for a one-size fits all, easy, reassuring list.

To top it all off, shortly after forking over the huge sum of cash required to apply, we discovered several things we’d have liked to know months earlier.  Thanks to that, I’ve written up an entire series about the Australian Partner Visa, starting with my Australian Partner Visa Application tips below.

Important 2019 Partner Visa Updates: 

  1. While 10 June 2019 was said to be the latest implementation date for the 2017 proposal to change the Australian Partner Visa application process, as of 1 September 2019 I see no new procedures on the immigration website. The proposed change would require sponsors to apply first and be approved to sponsor before the applicant can submit an application.  I’ve read that the change is to prevent application rejections due to dodgy sponsors and to decrease family violence (which is apparently more prevalent among partner visa couples, because it causes an imbalance of power?).  According to an SBS-published migration agent (article published 1 July 2019) this change is still on deck.
    .
    Those in the Australian Partner Visa scene seem to agree that adding this hurdle will extend already long visa wait times.  And potentially increase the total cost to the couple as there will now be two-steps.  This SBS article estimates a 12-week wait for sponsors to be approved, but also says it may still be possible for applications to be lodged at the same time.
    .
    The two-step change would especially impact people applying onshore.  If an applicant is in Australia, and hoping to stay there (and get medicare and work rights!) by submitting their 820/801 visa application (which qualifies them for a bridging visa), but can’t submit the 820/801 until their sponsor gets approved by the department… you can see the additional life-instability and nail-biting wait times this potentially adds, hey?  For 309/100 applicants, it seems to me there are fewer life logistics that depend on getting sponsor approval, but the increased wait times have the same added stress potential.  That’s the part of this whole process that couples seems to struggle most with.  We did!
    .
    Conventional wisdom is to apply as soon as possible, before the rules change!.
  2. After 1 July 2019, the cost of the 820/801 and 309/100 Partner Visas and the 300 Prospective Marriage visa went up another $555 to $7,715.
    .
    What’s the difference between the 820/801 and 309/100?  They are basically the same visa, but the different numbers denote where the applicant is when submitting the application.  If the applicant is in Australia (e.g. they are just finishing a working holiday visa) they apply for an 820/801.  If the applicant is outside Australia (say a UK citizen got into a relationship with a traveling Australian and is currently in Europe) then the applicant selects 309/100.  I’m sure, internally, for the Department of Home Affairs, it is important to keep things separate.  On the please-give-us-a-visa side of the aisle, it’s just a technicality.
    .
  3. You now must lodge online.
    There is no longer an option to lodge with paper forms.  So look out for old information online that encourages you to check the difference between online and on-paper processing times.  It used to be true that some offices processed paper applications faster than online offices.  It’s my understanding that is no longer true/possible!

Other 2019 Update:

  • As of December 20, 2017, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection was folded into a new department – the Department of Home Affairs.   As you read online about how to apply for an Australian Partner Visa, you may see references to “immi” or the “DIBP” – former names for the Department of Home Affairs.

Things to know before starting your Australian Partner Visa application:

  • You can’t start submitting evidence until you’ve completed the applicant’s application form and paid the fee. Once you’ve paid, you have access to the upload screen.
  • You may see talk online of needing to fill out a 47SP form, but you won’t find the form anywhere official.  Why?  The applicant’s online account starts with the 47SP form broken into several screens.  You ARE filling out the 47SP as you proceed through the beginning stages of your application… without being told that it’s happening.
  • The series of pre-payment questions require you to summarize certain facets of and give some details of the evidence you’ll be submitting. We found it difficult to answer all the questions without devising some system to organize our documents and information.
  • The Australian immigration department has you assign an “Evidence Type” label and a “Document Type” label to every single thing you upload. Knowing those labels as we gathered and sorted our data would have saved us a ton of time. We finally answered all the 47SP questions, paid our fee, arrived at the upload screen, and discovered the department’s system was broken down into tiny pieces. We had grouped things on our end. Oh no!

Tips for Online Australian Partner Visa Applications:

In lieu of a good Australian Partner Visa Checklist, these tips will help you organize as you gather your information:

1. Start now

As of the first few months of 2019, wait times are averaging 21 months for onshore applicants bsource and 14 months for offshore applicants csource… so get cracking!  The sooner you pay your Australian Partner visa fee, the sooner you join the queue.  If I’d known this when we applied, we would have paid the application fee the day we became eligible (instead of two months later when we were ready to start gathering documents).

When we did start, we thought it would take us three days to gather everything together. Nearly two weeks later, my de facto partner and I were still going strong. And trying not to kill each other. Even with the benefit (punishment?) of two people being able to work on it eight hours a day for consecutive days, our Australian Partner Visa application took us a total of two and half weeks. Granted, my partner and I are both very thorough individuals. dwho writes blog posts about this stuff? People like me! However, it’s likely you’ll find yourself surprised about just how long it takes to contact all the people doing stat decs, follow up, comb through emails, dig through bank statements, track down phone records, make copies of papers, get fingerprinted, order official documents, wait for official documents, etc.

2. Look at a sample visa

I realized, after dozens of comments on this post, that it would be helpful for people to actually look at the Australian Partner Visa Evidence my de facto partner and I submitted. People are always asking how exactly we satisfied the categories and looking to gain confidence in their own evidence situations. Sorry it took me waaaay longer than I thought to get it ready for public consumption. More on all that here.

3. Ask in forums or ask officials

My de facto Australian partner and I really struggled to find good resources out there. Among all the Australian Partner Visa forums, I found Australian Visa Forum particularly helpful. The Australia Forum is good, too.

You’ll see in the comments I regularly refer people and their questions to the immigration department’s Americas Service Centre and Europe Service Centre, but contact info on the immi website no longer seems to exist.  I could not navigate to a phone number for the “Global Services Centre” in Australia, but it is still referenced on other countries embassy pages.  I cannot guarantee the accuracy of these phone numbers, but I have captured what the internet still offers before it all disappears:

  • Global Service Centre: +61 2 6196 0196 (9am to 5pm Australian EST)
  • Americas Service Centre +1 (613) 238 1040

You may see references in places to a Partner Migration Booklet – a PDF once published by immigration that seems to no longer exist.  The most recent copy I can find on the internet (not on the immi website) is from 2017.

4. Plan your filenames

I’m sure it helps to have your evidence PDFs named things like “Social Aspects of Relationship, joint travel” vs. “amy brian europe.”  However, it will save you a ton of time to think about this when you are creating the files instead of when you go to upload them.

5. Outsmart the payment fee

If you’re applying from within Australia eso visa subclass 820 and the cash you want to use to pay for the visa is already in Australia, this is super easy for you.  You just pay by in-country bank transfer.  However, if the cash you want to use to pay the visa fee is outside Australia, you’ll get stuck with a $70-140 payment fee.  Unless you use this secret.

6. Group things together

The total files limit is 60 files at 5MB each.  Running out of uploads is a significant concern.  We organized our evidence to minimize our uploads.  I think it made our C.O.’s (Case Officer’s) job easier to group things.

As an example: if you had three invitations to upload for “Social Aspects of the Relationship Invitations Joint” and didn’t combine them into a single file, your poor C.O. would have to open three different files to examine your invitations, vs. just scrolling through a PDF.

My de facto partner and I often combined things their system would normally break into several different uploads. More on this later.

7. Upload with care

You can’t un-upload something!!! I think you also can’t write over the top of an existing file. I’m sure the reason is to prevent fraudsters from patching up holes in their lies. However, this also means that you can easily waste one of your 60 uploads. The only way to correct an error is to re-upload the corrected version. (E.g. we once realized a document’s references were wrong – i.e. we said something was on p.8 but realized it was actually p.23.) Not only do re-uploads waste your quota, but too many will make a mess for your C.O. as well.

8. Include it again

While you should still consider your upload quota, you should know you’ll have to upload some documents more than once. For example, I uploaded my passport a number of times to fulfill various categories (travel document, citizenship, identity).

Don’t be afraid to include a document more than once if it makes sense in another group. E.g. our housemate’s stat dec was also evidence toward “Couples are living together” and “Length of the de facto relationship”. So it appeared in three different documents that we uploaded (stat decs, living together proof, and length of relationship proof).

It kept our C.O. from having to notice that one of our stat decs supported other categories as well. We tried to take as much work out of the process as possible for our C.O.

I’ve also seen it emphasized over and over how important it is to be transparent and thorough.  Tons of migration agents advise vehemently against the attitude of “well, if it’s not enough evidence, they’ll just ask us for more.”  The agents say, “No, no, no!  If it’s not enough evidence, they will very likely just reject your application!”  Our evidence was ridiculously thorough.  Probably more thorough than it needed to be.  But we never regretted dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”.

9. Make a decision about medical and character checks

The conventional wisdom for years has been to wait until asked by your case officer to get medical and character (police/background) checks.  We… didn’t realize that.  With my budget-minded approach to life, I saw an opportunity to get the medical requirement fulfilled cheaply while traveling through Thailand, at one of the approved facilities.  When we submitted our application 6 months later, I only had 6 months validity left on my medical checks!  It ended up working out.  But if our visa hadn’t been approved before the checks expired, I would have had to go back to the doctor and pay for the whole thing all over again!

The same happened with my FBI clearance (I’m American).  I read it takes three months and thought, “Stuff it!  I’m not going to wait to hear from the department.  I’m just going to submit the check and hope that by the time it arrives, the department has already asked for it.  Worse case scenario, I have to get it and pay again.  Best case, I already have it and our application can proceed more quickly than it would have otherwise.”  Again, it worked out in our favor to have done this.

But because it hasn’t worked out for other applicants, the advice has long been: don’t gamble.  Just wait until you’re told to get the medical/police checks and then get them.  Even though it delays your application’s approval.  (E.g. with the FBI clearance.  If I’d waited, instead of being approved thirteen days after first being contacted by the department, we would have spent another 90-ish days waiting on the FBI.)

Starting in March 2018, I began hearing about “fast tracking” of visa applications.  One migration agent’s site explained that the department now makes attempts to fast-track “front loaded” applications – e.g. applications that already have medical and character checks (police clearances) ready to go upon lodgement and are “decision-ready.”  Basically, upon being assigned to your case, can your case officer open your documents and quickly see all the paperwork, files, and proof they need?  It seems like this may have been true for us (my case officer would not comment).  Our visa was granted 5 months (159 days) from date of lodgement, and 13 days after we presume our files were first opened by the department (on Day 146, we were contacted by not-our-case-officer with a request for an additional police clearance that I then proved I didn’t need.)

I’m in no position to give advice.  But if I had to make the decision again, I’d probably do what I did before… after reading through forums to see how often it had backfired on other people!

10. Keep your relationship information fresh

We only did a very mild version of this.  We were so hopeful our application would zip right through that we didn’t even consider that it might languish in the immigration queue for months… or a year… causing us to need to provide continuing proof of our relationship.

We updated our application when I traveled back to Australia on a tourist visa – on day 112 in our visa application timeline.  The immigration department told me to do this so that when I finally got a C.O., they would know I was in Australia and would need to remind me to leave before (hopefully!) granting my visa.  (I had applied offshore – a 309/100 visa – which cannot be granted while the applicant is in on Australian soil.  I had to leave the country – I took the cheapest flight I could find to get out of OZ for five days – so my 309 visa could be granted and then activated upon my entering the country.)  However, submitting a “hey!  I’m going to be in OZ on a tourist visa for the next 90 days” note in our application does involve the subtext of “Hey, we are still in a relationship and still spending exorbitant amounts of money to be together and to arrange our lives together.”

The advice now is… don’t stop collecting evidence just because you’ve lodged your application and submitted a bunch of documents proving your relationship is real.  Keep saving those wedding invites addressed to both of you.  Keep tucking aside bank statements with relevant expenditures.  Note emails or phone conversations that are specific, new milestones for your relationship.  Not only could this be important for getting your 820/309 visa, but you will need this information for the next (final!) stage (801/100) of the partner visa.

Good Luck!

That’s it! Hope that helps clear up some of the confusion about how to organize yourself as you go about preparing for the crazy Australian Partner Visa Application process!

Related:
Our Australian Partner Visa Evidence
Our Australian Partner Visa Application Timeline
Another Applicant/Sponsor Couple’s Great FAQs
How to Avoid the Credit Card Surchage When Paying for the Visa


Whoa. I can’t believe all this is free.
Can I buy you a drink?

Ha! Sure.
.
I’ll take an oaked bourbon on the rocks.
Or a Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cab.
Or a prickly pear margarita.
Or a flat white.
Or water. I drink a lot of water.
Or my favorite super-legit hangover pills.


Hey Bartender! Get the lady a…


(You don’t need Paypal: click credit/debit button)

References   [ + ]

a. also known as an Australian De Facto Visa
b. source
c. source
d. who writes blog posts about this stuff? People like me!
e. so visa subclass 820


813 comments

  • September 11, 2019 at 3:11 am

    Hi Jemma, Thank you so much for this. you are awesome! Me and my partner live in different countries ( I live in Australia of course). we haven’t lived together ever as yet. we see each other every 3 months or so ( I go to visit her). so I am planing now to marry her so I can start her application very soon. Do you reckon I would be facing a problem here having us not lived together before ( however we will be married and having translated marriage certificate and all other proofs of our genuine relationship) ?
    Also, instead of waiting for her visa outcome, can she come to visit me on 600 visitor visa? honestly I don’t wanna get married and then stay away from my wife for long time!
    Thanks again Jemma and your help here is much appreciated.
    – Adam

    • September 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Adam – glad you’ve found all the info useful! I wish I could be more helpful, but I don’t have the experience of a migration agent. They are generally happy to answer questions like this – pro bono – on the phone. When I used to haunt the Australian Partner Visa forums scouring information about how other people’s visas were going, I definitely saw people who successfully got a visa despite not having lived together and who visited while waiting for outcome. It’s all specific to each person’s situation and nationality. I’d really encourage you to read up in Australian Partner Visa forums to try and find others in your exact shoes and hear their solution in regards to visiting, etc.

      You can always ring up a migration agent and have a chat on the phone, too!

  • August 28, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Hi
    We submitted in Jan 2019 and received a request for more info 2 days ago (form 80 and fbi clearance which we had already submitted i thought) – how long do you think before the next step in your experience?

    • August 31, 2019 at 12:03 am

      Hi Bianca! Our timeline is here. The first time we were contacted was 146 days after our application was submitted… about 4.5 months. Our visa was granted 13 days later.

      Every case is different, so it’s impossible to know for sure. My best advice is to read Australian Partner Visa forums to find out what others on a similar application timeline this year are experiencing. Good luck!

  • August 21, 2019 at 5:24 am

    So my wife and I have been married going on ten years. We submitted my partner visa application (309/100) in September of 2018 and it was just approved now in August 2019. Strange thing though, they skipped right over the temporary 309 and gave me the permanent 100. Thankfully I’m sure it’s because I had 11 years of evidence, and what not to prove my worthiness. As you suggested I uploaded everything…including an FBI clearance within a month of the application. The only thing they asked for that I guess I missed was the sponsor application. We submitted it the day they asked for it, then two weeks later I got my permanent visa. Still blows my mind just a bit but it would make sense with how long I’ve been married to my spouse. The processing times are always a real downer as they are always in flux but keep you hope up. Anyways, just thought I would share.

    • August 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Wes – that’s great news for the two of you! I think I read something once about people in already very-long relationships getting fast tracked to permanent… but I can’t remember any details. So glad things worked out so well for you two!

  • May 11, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Hello lovely!
    Omg I could cuddle you right now I feel a lot more at ease after reading all of this and the the comments and your replies!
    I will be buying your amazing little package to make sure our visa is perfecto! We are planning to apply just before the changes in June.
    I have one questions though..i understand if you can’t comment as you may not know.
    My partner had had Three visas declined.
    First one was her second year working visa as she did shit farm work, only her and two others got declined out of heaps which was stupid.
    second two were an E visa and a visitor visa 600 both because she has been in Australia for 1 year and three months and only back in the UK for five months. They said she needs to stay home longer but haven’t given us a time nor have a read anywhere how much time she should spend outside before returning :/
    Do you have any advice?
    I’m scared as we’ve had three visas declined that they will just automatically be on our case.
    We’ve had really bad luck in trying to be together haha but I’m sure after all this we will prevail haha love always wins right?!

    • May 12, 2019 at 6:58 am

      Hi Dani – I’ve never had a visa declined, so I unfortunately don’t have any perspective to offer. I would recommend looking in Australian Partner Visa forums for people in similar situations to you (or start your own post in a forum!). You might be able to glean some information to help you figure out how much they look at your past visa situation. Sorry I can’t be of more help with this! Good luck with your partner visa!

  • May 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Jema
    Thank you very much for the information. My wife is about to lodge the off shore application within the next few days (hopefully) and have a few general questions at this stage. Hope you would have answers.
    1. As you said once you pay the visa fee you can start uploading the documents. My understanding is the Case Officer won’t get assigned at least for a few weeks or depending upon the work load it may take 3-4 months. So, if we finish uploading the documents within two weeks it should be safe right ? I mean if for some reason the case officer would get assigned very early the application should not look incomplete. Hence we are thinking about a couple of weeks.
    2. The plan is to apply for the visit visa once the partner visa application is lodged. So, is there anything we need to take care of during the lodging of application so that the visitor visa process is hassle free ? How quickly can we apply for the visitor visa – I am thinking after a week of the partner visa application lodgement. In general how long it takes to get granted ? I hear people say that 12 months visitor visa is a little tricky so they have advised me for a six months visa. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    • May 1, 2019 at 11:28 pm

      Hi Sandesh!

      1. I don’t have any official information, but this is about the time frame we took to upload. I suspect you are seeing in Partner Visa forums that this has also been a safe time frame for others?

      2. Because I’m an American, I never had to apply for a visitor visa (it was granted upon arrival), so I don’t know anything about the process unfortunately.

      Good luck with your application!
      Cheers,
      Jema

      • May 5, 2019 at 4:01 am

        Thanks Jema for the reply.

        Under relationship details in Page 18 of the application (Form 47SP), does she need to give the details of all five major relationship aspect such as financial, household, social, commitment and development of relationship at this stage or can we write that “a more detailed explanation is attached separately” and put it under an attachment later with signature and date ? Or does this need to be filled in the application process. Because the word limit is 2000, some of those aspects may not be addressed fully within those limits. So, what would be the best way ?

        • May 12, 2019 at 7:01 am

          Hi Sandesh – sorry, I thought I replied to this before! We did our best to summarize the information that would be provided in each section – i.e. Financial Aspects includes tax documents, bank statements, vehicle title with our naeme on it, etc, etc. Good luck!

    • August 15, 2019 at 5:23 am

      Hi Sandesh,
      Did everything go smooth with both your application’s….partner and visitors visa….I am in the same scenario.

  • April 2, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Hi,
    My Partner is also American!
    over the last 6 months we have been getting everything together, and we are thankful for your tips about the uploading.
    I am trying to organise our four years of stuff into the evidence labels

    My question is, how long do you have after you pay before you have to fully submit? We have the money and would like to pay and then sort all the uploading but i’m unsure on the timeframe afterwards.

    Also, its asks for non migrating family members… that is extremely broad? Just mother and father or are we talking auntie second removed cousin

    • April 3, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Sean – glad this has been useful to you! As far as I know, there is no publicly listed time frame. Upon submission, our wait time was 12-15 months. It seems our evidence wasn’t looked at until 146 days after submission. (See our Australian partner visa application timeline.)

      When we applied, we counted on the fact that our evidence wouldn’t even be looked at for a good long while. However, within the last year, I’ve seen migration agents warn new applicants to be very careful with this approach as there is a new way the department is fast-tracking certain applications. This agent (in a youtube video) said that it’s a risk that they open your application, find the evidence to be insufficient (because you haven’t finished uploading), and deny your visa with no recourse.

      I would recommend looking in an Australian Partner Visa forum to see what other people in similar situations to yours are currently experiencing.

      Re: non migrating family members, we just put my (the applicant’s) parents and siblings.

      Good luck with your visa!

      • April 4, 2019 at 6:16 am

        Oh ok, thanks for the reply, My timeframe was a maximum 2 week window from paying and submitting, So i think we will be fine!
        It sounds like our Police checks will be out of date by the timeframe you are talking about. But thats ok, it means we have practice now and get them done again.

        I read elsewhere the non migrating section is for dependants such as children, because the section after is for immediate family

        • April 4, 2019 at 1:45 pm

          Non-migrating section for children/dependents, immediate family after makes sense. We were baffled by the depth of information asked for… I had to talk about my reasons for breaking up with my former partner!

          Good luck with your visa, Sean! 🙂

      • April 23, 2019 at 2:15 am

        Hi Jema,
        thanks for the great information on your site. I wish I had seen it earlier.

        The experience of a partner visa to Australia has been a very trying and painful experience to date.

        I put the application in on Oct 2, 2018 and I have not heard anything back except for a receipt of payment. it is now 203 days. I have uploaded every document possible and have been very thorough. I have watched the application times go from 12-15 months to just recently 15 – 20 months.

        Before we uploaded the documents I asked the help desk if my wife could get a Bridging visa if we applied from overseas and I was told yes. This was wrong, I realised this a week or so after the lodgement. I was told I could apply but that I would have to pay again and would not get a refund by the help desk.
        Even though they provided the wrong information.
        So this has made things very difficult. The help desk will not provide any information except that the the application is being processed. They will not advise if anyone has even looked at the information, so there is no indication that anyone has even looked at the application.
        Given lack of any contact I believe that it has not been looked at, but cannot qualify this. Many of the people on the help desk do not seem to know how the operation of the department works or the guidelines. Quite often they would put me on hold for 10 minutes while they went to find out information. this happened 3 times in one session.

        Needless to say this has put a lot a stress on the relationship as My wife was advised by someone that it would take 2 years.

        I saw information online that many of he senior employees of immigration left in a mass exodus in the last few years and maybe this is taking it’s toll now on processing times.

        good luck to anyone out there trying to do a visa application for a partner to
        Australia.

        • April 23, 2019 at 2:31 am

          Hi Gerry – I’m so sorry to hear this is happening to you. It’s so frustrating and painful. I hope you get some resolution soon!

  • March 30, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Jema,
    I just purchased the visa sample! I’m from the US and my partner is an Aussie. We were wondering how you named your files? I couldn’t figure it out from the downloaded sample. Now that we have all of our evidence compiled, we want to make sure that it is organized.
    Thanks!

    • March 31, 2019 at 1:16 am

      Hi Anna – We usually labeled things according to what category they were in.

      Here are some naming examples for you:
      Note – Evidence Type and Document Type were chosen from drop downs. Description and Filenames were written by us.

      – – –

      Evidence Type: Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of
      Document Type: Other (specify)
      Description: Applicant Intends to Travel to Australia
      Filename: MY NAME Travel to Australia Intentions MY CASE NUMBER

      – – –

      Evidence Type: Character, Evidence of
      Document Type: FBI Clearance
      Description: 1.5 FBI Background Check
      Filename: MY NAME fbi clearance MY CASE NUMBER

      – – –

      Evidence Type: Address, Residential, Evidence of
      Document Type: Bank Statement – Personal
      Description: Bank statement for Australian address
      Filename: Address Residential, Evidence of Applicant

      – – –

      Evidence Type: Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of
      Document Type: Other (specify)
      Description: Applicant Bank Statements
      Filename: Applicant Bank Statements
      – – –

      Evidence Type: Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of
      Document Type: Other (specify)
      Description: Bank Statements in their entirety – Applicant – Sponsor – Joint
      Filename: Bank Statements in their entirety – Applicant, Sponsor, and Joint

      – – –

      Evidence Type: Contact while apart, Evidence of
      Document Type: Emails
      Description: Emails and a statement about the three very short times we have been apart – less than 9 days per separation
      Filename: Contact While Apart, Evidence of

      – – –

      Evidence Type: Couple are living together, Evidence of
      Document Type: Other (specify)
      Description: Other mail AUS – Housemates Stat Dec – Other Mail USA – Bank Statements showing household bills and expenses in same neighborhood
      Filename: Couple are living together, Evidence of

      – – –
      Evidence Type: Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of
      Document Type: Other (specify)
      Description: Joint Bank Accounts
      Filename: Joint Accounts Bank Statements

      – – –

      Hope that helps!
      Good luck with your visa!

  • March 26, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Hello, I have found all your information so useful and purchased your information which helped me apply for my offshore partner visa. I finally got it granted in Feb this year and am making the trip to Australia in May! I’ve booked my flight and am all ready to go, however I was wondering if I need to do anything else, ie visa wise, do I just go through passport control on the other side as normal, or do I need to print off the confirmation letters of my visa grant, I’m guessing they will have me on a system or something? Sorry for all the questions!

    Thanks,

    Ellen

    • March 26, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Ellen! I’m so happy for you! CONGRATS! Nope – in my experience you don’t need to do anything. It’s all electronic, and the act of entering the country will activate the visa. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to have the visa grant letter with you (electronically accessible screenshot with the number) in case something really unusual happens. Congrats again!!

      • April 5, 2019 at 4:33 pm

        Lovely thank you so much for all your advice! My partner and I really appreciate all your hard work 🙂

    • June 4, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Ellen, congrats on the grant. How long did you have to wait in total from the date of lodgment until the grant date?

  • February 28, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Hi jema, I’m at the stage that they told me to leave the country try so that they can grant me the 309. And I left the country for nearly a month. I’m wondering how do I know if my 309 is granted? All o received from them is an email telling that my visa is in progress.

    • March 3, 2019 at 12:49 am

      Hi Alice – This is a great question for your case officer… but in my experience they aren’t always the most responsive? When our C.O. told me to leave the country, she just told me to be gone several days to be on the safe side. She confirmed that it had been granted before my scheduled flight back to OZ. I’d recommend checking Australian Partner Visa forums for advice from others who have experienced the same thing you are now. Sorry I can’t be more helpful! Good luck!

      • March 13, 2019 at 11:39 am

        hi jema
        my partner applied for a prospective subclass 300 visa instead of a 309 visa about 2 month ago.
        we only recently discovered we ticked the wrong box when applying via immi account. whats the best way to fix this issue? i called the immigration & they are not giving a specific advise.
        really nervous about this. look forward to your response.

        • March 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

          Oh, Ibrahim – I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this! My advice is to call a migration agent and ask what they think. They are generally willing to give you advice about things like this over the phone and for free. You can also check in Australian Partner Visa forums to try and find others who have been in your shoes. Good luck!

  • January 28, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Hi Jema, great tips, thank you so much. I have a question about the location of the sponsor for an offshore spouse visa. If the sponsor is an Australian citizen and is currently living with the applicant outside Australia, would the requirement of means and income be satisfied? The sponsor is employed in the other country.

    • January 28, 2019 at 10:05 pm

      Hi Vicky – I’m not sure that simply living outside Australia satisfies the means and income requirements. This is definitely a question for an Australian migration agent – the rules are always shifting!

      Good luck!

  • January 23, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I wanted to know about the partner visa application.
    I am an Australian Citizen. I have married 2 times and sponsored my partners.
    Firstly i married in July 2009. We had a child who lives with me and i am looking after him as a sole parent.
    Our relationship didnt work well so we decided to separated in 2012 and got divorced in July 2013. However she got her permanent residency through my sponsorship.
    Then Secondly, i married to another girl in March 2015. I sponsored her on partner visa. Again our marriage didn’t work well and i withdrawal my sponsorship of her visa. we were separated in August 2017. However DIBP has issued her permanent residency through FVP. We are divorced now.’ We divorced in Dec 2018.

    After separation in August 2017, me and my girlfriend got contacted through social media and we are talking, chatting and video calling to each other as she lives in India. I went o India in Dec 2018 for 6 weeks to meet her and spent quality time together. My son is also attached with her a lot and considered her as her own mom. Now me and my girlfriend wanted to marry and live together in Australia as we cant live without each other.

    I wanted to know that how can i apply her partner visa as this would be mine second time or third time sponsorship.

    Can i sponsor my girlfriend either on prospective marriage or partner visa?

    I would highly appreciate your advice on this.

    • January 23, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Ricky – I really wish I had an answer for you, but I think only a migration agent would have the experience and professional knowledge to speak to your situation. I would recommend ringing up a few migration agents and getting an opinion. In our visa process, I did this a few times. I found almost everyone I called to be friendly, helpful, and competent. They never said, “Well, answering that question is going to cost you! We don’t give free answers to anything!” In fact, they were very willing to chat for a few minutes.

      Good luck!

  • January 9, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Jema

    Thank you for all your info! We are (hopefully) towards the end of the process for my British wife’s spouse visa. We lived in the USA for 4 years and despite contrary requests from our CO(s), they require an FBI check for us both. My wife was using her maiden name when we moved there, and changed to her married name while we were there.
    Should I apply for the FBI check using her married name only? Or maiden name? Or please don’t say “both names”??

    Thanks, Nick

    • January 10, 2019 at 12:38 am

      Hi Nick! This is definitely a question for a migration agent. Have you looked at the background check application? It might have a space for “other names you’ve used” to account for both maiden and married names. I can’t remember, especially as name issues weren’t relevant to me when I filled out that paperwork. But maybe have a look at that and it will answer your question? It’s always worth a try checking Australian Partner Visa forums with Qs like this. It’s not uncommon to find others in the same situation.

      Good luck!

      • January 11, 2019 at 6:00 am

        Thank you. Yes I was surprised to find no space for previous names on the application. Haven’t been able to find anything on forums. I think I will get one under each name as at this point it’s not worth delaying for ANOTHER $50 dollars or so. The costs have really stacked up, mostly as SA Police charge $131 to take fingerprints! And we need one from the UAE, which is a nightmare to get.

        Thanks again!

  • January 4, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Hi Jema,
    What an incredible post & info; thanks so much- have been immensely helped! I’m planning to apply for the Partner Visa very soon. If it is ok, can you kindly answer these questions, please?
    1. Can a sponsor also be a partner/spouse in future? Can my partner apply for the “sponsor approval (under the partner visa requirement- so far I understand)” right now though we plan the wedding at the beginning of April? If YES, what are the papers he needs to submit, please?
    2. “Approximately” how long it may take to get the sponsor approval (before applying for the partner visa 801)?
    3. Right now, I’ve an immi account for the student visa. Do I need to have another immi account while applying for the partner visa?
    4. I lived a country more than 12 months (for example, 4 March 2013 to 27 March 2014). However, within this time, I travel to two other countries for 12 days and three weeks respectively. So, do I need to have a police check certificate from the first country (the immigration requirement is ” police check is needed for a minimum stay in a country for 12 months during the last 10 years”)?

    Thanks so much.
    Kindest regards,
    Rosie

    • January 5, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Rosie – so glad to hear you’ve found everything helpful! I can do my best with your questions, but I’m not a migration agent… just someone who has been through the process.

      1) I’m not entirely sure I understand your question. It sounds to me like you are considering a prospective marriage visa? The immigration website is the place to start to figure out which visa you want to apply for (prospective marriage, offshore partner, onshore partner). You could also just ring up a migration agent and ask them. They are usually happy to answer little questions like this for free, over the phone. They are usually very friendly and helpful!

      2) I don’t know what current wait times are or if they are officially requiring sponsor-approval-first yet. Australian Partner Visa Forums are a great place to find out what kind of wait times people are currently experiencing.

      3) I didn’t need a second immi account, but the immi system is infamous for CONSTANT changes. (Heck… it used to be called immi… and now they are border.gov

      4) Again, I’m not sure, but this might depend a bit on your C.O.? Maybe not, though. At some point in the process (early – maybe even before we paid?) I had to submit all the travel dates for my entire life. So if you’re really precise about that (sounds like you know exact dates) and are sure to enter Country 1 -> Country 2 -> Country 1 -> Country 3 -> Country 1, maybe that stuff is calculated by a computer and it won’t get flagged for a police check? No idea, but perhaps that’s how it works?

      Hope that helps a bit. Good luck with your visa!

  • December 22, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Hey Jema!
    My partner and I love your site. I just purchased the entire package, and so far it looks like the help we needed to put everything into perspective.

    My partner and I are getting married in the next couple weeks. She is Australian, and will be sponsoring me, and I am American (we both are citizens of our respective countries). We will be submitting our visa shortly after our marriage. The entire process is so daunting, but we really want to do it right of course! I just had 3 questions, and hope this isnt asking for too much.

    QUESTION :
    I wanted to just check if I was going about this correct, and wondered if you wouldn’t mind confirming/correcting for me:
    I see three different things under “Family” of the immiaccount where you create applications. OPTION 1-Sponsorship request
    OPTION 2-partner or prospective visa
    OPTION 3-permanent partner visa
    Now as far as I understand, I have to submit both OPTION 2 and 3 at the same time. Does my partner do OPTION 1 themselves? Or do we do it all under one account? Intuitively they would do the sponsorship application themselves, as they are sponsoring me?

    QUESTION 2:
    Do I/she need to do the sponsorship request, wait for it to be approved, and THEN do OPTIONS 2 and 3? or can I do it all at the same time?
    QUESTION 3:
    My partner is 21, and doesn’t have that much money that she earns herself (Centrelink recipient, Part time worker, and full time uni student), however I have a full time job and we have a joint bank account (With $10-15k+, and share all expenses, minus personal “Treat ourselves” kind of things). Someone scared us and said she couldn’t be my sponsor, and that I had to ask her wealthy uncle (Who is more than willing to act as a guarantor) to do so instead. That being said, it simply doesn’t seem right, and the sponsorship application phrases everything from the obvious angle that the SPONSOR and I are in a genuine and continuing relationship. Sorry this was word heavy..

    Thank you so much, I hope this was relatively clear!
    Muhsin

    • December 25, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi Muhsin,

      So glad to hear the site and the evidence sample have been helpful!

      Q1: The immi interface changes constantly, so the screen you’re seeing is different than the screen I saw. For our application, we submitted the temporary separate from the partner. This is the sort of thing an migration agent will usually answer free of charge if you just ring one up. You can also try calling one of the services centres. The phone queues are long, but they eventually answer!

      Q2: Same as Q1 – the process is supposed to be changing soon. As far as I have been told, at this point the order hasn’t changed. If you ring a migration agent for Q1, I’m sure they’d be even happier to answer this one!

      Q3: Australian partner visa forums would be a good place for this question. My partner and I were super lucky – he, as the sponsor, had the kind of job and finances that we were told case officers smile upon. It seems like the government’s perspective is that if she is getting you “in” to Australia, she needs to be able to support you financially. My personal perspective is that if, as a couple, you have the financial resources you need to support your partnership… that should be adequate, no? I’m sure it’s of concern that she, as the sponsor, can’t financially provide for you. But it seems to me that if you’re able to provide for yourself (and her!), that shouldn’t be an issue. Again, another question that a migration agent might be able to officially put your mind at ease. (There’s one who has hung around here in the comments section. Not sure if he linked to his site or not, but that’s a place to start. Honestly, though, I called migration agents and asked Qs like this several times during our process, and they were always happy to help!)

      Good luck! 🙂

  • December 21, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Hi Jema,

    Thanks for sharing all the information. I wish I had come across this article before I submitted my application. My wife would have gotten into the queue a month early and also, would have saved a $100 on the payment fee, I being the sponsor for my wife and working in Australia, I should have went ahead and used BPAY but I wanted the payment to go through ASAP and hence, paid it using my debit card. Thus, I ended up losing both time and money.
    I just had one question as I don’t know when this article was last updated. The department asks us to not upload multiple copies of the same document, which is what I have done. So, do you still think that it would be a good idea to add multiple copies of the same document in different sections or would it be advisable to add a note saying under which section I have uploaded the relevant documents?
    Thanks.

    • December 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

      Hi Bijesh – so sorry to hear you didn’t get to save the money or the time.

      We didn’t upload multiple *single* copies of the same document. Because we couldn’t see how the department had it set up before we organized our information, we ended up uploading large PDFs consisting of multiple documents that proved a single area (e.g. financial, nature of commitment, etc.).

      Ultimately it’s up to you! A note telling your C.O. that the document exists and where to find it would connect them with the relevant information and keep you in check with what the department recommends. (And lessen the risk that you’ll run out of upload space!).

      Hope that helps!
      Cheers 🙂

  • December 6, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Hi Jema.

    Thank you for your tips.
    I am in the process of submitting my second stage visa app. On my immi account there are two applications I need to fill out, one being mine and then there is another? It states that it’s the primary applicant application although I did fill the first on in with all my details. I am so confused and stressed. Please help. I have a 7 year old daughter who has also migrated with me and my husband, is that application meant to be for her? Even though it states primary applicant?
    Or do I just delete that second application as I have filled out everything needed for me and my daughter.
    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    • December 6, 2018 at 7:13 am

      Hi Laverne,

      I hear you! This process is so stressful and frustrating. I don’t have any experience with second applications (no kids), so can’t offer any insight. However Australian Partner Visa forums are really useful for connecting with others in your situation. Good luck!

  • December 5, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Hi There
    We are in the process of submitting our onshore partner visa application and whilst relieved to see your “You now have 100 document uploads” tip….. I have asked 3 different immigration people about this when calling home affairs and they have all confirmed it is still only 60 files with a max of 5MB each. The website also still has the 60 doc quota mentioned. So given I was working on the 100, I;m now reworking all our evidence to come in under 60. Just thought I should let you know. Am I missing something? Or is there a caveat that needs to be put on your statement about doc limits?
    Trina

    • December 6, 2018 at 7:11 am

      Hi Trina, thanks for your message! Apparently this is a change that’s been rolled out and then retracted. (E.g. I can still find traces of it on Google, but it’s been removed from all the migration agent sites that had talked about it previously. I don’t know what happened, but I suspect that it might have to do with server space. While researching your question, I saw on the immi website (that has just been redone AGAIN!) that “ImmiAccount will delete your documents if you do not submit your application in 30 days. Attach your documents again before you submit.”

      So… back to 60! I’ve updated the page. Thanks for helping people get the information they need!

  • November 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Hey Jema
    All this info is amazing!!! Just a question, my holiday visa expires in Jan so I am looking to submit my application for the defacto visa asap! Do I need to submit all the information right after I have applied or can I do this over the course of the 20 months? (It takes a month to get a relationship certificate!) I am anxious to do this and get it wrong then be rejected! It’s Soo much money to lose and a visa agent wants $4400 to do it!!! Hope you can help with my questions! Thank you, Christina.

    • November 8, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Christina! So glad you’ve found everything helpful. 🙂

      It’s a tricky question about how fast you need to submit info. I’ve seen one migration agent (on YouTube) advise extreme caution about taking too long to submit evidence. She said that people are under the impression that if they look at your application and it’s not complete, they’ll give you more time. She says that some people get rejected in these instances!

      I’m assuming by “the course of the 20 months,” you mean the average time it takes for them to process onshore visas? Ultimately, the risk you’re willing to take is up to you. For me personally, I felt comfortable with the few weeks that it took us to gather the majority of the evidence (and then the months that it took for police checks, etc. to come through).

      For peace of mind, I’d recommend ringing up another migration agent (or two! or three!) to get a fresh opinion from people who have the legal certification to give an opinion on the likelihood of timing working out in your favor vs. ending up rejected. I’ve found every migration agent I’ve ever spoken with to be really friendly and quite willing to answer basic questions like this for free and over the phone.

      Good luck whatever you decide!

    • November 29, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Hi, Christina. My 820 just went through- we used an agent but it was no less daunting of a process. I guess we figured that if we were going to spend the 7000, then we were going to spend the 12000 to make sure we didn’t waste 7000, lol… initially, over the course of about 2 months, we met with our lawyer to figure out our game plan and completed the requisite documents needed to launch the application. She provided a customised checklist based on our special circumstance. She also provided the forms. We returned them to her. In that time, we Opened a joint bank account, registered our de facto relationship with the state of QLD, had our mutual friends fill out the stat decs, and gathered evidence of shared bills (my name on the car insurance, etc) and our overseas travel. I had been living in Australia for over a year so my passport and our joint travel documents proved that I was going and coming every 90 days and we were doing it together….. as well as photographs of us through the past few years with my family and his. Once both our AFP and FBI background checks came in, the agent uploaded the lot (this was June 2017) my bridging visa was issued literally the day my ETA visa expired. Hooray. Over the next year, immigration did several requests for more information and gave us a deadline for which to submit it. we complied. Throughout this time we were also actively uploading more and more photos and evidence of our relationship. In fact, I even had to resubmit my FBI background check because it was only good for a year and by the time our case officer got around to reading it, it had already expired! The last request was my medical exam- that was short and sweet… several months later, we received an email from my agent notifying me that my 820 was granted…. the whole process onshore took about 17 months, and 15 months since we lodged the application.

  • November 1, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Hi Jema! Hope you’re doing well!

    Your website by the way has been a tremendous help to anyone seeking partner visa in Australia and this is on top of my bookmarked pages. I’ve been reading your blog since early February, along with other useful information from forums.

    I’ve finally lodged my partner visa (onshore) 2 days ago, 30 October, and I immediately received a bridging visa which would take effect on 30 November when my tourist visa expires. This is probably the most expensive visa fee I know, $7,160 + surcharge.

    As the applicant, I needed to finish my application first before my husband could submit his. I’ve uploaded most of the documents required that only applied to me and I have a few questions that I hope you or anyone here have had encountered the same scenarios:

    1. Immi account – Actions required – Health Examination: I have this on my page but I thought they will contact you only when they ask for it.

    2. I finished the health assessment within the Immi account same day and printed off my eMedical Referral Letter. But on the visa details it says: BS 801 – Spouse (Permanent). I’m not really sure what this means because obviously I’m just applying for the temporary visa first.

    3. Is there supposed to be a button you can click when you’re done attaching all the required documents to say, “I’m done?”

    Really hoping you can help me with my above queries, thank you! 🙂

    • November 1, 2018 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Maureen! Thrilled to hear you’ve found the pages here helpful. Congrats on finally lodging. I know.. PAINFULLY expensive. I just heard about entire refugee family getting their American visas for $2400 for three of them. Ooof.

      1. This would be a great question for a migration agent. They’re generally quite happy to answer a something like this. I had a weird situation where I ended up doing my health exam and having access to it sooner in the process because I had two immi accounts accidentally – one for my Working Holiday Visa and another for my Partner Visa. If I had to guess, I’d figure the “actions required” is just a thing there to acknowledge that it hasn’t been done. You do run the risk, if you do it before they ask, of it expiring and then having to do them (and pay for them!) again.

      2. Hmmm… not sure if it’s a problem or not that it says 801. I would guess not (after all, you’re on track to eventually receive an 801, right?). Again, I’ve found migration agents quite willing to answer little questions like this pro-bono. There’s even one who has commented here pretty recently (within the last six months?). If he linked to his site via his name or in his comment, you might be able to ring him specifically.

      3. No “I’m done” button – yet! They have internal checklists, I’ve been told, where an admin-ish person looks at your account for critical documents like passport/birth cert/police checks and then passes it on to a C.O. if those are present. Plus… you think you’re done (I thought I was done!), but things might actually come up while you wait that you want to add.

      Hope that helps a bit – good luck with your visa!

  • October 17, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Hi Jema,
    I am currently at the stage on annotating my bank statements and cross referencing them with the financial aspects, nature of household, social aspects and nature of commitment categories. So far I have annotated statements from when we met to early this year, which is already 13 pages, and the following statement which is 19 pages. Each statement has plenty of evidence of spending money in the same places and proving that we have joint finances but I’m worried that combined together and with the more I will have to upload once we apply, that it could possibly be too much? What are your thoughts on this? Obviously I want to show as much evidence as possible but don’t want to annoy the CO with too much information. Thanks so much for your help!

  • October 16, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Hi Jema,

    We bought your mock-up partner visa document back in 2016. After that, we had our visa granted in 6 months. After becoming eligible for the second stage in August 2018, my partner had his visa granted in 2 months and 2 days. We made sure to follow your mock-up pretty closely, and we provided page numbers and contents pages for each of the main documents (“financial aspects” etc). We also wrote a letter to the case officer explaining our evidence, with a full list of everything we’d provided in each document (title “Attention: CO – a full list and guide to all our evidence). Thank you so much for providing the framework for my partner to get his visas so quickly, we’re still pinching ourselves that it is all over and we didn’t have any questions asked by immigration – all granted without any contact!

    Cheers,

    Marcelle

    • October 17, 2018 at 12:42 am

      Thanks for checking back in, Marcelle! This is great news – congrats! 🙂

  • October 15, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Thanks for sharing your information regarding the partner visa application. I was wondering since your from the USA originally, did you also have to get a state background check or was the FBI identity History Summary good enough? Also did you end up having to certify these or just use the color scan?

    • October 17, 2018 at 12:47 am

      Hi John,

      Luckily, I had not resided in any U.S. state for a full year within the time-frame. They did request a background check from the state I was technically a resident of, but I ended up having to supply travel documents proving I’d been elsewhere. I only color-scanned my FBI documents.

      Hope that helps!

  • October 11, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Hi Jema
    Thank you thank you so much for explaining this Visa in laymen’s terms. I was getting a headache as well as getting extremely confused about this. My fiancee and i want to apply for this, her being Australian and i’m from Singapore but there is one thing i need to know.

    After applying for the Visa and while waiting, can i go into Australia to visit her on a Tourist visa? As i read that if i were to try to visit her, the visa i am applying for will be suddenly be cancelled as i am on a tourist visa.

    • October 11, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Hi Ian – with the caveat that I am not a migration agent, I can tell you that I went to Australia on a tourist visa while waiting for my visa to be approved and had no problems. In fact, I was in Australia when they were ready to approve my visa, and I just got a message from my case officer saying so and asking me to leave Australia (and let her know when I had done so) so she could approve the visa. (I had applied offshore, and so had to be offshore when the visa was granted.)

      Hope that helps!
      Good luck with your visa 🙂

      • October 11, 2018 at 8:58 am

        I should say one more thing! Before I went, I uploaded a document to my case file stating my intention to travel to Australia and my travel dates/plans. I think one of the people at the Service Centre advised me to do this. I think they said if I didn’t, there would be a risk that my Case Officer would approve my visa while I was in Australia and it wouldn’t be valid.

  • October 5, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Hi Jema,
    Me and my partner have been together 5 years and have moved around a lot travelling in between, we have only rented a flat for 1 year (in 2015) which was in Australia and the rest of our relationship (living in the uk) we have had live in jobs with no bills and rent free or taken out of our pay each month. We have had a joint account for quite a while but have predominantly used it for savings for travel and to pay for the visa and don’t have joint ownership of anything. I’m really struggling with the financial section as it seems we have very little to provide, was wondering if you had any ideas or come across someone in a similar situation?
    Thanks very much
    Hannah

    • October 6, 2018 at 3:19 am

      Hi Hannah,
      If you’ve been together for five years, I can imagine your evidence in other sections must be quite strong? Is anyone in charge of your live-in situations writing a stat-dec for you? I don’t have any definite advice, but it sounds like you’re not totally devoid of financial evidence. Remember lots of couples applying for the visa are young and have similar hurdles. If you look around in Australian Partner Visa Forums, you’ll find other couples sharing their ideas for financial evidence. You could always ring up a migration agent, too. They are generally willing to answer questions for free, and the ones I’ve talked to have been really nice!

      • March 18, 2019 at 9:13 am

        Hi Jema, what a great blog to discuss partner visa Australia. I recently lodged and application 309 offshore. Im a bit confused here, there is a family member list on my attach document which they are not migrating with me. So do we have to attach about their documents? Such as ID maybe?

        Really need your advice!
        Gday!

        • March 20, 2019 at 3:51 pm

          Hi Jessica,
          My advice would be to discuss your family situation with a migration agent or someone at one of the services centres. There are many cases where you DO have to submit information about family members, even if they are not migrating with you. Another option is to have a look in Partner Visa forums for someone with a family situation like yours to see what they did. You can also submit a question in Partner Visa forums with more details about your family situation (e.g. whether or not the people not migrating are children of yours, parents, etc.) and someone with a similar situation may be able to share what they did.

          Good luck!

  • September 26, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thanks heaps for all the information posted here! I am planning to put in my 309 visa soon and will defenitly be purchasing the evidence docs that you have shared.
    A question that I have is, with the new online submission process are the forms 47SP and form 40 still required and if they are, are they the same as the old PDF’s that you can download. I couldn’t find this information anywhere online. The government website doesn’t metnion anywhere that they need to be filled as per the new online submission process. Any help would be greatly appriciated.

    • September 30, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Tim – sorry for the slow reply. I’m in Peru without regular access to internet.

      The information on the 40 and 47SP forms are still required. What I experienced was the questions from those forms were just built in to the online application process. So we clicked the start application button, and then each successive screen was a 40/47SP question.

      Hope that helps!

  • September 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Jema,
    I purchased you sample visa a few weeks ago which was a big help for getting started so thank you.
    I have a lot questions, as am feeling a little overwhelmed with how much differing information there is online.
    Do all documents need to be certified? Bank statements ect….
    Is it ok to make 1 PDF file for each category containing all the evidence or do they need to be labelled differently and uploaded? Have started doing it this way….much easier to stay organised.
    The annotated bank statements which you uploaded with your application were they all from your joint account or will our separate accounts be sufficient evidence? We haven’t had a joint account for very long so only really shows our joint savings.
    Do you know if your allowed to complete your medical examinations in Australia if your applying offshore? We will be visiting Australia for Christmas, applying end of October, so may just do the medical there if its possible and hope we get asked for it by then.
    Thanks so much for your time

    • September 15, 2018 at 3:02 am

      Hi Hannah,
      So happy to hear everything has been helpful. I’ll do my best with your questions, but keep in mind I’m just another visa applicant!

      1) What I’ve heard about document certification is that some people only get their stat decs certified. I’ve seen people saying that color scans of documents don’t need certified. I have heard if something is in another language, it might need certified? We didn’t certify most things and weren’t asked to certify anything that we hadn’t previously.

      2) We did what you’re describing – 1 PDF to cover each area of evidence, which meant we ended up using something like “general upload” a lot when uploading. But our case officer never said anything about it, and the turnaround for us once they opened our case was really fast.

      3) Our annotated bank accounts were from both joint and individual accounts.

      4) As far as I know, you can complete your exam with any certified examiner in the world. We did! I got mine done as we passed through Thailand.

      For official answers, you can call one of the services centres. Hope that helps a bit!

      • September 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

        Thanks for your help Jema.
        Also do you think it’s wise to pay the fee and start uploading even if you haven’t gathered all your evidence yet? Or would that be risky in case they start reviewing our application before we’ve completed everything? We are hoping to have the application completed in about 2 months as we are going travelling so don’t want to have to worry about it while I’m away.
        Thanks again
        Hannah

        • September 19, 2018 at 4:09 am

          Hi Hannah, as Daniel wrote for another poster below:

          If you don’t upload the main “threshhold documents” there is a risk that you will be refused or, at the least, annoy the Case Officer. Also, if they give it an initial review (which they often do quite quickly) and the threshhold documents are not there, you will be put right at the back of the queue.
          So it is best to prepare your documents as much as possible before. Health and character documents don’t need to be provided immediately.

      • September 19, 2018 at 2:43 am

        Hi Jema and Hannah.
        I am a Registered Migration Agent in Australia and am happy to give a few tips. Partner Visas are confusing. In fact, Australian immigration is confusing. It can even be so for the experts. Regarding the questions above:
        1. Stat decs must be witnessed by particular people prescribed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993. These are listed on the “Form 888”. Only an Australian permanent resident or citizen can make the declaration. If you don’t know an Australian who knows both partners, someone from overseas can do it via an overseas affidavit or equivalent. If the applicant is in Australia and has been refused another visa application since last entering, you need professional help definitely.
        Evidence documents can be good quality colour scans of less than 5MB. No certification is required for scans of originals.
        Non-English documents need to be translated.
        2. It is OK to combine documents into grouped PDFs. Try to make it easy for the decision maker.
        3. Just make sure that financial info is relevant.
        4. Exams can be done anywhere, but you need a “HAP ID” to book an appointment.
        Daniel
        Migration Agent Registration Number: 1679421 (I have to quote that whenever I write anything).

        • November 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

          Hi there!

          This forum has been extremely helpful, as well as the relevant information and advice that has been provided by you and Jema, so thankyou!

          I actually had a question regarding the partner visa 309/100. With the visa 309, I am applying undern the “married” section (not for a defacto relationship).

          My question is, if a part of my information on a document sourced from my partners country and my Australian passport do not sync, meaning they are not the same details, what effect does this have on my application? Is rejection a possibility?

          I’ve fruitlessly asked and searched, but am hoping to gain some insight from you. Thanks Daniel, really appreciate it.

  • September 13, 2018 at 12:56 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thanks for all your help and useful information. I do have a question
    – Where do I apply to be “approved to sponsor”? – (I started my own immi account, and found a form called Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia), however it says this is to be submitted only once the applicant form has been submitted and paid… which doesn’t make sense as I thought the purpose was to avoid paying the fee and having the sponsor rejected…).
    Hope you can help ! thanks

    • September 13, 2018 at 4:28 am

      Alice! I’m so sorry this process has gotten so confusing. I’d recommend calling one of the services centres, as I am reading all sorts of conflicting information online. You can also call a migration agent. They are super nice and usually willing to answer small questions like this for free.

      Everything I’m seeing online at the immi website is saying that the applicant has to submit their application first, as it has always been. That is not what immi was saying a few months ago!

    • September 19, 2018 at 2:45 am

      Unfortunately you need to lodge the visa application first.

  • September 13, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Hi
    I have a question about sponsorship- I am reading everywhere that approval of sponsor is required before lodging application. Except on the Immigration website is says “Once you have successfully lodged your application online, you will need to give your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) to your sponsor. Your sponsor will then use your TRN to complete the online form Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia (300, 309/100, 820/801).”
    I have tried to submit my sponsorship form online but get to step 4/18 and below error appears: “The related application details provided cannot be verified, check the details and amend if necessary. The applicant will not be able to continue and should review the eligibility information on our website.”
    Can anyone confirm correct process or if people are having the same issues?
    thanks in advance!!
    Cheers
    Edina

    • September 13, 2018 at 4:30 am

      This is frustrating, hey! My best advice would be to call one of the Services Centres. It’s a long hold time, but they should hopefully be able to help you. It sounds possible that it’s just a tech error (super common!), but could easily be part of these confusing proposed process changes.

  • September 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Jema,

    Much appreciated for your sharings,
    I applied for my visa 300 last Oct 2017 and it’s been 11 months now. I’ve done 2 trips to Aus to visit my fiance and just got back from the second one, should I notice them that I’ve been back as the visa should be granted offshore.

    Also, I’ve changed my phone number, how can I update it?

    Thanks.

    • September 12, 2018 at 4:33 am

      Hi Ellen,

      The advice I got was to continue uploading updates to my immi account about my whereabouts, which I did. I’m not sure how you change your phone number. If you can’t find a place to do it in your account, migration agents are really kind and helpful and usually willing to answer small questions like this for free. Hope that helps!

    • September 19, 2018 at 2:51 am

      If you are offshore you will be fine. If you are onshore, flag it on your immi account.

  • September 7, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thank you so much for this amazing blog and for sharing what you know, I purchased your visa sample and it has been beyond helpful. I’m currently just at the very beginning of our process and compiling as much information and evidence as we can. Having seen that you’ve used annotated bank statements to show spending in similar places, I am also going through old bank statements. The issue I have is, my partner and I (at the time, I am no longer,) were being paid cash so a lot of my statements show deposits going in. I am worried that I will be questioned on this as obviously it was not declared income. Do you think this will be an issue, as I saw that you had somewhat of a similar issue with your partner who was also paid cash?
    Thanks so much!!
    Kate

    • September 7, 2018 at 4:27 am

      Hi Kate!

      So glad you’re finding everything helpful! I don’t think the immigration department and the tax department share information? Is that what you’re asking? That you might get flagged for illegitimate income?

      That seems unlikely to me, but that is 100% my opinion based purely on logic and not actual knowledge. If you want peace of mind, you can ring up a migration agent. They are super nice and generally willing to answer small questions like this!

      My partner got paid from a business, but *used* cash all the time. So it was hard to show his spending in the same places at times. (And then he had that whole identity theft debacle!)

      Hope that helps a bit!

      Cheers,
      Jema 🙂

  • August 27, 2018 at 11:03 am

    hi jema,
    I saw your blog last march didnt know how to start our application way back then,this has been soooo useful we’ve sent our application 1st week of april now we have a case officer already after four months of waiting, I just purchased your Australian Partner Visa Evidence Samples and followed every detail lol, I can say its really worth it, it took me a while before I organized everything as we are long distance so its hard to gather all the information. Our case officer only asked for our marriage certificate which we have attached it already in our application, i don’t know why, we have sent it again anyway, Now he just need to have his health examination done. I know his visa is not approved yet but i know it’s getting there soon. My initial mistake is i didn’t send our application as soon as we can as i didn’t know before that after you pay you can still continue to upload. Jema this blog saved us from paying another 3kdollars as we have consulted an agent before for our visa and they asked for that amount plus the visa fee.

    • September 3, 2018 at 2:05 am

      Hi Donnabel! Huge congrats to you and so glad to hear all the info has been helpful. Only four months – that’s so great!

  • August 20, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Hi,
    Your article really helps in planning for my partner visa. I have a question here. I have received my PR last month and now will be applying for my spouse visa. I am currently outside Australia and plan to move there early next year. In that case, do you have any advise / tips on how I can show that I am able to sponsor my partner?

    • August 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Janet, I’m not sure what’s required of people who are not natural born Australian citizens. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • August 16, 2018 at 5:10 am

    HI
    I am Ashley, I am applying for the 820 partner visa now, I have no idea do I follow the right step to apply this visa?

    This Monday I completed the applicant’s application form and then paid the fee as you said in this article.Later I have access to upload my documents(evidences). At the end, my partner completed his application form.
    So as you said, do I just need to wait for my partner(status:submitted) be approved? and then I could submit the evidences I have already attached, right?

    Also, my student visa will be expired the end of this month, is it ok I submit my evidences after my partner is proved?
    Thank you 🙂

    • August 16, 2018 at 5:41 am

      Hi Ashley – I can’t quite tease out your questions really clearly. I would recommend ringing up a migration agent. They’ll be happy to clarify (for free!) that you’re at the right spot and have done everything you need to do so far.

      Good luck!

  • August 15, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Hello!

    We applied for my partner visa 309 in May this year, when the processing times were 12-15 months. However, the department is now saying processing times are 21- 26 months. Do you know if this new processing time applies to all applications or just new ones made as of the new processing time, which I think was the end of July this year?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • August 15, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Ellen!

      This has been a popular question lately. I’m not sure, but I would guess that it’s either still the time-estimate of when you applied or a combination of the two.

      I do know that there is a maximum visa quota per year. So I’m guessing the time estimate comes from some kind of combination of the number of known applications submitted combined with how long it takes to process them, the average of how many applications are granted, and how many department employees are doing this work.

      E.g. (making up these numbers, but…) let’s say they can grant 50,000 visas a year and 100,000 people apply and granting rate is 80%. That means that 80,000 people qualify for a visa, but only the first 50,000 will get them in 2018. The rest, even though they qualify, have to wait until the quota resets.

      I’m just guessing on all this, but I presume that’s where the wait-time estimates come from. And that’s why I think it’s more likely that your wait time will be the one that it was when you applied. I think the time estimate is really indicative of how many people were in line in front of you. For people applying now, I think the increased wait time means that even MORE people are in line in front of THEM (and you’re one of them… filling up space that new applicants are hoping for!).

      Good luck!

    • August 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Ellen! I applied on April 1 when the processing time was 10-13 months. I panicked when I saw the current wait times. I have been looking everywhere to find the answer to your exact question. Have you learned anything new??

      • August 22, 2018 at 9:18 am

        Hi Sarah, I’ve just logged onto my immi account and now the times are 14-16 months, so I guess with the changing time estimates we can’t exactly be sure!

        • September 1, 2018 at 4:10 am

          Hi Ellen. We applied for our partner visa May 1. The new processing time increased to 19-24 months. I have been granted a Briding Visa A so I can get Medicare for free and lawfully work and stay in Oz. I always keep uploading every month proof of our relationship, like going to the theater and parties or dinner.

  • July 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Jema,
    I was wondering, I know there isn’t a time limit in uploading the evidence once the fee is payed. I’m waiting for some documents to come through and was woondering, If I uploaded my evidence say 4 or 5 days later do you reckon that is a bad idea?

    • July 31, 2018 at 6:36 am

      No time limit, as far as I know. Especially with 4 or 5 days. We paid the fee and then uploaded most our evidence within the next two weeks. However, we uploaded more evidence as it came in… up to 4 months later!

      • July 31, 2018 at 8:58 pm

        Thankyou Jema really appreciate it.

      • August 2, 2018 at 11:14 pm

        Hey Jema , I would like to ask you some question about my visa is there an email I can send you at

        • August 2, 2018 at 11:24 pm

          Hi Mick,

          I happily do my best to share my limited knowledge in the comments section here so it stays publicly available to as many people as possible. I am not a migration agent and am unwilling to spend time answering questions privately. You’re welcome to ask here, if you’re comfortable!

    • September 19, 2018 at 2:57 am

      If you don’t upload the main “threshhold documents” there is a risk that you will be refused or, at the least, annoy the Case Officer. Also, if they give it an initial review (which they often do quite quickly) and the threshhold documents are not there, you will be put right at the back of the queue.
      So it is best to prepare your documents as much as possible before. Health and character documents don’t need to be provided immediately.

      Daniel

  • July 26, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Hi, I’m new to this but just want to say this is a great site and answers many questions for us. I wish I’d known before that the partner visa takes so long – I would have got it started a long time ago. When my Aussie husband was granted his UK visa all we had to have was a marriage certificate and the application forms. We went in person and it was all done in a few hours. Not so this way round! I am a UK citizen and we have now been living in UK together since 2005 after we married in Sydney. I am wondering why none of you have considered using an expert to assist? I was quite surprised that Visa Bureau (who seem to have good reviews) charge £1400 for their service which is around half of what I thought it would be. I have just called them and they were so helpful. I wanted to ask a lot of questions. If I lodge the application here in UK, I will wait around 10-15 months. I can still go to oz but only on a visitor visa which is not ideal as my husband wants to stay there to work and be close to his mum who is elderly and unwell. If I lodge it in oz, it seems I can get a bridging visa to work after 3 months (not entirely convinced). The downside of that is the longer wait of up to 2 years for the visa to be approved. We want to go by the end of this year really – I don’t know the best thing to do. Husband says I don’t need to work but I’d like to have the option. I know I can extend the visitor visa while in oz as I have done that before when I used visit him there. I had NO idea it could be this difficult and long! I’m pretty sure I’m going to use Visa Bureau to take some stress out of this! Any thoughts?

    • July 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Diane,

      I know – we wished we known about the length, too. Would have applied MUCH sooner! The process for Australia is insane and so frustrating that I felt a *responsibility* to make this page!

      I think lots of people do consider an agent… it’s just so expensive and a huge cost in what is already a hugely costly process. Many folks applying are also younger and less well-resourced. However, I had a few friends in Australia – she South African – and they paid for an agent despite having very little income (she scrubbed toilets to earn the money for it) because they just couldn’t handle all the visa efforts in addition to their small business and part time jobs.

      I specifically made this page for DIYers like me who are determined to do it themselves, but there are plenty of folks out there for whom paying a migration agent is totally worth it! Good luck to you, whatever you decide 🙂

      • July 28, 2018 at 9:17 am

        Thank you Jema, I haven’t parted with the money yet.. I’m pretty sure I could do it myself – I understand the forms, having read and re-read several times. But since I work full-time and don’t have scanner/printer at home, sorting out the evidence could be tricky for me. I almost feel disappointed with myself that I am considering paying an agent! I told the agent I was alarmed at being able to upload 100 documents – they did say that most people submit too much of the wrong things. They said my permanent visa will be granted at the same time, so no extra costs for that. Anyway, keep up the good work – it took me a long time to discover your site. I will let you know how I go!!

        • July 29, 2018 at 1:18 am

          I hear you! It’s a ton of time – my partner and I worked 8 hour days for two weeks… so 160 hours to put everything together? Even if you feel good about DIY, it’s still just soooo much effort. We definitely followed the advice about the department not caring much about photos, etc. (All of which are easily staged/faked.) Apparently it’s tempting for some people to give lots of photos of evidence, so we took the warnings to stay away from those and other non-technical evidence areas.

          Good luck to you – look forward to hearing good news! 🙂

        • July 29, 2018 at 11:05 pm

          Hi there. It’s totally worth downloading Tapscanner app and buy it. You can use it to take a photo and it converts it to PDF, I haven’t used my laptop at all and merged and
          and uploaded like 200 docs (because it’s one file) Once you guys pay the visa fee you are granted a Briding Visa A (until they decide) which allows you to stay and work lawfully in Australia and get free medicare.

  • July 26, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Just trying to wrap my head around the part where bank statements are used as evidence. Did you just compile all the relevant transactions into the financial, social and household nature of the visa? And if you did, did you submit your original bank statements as well?

    • July 27, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Hey Nicole! We just annotated an entire year worth of bank statements, highlighting purchases that demonstrated each category. So yes – original statements, with writing on them! We did this electronically, some people just print out and use pen and paper. Hope that helps!

  • July 25, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Hi there,
    My wife & I created an immi account in late 2017, since then we had a wedding & a stack of things inbetween, but we are now at the stage to submit for her 309 visa. We have not submitted it yet & I have begun to fill out my sponsor details. I am putting my sponsor details all in correctly & meet all of the eligibility criteria however I am getting an error message at page4 which says “the related application details cannot be verified, check the details & amend if necessary, the applicant will not be able to continue & should review the eligibility criteria on our website”. So I have reviewed & there is nothing to change. I assume by the applicant they mean my wife?…even though I am filling out a sponsor form. I have rang home affairs, they were unhelpful & the directed me to send a form to the tech employees, been waiting a few days but not heard back. So, am I being stopped because my wife’s application has not been submitted & paid for? It would seem premature to do that prior to the sponsor checking out, however maybe because we created immi account in 2017 has something to do with it.

    Any help appreciated. Regards. Grant

    • July 27, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Grant,

      I’m sorry this is happening to you! And you said the services centres were unhelpful? Is that what you mean by “ringing home affairs”? It does sound like a technical glitch in their system, of which I saw dozens and dozens (DOZENS!) during my application process. Basically, every time I logged in there was an alert about a glitch like this – specific parts of the website/process that were broken.

      I guess if you don’t hear back from home affairs/can’t get someone on the line at a services centre (loooong hold times), I would try calling a migration agent. They are, by reputation, (and by my own personal experience having done this) really nice and willing to talk about the process.

      Hope that helps!

    • July 27, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      And free! They will usually be willing to talk about stuff like this pro-bono!

    • August 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Grant, I had the exact same thing happen to me today and I sent off a technical report form.. just wondering if you managed to get it sorted in the end and if you know what caused it? Thanks, Indira

      • September 6, 2018 at 2:13 am

        Hi Indira im having the same problem and did not have much help from home affairs! They did say that it could be because the applicant had not submitted the paper work yet. Im the sponsor and I need to submit my forms after my partner. Have you has any luck?

  • July 21, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Hi, my husband is from Australia and we have been married 16 years. We have two boys who have already received their citizenship. We logged an out of country visa since we are currently in the USA in September of last year. When we filled processing times were 12to 14 months. We are still waiting and processing times change every month. The most current 21 to 26 months doubling our original processing time. My med info was cleared last year 3 months after original submission though not bc we were asked but bc we submitted it. Do you know if our processing time is from our original submission 12 to 14 months or are we now subjected to the 21 to 26 months time frame. We are moving back bc my husband’s family need s him now his mom is ill. Any advice or a recommendation on who to call bc we only get generic info from the center.

    • July 22, 2018 at 5:15 am

      Hi Jennifer,

      First – I’m so sorry this is happening to you! So frustrating! It sounds like your medicals will expire in December of this year? I read recently on a migration agent’s website that they are trying to hurry along “front loaded” applications – applications that already have medicals and police checks complete. No idea if that’s true. I would recommend calling and having a chat with a migration agent. It’s free, and they are generally really friendly and happy to answer simple questions like this.

      Good luck!

    • August 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Jennifer! I am in the same boat. US citizen married to an Aussie for 9 years, with 2 kids who have gotten Aussie citizenship, overall a very straightforward case. I applied for the 309 on April 1, when processing times were 10-13 months. The times now are TERRIFYING! We too are moving to Aus for family reasons and I am praying that our original quoted time will be honored. Have you heard from a case officer or found any other info about the processing time? I’d love to know where you’re at in the process!

      • January 10, 2019 at 9:44 pm

        Hi Sarah, I am in the early stage of preparing a 309 visa application for my husband (US citizen). I have a question which you may have the answer since we have a very similar situation, being US citizen married to an Aussie for 9-10 years.
        I have been living in the States since Jan 20th, 2009 with my husband and had never spent more than 12 months in Australia; as a sponsor, do I still have to provide a PCC from AFP, on top of the same from the US? If yes, how should I obtain the fingerprints in the USA and pass it onto AFP, by post?

        Hope you have some experience to share, many thanks!

  • July 15, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you, so helpful! Just one thing- which programme did you use to edit your bank statenment? Im not great with technology but cant seem to figureout how once I download my bank statement I can edit and add notes tio then/highlight them etc.

    Thanks,

    Emilie

    • July 15, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Emilie! You’re so welcome. We actually put everything together in Power Point and used the slides as multiple pages. You could also use Publisher for the multiple page thing, and I think Adobe In-Design does the same thing.

      Good luck!

    • July 18, 2018 at 5:38 am

      Hi Emilie, what I did was I printed out my bank statement, highlighted it and wrote neatly to explain my points and scanned it as soft copy. I’m saying it does not matter how you do it so long as it’s neat and understandable. My 309 and 100 was approved at the same time in under 3 months.

      • July 18, 2018 at 6:40 am

        Good point, Maya! Could do it by hand!

      • August 25, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        Hi maya!When did you lodge your visa?DOL and Date granted?Praying my visa will be granted very soon.DOL May,2018.Still waiting.God bless

  • June 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Hi there, I have found your website really helpful.
    I am just about to apply for the Partner Visa. I am from the UK and am here on a WHV at the moment which is due to expire in about 2 months. I understand that this process will take some time but just wanted to check whether I need to apply for a bridging Visa or will I automatically be put on a bridging visa once I have submitted the application? If so will this apply once I have done the initial submission or once I have uploaded all of the documents?
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • June 30, 2018 at 3:04 am

      Hi Chris,

      Your best bet is to ring up a migration agent. They are generally happy to chat and answer basic questions like this. I’m not sure if the bridging visa is automatically applied, but I feel like that was the case for friends in your situation as well as others I have read about online.

      Provided the bridging visa is automatic, I presume that whole process would be set in motion by completing the initial part of the application and paying. People can take a long time to upload documents, and your case officer or other department employees will sometimes ask you to upload documents, so I would be surprised if the bridging visa was withheld until you finished document uploads.

      Hope that helps!

      • July 23, 2018 at 8:58 am

        Hi guys. Once you pay the 801 partner visa fee, you are automatically get a bridging visa A within Australia so you can work and get free medicarem when we applied in May the processing time was 16 month, now as of July it’s 24-30 months. FYI NOW you can upload 100 documents, which is a change. Good luck

        • July 24, 2018 at 2:15 am

          Thanks for the updates and confirmation, Zoltan!

        • November 14, 2018 at 12:27 am

          Hi Zoltan,

          You write that you can work and get Medicare on a bridging visa A, but I’ve read from multiple sources that the bridging visa A leaves you with the same restrictions as the visa you had prior to that. I wonder if you know would that mean if I was on a Working Holiday Visa, would my BVA hold the same restrictions where I can’t stay with one employer for more than six months?
          Thanks so much.

  • June 27, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Hi there. Appologies if this has already been asked but im struggling to read everything as my brain is really starting to hurt!! It’s the end of June now and in October I have to go back to England for my sisters wedding. We haven’t yet paid or started any uploading. We are just at the initial stage of gathering info. We’re told that at some point after applying i’ll receive a temp visa and then can make plans to travel. My question is, do you remember how long after applying it took to receive that temp visa? I’d hate to apply and then not get it in time and either risk being denied or miss my sisters wedding. I’m aware I could just wait until after the wedding to apply but my husband is very keen to push on with it now. Any rough guide would be fantastic. Thanks.

    • June 30, 2018 at 2:59 am

      Hi Rebecca,

      I’m not sure what your situation is. I’m from the U.S. and never received a temp visa. Maybe the lingo is confusing you? The first stage of approval is called a “temporary” visa. For offshore applicants (309/100) and onshore applicants (820/801), the first number refers to the “temporary” visa, and the second to the “permanent” visa you eventually get.

      I was, however, able to travel to Australia on a 90 day tourist visa.

      I’m not sure why you think you might get denied for being gone at a wedding? Can explain more about your situation, why you’re concerned about the visa timing affecting the wedding attendance?

  • June 25, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Hello,

    I am asking what to do now , I have applied Refugee visa and refused Twice I don’t know what I can do .
    please any suggestion ?

    • June 30, 2018 at 2:54 am

      Hi Olive, I’m sorry I can’t be of help. I don’t know anything about refugee visas. Good luck to you <3

  • June 24, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Hi Jema,

    I am a sponsor for my philippino husband. We met and got married and are living together in Korea, so we are applying offshore. We lodged the application, but I am confused about a few things and was hoping you can shed some light. I am starting to not see the clear overview anymore due to all the details. ><

    1) I expected some kind of online questions for the sponsor after the application was lodged online. But I only see a form 40SP in attach documents, and no other sections about the sponsor. Does this mean there is no online version like there was for 47 form for the application? So do I need to fill out the 40SP and attach it. I am just scared that I am missing some online questions for the sponsor somewhere.
    2) For the nature of commitment. I am a little confused what to show. Korea doesn't allow shared bank accounts or saving accounts, since we are both temporary expats here with no properties or kids we didn't make a will yet (we plan so in Australia), as expats we don't have some emergency registration system (that I know of?), and I don't have superannuation yet. Our marriage is without prenup so could just the marriage certificate be evidence? So far we only have the joint statement uploaded at the nature of commitment.
    3) Regarding the sponsor needing to show financial ability. Would current work contracts work or what do they expect to see? I am drawing a blank, since I am not living in Australia as well and we plan to move together at the same time it is a little complicated. Would we have to show some savings of my husband and of me? Any idea of how much they would expect? We are still in Korea for 1 year more so our savings aren't as high yet as we like, but I expect no problem since one of my jobs is online and can be moved along with me and upscaled.

    Sorry for the long story, just a little freak out.

    • June 24, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      Hi Saskia,

      I’ll do my best to be of help:

      1) When we applied, the sponsor had their own section within the applicants account AND their own personal immi account. It was a lot of duplicate information, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the department has eliminated that part of the process. I’d recommend calling one of the services centres to get some clarity. You are the second person to ask about this recently, so I really wouldn’t be surprised if something has changed. I’ve put it on my list of things to research, but… my to-do list is a crazy place right now. 🙂 Let us know what you figure out?

      2) You can get more nature of commitment ideas by reading Australian Partner Visa forums about what other people with situations similar to yours have done. Certainly it seems to me like a marriage is pretty demonstrative of commitment, but I know what it’s like to pay $7,000 and then wonder if your evidence will be good enough!

      3) This is another area where you can see lots of others’ stories, ideas, situations, and solutions if you read the Partner Visa forums. My sponsor and I were traveling abroad (him not working) and no work contract when we applied. But we had savings, were both high-earners, and he owned a house in Australia.

      Hope that helps! Good luck!

  • June 18, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Hey Jema,
    My wife is studying Diploma in Sydney with student visa 500 and I’m in India. We got married after her visa was granted so I’m not included in her visa application. Now we want to apply for partner visa. What are the procedures to apply visa? Can anyone explain me the detail procedure?

    • June 23, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Niroj,
      Unfortunately, you won’t find any “detailed” procedure anywhere, because everyone’s application is unique and different. Basically, you have to:

      1. Decide whether you are going to apply on-shore or off-shore.
      2. Start your application with the immigration department, which involves answering 47SP questions and paying the huge application fee.
      3. Then you upload evidence that proves your relationship is legitimate (this is highly variable from couple to couple)
      4. Wait for a case office to look at your evidence and hopefully approve your visa.

      Good luck!

  • June 13, 2018 at 11:49 am

    WE ALREADY HAVE OUR IMMI ACCOUNT ONLINE AND CAN ADD DETAILS ANY TIME WE LIKE, HOWEVER HAVE NOT PAID THE FEE. I AM NOT SURE YOUR INFO IS CORRECT ON THIS POINT.

    • June 13, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. The DIBP is constantly tweaking their site (constantly… every time I login I see a screen with a list of things that are being worked on.). It’s possible they are now allowing folks to upload any and all details at any point. It may also be that the details you can add “any time we like” are 47SP details?

      It’s awesome for users if they are no longer keeping the most of the upload process and ability hidden until after payment! Glad to hear that might be happening for new applicants!

    • June 20, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Actually Mark, you still have to pay the fee in order to upload your evidence of the statements regarding the financial and social aspects as well as the nature of the household and your relationship. I’m guessing you are still filling out the information so your immi account will allow you to save your work and come back and edit your information later on.

  • June 13, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Hi Jemma,
    So glad I came across your page, found it very informative. I do have a question. I will be lodging my partner visa in a months time. I was wondering do you have to attach a police check with all your evidence or do we have to wait till a C.O request one?

    • June 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Nicole – they say you should wait until the C.O. requests it. If you do it at the time of lodgement and your visa approval takes more than a year, the police checks will expire and you’ll have to do them again.

      Hope that helps!

  • June 12, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Hi
    i am Australian and married a British Citizen over 6 years ago. we want to tidy our affairs here (sell house etc…) and get over to Australia asap. Just wondering if anyone has any idea on the below:-
    Visa 309/100 – you submit outside of australia and have to wait 12/18 months for approval before you can travel into australia.
    Visa 820/821 – you submit inside of australia and wait for approval.
    I really want to do 820/821 but how lawfully do we travel into australia to live and submit our 820/821. As far as i can see can easily come in on a visitor visa visiting family and friends – but he cant work and can he legitimatley (as really for a visitor visa you are overstaying once you’ve passed three months) stay waiting for 820/821 then!?!?!

    • June 12, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Jess –

      If you don’t hear from anyone here, I’d invite you to read through and post in other Australian Partner Visa forums (if you haven’t already). This is definitely an issue that a huge number of partner visa applicants deal with!

      We did the 309 because we just wanted to get the paperwork over with. However, we were traveling internationally together when we applied, so knew the clock would be ticking during our trip (e.g. not affecting our settled lives). You *CAN* travel to Australia while waiting for 309 approval. If you’re *in* Australia when they are ready to approve your visa, you have to leave for a few days (I just went to Indonesia). When I traveled to Australia after applying for our 309, we’d been waiting 3.5 months already. We took the risk that we’d get approved within my 90 day travel visa, knowing that I might end up in purgatory in some nearby Asian country after my 90 days ran out. I’m not saying that I’d recommend this… just that it worked for us.

      Because we weren’t about to stop our trip to go back to Australia to apply, we never considered the 820. We thought the processing times were just waaaaay too long, and we wanted to get the “purgatory” phase of the visa over with as quickly as possible.

      Hope that helps a bit! Definitely check out conversations in partner visa forums. They were so helpful to us when applying!

  • June 2, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Hi there,
    I am Aussie citizen and my husband I am sponsoring is Canadian citizen. Is there knowledge around here as to how long that could take? Married and been together 7 years. They asked for the medical tests instantly which I found strange- that should mean they know it will be shorter than 12 mths to process as I know medical tests only are valid for 12 mths and why would they ask for them straight away if they know/think it will take longer than 1 year to process application. Also, how long before the sponsor application status goes from submitted to approved? I notice the applicant’s application almost instantly changed status from submitted to approved. But sponsorship one has been sitting as submitted for around a week now. Thanks for any help!

    • June 7, 2018 at 4:13 am

      Hi Sian,

      The best place to find information on processing times is Australian Partner Visa Forums. I heard recently that being together for a long time can expedite certain phases of the process, but the thing I read wasn’t clear on what, exactly.

      Hope that helps!

  • May 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    hi
    my name is Godswill. i am a Nigerian using a Nigerian international passport( a high risk country). i applied for the offshore 309/100 partner visa december 2017 online indicating the kenya processing centre as the closest to me in any case of an interview. my partner and i have known since december 2012 but got married here in Nigeria on February 2016. my application as at two months ago changed to FURTHER ASSESSMENT IN PROGRESS and changed from the original 11-15 months to 10 – 13 moths for the processing time. My wife was recently diagnosed of a low grade cancer. She is also a bipolar patience. As it stands, i really have to be with my wife ASAP
    my questions now are
    1) is this situation a good compassionate ground for my visa to be fast done?
    2) since i applied online and haven’t been contacted by any case officer, what is the best channel for me to communicate such development to the processing office.
    thanks

    • May 14, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Hi there!

      I wish I had a solid answer for you, but unfortunately I don’t. It’s really hard to know what they will consider compassionate grounds. I’ve heard the guidelines for this are incredibly strict. E.g. even being together for the birth of a child or avoiding a situation where a family has a child and then has to move their lives isn’t considered compelling enough.

      I would recommend searching Australian Partner Visa Forums for “cancer” to see if there are others in your situation and what happened/worked for them.

      You can always call and talk to the Services Centres. You’ll be on hold quite a long time, in my experience. But you will get to talk to a real human eventually.

      Good luck!

      • June 6, 2018 at 8:30 am

        Hi Jemma, like your name almost sounds like a gem. You have helped so many genuine couples. Thank you so much for that.
        My partner and I have decided to apply for a 820/802 partner visa.
        Now as of May 1, 2018 the estimated decision time is 17-24 months. For my fellow applicants I advise not to do any medical unless they tell you what your next assessment is. I went to the medical they told me to here in Sydney. The good thing about it is that the medical center that it communicates directly with the immigration department and they automatically clear you. Once they cleared it I got a message from the IMMI office :no more action required, health requirement has been accepted. So even it might take over a year for them to decide, you don’t have to go again! So no uploading is needed from your side. I also believe as of now that even color scanned documents have to be verified, this only applies for Passport, Birth Certificate, Drivers licence, National ID, 888 declaration, which has to be from the the Sponsors friends or (I find, sponsors family is the best) make sure when the 888 form is filled out it has to attach a copy of the person passport or birth certificate who is testifying also veryfied at the same time. I am Hungarian and I had to go to the Hungarian Embassy to obtain a Police Check which then had to be translated which most of the embassies offer (170$). In my case. If anyone has a good smart phone it saves you so much time and effort to scan using Tapscan app. You can stich as many pages as you want and then save it as pdf. If the file is over 5MB use a free website like smallpdf.com. I also think it’s good to use one account, so. In my case I am the one being sponsored so I had to start the application, once you pay there is an optionfor your partner to use the same account. One more thing if someone has been in a relationship longer than 3 years and can prove it, like registration of de facto relationship, will get a permanent residency right away.

        Hope this also helps

        Thanks once again

        Zoltan

        • June 7, 2018 at 4:05 am

          Wow, Zoltan – awesome information! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • May 11, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Hi Jema,

    I am using your sample to help me gather all my evidence. I have a few questions that I hope you don’t mind me asking.

    1. When you paid, do you have a time limit in which you have to upload everything by?
    2. As you said in your sample, you had to break your “Social Aspects” into more than one PDF, does that mean there is an option to download more than one file/pdf to the social aspects part online?
    3. In your sample summary on the first to pages you have said that you made PDFs for “Length of de facto relationship” and “Relationship- spouse/de facto partner”. However in your actual application you only show a category of “Details of Development”. How did this work?

    4. Lastly, is it a good idea to reference and say for example in my section “Social Aspects” .. “see 3.4.1 (which is a reference to another PDF outside of “Social Aspects” that shows evidence linked to each other?) i feel as if you have done this in your application, however I just wanted to double check?

    THANK YOU, SORRY FOR ALL THE QS. Can’t thank you enough!

    Kind Regards,
    Hanna

    • May 11, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Hi Hannah – happy to provide clarification!

      1. No time limit for uploading. I’m guessing worst case scenario is that the pre-check person (the department employee who checks files before giving them to case officers – it seems like this is how it works) says to you, “You don’t have all your evidence in. Please finish so we can assign you a case officer.” I do not know of and didn’t experience any deadline or cutoff. Usually it goes the opposite way – people are writing in on Australian Partner Visa Forums saying, “I submitted all my evidence months ago and have heard nothing. Help!”

      2. When we uploaded files, each time we could choose a pre-filled category as well as type in a filename. So in the case of social aspects, we just kept naming them almost the same thing. E.g. social aspects 1 of 3, social aspects 2 of 3, etc. You have a limit of, I think, 60 total uploads which can be a max of 5MB each. Don’t quote me, but those are the #s that are coming to mind.

      3. We took the items listed under “length of defacto relationship” and “Relationship- spouse/de facto partner” from other areas in the application. E.g. For length of defacto relationship, we made a PDF that had the cover page summary (just a list of those items you see listed in the sample), then evidence piece 3.8.3; 3.7.2; 3.2.1 & 2 & 3 & 4; and 3.6.3.

      4. The first few pages of the example explain what we ended up doing for the department. The last 161 pages are what we prepared before we knew the department had a different structure. So, no, I would not recommend organizing like we did and then referencing your evidence. The whole reason I made this webpage was because it was a huge waste of our time. If I could do it again, I just would have organized the way that is explained in the first two pages of the example. Those are the categories the department actually wanted. We ended up tearing apart the numbered document into pieces that fit the department’s categories.

      Hope that makes sense?!

      Good luck, Hannah! 🙂

  • May 3, 2018 at 3:38 am

    after u paid and u sent that form that u filled in how long does it takes to receive emails from the visa company to send the documents and all proof? thats what i worried all about as we also fill out the from and paid already last month until now they dont ask to send the proof of evidence and everything to show our relationship with my partner

    • May 3, 2018 at 4:33 am

      Hi Jona – we didn’t use a visa company. When you do it yourself, you can upload documents right away. If the visa company isn’t asking for them, you might just call and ask why not. It’s often true that no humans in the home affairs department actually look at your evidence for a long while after you pay, but you can submit it immediately in my experience. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  • April 26, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Hi,
    Thank you for all the amazing and useful information here, I have also purchased your application documents which are so useful too! I just have a quick question, is it definitely ok for me to apply for an offshore 309 partner visa with my Australian fiance being my sponsor living with me in the UK on a working holiday visa, which expires May 2019. I assumed this would be ok, but suddenly thought the other day that maybe he has to be living in Australia? But I assume as he does not have permanent rights to stay in the UK after May 2019 this would be ok? Hope this makes sense!

    • April 26, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      Hi Ellen! I recommend double checking by calling the European Services Centre, but I don’t think it would be a problem. Is your partner a natural-born Australian citizen? I know sometimes there can be issues regarding his geographical location if he is not. (E.g. on the 40SP form that sponsors have to fill out, it says, “If you are an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you are required to be usually resident in Australia.” A permanent resident is someone who has not achieved or been born into citizenship, but has permanent resident status.) But assuming he is a natural born resident, I have never heard of a requirement about the location of a natural-born sponsor. Applications tend to be concerned about the applicant’s location. And my partner was outside of Australia (in the U.S. with me!) when we applied.
      Hope that helps!

  • April 23, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Hi, great website, really helpful! I am from the UK, I lived in Australia for just short of 4 years (2 WHV and 2 student visas). I moved to NZ last July where I met an Australian man. I spent 3 months living with him in Adelaide last Christmas time on a tourist visa (that was my second entry on the tourist visa, I visited him for a week in October too). He is currently living with me in NZ and we intend to move back to Australia in June where I will apply for a partner visa.
    Given my visa history (5 tempory visas in under 5 years) am I likely to have a problem entering the county again? What should I say to immigration if questioned on arrival?

    • April 25, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Hi Esther – so glad the info here has been helpful. I wouldn’t be able to speculate about what an immigration officer would say about all your departures and re-entries. People from the UK visit OZ all the time, and many with regular frequency. If you’re white, well-groomed, with tidy clothes and travel gear, they may not bat an eye. Those who are – e.g. – not white, are rocking some dreads, or dress in any way that isn’t mainstream report experiencing higher levels of questioning.

      I’d recommend looking in an Australian partner visa forum or two to see what others in your situation plan to say to immigration. When I was in your shoes, I was prepared to give an officer a whole itinerary of places I was (not actually) going to go in OZ. They never even asked. Just waved me through. I didn’t have to answer any questions. I definitely did not plan to say, “I am here to live with my partner.”

      Hope that helps!

    • June 6, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Hi there

      Just enter on an ETA and make sure you have a plane ticket exiting Oz within 3 months, even if it is just to NZ or somewhere close by. Make sure your partner is waiting for you at the terminal and can be called by the immigration office. They are likely to call him if they feel like. Happened to me too. Was all good. Because he takes responsibility for you. You have to be be together in a consecutive relationship for for 12 months to be able to apply for a partner visa 820 with proof.. You have to understand it doesn’t matter if you have been in Oz for 4years on and off. It’s all about how long you have been with your partner. That’s the rule of the partner visa.

  • April 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing blog. My fiance and I are about to embark upon the application process for the Prospective Marriage visa. I am looking to purchase your evidence package, but just a quick question – is it still relevant do you think, for the Prospective Marriage visa? I would assume much of it will be the same as the Partner Visa but just wanted to check on your thoughts.
    Thanks Kerrie

    • April 6, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Kerrie,

      Some of the evidence required for partner visas and prospective marriage visas is derived from the same standards. Here’s what the department asks for for prospective marriage visas, and I’ve highlighted where it’s the same as partner visas:

      Two of Form 888 – Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application (235KB PDF).
      Proof that you and your prospective spouse have met face-to-face as adults since turning 18 and know each other personally.
      Proof (such as a letter from the person who will officiate at the wedding) that you will marry your prospective spouse within nine months of being granted the visa.
      Proof that you and your prospective spouse genuinely intend to live as spouses.
      Written statements showing the history of your relationship, such as:
      – – how, when and where you first met
      – – how your relationship developed

      – – when you became engaged
      – – joint activities
      – – significant events in the relationship
      – – your future plans
      as spouses.

      Additionally, once approved for your prospective marriage visa, you eventually have to apply for a partner visa for which the evidence package is very specifically relevant.

      Hope that helps! Just out of curiosity, do you and your prospective spouse not have enough time in your relationsihp to be considered defacto? I see that the Prospective marriage fee is just as much as the partner visa, and apparently the prospective marriage fee doesn’t preclude you from paying the partner visa fee. The immigration website says “reduced,” but I couldn’t figure out what that means.

      You don’t have to answer if you feel it’s too private. Just curious, and the more I learn the more I’m able to pass on to others.

      • April 26, 2018 at 12:53 am

        Hi Jema,
        Thank you so much for all the informations you provide on your blog and helping people do the right thing in lodging their visa application. My fiance and I will soon lodge our prospective marriage visa application by end of next month but we are still in the process of completing all the requirements. We are also very intrested to purchase some of your forms that can help us a lot. I just have few questions that you might help me. I’ve read a lot of forums and checked the Australian embassy website and it seems I can’t find the answer to my query, I understand that my fiance needs to submit the 40SP form however, would you know for prospective marriage visa application; needs my fiance to submit evidence such as bank statement, certificate of employment, payslip, etc to attach in the 40SP form? I have the checklist that I downloaded from the Australiam Embassy website but it did not say anything for prospective marriage visa. I only saw for spousal visa application. Appreciate your time to give us understanding on this. Again, thank you very much. Happy to hear from you soon.

        • April 26, 2018 at 11:38 pm

          Hi Raquel – You’re welcome! I’m sorry I probably won’t be of much help. I’m not sure what documents a sponsor has to provide for a prospective marriage visa (since we were partner visa applicants). I googled and found a checklist published by the Jordan embassy. My interpretation of their section about the sponsor’s required documents is that the sponsor basically has to prove that they are an Australian citizen and that they are capable of financially supporting the person they are asking to bring to the country. So I’m not sure your fiance would have to attach documents proving financial ability to the 40SP, but it does seem like he/she will eventually need to prove that he/she has the financial ability to support you (the applicant).

          Hope that helps!

      • June 6, 2018 at 5:26 am

        Hi Jemma, here is an amazing app to scan and merge even 20 pages to one pdf… Called TAP SCANNER. To shrink big files use smallpdf.com. My partner and I have uploaded at least 100 documents but only 38 files.
        Also I don’t see you mentioning that all major documents must be verified by a JP (justice of peace)
        I believe my self everyone should give themselves a few months to prepare if not more. Good luck. Cheers Zoltan

        • June 7, 2018 at 4:07 am

          Hi Zoltan,

          We didn’t get many of our documents verified, and, at least for awhile, the department was accepting scanned color copies of documents. I saw you wrote elsewhere in the comments that you have reason to believe this is no longer the case?

          Cheers!

  • April 3, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thank you so much for all of your information here… So much more accessible than what I’ve found so far on the immigration sites! I, like you, am a US citizen with an Australian partner. We’re planning to move back to Melbourne shortly, and are very overwhelmed about the application process. Do you recommend applying for the 309 whilst we are outside of the country as opposed to waiting to move and applying for the 820/801? Our expected move date is still tentative, but HE is likely leaving the US within the next six months. I am leaning toward applying for the 309 here, but am worried about the implications if my partner is to move before I am granted a visa, and I am visiting him for an extended amount of time on a tourist visa. Do you think it is common for a case worker to reach out to you before you are granted the visa to ensure you are out of the country (as was the case for you)? I am most concerned about not getting the heads up on this, and then being denied my 309 because I am not present in the US at the time. Thanks in advance for your thoughts… Not sure what the risk/reward is for applying in versus out of Australia, and haven’t been able to find any clear information online about this thus far.

    • April 3, 2018 at 1:45 am

      Hi Cassie – you’re so welcome! Glad you’re finding it helpful. Sounds like you and your partner have an almost identical situation. Have you looked in the Australian Partner Visa Forums to get an idea of how long 309s from the U.S. or other low-risk countries are taking? The most dependable metric will be wait times experienced by other American applicants who will ultimately be processed through D.C.’s Australian embassy, I think.

      We did the same thing – he went back to Perth ahead of me, I followed later “visiting” on a tourist visa… but really just us living there together. We wanted to apply ASAP because we wanted to start the wait ASAP. We didn’t have any concerns about them questioning the legitimacy of our relationship. Heaps of couples have time apart. My only concern for you would be… once you’re accepted they give you a window of time in which you must enter Australia. And it’s rumored to be very small. So it’s possible you have to be ready to go to OZ on very short notice.

      I can’t guarantee anything, but our case officer was very careful to make sure I was out of the country before granting the visa in the system. She knew (I submitted my travel plans as a document, just titled it something like “Intention to travel to Australia”) I was in OZ. She told me it was about to be granted as soon as I left. I didn’t need to be in the U.S., just needed to be “not in Australia.” I flew to Bali for a week.

      I would look up wait times people in your two hypothetical situations are experiencing to help you make your decision. Hope that helps, and good luck!

  • April 2, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Jema, Thank you very much for writing this up. I have just started this process as I’d like to sponsor my husband. I have purchased your evidence sample. I am going through form 47A at moment. What sort of documents do I need to provide with this form? Do I need to get CTC passport copy/birth certificate/evidence of qualifications etc of my in-laws. Thank you.

    • April 2, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Eileen,

      You’re welcome – so glad to be helpful! We didn’t (couldn’t!) provide any documents until after we’d paid the visa fee and submitted the 47SP. We did not have to fill out a 47A. We did not get passport copies/birth certificates/ evidence of qualifications for the applicant’s (my) family.

      I’m guessing if you need to submit documents to support the 47A, you’ll be given the opportunity to do so on the upload screen. You can always contact the services centres to ask. Migration agents are sometimes willing to answer questions if you call.

      Hope that helps!

  • March 31, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Once you submit the initial questions and make the payment are you able to go back and make any changes to this section while submitting the evidence?

    • April 1, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Hi Natalie – No, we were not able to access the original section to make changes. The general theme with the application process is no editing allowed. You can upload a corrected version of something, but you can’t erase things. I presume this helps spot fraudsters. Hope that helps!

  • March 25, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Hi Jema,
    I have some questions if you don’t mind for visa 309/100.
    1) I can’t fill the form 888 as my husband is the only Australian that I know, will that be a problem? because he either doesn’t know any Australian witness in Egypt and he currently has left Egypt, currently in Sydney and he is preparing the required papers from his side and asked me to prepare heaps in Egypt.
    2) After applying for my side as applicant, will I be able to upload documents or it will wait for him to apply as sponsor first then we will be allowed for both of us to start applying.
    3) 60 files are permitted, is it 30 and 30 together or what?
    4) also can he send me his files and I upload it from my side or he has to upload it by himself.
    5) final question, we have heaps of photos, can I upload main ones and the rest to be seen in the interview?
    Thanks in advance.

    • March 26, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Niveen, I’ll do my best, but I’m not a migration agent or anything like that.

      1) You don’t have to have Australians do your stat decs (888). From what I understand, the department prefers it and stat decs from Australians carry more weight. Y
      2) As far as I know you’ll be able to start uploading documents as soon as you pay the application fee. I’ve heard the department is proposing changes in the future that will require the sponsor to be approved first. As far as I know that hasn’t changed yet.
      3) I’m fairly certain it’s 60 files per account. My partner and I had separate accounts – an applicant account and a sponsor account. The majority of the necessary uploads are required by and uploaded in the applicant account.
      4) When we applied, my partner uploaded things required by the sponsor account to his sponsor account. I guess if you had your husband’s login information for his account and the files, you would theoretically be able to login to his account as him and do the uploading.
      5) I have been told the department doesn’t want to see a lot of photos and doesn’t give them much weight when considering your application. The advice I’ve heard is to keep photos to a minimum. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem to bring the rest to an interview.

      Good luck with your visa!

      • June 20, 2018 at 12:50 pm

        Hi Jema
        I noticed that you mention an applicant account and a sponsor account. My husband is the applicant and we lodged his application 6 weeks ago. It has just changed to “Further assessment” status. Nowhere was it stated that I (the sponsor) had to have my own account too. But we uploaded my documents into his sponsor section. Now I am worried … am I supposed to have my own account? Will the department or case officer let us know if that is the case? Thanks

        • June 23, 2018 at 9:00 pm

          Hi Simone – they will definitely let you know if something is missing. For our application, the “sponsor” had their own section within the applicant account but then also had their very own immi account, which consisted basically of the 40SP form and the duplicate uploading of identity documents. In my experience, you’ll get contacted by a pre-screener once your number comes up. If you’ve missed submitting 40SP information, they should let you know!

  • March 23, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Hi there.
    What an amazing source of information. Thank you.
    I have a few questions that you may be able to help with.
    I recently got in touch with a Migration Agent to begin the process of applying for a partner Visa to Australia.
    He has advised me that he will be requesting some information, which I might find invasive. Do you know what he may ask me?
    Also, I have seen on the application form it asks for exact dates of travels to other countries. I have travelled quite extensively in the last 10 years. I cannot remember each country visited, let alone the dates. Is there a Government Dept that can advise me of when and where I travelled to.
    Thanks

    • March 24, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Hi there! So glad the info here is helpful!

      I would say the migration agent probably means that you end up sharing very private, personal conversations you and your partner have had, sharing the ways you spend money and how you make those decisions together, etc. Sensitive subjects for a lot of people!

      I’m not sure about a government department providing your exact dates of travel. Maybe ten years from now it will be electronically stored in your passport or something? I happened to have pretty good records, so although I’d traveled extensively, I was able to place myself fairly accurately in each place. I think what they are really looking for here is anywhere you’ve been for over a year? No real idea though. Just guessing. Your migration agent will know!

      Good luck!

  • March 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Wow, what an amazing resource. I was looking for more info on what you recommend for statements of declaration from friends/family. What should they mention specifically? In what format? Is there a specific form/template provided by Australia Immigration to follow? We are getting our paperwork together now. Thank you so much!

    • March 20, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Kaitlyn – so glad you’re finding the visa info here helpful! When we asked our friend and family to do stat decs, we thought about which of the components of proof (e.g. nature of commitment, etc.) they had the ability to speak to. We made suggestions about things we knew they knew about us that would be helpful to mention. We just had everyone fill out the stat dec form provided by the immigration department. If you’re interested in seeing our stat decs, they’re an option on the evidence samples page – about halfway down.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your visa!

  • March 20, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Hi Jema,
    Just wanted to update you on what is happening- yesterday I completed uploading all the requested documents and emailed the dept to let them know. I also clicked on the magic button ‘all information has been provided’. My status is now showing as ‘further assessment’
    I have received a reply to my email, but it is not from the same person who emailed to ask for further documents. This is what she replied ‘Thank you for your e-mail.
    We have had occasion to access the additional information as per your advice below. We will continue to assess this application and advise immediately of the outcome.’
    Has anyone received anything similar or know what this means?

    • March 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Ghets – thanks for updating us. Sounds about par for the course for experiences with the department – none of the employees being clear about what’s happening or why. My assumption (this is a very big assumption) is that case officers are surrounded by gatekeepers who make sure a case officer’s time isn’t wasted by missing “black and white” pieces of evidence (e.g. you either have a passport or you don’t – it’s completely objective.) I presume case officers are meant to spend their time (and are probably trained in) evaluating subjective evidence (photos, personal statements, email/phone records, etc.). So perhaps “further assessment” means that your file is now finally on a case officer’s “desk” so to speak? Fingers crossed for you! (And please remember, I’m just guessing!)

      Good luck!

      • March 21, 2018 at 7:06 am

        Hi Jema,
        Yeah I think so too, plus her signature said ‘visa processing officer’, so I’m guessing she will have a look to see whether all the documents required have been uploaded and then forward our application to a case officer. I guess we don’t have a choice but to wait and see what happens!

      • April 6, 2018 at 12:13 pm

        Hi Jema,
        Another update: My visa got granted yesterday! Woohoo! Both my partner and I want to thank you again for this website, it helped us tremendously!

        • April 7, 2018 at 6:39 am

          So happy for you! Congrats! So happy to hear the information here has been helpful to you. Do you have any other resources you used that you could recommend to others? Did you like or use any of the Australian Partner Visa Forums?

          • April 12, 2018 at 7:38 am

            Thank you! I also used australiaforum.com and expatforum.com

            • April 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm

              Awesome! Great to know which ones worked well for you. Cheers, and congrats again!

  • March 19, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Hi Jema
    This is all so helpful! Thank you for providing so much information.
    I was just wondering what your thoughts are on medical checks and police checks. Should I have them completed prior to applying or should I wait until they are requested.
    I look forward to your response.
    Amy

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Amy – so glad you’ve found the Australian Partner Visa information helpful! Medical checks and police checks are hard. You’re supposed to wait until you’re asked to get them. But many of us (me included!) feel like the process will go faster if they’re ready as soon as a case officer is assigned. However, if you risk it and get the checks before you’re asked, they can expire (only good for a year) before your visa gets processed. Then you have to (pay to!) do them again. We cut it very close. I got my health checks done almost six months before we even applied because it was cheaper where I happened to be (Thailand). But they almost expired while we waited for visa approval. Up to you if you want to take the financial risk of having to do them twice. Good luck with your visa!

  • March 17, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Hello Jema,
    Keep up the great work!
    I have submitted my application for partner visa subclass 309 and I have a few questions:
    1. I received an email last week asking to submit more documents. The email was sent from someone in my country, could this be my case officer? He only had his name and a position number at the end of the email.
    2. I have been asked to submit an Indian PCC however I have never resided in India for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. I emailed him advising him this and had asked few more questions, he replied but completely ignored my question asking him about the Indian PCC. I emailed him again and told him that i have been asked to provide one even though I have never resided there, and he replied back saying ‘this is well noted’. What does this mean? Do I still need to provide one? This will take ages to get done, I don’t think I can get it done from my country.
    3. I will email him once I have uploaded all the requested documents. After how long do you think they will take to grant the visa?

    Thank you.

    • March 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Ghets,
      I’ll do my best with your questions – just remember that I’m not a migration agent or anything like that. Just someone else who has been in your shoes!
      .
      1. In my experience, first contact was not from case officer. I presume from watching the process happen that the content first goes through a pre-approval process with a different person. I experienced this. This person was not my case officer.
      .
      2. I had something similar happen with an additional request for background checks in a place that either was not applicable according to their rules or would actively not provide them for immigration purposes or both. I remember having to send in all my travel documents proving I had not physically been in the location for which they were requesting background checks. It sounds to me like at least the person doing your pre-approval is okay with your situation after you clarified. I’m sorry there’s no way to know. I’m a big risk-taker and believe in “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission,” so in your situation I would just let sleeping dogs lie and not press the issue for clarification for fear of extending the process unnecessarily. However, a more cautious person would fear that letting sleeping dogs lie might just extend the process even further, if in fact you do end up having to provide the requested proof. Up to you! Maybe try asking in some Australian Partner Visa forums to see what others have experienced around this issue. Maybe if you collect a few different experiences, you’ll feel better?
      .
      3. In our situation, the approval only took 13 days, but was delayed by a snowstorm in our associated embassy’s city in the U.S. I’m not sure what the average post-inquiry approval timing is for others. Our visa evidence was extremely well-organized and we presume very quick to process. However, when I asked our case officer specifically for feedback on this matter, she ignored the question. I had lots of the experience you’re describing – lots of brief, perfunctory responses from department employees who don’t explain anything about who they are or what’s going on. Sorry it’s all so confusing.
      .
      Good luck to you and I hope the process wraps up quickly for you!

      • March 19, 2018 at 6:21 am

        Hi Jema,
        Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it!
        Yeah, I guess I won’t ask him again regarding the PCC. We have uploaded everything they have asked for, just waiting for my PCC from my home country. Hopefully they wont take too long to grant my visa once I upload my PCC! Fingers crossed!
        Thank you again and thanks so much for putting up all the information, it has really helped my partner and I so much. We were really worried about the whole process, but after reading all your tips, we felt much better. It also saved us a lot of time as we arranged everything according to the evidence and document type according to the list you had provided.
        Good luck to everyone who is going through the same process

  • March 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    hi Jema,

    Keep up the great work!
    I submitted my application for 309 and got an email this week to provide additional documents. The email was from someone from Department of Home Affairs, but does not say ‘case officer’, only had a position number. Could this be my case officer?
    Also, he has asked me to provide an Indian PCC, however I have never lived in India for more than 12 months in the last 10 years, Ive been there on holiday but the cumulative days is less than 6 months. I sent him an email informing him this and asked him whether I still need to provide one, he completely ignored this in his reply. So I emailed back to tell him again that I have never lived in India and have been asked to provide an Indian PCC. He replied ‘this is well noted’. What does this mean? Do I still need to apply and provide one??
    Also, once I have submitted all the requested docs, I will inform him. Any idea on how long it takes for my visa to be granted once they receive everything they have asked for?
    Thank you/

  • March 14, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Hi jema, Thank you for this information, i have a question, do we need our photos together ,travel tickets, phone bills certified?same as our conversation via email etc.thanks

    • March 16, 2018 at 4:09 am

      Hi Donna – we didn’t! And most people say they didn’t either. Unless the documents aren’t in English? Hope that helps!

  • March 11, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Hi, I have tried reading blogs about online lodgement of partner visa in Australia and I cam upon this.

    I hope you are able to shed light to what my partner and I had gone through upon lodging my application. So we recently (few days ago) lodge an online application for a partner visa under de facto relationship and I am a bit confused as to why the names of my immediate family members were included as applicants too. I’ve tried and tried to analyse but it doesn’t make sense to me at all. I am 100% that we did the application under Family ->Stage 1 – Partner or Prospective Marriage Visa (300,309/100,820/801) but I just couldn’t get it why the rest of my family members came up too as applicants. Kindly please share to me if anyone went through the same thing as I am very bothered that I might have done something wrong with our application.

    • March 11, 2018 at 6:04 am

      Hi Rizel – which of your family members came up as applicants? It may be possible that they are considered your dependents.

      • March 11, 2018 at 6:20 am

        I asked around friends here that have done the same process as I did, but most of them have kids from previous relationship so their kids name came up as dependents, but there’s one friend of mine who is the same as me, who never had any child when she met her partner and she sent me a screen shot of her application and it only shows her name and her husband’s name not including her family members. But she said because hers was applied almost 3 years ago then maybe there have been changes when doing an online application, but I just don’t know.

    • March 11, 2018 at 6:15 am

      all of my family members came up, my mo, dad and 3 brothers, I am very confused

      • March 11, 2018 at 8:20 am

        Hmmm… I guess it could be many things. Maybe you accidentally ticked the wrong box somewhere? I would just call on of the Services Centres and ask them about it. They’re usually happy to help (after you wait on hold for an hour – hahaha).

    • March 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Rizel
      My US husband and I have also just applied for the 309/100 for him and the names of his two non-migrating adult children were added to the application as well as immediate, non-migrating family. Their names have also appeared online under our names. We went back and checked that we didn’t tick wrong boxes, and we didn’t. I have sent a letter via the system’s tech support to ask why their names are on my husband’s page and am waiting for a reply (if I get one!).
      I did notice that once we applied and filled in the form 47sp, we received a request for health info for my husband, but not for his children. Under each of their names it says “No examinations required”. So, I’m guessing the system just adds them but they are clearly not part of the processing. None of his siblings were added here, even though we included them all, as was requested on the form.
      I was concerned at first, but once I saw that health info wasn’t required for his children, I guess that this is just the way it’s done. Time will tell.

  • March 6, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I’m from India and I would like to do masters in pharmacy in Australia and my enquiry is about defacto visa.
    Am I able to apply for a partner visa .Me and my partner are not married but we have all the documents to prove our relationship is genuine according to the de facto criterias.so can I accommodate my partner along with me through my student visa. Is there any chances of visa rejection because we are applying from India..

    Thank-you .

    • March 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Vishnu – I’m not really sure how defacto visas for partners of students work. Sorry I can’t help on that front. There are Australian visa forums out there – I would check in those places. You can also call one of the Services Centres (just search the immigration website or this page using ctrl+f or command+f on mac).

      I really wish I could say for sure that there isn’t a chance of visa rejection when you apply from India, but I don’t know for sure. I know India is considered a “high risk country.” A risk rating is determined by how many people from the applicant’s country:

      – end up having their visas cancelled
      – are caught lodging untruthful applications
      – get refused for other reasons
      – come as students and end up staying illegally
      – end up applying to stay in the country under “protection” conditions

      Good luck with your visa!

  • March 3, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Jemma
    Your page is so full of info for people aplying for spouse visa. Thanks
    I want some info please
    My brother in law has PR here and he like to sponsor his wife now. He was granted PR 5 yrs ago on parent contribution visa 143. He has been married since 1978 and his son is an australian citizen here.
    His wife didnt apply for visa due to 43K $ at that time. Now she want to apply via her husband sponsorship.
    Currently she is here on a visit visa with no work and 12 months stay conditions.
    Dept has said she has to apply offshore due to the conditions on her visa.
    I want to know whats the best thing to do? and Also is this going to be an easy case?
    Do we have to get a migration agent?
    Thanks for your advice
    sam

    • March 6, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Hi Sohail,

      I wish I had a good answer for you. I’m not sure what the best thing for you is to do, and I don’t know anything about what constitutes an “easy” case. You can call up a migration agent. The good ones will talk to you for free, listen to your story, and give you advice on what’s necessary. I would call two or three just to get opinions. If you do use an agent to apply for your Australian Partner Visa, hopefully the calls will help you figure out who you want to use. Fingers crossed you can get a visa without an agent! Good luck 🙂

    • April 22, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Sohail,
      I am in the same predicament as your brother in law’s wife. Can your brother in law (visa 143) sponsor his wife under spouse visa after the 5 years period? Maybe you can assist to share their experience of their journey.

  • March 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Hi i Justt applied for the partner 309 visa but then i did not certify any of the documnts except for form 888. home affairs websire it is clearly said that all documents need have to be certified. Please advice.

    • March 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      All my docs are in english and i scanned and uploaded all orginal documents.

    • March 2, 2018 at 5:36 am

      Hi Jose – I can’t give you any definite peace of mind, unfortunately. Word on the street is that any color copy of an original document doesn’t need to be certified. We got all our stat decs certified and some other things certified… but since then more and more people have just gone with color copies. It might be worth asking others about their experience in Australian Partner Visa Forums to corroborate what I’ve heard.

      Hope that helps. Good luck!

  • March 1, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thank you so much for all this information. It’s so helpful and it makes the whole process seem a bit easier. I have a quick question re translations. I know that all official documents need to be translated but I was wondering if personal discussions should be translated too? We have lived in different countries for some time so most of our communication is on messenger etc and not in English. We prepared a file with our conversations and it is very lengthy so would not be able to translate it all.
    Any advise would be highly appreciated.
    Thank you so much,
    Kelly

    • March 1, 2018 at 7:45 am

      Hi Kelly – you’re so welcome! Glad to be helpful. 🙂

      I’m so sorry to have to say that what I’ve heard about translations (our application was all in English) is that… yes. Everything. And it’s a terrible expense that relationships with a non-English speaking component have to incur. I suggest you look in Australian Partner Visa forums to see if others in your situation have come up with any creative ways around certain parts or even just some expense-saving ideas? Like, for your convo file, you could highlight the sentences you think are most important and just have those translated (doesn’t work if they’re charging per page, though 🙁

      Good luck!

      • March 2, 2018 at 2:23 am

        Hi Jema,
        Thank you so much for your quick reply.
        I have one more question. My partner has a FEE-HELP debt but he is repaying part of it every year. Do you know if this would affect our application?
        Really don’t want to risk it.
        Thanks,
        Kelly

        • March 2, 2018 at 5:18 am

          Hi Kelly – you’re welcome! 🙂 I wish I could help, but I have no idea about FEE-HELP or how it could potentially interact with an application. Maybe try asking in an Australian Partner Visa Forum? Good luck!

  • February 28, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Hi there!
    Thank you very much for sharing to us your experience. It certainly helps a lot!
    I submitted my application 2 days ago (applicant) and my bf submitted his application yesterday. The status of my application is “received”; the status of his application still is “submitted” – I am not sure why. Anyways.
    When I submitted my application I’ve seen a link: “Attached Documents”. What I did? I attached all my documents before my application status changes to “received”. It means that I attached all documents on “Other (specify)”. The next day I realised that the system open links to attach the documents at the correct link, like: “Address – Residential, Evidence of”; “Health, Evidence of”; so on. What would you suggest to do? Leave like that, or attach all documents in the indicative link?
    Thank you in advance!

    • February 28, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Hi Claudia – I’m not sure I understand your question clearly. But if you’re saying what I think you’re saying, you should be fine. You could try calling one of the Services Centres just to be sure. If you have enough space left, you could upload everytihng again. However that will probably make even more of a mess for your case officer. I would just leave it!

    • June 2, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Claudia and Gemma,
      How long does it take for a sponsorship application to go from status of ‘submitted’ to ‘received’ status? The applicant’s application was almost instantly changed from ‘submitted’ to ‘received’ but it has been around a week now and the sponsorship application is sitting on submitted status?
      Sian

  • February 8, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Hi Jema! Thank you so much for putting this up, it has been so very helpful! I wanted to ask if there are specific rules for when the Stat dec form 888 can be filled out? I have searched on the web and can’t find anything! So our Aus friends have filled the form out in Nov 2017 and stated that we were going to get married in Dec 2017. We are going to submit our application this month i.e Feb 2018, are the stat decs still valid or will we need our friends to write them up again stating that we are already married? Any help from anyone will be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • February 8, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Hey there! Gosh, I know it would be so annoying to get people to update them and then get the updated forms recertified… but I would! I think it might be confusing for a C.O. to have some evidence that points to your current life and other that points to a past version of your relationship (marriage is a big deal, hey!). Good luck with your visa!

      • February 9, 2018 at 6:29 am

        Thank you for your reply! Yeah, it is best to have a current one, don’t want to take any chances. Keep up the good work Jemma 🙂

      • February 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

        I have another question: for Partner visa applying from outside Australia (subclass 309), do we need to submit a personal statement because it doesn’t specify on the list of documents we need to provide on the home affairs website?

        • February 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm

          Hey there! Yeah, we definitely submitted personal statements. As far as I know, this is required for all types of relationship-based visas. Can you send a screenshot to author AT halftheclothes DOT com?

          • February 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm

            Hey Jema, you are absolutely right-the personal statement is a must, just had a look on their website again and it does say that I will need to provide one.
            I am planning on visiting my husband on tourist visa, and while in Oz, I was thinking of getting my medicals and police check done there (i lived in Oz for over 12 months in last 10 years so need to get AFP check done) Do you think it would be fine or will I need to get my medicals done in the country I am applying from?
            Also, on the application once you have paid the fee, there is an ‘information provided’ button, can I click on it once i have uploaded all my documents apart from police check and medical as I am going to wait a month or two before I get these done? Or once I click on it, i won’t be able to upload other documents?

            • February 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm

              Hey! You don’t have to be in OZ to get your AFP clearance (I wasn’t!) and you don’t have to get your medicals anywhere but an approved doctor (I got mine in Thailand to save money and because I was already planning on being there for a few weeks on my way to Europe).

              You can keep uploading documents all the way up until the day your visa gets approved, at least in my experience. Even after you get a Case Officer assigned! (Who might ask you to upload more things, anyway).

              Hope that helps!

              • February 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

                Thank you for your reply! I was thinking of getting my medicals done while I’m in OZ as it would be easier for me only because I would have to travel to a different city if I get it done in the country I live in.
                Good to know we can keep uploading until the visa gets approved!
                Thank you again 🙂

  • January 21, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Jema,

    Excellent write up. I am in a spot of bother and hoping if you could help me out a bit. I have applied for Australia PR subclass 190 and it is currently in “Assessment in progress” stage.

    I am in Australia since Jan 2016. I am getting married on 10th February 2018 (will get the marriage certificate on this date) and was planning to add my partner under my visa. She is in Australia since Jan 2017 and is having a 457 visa and we work for the same employer.

    What will be our best course of action to get her a permanent visa?

    Thanks, Rohit

    • January 22, 2018 at 1:33 am

      Hi Rohit,

      Sorry, I’m not a migration agent and so can’t help you with your query. However, migration agents are largely very friendly and helpful and provide lots of free advice. I recommend ringing up one of them with your questions. They’re usually happy to point you in the right direction.

      Hope that helps – good luck!

      • January 22, 2018 at 2:31 am

        Thanks Jema. I had tried to call them but was not getting confirmed replies. Found your blog helpful, so was trying my luck.. Thanks for your help.. cheers !!

  • January 18, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Hi Jema,
    My fiancé and I are getting married in 2019 and I’m terrified of this application process. We are 24, and have known each other since 12 years old, but only been together for two years. He lives in the US and I live in Australia. How are we meant to share anything financially if we don’t live together? Is that something we can remedy between the temporary visa and the permanent? I’m so confused.

    • January 18, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Emma,

      I understand – this is such a stressful process! Try not to worry too much. The reason for all the requested proof is to keep people from faking relationships just to get a visa. You’re clearly not faking a relationship, so it’s just a matter of finding what ways are going to work best for you to show your relationship to the immigration department.

      Financially, you are still making commitments to your relationship, right? Do you save money for tickets to see each other? Do you pay for unlimited internet so you can skype? Are you saving for your wedding? Have you booked/paid for anything for your wedding?

      Ultimately, lots of people are in your position (not having technical proof, leases, or the easy documents that others have). I recommend asking your questions on one of the Australian Partner Visa Forums or even just having a read to see what other people have come up with as evidence. If it’s within your budget, you could also consider the evidence sample, which many applicants have found quite helpful.

      Good luck with your visa!

  • January 18, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Hi Jema,
    ‘Great info. Thank you.
    Can you tell me whether it is better to upload docs with the initial application ?
    Or can you just upload them as you go ?
    Thanks

    • January 18, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Nadine,
      You can upload the docs as you go. Myself and many other who have applied feel that it’s fine not to upload the very second you pay the application fee. Our experiences over the past few years have been that it takes a long time (weeks to months) before your application is even pre-screened. That gives one plenty of time to upload as your documents are ready.

      Hope that helps and good luck with your visa!

      • June 7, 2018 at 6:20 am

        Hi Emma,
        We are doing a 309/100 application, not lodged yet. My question is what documents are actually needed for the initial lodgement?
        Thanks in anticipation. I have purchased your total package, maybe the answer is in that.

        • June 8, 2018 at 4:14 pm

          Hi Brian!

          The only “document” we needed for the initial lodgement was the 47SP, but I say “document” because online the 47SP was broken out into a series of questions we answered before we were allowed to pay/get in the queue/start uploading actual documents. At no point did the online interface say “You are answering 47SP questions right now.” I just recognized them from having looking at the 47SP form previously.

          However, the tricky bit is that the questions you have to answer at the beginning ask you to summarize what you’ll be submitting. It’s hard to summarize when you haven’t gathered everything. We waited until we thought we’d gathered everything to start the process – which I don’t recommend. I wish we would have just done the initial questions even though it made them less thorough/organized, paid our money to get in the queue, and then worried about being more organized in the rest of the process.

          Hope that helps a bit! Good luck with your visa!

  • December 16, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Jema, thank you for all your time and effort in this! I had two things not sure if you’ve addressed somewhere. Did you guys have to do any kind of interview? Some people talk about an interview and others don’t mention it. The second question has to do with evidence. I’m curious what people do when submitting text and/or email messages that contain risque content. Is it okay to black out parts of conversations to not share deeply personal/intimate parts of a conversation? Or do you just submit everything and don’t worry about it? I want to black out some parts but I didn’t know if that would raise some questions. Thanks so much!

    • December 17, 2017 at 3:01 am

      Hi Susan – Happy the info is helping you! We didn’t get asked to do an interview. (Ironically, coming the other way my Australian partner had to do an interview for his American extended tourism visa… but that has nothing to do with the Australian Partner Visa.) I used to have a link in the evidence sample to a website that explained what interviews are like and what kinds of questions are asked, but it has been taken down!

      We did black out risque content and then we annotated to say what was being blocked. Example: (making this up, but…) “Can’t wait to see you tonight. And to ———————- [risque content].” I don’t think it raised any questions (or at least none that were specifically directed at us). I know how you feel. Part of me thought, “Well, these C.O.s see all kinds of stuff when they’re evaluating partner visas. And the other part of me thought, “…but… privacy!”

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your visa 🙂

  • November 6, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Hi Jemma
    Thank you for your page, reading through this has definitely made me feel more confident with out application.
    We submitted about a week ago – do you mind me asking how long you had to wait before you had a case officer allocated to your application and thereafter how long it took for the decision?

    • November 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Hey there, Megan – happy to hear it was helpful. Our 309 Partner Visa Application Timeline is here. You can get an idea of specific wait times in Australian Partner Visa Forums (see #4)

      Hope that helps, and good luck with your visa!

      • November 11, 2017 at 10:49 am

        Hi jema – I was wondering if I purchase your visa application evidence do you send it via email

        • November 12, 2017 at 1:48 am

          Hi Declan – my apologies for the delay, I was away from wifi all day! Yes, the evidence gets automatically and immediately emailed (hotmail addresses get delayed). Good luck with your visa!

  • October 28, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Firstly, a huge thank you for all you have done! You have made this process to much easier for both my partner and I. Just like you we were shocked over the lack of information on obtaining the partnership VISA. Could I please ask two quick questions 🙂
    How long do you have to collect and upload all the documentation?
    And is there a limit to how many pages each document is? I swear I read somewhere that it is only 1 page per document, however now I can’t seem to find where I read it.
    Thank you in advance x

    • October 29, 2017 at 1:01 am

      Hi Tayla – you’re welcome! So glad to hear all the info here has made things easier for you.

      To my knowledge there is no time limit on time to upload. A constraining factor here is that you’re sort of asked to summarize your evidence *before* you pay, and you can’t start uploading until you’ve paid. My partner and I are very thorough people, so we didn’t want to upload until we had a full and accurate summary. I can’t imagine other successful applicants all have the same debilitating thoroughness, though. 😉 You can talk to people in Australian Partner Visa Forums about whether or not this was an issue for them.

      To estimate how long you have before someone will start looking at your application (after you’ve paid the money to enter the queue), look at reports in partner visa forums for applicants from your same country. For us, applying from the U.S., it took two months before anyone even touched our application and five months before we were approved. So in hindsight you could say we had two months to get everything collected and uploaded.

      I have never heard of a document page limit. There is a total upload limit, which last I checked was 60 files of 5MB each. But I have never heard of the pages within each upload being limited.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your visa! 🙂

    • June 2, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Hi Tayla and Gema,
      I saw posted by Gema somewhere earlier that you should upload the same document multiple times if it fits more than one category. However, the Australian Immigration clearly specifies they want you to upload each document only once. For example, don’t upload your passport multiple times just because it shows your DOB and also your citizenship details.

  • October 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Thanks for all the valuable information. I was just hoping you could clarify something. Under “6. Outsmart the payment fee” it says “If you’re applying from within Australia…” there’s reference “c” which says “c. which doesn’t seem to be possible anymore as of 2017-18 fiscal year”. I assume you mean this little trick doesn’t work anymore? You don’t mean that you can’t apply for a partner visa from within Australia?
    Thanks

    • October 23, 2017 at 4:12 am

      Hey Peter – Sorry to be confusing. I’ve changed the text to reflect what I meant more clearly. The trick does work, and you can still apply from within Australia (subclass 820). Hope that helps!

  • August 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Hey Jema,
    Your page is an absolute godsend! So firstly thank you!
    Im the Australian sponsor for my Spanish Husband and had a query on ´translating documents.
    As my husband is from Spain and we have been living together there, most of our proof of documents are in Spanish. Will they need to be translated into English by a sworn translator before submitting?
    Thank you so much for your time.

    • August 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Chanelle,

      So happy the info has been helpful! I only know what I’ve heard and read on Australian Partner Visa forums, but yes, unfortunately, the documents in Spanish have to go through the expensive process of being officially translated. You could call the Europe Services Centre to get confirmation. I remember reading lots of complaints from applicants from places like Germany about how terribly expensive it is and how silly it feels to be translating things like phone bills, etc. Good luck with your visa!

      • August 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm

        I had a feeling it would! Thanks Jema, I will look into it !

      • September 22, 2017 at 6:53 am

        Hi jema
        My name is Azizan khatoon I have lodge online application for Australian partner visa subclass 309 on 28th june 2017.
        Immigration staff emailed me for Biometric data collection with time frame of 28 days so it is over now and I do not have my Biometric yet. But now I want to have my Biometrics as soon as possible. Iam very confused about the letter that I have received I want to ask you is that letter is acceptable for Biometric data collection center.I don’t know what to do. Kindly help me i will be great full to you.
        Regards.

        • September 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          Hi Azizan,
          I’m sorry I can’t help you. I didn’t personally experience your issue. Check out tip #4 up above for suggestions as to where you might find some assistance. Good luck!

        • February 9, 2019 at 7:46 am

          Hi Azizan,
          I am in the same situation as you! Did you figure out how to solve the situation? PLEASE do let me know. Thanks!

  • August 3, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Hi Jema,
    I have submitted the application and am still struggling on the evidence part. How to you prepare the bank statement? Do you just copy from the netbank and highlight? Or do you scan it first and edit later? I want a clear way to show the immigration officer but cannot figure out the best way! It would be great to hear your suggestion. Thanks!

    • August 3, 2017 at 6:28 am

      Hi Chiara – we PDF’d our bank statements and used powerpoint to annotate them. If you want to see our actual evidence, here’s a page with more information on how to do that.

      Good luck with your visa!

  • July 23, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Many thanks for the blog post and site, its been a huge help.
    We are just in the process of applying for an Australian Partner Visa, I’ve a question about the following documents requried. “Character, Evidence of” & “Health, Evidence of”
    I understood that health and police check are not submitted until the case officer requests them to be carried out, is this correct?

    All the best, Paddy

    • July 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      So glad it’s helpful, Paddy! The timing of health and police checks are kind of up to you. The department says to wait until they ask, but the reason is that the checks expire after a year. So if you get the checks now and then you don’t get a case officer assigned and your visa approved before the checks expire, the cost will be wasted and you’ll just have to do them again.

      That said, there are plenty of folks out there who take the risk. Not knowing I was taking a risk, I actually got my health checks six months before we even applied, since I was traveling through a place where it was really affordable. (See more about our timeline here.) However, our visa got approved just one month before my checks would have expired!

      I took a risk on police checks, too. I got them right when we applied, because I had to do FBI clearance and they take a notoriously long time. Three months, to be exact. Our visa got approved two months after my police checks came through (and ten months before they would have expired).

      Most people seem to think the thing to do is have a look around Australian Partner Visa forums and see what timing is for folks applying from the applicant’s country. Then make your best guess about when to get your checks so they’re ready as soon as you get a C.O. assigned. Some people think it’s best just to wait until asked. Whatever floats your boat!

      Hope that helps. Good luck with your visa!

      • July 24, 2017 at 7:15 pm

        Hi thanks for the response. All the best Paddy

      • August 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        Hi Jema,
        I’ve a question on the Evidence Type list that appears, you said some of these didn’t apply to your situation.
        How did you know what applied or didn’t apply to your own situation?

        Our list is showing the following additional forms as recommended. But they seem to cover a lot of information we have already submitted.
        – Form 1221 Additional personal particulars form
        – Form 80 Personal particulars for character assessment form

        Paddy

        • August 5, 2017 at 10:24 pm

          Our list showed the forms as “recommended,” too. We didn’t submit anything “recommended.” It was our interpretation that all that stuff is for situations that can come up. We figured our C.O. would let us know if we needed them, and they were never requested.

          It’s my understanding that 1221 and 80 (from what I’ve seen in forums) are used for all sorts of visas (not just OZ Partner). They’re generic and gather information to help ascertain whether or not you are an economic or security concern.

          Although you would never find this officially written anywhere and this is 100% my harebrained opinion… I think those forms are used in scenarios where the department has concerns about an applicant either become an economic or security issue. If you have a fairly vanilla, cookie cutter, industrialized nation life, I’m guessing a C.O. wouldn’t ask. I’ve read about others like my partner and I who were also not asked.

          Hope this helps!

  • July 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Jema. Do you happen to know if the certified documents need to be in color or is black and white okay? Also, we are about 5 months out from applying for the partnership visa due to other circumstances, so I am using the time to gather all of the partnership evidence. I was thinking of going ahead and working on getting the FBI background check and medical check as well. Do you know if there is a time frame that those 2 items need to be done in relation to submitting for the partnership visa? I don’t want to do them now and then find out we have to do them again. Also, do you happen to know of the best forum for US expats where we can ask questions about transitioning, such as how it impacts taxes, can you keep money in a US bank after moving, etc?
    Thanks so much for all the guidance!

    • July 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Susan,

      Re: color vs. black and white, what I’ve heard is that a color-scanned document doesn’t have to be certified, whereas if you’ve gotten a copy of something certified it doesn’t matter if it’s color or b&w.

      When they approve your visa, all your checks (FBI and medical) have to be done within the last year. It’s risky, if you aren’t going to join the application queue for five more months, to do them now. Not realizing how long a visa approval would take, I got my health checks in March with a plan to apply between four and six months later. In September, six months later, when we finally applied, we realized we were at a risk of having to re-do the medical if the approval took too long. On the other hand, I’m glad I submitted my FBI prints in September. They didn’t come through (and therefore the one-year clock didn’t start on them) until December, and I had them uploaded when the department needed them in February. Best thing to do is to check out Australian Partner Visa forums to have a look at the current wait times of people from low-risk countries and especially from the U.S. Then you can make a guess about how far in advance you want to do your checks, if you aren’t keen to wait to be asked for them.

      I haven’t seen a good forum specifically for transitioning Americans. There’s a forum called “Poms in OZ” that has some good general arriving-expats info. And I like Bob in OZ for arriving to Australia info. Re: taxes, in my experience you have to be out of the U.S. for 330 of the 365 days of the tax year and then you qualify for a foreign residence exemption of up to 118,000 in earnings. I’m sure that number changes every year. You can keep money in a U.S. bank account. I recommend OFX for transferring money between bank accounts because of its good rates and fee-free opportunities.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your visa 🙂

  • June 29, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Hello Jema

    Would like to ask after you submitted the application and made the payment online, how long will the immiaccount provide you to submitting the evidence? are there any deadline on when you need to submit by?

    Thanks Sally

    • June 29, 2017 at 4:01 am

      Hi Sally – there is no deadline. Most people have the opposite concern… when will they finally look at all the evidence you worked so hard to submit?! Check Australian Partner Visa forums to see what kind of wait times people from your country or applying in your country are experiencing. That will give you an idea of when they might start looking at your evidence. I think my partner and I didn’t finish uploading our documents for several weeks after paying the initial fee and submitting the initial form.

      Good luck with your visa!

  • May 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hi there! Your website has been an invaluable resource so far…my husband and I are applying for a partner visa (I’m the sponsor) and we’re just getting started now. I’m so glad I’ve found this website to help me organize, I was feeling insanely overwhelmed by the whole process of getting everything together, let alone knowing how to organize it for the CO! I just wanted to share a helpful bit of advice, I just got off the phone with Claudia at DIBP, who informed me that since we are applying online, we can just scan in originals of all important documents like passports, birth certs, etc; no need to get certified copies and THEN upload them. She also said that when it comes to uploading passport photos, there’s no need to worry about the whole “signature on the back” part – she said that only applies to the paper application.
    I know I’ve seen comments/questions about both those things, so just wanted to share what I’ve learned! I’m sure I’ll be back here with more questions of my own =]

    • May 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Glad to be helpful and thanks for paying it forward! I’ll be sure to pass it on in the future for anyone who misses your comment. Good luck with your visa!

  • May 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Hi! Thanks for this post. I’ve just applied for PR on Friday and had a message to upload additional documents. A lot of the recommended ones don’t apply to me, but some of them do but I had already uploaded the documents under different sections. For example, I put our bank records under “evidence of relationship” rather than “financial evidence of relationship” As long as it’s uploaded, do you think it’s an issue? Or should I re-upload everything?

    • May 3, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Hi Courtney! It’s hard to say… by a “message to upload additional documents,” do you mean a request from a human or an automated email? If it was a request from a person, you could just tell them where the info is located. If automated, maybe don’t worry about it? But also, I’d think about how many uploads you have left. If you’ve used less than half, might not hurt to put things in a place that maybe seems more logical in hindsight. But also, might make a mess for your C.O. and give them more stuff to look through and take them more time.

      Sorry I don’t have a straight answer. No one really knows what goes on behind the curtain at those immigration officers’ desks. That’s why I made this page – to dispel as much of the mystery as we can.

      Hope that helps a bit. If not try some of the Australian Partner Visa Forums mentioned at the end of the page. Good luck with your visa!

      • May 4, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        Hi jemma,

        Its mady here, i just wanted to know that, i am Australian citizen, i applied partner visa for my wife from outside australia, after we got married in this feb, but the check list showing that upload evidence of residence and utility bills. Unfortunatly i am living in shared accomodation, i dont have any bills on my name. How can tackle this issue. Could please help me out. Thanking you

        • May 5, 2017 at 3:19 am

          Hi Mady,

          You don’t necessarily need to upload every single document in the upload evidence list. Most people don’t have every single thing the upload list suggests. It seems immigration intends for everyone to sort out a sufficient amount of evidence for themselves, and the upload list suggests possibilities. However, there are some things on the upload list that each person must upload. I know… it’s very confusing. My understanding is that it’s basically up to you to prove that your relationship is genuine.

          Is “evidence of residence and utility bills” relating to your relationship or to your citizenship? I recommend asking in an Australian Partner Visa Forum to find someone else in your situation and as what they did.

          Sorry it’s all so unclear! Good luck!

  • April 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Hi halftheclothes,

    I wish I had seen this before I commenced my application. So on point but luckily for me my application was successful after doing it on our own too and I am now on a temporary residency visa. My question for you is, in your experience or from people you have spoken with, after temporary is granted how long does permanency take? I read that 2 years after the date of lodgement they have to get back to you but is that just to touch base or to give you a decision. I have a friend who is going on 2 years on her temporary (3 all up from date of lodgement) was wondering what to generally expect now and if I can do anything to boost my chances of a timely decision.
    Thanks so much!
    Dom

  • April 8, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Hi, my partner and I are working on organising our evidence at the moment and I was just wondering if anyone can confirm that this process is still the same? I see comments dating back to 2015 so I figured it’s possible that it may have changed.
    Thanks for an amazingly helpful article by the way!

    • April 10, 2017 at 2:31 am

      Hi Lorne,

      As far as I can, nothing has significantly changed yet (although I expect it to someday!). I’m probably the only person who has read every single one of the hundreds and hundreds of comments here. I can tell you that none of them are about the info here being out of date. I’m keeping an eye out for it and will either update or remove the page when it does.

      Hope that helps – good luck with your visa!

  • April 2, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Hi Jemma! I am recently in the process of preparing all our documents, and finding this post was THE BEST! THANK YOU!
    I am a bit confused about uploading certified documents online, since we’re not mailing them in, can we just upload scans of the originals? (passports, birth certificates etc.) Or do we have to get certified copies, scan those, and then upload them? Thank you for your help!

    • April 2, 2017 at 4:38 am

      So glad you found the page helpful, Sirena! I know it’s silly, but yes. They want you to get the documents certified, and then scan the certified copies. A bit bizarre, but there are still a good number of scammers trying to fake their way in, I guess. Good luck with your visa!

  • April 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Hi thank you so much for all your helpful information! We have just submitted our application PMV and paid. We are about to upload our documents. I have a question, I am the sponsor and my fiance the applicant lives in Jordan (we were doing long distance for some time). I moved to Jordan on a 6 month work contract in noV 2016, to work and mainly to be with him – is it fine if we apply for the PMV while I am out of Australia. We are both living in Jordan at the moment, I was wondering if I have to be living in Australia for our visa to be successful. What I am trying to say is, do I have to be in Australia while the visa is processing? Or is it fine that we are both living outside of Australia?

    • April 1, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Rana – happy you’re finding the page helpful! The short answer to your question is: I’m not sure! For your own peace of mind, I would just call up one of the services centres and see what they say about all the details and nuances of your situation that might matter. I can tell you that my partner and I were not in Australia when we applied for a Partner Visa. He is a native-born Australian citizen (are you?), and I might remember reading something about that making a difference? I would hope that it’s fine for you to apply from abroad. The only red flag that comes to mind is that the government seems to have an unwritten worry about a person from abroad becoming a citizen, then getting others from abroad to become citizens, but then those people don’t really live in Australia and contribute to the economy/country… they spend most of their time abroad, save for whatever hoops they have to jump through to retain the power of their Australian citizenship. If you are a native-born Australian citizen, you probably have no idea about any of this. If not, you’re probably well aware of all the very difficult red-tape and time-in-country requirements etc. that are the only thing I can think of affecting whether or not it’s okay for you to be abroad upon application.

      Sorry for the long answer that is really just speculation. The services centres are really helpful and can set you straight. Good luck!

  • March 28, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Hi Jemma,
    Thank you for your tips!
    I have a quick question- Is it that I just wait what happens after having uploaded all documents required? I took about another week only to upload one of the two forms 888 I had to upload, and now I have done everything but I’m not sure what is going to happen next? Are they going to email me or anything? (I already received two emails when I lodged my application and paid- one saying my bridging visa is granted, and another saying ‘acknowledgement of application received’. Is it that I will sometime receive a notification from them that my application has been assigned to a case officer?
    Thank you!

    • March 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      HI there, Kim. Short answer: yup. Just wait! Longer answer: everyone’s experience is a little bit different. If you look at the end of the page before the comments start, you can see everything exactly as it happened to us. My guess about what happens: your application goes into a queue. When you get to the front of that queue, someone (not a case officer) looks it over for any glaring errors or missing parts, tells you to start getting police clearances, health checks etc. Then when those things have been done, I think a case officer is assigned. I’m not sure, though. That’s just my guess based on what happened to us and what I hear from others.

      Good luck with your visa (and the waiting!)

  • March 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Wow just look at all the love! You have earned it 🙂 Thanks so much for the insight, it has helped me among many. What I’m wondering about is there’s 2 sections where I, as the sponsor, can upload my documents. When I click on my husband’s form I have a separate section there and another section when I click on my own form. By mistake I uploaded 3 of the files to mine, then uploaded them again with the rest to hubby’s form because I couldn’t find them. Where do I need to upload my attachments exactly? Both? Or will one do?

    Best,
    N.

    • March 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Hi there! Glad the page as been helpful. I’m not 100% clear on your question, but I’ll take my best shot. If the documents have to do with the applicant, they should go in the applicant’s account. If they have to do with the sponsor, they go in the sponsor’s account.

      I know it feels weird to think of yourselves separately when this whole process is about proving that you’re unified. But the department thinks of you as two separate people, and most the info is to prove that the applicant is in a real relationship. So most of the stuff we uploaded went into the applicant’s account.

      FWIW: I don’t think you can truly mess this up. Worst case scenario, your C.O. looks for something they need, can’t find it, they have to contact you to get it, and it delays your processing a bit.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful – that’s my best guess. Good luck! 🙂

  • March 2, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Thank you so much Jema for all the great information!
    You are just beautiful!

    Can I ask in which section you uploaded the “Personal statement(love story)? I couldn’t find a right section to upload it.
    Also, have you also uploaded the Paper Form 40SP & Form 47SP ? It’s interesting I can see Form 40SP shown in Evidence type but not Form 47SP.

    Thank you again!

    Jing

    • March 2, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Jing – you’re welcome! Happy to be helpful. I believe for the Personal Statements we used “Relationship – Spouse, DeFacto Partner, Evidence of.” We kind of used that label as a catch-all whenever we had a piece of evidence and couldn’t figure out where to put it (e.g. also my intentions to travel to Australia on a tourist visa during part of our visa waiting period).

      Not sure about your 40/47SP situation. Perhaps the 47SP is showing up in your partner’s account? As I understood it, during our application process the 40/47SP’s were extracted into the series of questions one has to answer before you can pay the visa fee and begin uploading.

      Hope that helps!
      Cheers and good luck 🙂

      • March 2, 2017 at 10:27 pm

        Thank you so much Jema~~
        Yesterday I scrolled down and read all the 500comments and finally found your answer to a similar question.
        Thank you for being so patient with us, you are such an angel!!

        • March 3, 2017 at 1:31 pm

          Ha! I tried to find that answer in the comments and couldn’t! No worries – this page is a beast. 🙂

          • March 20, 2017 at 5:30 am

            “Your Partner’s Account?” …. what does this mean? *Deep breaths*

  • February 23, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Hi there everyone – my partner got the golden email this week, so just thought I’d share to spread some hope!

    RELATIONSHIP:
    – Partner = French, 27y; Me = Australian, 25y and STUDENT.
    – Together since August 2014
    – Lived together since Dec 2014 (lease/bills in our names for 11 months)
    – Lived with his parents in Europe for 2016 (traveled)
    – Joint bank account with lots of activity from Dec 2015.
    – Applied OFFSHORE, online on 06/08/2016 through Madrid office after lengthy preparation.
    – No contract from C.O
    – Expected the process to take SO much longer (to the point that he moved to NZ on a WHV at the end of Jan), and to our surprise it was accepted in 6.5 months.

    Thanks again for all your info Jema – the visa booklet you organised was crucial for us!

    Good luck everyone :).

    • March 5, 2017 at 9:46 am

      So happy to hear everything went so well and quickly for you! Congrats! 🙂

  • February 23, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thank you so much for your tips! I have learnt a lot from your sharing.
    Hope you could help me with my questions:
    1. Do we HAVE TO create two immiAccounts – one for applicant, one for Sponsor? As I can see after payment, on applicant’s immiAccount, there is also a section for Sponsor to submit his documents.

    2. Actually we did created two immiAccounts and now working on Sponsor’s online form. Here is the question really bothers us.
    Have you(Sponsor) visited any countries in the last 10 years?
    Yes, he did – 3-4 times every year to Singapore, and other western countries as well.
    The problem is he has been using e-Passport for a long time and it’s impossible for him to remember all the dates for 10 years!

    Do we have to list all the travel dates accurately when filling the online form? what will happen if we can’t recall all the details or miss out some travels?

    Thank you again!!

    • February 23, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Hey guys! Happy the info here has been helpful!

      I had a similar problem with soooo many travels. As evidenced here, I am just ridiculously pedantic and have an insane memory, so was able to resurrect the info. However, I don’t think immi expects this of everyone. My very-unofficial and therefore possible very-incorrect thoughts are this: I suspect they are collecting these dates to 1) get a picture of sponsors background looking for red flags, 2) make sure said person hasn’t spent more than a year in another country. Once you’ve hit the one year mark, you have to provide a police report for that country.

      For peace of mind, you could cruise the Australian Partner Visa forums (there are only a handful) asking there or call up one of the Services Centres.

      Good luck to you!

  • February 8, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Hi, massive thanks for sharing all this information, I just have a quick question… when you got the police checks done, did you upload them as certified copies? Or just the plain ones you received in the post?
    Many thanks 🙂

    • February 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      hi i am turkish living in saudi arabia and my husband is australian living in australia we have been engaged since 2 and half yrs and married since auguest 2016 i have submitted my application last year in oct 2016 submitted my biometrics and medical i was asked for police report which i had submitted today … my question is how long il it take for my case officer to take decision??

      • February 11, 2017 at 5:51 am

        Hi Zoyaa – your best bet is to check in the Australian Partner Visa Forums. You can see there how long people are waiting in your situation. When we submitted follow up information, the officer was in touch really quickly… a few days.

        Hope that helps a bit!

    • February 9, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      hey emma ur asking me?? …. if so i scanned the police certificate which i got it from the police station nd submitted it ….

    • February 11, 2017 at 5:44 am

      Hi Emma – sorry a bit slow on the messages at the moment. We just uploaded them straight to our file.

      Hope that helps!

  • February 6, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Hi Jema,

    1) You are an incredibly generous and amazing human being – thank you for all of this fantastic information.
    2) Question: My partner and I have begun making PDF’s with compiled information such as a ‘Social Aspects’ document with a general statement, references to other relevant bits, flight itineraries, joint travel, etc. Where would something like this be uploaded? We haven’t lodged our application yet, and so I’m a bit scared that we’re doing it wrong and will have to organize everything all over again. Help!

    Thank you so much.

    • February 7, 2017 at 5:41 am

      Hi Sam,

      You’re so sweet. Happy to help!

      Your exact situation is what inspired me to write this page. We did the same thing – made PDFs relevant to the entire type of proof (Nature of Commitment, etc.). And then found out that the department thinks of all the pieces separately. But we stuck with our method of organization and think we made it easier on our case officer.

      If you check out Fig.2 in the info above, you’ll see that for any document type that wasn’t on their list (e.g. a pdf full of many document types), we just chose “Other” and uploaded the whole PDF.

      So for your specific situation I think we did:
      Evidence Type: Social aspects of the relationship, Evidence of
      Document TYpe: Other
      Description: Flight itineraries, photos, blah blah blah,
      Filename: Social aspects of the relationship, Evidence of.pdf

      Our case officer did not complain. The turn around from the day she first cracked open our file to the granting of the visa was very fast – 6 days. I asked our C.O. what she thought of our organization after she’d granted the visa, but she never responded.

      Up to you! If you decide you want to break it out into pieces, there are links under the “Australian Partner Visa Document & Evidence Type Dropdown Lists” heading above that take you to a huge list of what the labels were when I took the screenshots back when our visa was granted.

      Hope that helps!

      • March 20, 2017 at 5:25 am

        Thank you! We’ve lodged our application a month ago and have almost put in all our documents… Phew! What a thing, indeed…

        I do have another question, though.. and maybe you can help! We’ve had friends and family members fill out the Form 888 – Stat Decs, however as I’m Canadian, I’d really like some of my family and friends from Canada to fill out some sort of similar document to help provide crucial elements of evidence. I am trying to find this information desperately to no avail as of yet… One is in BC and the other is in Ontario… recommendations?

        • March 20, 2017 at 9:22 am

          Hi Sam! You can definitely have your Canadian peeps write Stat Decs. Then you have them do whatever the Canadian version is of having something “certified.” In the U.S., it was getting the forms “notarized.” They don’t encourage a whole bunch of non-Australian stat decs because they don’t give as much weight to them as Australian ones. Maybe this is like how they don’t encourage a million photos because they don’t give as much weight to them as… say, shared finances? But they still give *some* weight to stat decs from abroad. My guess as to why they value Australian stat decs more highly is that Australians are signing their lives away. There is a section of the form that warns something like, “you could go to jail forever and have to pay a milliongazillion dollars if you lie on this form.” Enforceable in OZ, but not enforceable abroad, hey.

          Good luck!

          • March 20, 2017 at 11:49 pm

            That makes sense – I only have 1 -2 Stat Decs from Canada I’d like to submit because they support crucial evidence of such things like contact while apart, and the length of our de-facto relationship. I’m so glad that having things certified and witnessed here in Australia is a free service to the public (if you go the police station or a registered JP). Thanks so much for being so responsive and helpful!!!

            • March 21, 2017 at 1:59 am

              You bet! Good luck and let us know how things go, hey?

            • April 1, 2017 at 4:40 pm

              Hi Sam,
              My husband is Canadian and we are going to apply for Australian Residency for him from Canada. Do you know what counts as ‘certified’ in Canada? It doesn’t mean we have to pay lawyers do we? Is it a free service like in Aus?
              Thanks!
              Gen

  • January 31, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Hello Jema,

    Like all other future visa applicants, I find your posts extremely useful. I have a question with regards to the number of documents you can upload and your information that it is good to upload the same documents in different categories even few times. Uploading the same documents in many categories decreases your limit of 60 documents. For example a statutory declaration from a family member can be uploaded possibly in every category, so instead of 1 document, you upload 5 or 6 like that (the same ones). You didn’t have any problems with reaching the limit? thanks for your answer

    • January 31, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      Hi Renata – glad you’re finding the info here helpful!

      I wouldn’t necessarily say it is “good” to upload the same document in many categories – just that it can sometimes be necessary (e.g. identity proof + passport – same document, but uploaded twice). In all other cases, I think it’s a matter of making things easier for your case officer. When possible, my opinion is that it’s good to put the information right in front of them (e.g. this PDF contains ______) vs. telling them, “Please see _____ document, which we already uploaded in another category.”

      We didn’t reach the limit, but that’s because we uploaded PDFs that contained several types of documents that all proved a single category (e.g. Nature of Commitment). We kind of went against what it seemed like the department expected us to do (break it all up into tiny pieces), but it worked out for us. We didn’t run out of uploads.

      All in all, we submitted 160 pages worth of information, some of those pages (maybe 40-50?) were uploaded more than once to a different category. But they were all couched in a single PDF, which counts as one upload… no matter how many documents it contains. The only problem we ran into was when the PDF size was too big (I think 5MB is the limit), so we occasionally had to split PDFs into two.

      Hope that helps!

  • January 14, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Jema,

    My Partner’s visa was approved and we will be travelling to Australia to ‘activate it’. Is it necessary to get an e-visa to travel to Australia?

    Thanks
    Natalie

    • January 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Natalie – I’m not sure, but I think not. You are traveling on your Australian citizenship, I presume? And your partner will be traveling on the visa he is activating, so I don’t see why you’d need an additional visa. I never did!

      Congrats again!

      • January 27, 2017 at 12:36 am

        Hi Jema,
        I currently leave in USA with my husband who is an Australian citizen. We have been married for 2 years. Now, we are planning to move to Australia along with my daughter and we are wondering if it will be better to start the partnership Visa process from here, or once we arrived in Australia. We will be filling the application including my daughter “as a stepchild” . Do you know what’s roughly the time frame when you request the Visa from Australia and outside Australia? and What would be more convenient? considering I would like mu daughter to be able to attend school as soon as we get there.
        Thank you so much for this blog it has been so helpful for us.

        • January 29, 2017 at 4:44 am

          Hi Ale – I’m really glad the information here has been helpful. I’m not sure whether applying onshore or offshore would be best for you. I’d recommend reading up in the Partner Visa forums to find people in similar situations so you can hear about what they chose and why. You’ll also be able to get an idea of expected timelines from the forums. Usually there are threads with people reporting about when they applied, where they applied from, how long it took for the visa to be granted.

          Hope that helps!

  • January 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Hi, you say that you had your health examinations done prior to submitting the visa, how did you go about that? I am reading that you need to visit an approved doctor and provide a HAP number that you receive only after submitting your application?
    Many thanks!

    • January 6, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      Also, did you guys each have a Will? We haven’t got them, do you think it’s necessary?

      • January 7, 2017 at 8:26 am

        Nope, no will. I have no idea what your evidence situation is. If you think it’s a bit weak, getting wills drawn up certainly shows a level of commitment! You could check Partner Visa forums to see what other applicant’s reasons were for getting/not getting wills.

        Good luck!

        • January 8, 2017 at 7:12 pm

          Hi Ema,

          I am preparing the attachments for online partner visa, but I am confused on the photos. If i am applying online how to sign photos at the back. Thanks and regards

          • January 10, 2017 at 8:57 pm

            Hi there – You don’t have to sign the photos at (on?) the back. Are you asking how you would attach photos? We made PDFs using Powerpoint that allowed us to attach and comment on several photos at once. Hope that helps!

            • January 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm

              Hi Jema,

              Thanks a lot for your quick reply, however I meant for the photo that I have to attach on the “Photography” section.

              • January 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm

                Hi Jeton – I’m sorry – I still don’t understand what you’re asking. I’m not sure that there is a “photography” section. Photos that help prove your relationship is real can be attached in many places and under many possible headings.

                Hope that helps!

          • January 24, 2017 at 7:22 am

            If you’re referring to the passport photos, I took two, signed the back of both, and photocopied them one each side next to each other at the JP’s office, then she certified the copy. I also scanned the photos onto my PC and created a PDF containing original scans and Certfied copies in the single file.

            • January 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm

              Thanks for clearing that up, Anna! I don’t even remember signing the back of our photos. And if we did, I’m certain we didn’t get the photos and signatures certified, (just FEI – for everyone’s information)

              • March 20, 2017 at 11:54 pm

                Anna, I would imagine the system of organization has changed on Immigration’s end since Jema submitted her visa, however I had to submit a passport photo (back and front, with the back signed and dated). I went and had my passport photos taken. On the back, I wrote “This is a true photograph of: My Full Name – My Signature – Date”. Then I scanned them, both signed back and front seperately. I saved both and back and front into one file and voila. That’s the best I could think to do.

    • January 7, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Hi Emma,

      When I applied, getting the HAP number was a separate thing. Perhaps it still is? Unfortunately, it only dawned on me to share our visa struggle to help everyone else *after* we were granted the visa. So I didn’t do a meticulous job of keeping tabs through the process.

      Here’s what I can remember: My health exam situation is complicated by the fact that I ended up with two immi accounts – one under my hotmail address that I used to apply for my working holiday visa, and one under my gmail that I used to apply for the partner visa. All I can remember is that I accidentally initiated the health record through the hotmail-connected immi account, but didn’t ever have to do anything to connect it to my gmail-partner-visa account.

      So, since I got my HAP # at my leisure, I looked up doctors in Thailand and arranged the appointment for when I’d be traveling through. (Thailand is a huge medical savings for an American without health insurance and health-care-for-all.)

      Hope that helps. If not, hopefully forums or some long sessions on the immi website will clear things up for you!

      Good luck with your visa! 🙂

      • January 7, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Thank you so much for writing this blog Jema, it’s a massive help, and special thanks for your speedy response to my questions! 🙂

        • January 7, 2017 at 3:51 pm

          You bet! Thanks for your appreciation – it fuels the fire of motivation to keep answering 🙂

  • December 7, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I applied for student visa on 5th November, on 25th nov I got married and on 1st Dec, I submitted the form-Notification of change in circumstance, where I mentioned that my relationship status have changed from being single to married. On 2nd Dec I was granted the visa. Now my question is ,how can I be sure that the embassy is aware that now I am married now? How can I bring my husband in Australia with me? Is there any way he can travel with me in January? Or bringing him after I arrive in Australia, is the only option? If I bring him as subsequent entrant then what do i need to do? I am aware of the forms and documents that needs to be submitted but where and how should I submit it? Should I try to attach them in my immi account now? I am very confused and sad. Please help.

    • December 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Rafia – unfortunately I have no familiarity with student visas, what they do about spouses, and what kind of visa a spouse would need to join you as a student. Your best bet is to call a migration agent and see what advice they have for you. They are usually willing to explain the systems and how everything works and what your options are for free.

      Here’s the register of migration agents:
      https://www.mara.gov.au/search-the-register-of-migration-agents/

      ^ Just leave all the fields blank and hit search to bring up every registered agent. Then you can click through to their contact information and start calling.

      Hope that helps!

  • December 4, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Hi Jema,

    Thanks for the amazing website and information!

    We have a few questions that would be great if you could help with. My partner (applicant) and I (sponsor) have just submitted and paid for our applications.

    1) Is applicant automatically on the bridging visa as her tourist visa expires in a week. i.e. can she stay in Australia until defacto visa is granted?

    2) How long do we have to upload all our attachments?

    3) Can we attach the same files for both applicant and sponsor where the question is the same on the forms 40SP and 47SP? i.e. ‘Give details of the financial aspects of the relationship’, ‘Give details of the nature of the household’ etc. Our answers are obviously the same for both applicant and sponsor.

    4) When should we do the medical and police report as they would expire before our application even gets looked at if we did them now.

    Thank you so much!

    • December 5, 2016 at 3:20 am

      Glad to be helpful, Luke!

      1) I applied offshore, so didn’t have to deal with bridging visas. Sorry I can’t help, but if you ask your question in an Australian Partner Visa Forum or even just search there, you might find some helpful info. It’s also possible to call one of the Services Centres and ask. And I’ve found that migration agents can be willing to answer this level of question via phone, too.

      2) I don’t know that there is a time limit for uploading attachments. Most people’s concern is more like, “How long will I have to wait before someone from the department finally looks at my attachments?” I don’t know what current onshore times are, but again that’s something you can find in a Partner Visa forum. For us, it was several months before anyone even looked at our attachments. I’d say we had at least two months until anyone from immigration even touched our stuff.

      3) I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to attach the same files for the same questions.

      4) The department will let you know when they are ready for you to get your medicals and police reports. Again, this is a place where you’d do well to have a look through forums to find out current onshore wait times. Some people take the risk of getting their medicals without waiting for the department to tell them to so that they are ready to go the second their number comes up. However, like you said, this can backfire and they can expire. For example, my partner and I were approved just one month before my medical expired!

      Hope that helps!
      Cheers 🙂

    • December 15, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Hi, Luke,

      In your immi account, you should have received a message from the department which states the eligibility to a bridging visa, which shouuuuld come into effect once the previous visa has expired. I applied for the partner visa within Australia in February 2015 while on a 457 as I lost my work sponsors and could not get another one without relocating back to a major city. However, despite receiving the notification of a bridging visa, it was ineffective as my 457 would continue to “exist” until September 2016.
      I ended up contacting the department through their complaints link online in November 2015 as I wanted to see if I could get some paperwork done in advance as I was expecting a baby around the time immigration would be due to begin assessing my application. I said I knew how busy they were but I was about to have my hands full, so if I could do anything in advance to speed up the paperwork process down the road, that would be a big help to us. It actually worked. They gave me the go ahead to get my AFP, as well as a fingerprint police check from my home country (Canada–this was a pain in the bum), and I could have done the health exams but decided to hold off until after baby because I couldn’t get the chest X-ray at the time. Once our baby was born, I had to do the exams and upload evidence of our child’s birth. I was granted the stage one partner visa in April 2016 (14 months after initial application).
      I have just received the request for more information in order to complete the second stage towards attaining permanent residency through the partner visa (December 2016). It is basically requesting new stat decs and proof of ongoing commitment to one another. It will not be viewed until at LEAST two years after the lodgement date for the stage one partner subclass temporary visa. However, it is generally less than six months after that date until the final visa is either granted or denied, so I will hopefully have this wrapped up by September 2017.

      I would say you have all that time to upload documents. I uploaded everything I could within a week or so, but as ID changed and we got married, I would immediately upload new certificates and fill in the change in circumstances form as my initial application did not include having children or an actual date for getting married.

      I’m sure it’s ok to use the same documents multiple times, but I used different items than my husband (sponsor) just to give as much variety and proof as possible that we are a team and totally committed to supporting one another in all aspects of our lives.

      Hope that helps! Good luck and don’t fret over the wait times. It’s worth it in the end tolice in this beautiful country (if I do say so myself).

    • January 3, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Luke,

      Did you found answers to your question?
      If yes, I would love to hear about it!

      Sunny Regards

      Jade

  • November 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Your blog was the best one I read and was the most helpful in helping me organize my documents for my partner visa application. Thank you so much, and I wanted to share with you the awesome news that BOTH VISAs 309 and 100 were granted in just 3 months (and I come from a high risk country!). Thank you!!!

    • November 20, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Really happy to hear it was helpful, and congrats!

    • November 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Nina- that is so incredible! Which high risk country if you don’t mind me asking? My husband is in Sri Lanka and we are in our 5th month of waiting- I worry we are not even half way through yet…
      I love good news stories- they inspire hope for me 🙂

      • December 1, 2016 at 11:35 pm

        Hi Hayley

        I got my visa last month, Hope your husband visa will grant soon. All the April applicant in Sri Lanka got their Visa so May and June will get soon
        Dont worry
        Pata

        • December 10, 2016 at 9:58 pm

          Hi Pata congratulations on your visa- you must be so relieved, I can only imagine that feeling.
          How long to total was your wait time?
          We are now reaching 6 months…I am going to see him again in January, I hope and pray we can come home together…

      • January 4, 2018 at 9:54 pm

        Hi Jema,
        Thankyou for all the information and you taking the intitive to help so many people. I was wondering if you could help me.
        Im a Australian that met my Mexican partner in Mexico this is the third time I have been to Mexico to be with her at which I will have been here for 2 months just this time and i proposed to her. So we are bout to start the process of the partner visa. My partner visited me once in Australia before this trip on a tourist Visa, the thing is she received a “No further Stay” requirement on the tourist visa. (She had the Visa done by a agency here so im not sure why she got that requirement)
        We will be applying for the partner visa with me in Australia and her in Mexico. My questions are
        will this “No further stay requirement” have a affect on the Partner visa? we cant really prove we have lived together even being here with her for 2 months as everything here is paid in cash with not many receipts. We have plenty of photos, messages and emails to prove we are legit. How do you think we will go?

        • January 5, 2018 at 1:39 am

          Hi Corey,

          You’re welcome! I wish I had a clear answer for you, but I don’t. My advice to you would be to ask in an Australian Partner Visa Forum to get ideas from others in similar positions. There has to be a way to prove your togetherness! Can whomever you’re paying for accommodation write a certified/notarized statement that you have been doing so?

          I can’t say for certain about the “no further stay,” but it seems to me it won’t impact your application if she is in Mexico. According to this website, “When you depart Australia a ‘No Further Stay’ condition will not prevent you from applying for other visas.” It simply means she couldn’t remain in Australia if she had already been there. Since she’s not there, it doesn’t really seem to matter.

          The immigration website’s was here (link now broken – the immi site is constantly changing). Seems to me “no further stay” just means “You can’t come to Australia on one visa and then end up staying here by trying to get another visa. You have to leave if you want to try for another visa.”

          Hope that helps. Good luck!

  • November 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hi there,
    Thank you so much for this! My partner and I are just starting to collect everything for the 309 visa (applying from Canada) and this really helps! I just wanted to confirm, did you require a medical or police record check from Australia at all? And at what point did you go to Australia on a tourist visa? I thought once the application has been submitted, we weren’t supposed to be Aus at all? – which I understand is why they said you had to leave for a few business days. Thanks again!

    • November 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Jessie,

      So glad to hear the page has been helpful. I did require a police check from Australia because I had spent more than a year there. I believe they require police checks from any place where you’ve spent a year or more. The medical, however, isn’t attached to a country from what I understand. I actually got my medical done in Thailand because I was traveling through and I knew it would be less expensive than doing it at home or in OZ.

      I went to Australia on a tourist visa after my partner had to return to Australia to work. He had taken six months off so we could travel abroad together. I could never find anything completely clear about whether or not it would be okay for me to go on a tourist visa, but I found lots of people were doing it. They said the two departments (immi-tourism, immi-partner visas) weren’t really in communication and it would be fine. I clarified that with a services centre and took the risk of going. If you apply for a visa outside OZ, you have to be outside OZ when it’s granted, so it was important to upload a document to my immi account stating that I would be in OZ so they knew to tell me to leave when they were ready to grant it.

      Hope that helps… I know it all seems very complicated!

      Good luck!

      • November 23, 2016 at 9:09 pm

        Thank you for the luck! It is so daunting, but the more I read the better I feel about it. So glad you didn’t have issues, and I hope you’re loving it over there. Winter has officially started in North America haha

  • November 5, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Thank you so much for spending the time to put together this blog. I have found it very helpful, especially with organizing and compiling evidence. I am about to pay my fee and go to the dreaded upload screen, but I actually feel prepared for it now! Just wanted to give you a virtual high five for all your hard work. x

    • November 7, 2016 at 2:20 am

      Thanks Beth! So happy to hear it’s helpful and worth all the time and effort. Best of luck to you!

      Cheers 🙂

      • November 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm

        Hi,Jema,

        If your status in your immi account is “assessment in progress” is it ok to attached documents even the time frame given by the immigration was done already. Immigration staff emailed me already for additional documents with time frame of 28 days. so it was over now and decided to attached some additional documents.

        • November 8, 2016 at 4:05 am

          Hi there, as far as I know you can attach documents whenever you want. As to whether or not your C.O. will look at those documents is anyone’s guess. I guess you want to strike a balance between placating your own worries, making sure you have adequate evidence, and not making too much work for your C.O.

          If you check out the Partner Visa forums, you might find someone else in your shoes who can tell you what they did.

          Good luck!

          • November 10, 2016 at 2:57 am

            Thank you jemma. I’m trying to join another forum seems I cannot succesfully joint the community. 🙁

  • November 2, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Hey.
    Amazing blog, such a champ for helping everyone out. I just wanted to check that the file limit was 60 total, between the two of us, not 60 each right?
    Thanks!

    • November 3, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hey Tamz – Glad to be helpful! I’m pretty sure the answer to your question is both. I know anyone not fraudulently applying for a visa (i.e. most of us) thinks of it as “our” application, but really the applicant’s application is their own, and the sponsor’s another. So within the sponsor’s account, I presume they are allowed the same 60 uploads as the applicant. But it’s a moot point as most sponsors don’t need to upload that many documents via their account. The applicant’s account is where the bulk of your documents go, including stuff related to the sponsor. And those sponsor documents were included in our/my (the applicant’s) total count.

      Clear as mud? Hope that helps!

    • November 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Yes, it is 60 each. But the sponsor doesn’t need to upload too much documents. For myself as applicant, I consolidated whatever I can in one PDF, and I was far from the 60 mark.

  • October 30, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Hi again 🙂

    We are 4 months in to our partner visa processing. My husband is still in Sri Lanka and Im back in Australia and we are feeling the separation big time! Its a really difficult experience, not being able to plan life properly or know when we are going to be together again.
    Considering applying for a third attempt (two rejections prior to partner visa) to be reunited here on a tourist visa while we are waiting.
    Does anyone here have experience of doing this, any insights or advice to share? I do believe we are eligible for a sponsored family stream now we are married. Does the partner visa carry enough weight as an incentive to leave Aus, given this is why he was rejected previously? If they are ready to make a decision and is told to leave Aus to wait for the outcome, whats this process like?
    Thanking you 🙂

    • November 1, 2016 at 2:58 am

      Hi Hayley

      In sri Lanka now cleared all applicant till feb . Now we are waiting from feb on wards applicant . I think your case may take some more time because prior reject.One applicant in Sri Lanka who applied same case but he got it last month ( after 10 months). Dont worry. hope for good. good luck

      • November 21, 2016 at 9:33 pm

        Hi Pata thanks for your reply- not sure what you mean by all applicant cleared till Feb?
        We have decided against the visitor visa application for now (that wold have been our third try). I am going to visit him in SL in Feb. Hoping and praying we will know something by then…
        Hayley

    • November 2, 2016 at 2:58 am

      Hi Hayley – many sympathies for your waiting – it’s really hard! Not sure what you mean by “two rejections prior to partner visa”. You mean your husband has been rejected for two tourist visas? Because they didn’t think he’d have enough incentive to leave OZ at the end of the tourist visa?

      I came to OZ on a tourist visa, hoping our application would be approved before the visa ran out (and it was!). I just had to leave the country asap for several business days. The cheapest ticket was to Bali, so I camped in a hotel room in Kuta for a few days.

      Hope that helps a bit!

      • November 7, 2016 at 8:26 am

        Thanks Jema,
        Yes he was rejected twice in 2015 because they didn’t believe he would leave Australia. We were only trying to get him here to meet my family and see Aus and experience the country. We knew it would be difficult as we had talked about our relationship, but thought maybe the second one we would have more chance, as we included plans for my move to Sri Lanka to be together. After living in Sri Lanka together is when we got married and hence submitted a partner visa. I guess now it is a good thing we talked about our relationship in the two VV applications as its evidence now. Albeit painful evidence.
        We will go ahead with the 3rd attempt and hope we are as lucky as you. Did the dept contact you by email when they were ready to notify?

        Speak soon 🙂

        • November 8, 2016 at 4:08 am

          Hi Hayley – yup, contacted by email on all occasions. At the end of the text/article/post/page, you’ll see a play-by-play of our situation (all in italics) – might be helpful to you!

          Good luck!

        • December 6, 2017 at 9:10 am

          Hi Hayley,
          I am also thinking of applying for a tourist visa along with the spouse visa for my partner. Did your husband’s tourist visa get accepted?

  • October 17, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Hi Jema,

    Firstly, thank you so much for making this post and answering questions. You have already been a tremendous help to me and our application!

    I have some questions:

    I’m trying to figure out how to be economical with regards to the document limit and I was wondering if you submitted the 888 Stat Decs in other categories besides the obvious one? We have statements (not Stat Decs) from my Danish relatives and friends (besides 4 Stat Decs from Australian citizens) that I was thinking to put in different categories such as ‘length of relationship’ and ‘social aspect’.

    Also – do you have any opinions on whether or not it would be ok to compile the Danish statements into one pdf? That would certainly save some documents – especially if we submit these statements in different categories.

    Thanks so much in advance.

    Asloeg

    • November 2, 2016 at 12:24 am

      Hi Asleog,

      Sorry for the delay in response – I’ve been away from the internet for a few weeks.

      So happy to hear the page has been helpful! Re: your questions – we submitted a PDF series of documents for each category like “social aspects” that included everything from… let’s say pay stubs to stat decs to… whatever was relevant for the category. My personal opinion was that it probably made it easier for our C.O. to have all evidence related to a certain category at her finger tips. However she never responded to any of my queries about how she felt about the way we submitted our evidence. (FWIW: the department was going through massive layoffs/redundencies at our time of application, and rumors were flying in the partner visa forums that all C.O. were under pressure and really upset with the department and worried about losing their jobs…)

      Re: Danish statements in one PDF, I can only give you my personal opinion. We just thought a lot about the way we function as humans – it’s easier to open one document and scroll through several pages than to open ten different documents, right? We submitted our evidence based on that principle, combining much of it. (We also had already organized it that way before we paid and discovered that it’s possible to submit the evidence a single piece at a time. So partly it just worked out that way, and partly we thought our way made more sense and were willing to take a risk doing it our way instead of following their piece by piece format.)

      Hope that helps!
      Good luck 🙂

      • November 2, 2016 at 12:53 am

        Hi Jema,

        Thanks a lot! And that makes total sense. I’m gonna bundle as much as possible and then begin each pdf with a brief introduction to what the C.O will find in the document.

        Hope you’ve enjoyed your weeks offline!

        • November 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm

          That’s basically what we did – I think it makes sense, and our C.O. seemed to process our application quite quickly. And didn’t reject us!

          Offline is so amazing, I’m going to try to keep it up four days a week!

  • October 2, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Hi I am Rahul , I am permanent resident and I am doing PhD here.I am getting scholarship. I am living in shared accommodation with friends. I recently married in july2016. She has 7 years old son. I will get custody in next 3 months and then I will apply for visa. I have one query about accommodation. Now I am planning to shift to family accommodation. I can afford one BHK at this moment. Is that okay or I need to go with two bhk property. Because I will sponsored my wife and my son. is it mandatory to show two bhk as I am sponsoring my son as well ?

    regards

    Rahul

    • November 2, 2016 at 12:13 am

      Hi Rahul – I apologize for the response delay – I’ve been away from the internet. I had to google your BHK term… I’m not sure about the bedroom situation. I’ve never heard of there being a requirement, however I do know that the department wants to see that sponsors have the means to support the applicant. So from that angle, I can see how the 1BHK might be an issue (shows you can only afford…) or a support (shows you are responsible and saving well?).

      Sorry I don’t know for sure. You can always check in the excellent Australian Partner Visa Forums or by calling one of the Services Centre numbers on the immigration website.

      Good luck!

  • October 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Hey all you Partner Visa seekers!

    It’s me… the woman who wrote this stuff and answers questions all the time. I’m quitting the internet for the month of October. My apologies in advance that I won’t get your questions until November.

    The Australian Partner Visa forums are a great resource for getting answers. So are the services centres.

    Cheers!

    • February 8, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Jemma my visa just got approved. Thanks to you I was ‘overprepared’ and it was quick. Thanks so much again!!!

      • February 11, 2017 at 5:45 am

        Ohhhh… HUGE congrats! So happy for you! Did your case officer say you were “overprepared?” Just curious. Ours didn’t respond to questions about that at all!

    • November 20, 2018 at 1:05 am

      Hi Jema,
      Can you start the partner visa in the UK through immi, then go to Australia and submit it ?
      I’m an Australian citizen married to my British hubby with two babies.
      Just want to apply within Australia.
      Many thanks.

      Sharon.

      • November 20, 2018 at 4:22 am

        Hi Sharon! Not totally sure, but it seems you’re asking if you can start your immi account while outside of OZ but not actually submit until you get to Australia? I’m not sure, as I don’t remember at what point in the process we had to declare 820 vs 309. This would be a great question for a migration agent that they would likely be very happy to answer over the phone for free. Good luck! 🙂

  • September 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    hello buddy
    i have moved from NZ to AU in last year December. i am NZ citizen and I am currently studying my bachelors here and living with my family. My partner and i got married in last August . My partner was on his student visa when we got married, now he is working full time with a well known company. I want my partner to come here. We do have joint bank ac from a year ( we have active trans. in there) and we stayed together for a 20 days , so basically we have home contract for 20 days but after then i moved here to AU. I did also recently went to NZ to spend a week holiday with him . i also have evidence of that trip.We have been socially active, we also have posted our marriage certificate and registered marriage ceremony photos. we do have exchange of letters and also have the records of phone conversation from NZ and AU. we have most of the records from last 3 yrs. i want my partner to come here, he is still on his work permit in NZ
    Can u please tell me what is the best visa option to apply and what are the chances to get visa if we haven’t stayed in the same house or we havnt shared any bills and rents.
    Thank You
    Margi

    • September 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Margi,

      Unfortunately, I don’t anything about NZ citizens sponsoring their partners, so I don’t know which is the best visa option for you. The partner migration booklet would have answers for you. Maybe Australian Partner Visa forums as well?

      Re: chances to get a visa without sharing the same house/bills/rental costs, other people have gotten visas in these situations. My partner and I lived together but never shared housing costs and never formally shared bills. It’s up to you to prove that your relationship is “genuine and continuing.” Again – reading in forums and getting a feel for who has gotten a visa in which circumstances should help you figure things out.

      Good luck!

  • September 28, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I’m applying for the partner visa from outside Australia (in the US, actually) after having been married to an Aussie for over 30 years. I hope to be granted the permanent visa immediately after the temporary visa. Is this something for which I can request consideration? If so, what would be the best way of doing so?

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Hi Laura – I’m not totally sure I understand your question. I think you’re asking if you can skip the two year waiting period and go straight to permanent visa? If that’s the question, you’ll want to ask in the Partner Visa forums to see if anyone has done this. As far as I know, the immigration department makes very few exceptions (e.g. having a baby on the way doesn’t speed processing).

      Also, perhaps you don’t know the permanent visa is a misnomer? (At least last I checked). The “permanent visa” is only good for seven years (again – last I checked). If you haven’t progressed down the residency-citizenship path after seven years, you have to reapply for the partner visa all over again.

      But really – the above is just hearsay and what I remember reading in the past. Certainly check for yourself on the most up-to-the-minute rules, hey?

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful with this one!

      • September 29, 2016 at 5:56 pm

        Thanks, Jena! Sorry for not putting this into clearer context. In Booklet 1127 “Partner Migration”, page 38 contains the following:
        “You may, however, be granted a permanent visa without having to fulfil the usual two-year waiting period if: ….. at the time you apply, you have been in a partner relationship with your partner for 3 years or more…….”

        • September 29, 2016 at 9:11 pm

          Oh, yup – I see what you’re talking about now. I have heard of people who have been granted the temporary and permanent visa in the space of a few days or immediately in your situation. From their stories, you don’t have to do anything. The immi department just does it automatically. Definitely check in Australian Partner Visa forums or call the America Services Centre to clarify how it all works. But that’s the hearsay/news on the street!

          Good luck!

          • November 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

            I’m one of those people! I applied on the basis that we were married. At the time of application, we were only married for 2 months, we were engaged for less than 2 years, and we have lived apart since the day we first met 9 years ago. Given that, I believe we didn’t qualify for a de facto relationship and for the criteria for expedited visa 100 grant that I read online. Not that I’m complaining but I am really surprised, and obviously happy for getting my PR immediately. 😀 Visas were granted in 3 months (and I’m from a high risk country)!

  • September 27, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Hi Jema,

    I was wondering if you happen to know how long you have once your visa is granted to come to Australia?! I’ve applied for mine and we start to wait now, just trying to plan into the future a bit!!

    Thanks!!

    • September 27, 2016 at 2:53 am

      Hi Kim – everything I know about this is hearsay, so you’re best off asking in an Australian Partner Visa forum or at least reading through threads in one to get an idea of what’s happening now as so many people have this issue (we didn’t. I had moved to OZ and was there on a tourist visa, ready to go hang out in Asia and wait if my tourist visa ran out).

      Some people say it has to do with when your medical expires, but a partner visa forum (or calling one of the services centres) will give you your best guess/answer.

      Cheers!

    • November 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      I was asked by my CO to submit my medicals and PC last 9 Oct 2016. My visa was granted last 17 Nov 2018. I should enter Oz before 10 Oct 2017. So looks like it was a year from when my CO contacted me.

  • September 26, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Hi Jema,

    I just legally married with Australian Husband, now I’m holding tourist visa which will expire next year, we’re seeking to submit our Partner Visa, which one do you thinks works well apply in australia or outside australia? And do you think how we know each other will be concern by the immigration officer? is there any issue if we know each other by dating sites? or random meeting in Bali? Kindly need your advice. Many Thanks 🙂

    • September 26, 2016 at 5:45 am

      Hi Meiymeiy,

      I’m not sure which is best for your situation. Some people say applying outside Australia is much faster. For others, the logistics mean that applying from within Australia is best. Talking to a migration agent (many will give you basic advice for free) or reading a bit in the forums is your best bet.

      I’m not sure what the immigration officer will think about how you know each other. If you search Australian Partner Visa forums, you’ll connect with other people in your shoes and can get advice from people whose experiences are similar to yours.

      Good luck!

  • September 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    JEMA!

    My visa was granted! It took less than 8 months! Your website helped calm my nerves and the process was actually not bad at all!

    • September 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Awww… thanks for the sweet feedback – it gives me the energy I need to keep the page up-to-date, clarified, and to spend time hanging out here in the comments section.

      Huge congrats to you guys! <3

      • September 22, 2017 at 6:31 am

        Hi jema
        I need your help I have apply for partner visa subclass 309 for Australian partner visa through immi account on 28th june 2017. Immigration staff emailed me for Biometric data collection with time frame of 28 days so it is over now and I do not have my Biometric yet.now I want to have my Biometrics .but iam confused about the letter that I have received I want to ask is this letter is acceptable for Biometric. Kindly help me

        • September 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          Hi Azizan,
          I’m sorry I can’t help you. I didn’t personally experience your issue. Check out tip #4 up above for suggestions as to where you might find some assistance. Good luck!

  • September 22, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Hi Jema,
    I must say the information you provided is very helpfull on this website. I have a small question that “i already got Australian PR and planning to apply for my wife as partner visa. But i am.outside Australia and my wife too
    Is it necessary for me as a sponsor to live in Australia while applying for my wife as partner visa or anywhere because currently im working in gulf ?
    Looking forward for ur kind reply.

    • September 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Asim,

      I’m not sure, but I think you do have to live in Australia. We were outside Australia on a long holiday when we applied, but my partner was an Australian citizen by birth, settled in Australia, with a house and whole life there.

      I’m not sure what the sponsorship form said when we applied, but here’s what it says now:

      If you are an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you are required to be usually resident in Australia.

      I think that means that you can’t earn someone else the right to be in Australia via a partner visa if you yourself aren’t generally in Australia. Do you have a house/job/life waiting for you in Australia while you’re working in the gulf?

      If I were you, I’d try asking in a forum or calling up a migration agent who has experience with this probably very fine line.

      Good luck!

      • September 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        Thank you so much Jema.
        No nothing is there in Australia. I have to start from scratch.
        I called to DIBP and the guy give me consulate phone number of dubai. And iam unable to connect call as it sayd number invalid.

        • September 23, 2016 at 7:51 am

          I think any services centre could help you at least get started or know what parameters apply to your situation. Just go on the DIBP website and search “services centre.” I know for sure there’s an Americas and European.

          Hope that helps!

  • September 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Hello Jema,

    Your website was a great help for us while preparing for partner visa application.
    Am a Australian PR and sponsoring my wife for partner visa. I have made my first entry on last year September and am planning to move permanently to Australia in February 2017.
    I have a question on how to upload additional documents, like my inbound air ticket to Australia and my resignation letter to support my intention to settle permanently in Australia .
    I didn’t see appropriate evidence type in list of attachment section. Please share your suggestion.

    Thank you.

    • September 19, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Hi there! Glad you found the info helpful! I had similar problems when uploading after-the-fact documents like that. I just used “Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of” as a blanket category and used the file name and file description to make it clear to the case officer what the documents were. It seemed to be fine in my case.

      Hope that helps!

      • September 23, 2016 at 8:45 am

        Thank you Jema. That was so helpful.

        • September 23, 2016 at 4:37 pm

          You’re welcome!

          • September 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

            Hello Jema, i got another question. there is an information provided button in view application status and it is saying” when you have provided requested documents please click the button to notify the department”. My question is, after i click this button, would it be still possible for me to upload any additional documents? and when should i click this button?

            • September 25, 2016 at 11:37 pm

              Hi again – the department had no such button when I was in your situation. I just emailed the people who had contacted me via email letting them know the new info had been uploaded. I’m guessing (total guess!) that clicking the button probably just sends an auto-email about checking your file to the relevant people with all the necessary case details and numbers. If I’m right, you can click that button and still upload documents in the future.

              If the thing you’re proving requires multiple documents, I don’t see that it would be helpful to alert anyone as to your progress. However, if the documents are for separate things, you could click it each time.

              I always recommend people contact the Services Centres about stuff like this. You can find their numbers by searching the immi website for “services centres”.

              Hope that helps!

              • September 26, 2016 at 1:34 pm

                Thank you Jema.

                Need another help, as i mentioned earlier, i want to upload my 1 way ticket to Australia to prove my intention to settle permanently. Could you advise how to properly name my air ticket as an evidence to prove my intention.

              • September 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

                Hi there – I’m not a case officer or migration agent, so I don’t know for sure what you should do. When I named documents like this, I just did the best job I could being very clear with the description so it would be immediately clear what the file was and what it proved.

                Hope that helps!

      • November 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

        hi mahesh and jema – I recently got approved my visa 309 and 100 simultaneously. I plan to move to oz mid-next year and this will also be my first entry in Oz. Is it required to submit documents to evidence my intention to move to Australia permanently, if I haven’t made by first entry yet? I’m just a little confused, as I didn’t know I had to do something after my PR was approved.

        • November 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

          Hi Nina – unfortunately, I’m not sure. I was already in Australia when my visa was approved, so I didn’t need to do anything more or submit anything more. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • September 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Thanks for the informative blog. I have a question, and sorry if you have already answered it. How long after applying and paying the fee, can you upload the supporting evidence documents for? Do they have to be done straight away or can you keep adding to it over weeks? Thanks!

    • September 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      And one further question. You mentioned you applied for the partner visa while in australia on a tourist visa. In your application for the tourist visa, did you say your reason for visiting australia was to apply for the visa or did you not mention the relationship? And did you identify your relationship status as ‘de facto’ or single. Thanks!

      • September 17, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        Hey again! Sorry to be confusing – we were both in America on a holiday when we applied for the visa. Our intention was for my partner to return to OZ to start a new job while I spent Christmas with my family. Then I would come to Australia – hopefully on a partner visa. Plan B was just to come to Australia on a tourist visa and hope that we heard from the department before my 90 days were up (luckily I had no assets in the U.S. to deal with and my work was location independent and didn’t require an Australian work visa). Plan B is what ended up happening, and we did hear from the department before my tourist visa 90 days are up.

        As an American, I didn’t have to apply for a tourist visa. American citizens are granted a 90 day stay upon arrival. I don’t remember specific details about what I said, but had confirmed with a service centre that what I was doing wouldn’t affect my partner visa application. I was reassured the two visa departments are completely separate. I don’t know if that’s still true. I would not have mentioned my relationship unless queried very directly about it. If asked or in filling out forms, I would have indicated that my visit was to visit friends (it was! I saw all my friends… and my partner, too. And aren’t our partners our best friends?!)

        I’m not sure about the relationship question. We identified our relationship status as defacto. But if you’re asking about what to put on a form, we never had to deal with a tourist visa form that inquired directly about our relationship.

        Hope that helps!

    • September 17, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Daniel – You’re welcome! Yup – your question is covered in the page near the beginning, but not in a very clear way. This is a great prompt to update that. Here’s the info from the page: You can’t start submitting evidence until you’ve completed your application form and paid the fee. Once you’ve paid, you have access to the upload screen. However we found it difficult to submit the application form without devising some system to organize the mass of information. We arrived at the upload screen organized and ready to go, only to find the department’s system was broken down into tiny pieces. We had grouped things on our end. Oh no!

      And here’s the response I wrote to your question before going to look at the page myself: As soon as you pay the fee, you can start uploading evidence. It doesn’t have to be done all in one shot – you can upload as you get things ready or receive things. You have until… forever. Kind of. It’s anyone’s guess as to when to the first immigration employee will open your file to see if you’re finished or not. In most people’s experience these days, it’s taking a few months (few meaning two to many many more). If this person finds your file not ready (in my experience), they’ll contact you and say “Hey, we looked at your file and you still haven’t done ______. Please do it.” If it’s all there, they’ll say NOTHING TO YOU and instead tell a case officer, “Hey, I looked at this file and it’s all there.”

      Good luck!

      • September 17, 2016 at 10:35 pm

        One more thing: check out our story at the end of the page above the references section. It gives a play by play of how the department warns you they’ll be looking at your file, has an underling look at the file, and then sends it to a C.O.

    • September 18, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Quick question for anyone who already has their prospective marriage visa and has applied for the second stage…what exactly do you apply for?? I got married a month ago so now need to apply for the partner visa, but seems like there is only the same application, it’s all the same questions etc. Shouldn’t you just basically have to submit your marriage certificate? Why would they want all the same info all over again!!? :/

      • September 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        Hi Rachel – because your comment is buried in a thread, not sure you’ll get much of a response here. Maybe try a partner visa forum?

      • September 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        Hi Rachel, unfortunately, it’s just the nature of the beast. Once you lodge your 820, the DIBP wants another update based on the (1) nature of the household, (2) social aspects of the relationship, (3) financial aspects and (4) nature of commitment to each other. I guess it’s to prove to them that you are in a “continuing, genuine relationship to the exclusion of others” with your partner — the burden of proof is always on us. Therefore, you would need to provide additional evidence that you have, from being an engaged couple, progressed to being a married couple. (It doesn’t end here. You’ll need nearly the same, once again updated, evidence for your 801 Permanent Residency visa application.) As Jema suggested, being a member of a forum on partner visas and immigration does help heaps, as not only can you read up on what has to be done per stage of a (partner) visa application, but a lot of people are likewise willing to assist others with questions about their application. Good luck!

  • September 16, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Hi Jema

    lodge 08/10/14
    am on 820 Temporary Partner Visa Granted on 22/04/16 i just lodge online for 801 Permanent as been required from the immigration they have sent me an email as they asked me to lodge application as the time for me to think about my 801 and i did lodge online through immiaccount as they requested my.
    question is ?
    is it more faster for the immigration to processes the case online through immiaccount than by post ?
    or from case to case ?
    some people they said more faster through online?
    and what the processing time for Online lodge ?
    Thank you for your help

    • September 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Basheer,

      Australian Partner Visa forums are a better place to get an idea about timing. I can only tell you what I read in them when I used to haunt those halls, which is that in many cases it’s faster to process online. Whether or not it’s faster seems to have more to do with C.O.’s being trained to use the online system. Many people like online processing because it allows you to add things as you go instead of having to have every piece of paper before your application joins the queue. However, if C.O.s dealing with your application can’t quickly navigate the online system, it slow things down.

      It’s been a few years now since they started accepting online applications. I would imagine that the learning curve delays would be mostly moot by now? Sorry I can’t say definitively. I”m just another applicant!

      Cheers!

  • September 14, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Hello,

    First off, this write-up is amazingly helpful. One of the most helpful resources I’ve found so far. One question I have (and I’m sure it’s been asked before, so sorry if I’m repeating) but looked over the evidence categories you submitted it seems like you and your partner had actually lived together long enough to have an established life together (ie, shared bank accounts, vehicles, etc). My partner’s primary residency is in Aistralia, while mine is in the US. We met while he was visiting and we’ve been long-distance pretty much the whole time. We’ve had extensive visits, living with the other for a month at a time over the past 1.5 years. But nothing ever permanent.

    My question is if it’s possible to get approval without those things. We have no shared finances or anything like that because of our long-distance situation, which is now making me a bit nervous.

    Any help or advice is appreciated!

    • September 15, 2016 at 1:08 am

      Hi Tabitha – so glad to hear info here has been helpful! I do think it’s possible to get approval without shared bank accounts and vehicles. We didn’t have any living together lease or anything – all the bills were in his name. We just showed on our bank accounts all the money we spent for our relationship – from food we shared to cell phone bills noting the percentage of the bill that went to communicating with each other – over 50% air time and texts!

      Our shared bank accounts we opened for the purpose of showing the government that we trusted each other financially, but we never would have bothered if it weren’t for the visa. Same with vehicles. Our vehicles in OZ were in his name. We just happened to buy a vehicle traveling and were sure to put it in both names.

      I’d recommend having a look the Australian Partner Visa forums, because there are all sorts of people out there without traditional situations who have spent lots of time long distance and have to get creative to prove their commitment level on lots of fronts.

      Hope that helps!

  • September 12, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Jema,

    Firstly I just wanted to thank you for such a helpful website. Really provides clarity to a very confusing process!

    I was hoping you could offer some insight. I am from Canada and my partner is Australian. We lodged our de facto visa February 8, 2016 online and paid the absurd fee. We have uploaded everything we believe humanly possible – from leases to statutory declarations from our parents to pictures. Many of the sections do not even apply to us (military, etc) and we have left those blank.

    It is now September 12, 2016 and my application simply reads “received”. I completed my medical and police check back in April. When I call to inquire, I am given the same answer that it may take 12-15 months. Does it really take that long!? So many people I know who applied from low-risk received there visa under 10 months and I am hoping for same.

    I notice you received yours quickly and wondering if you have insight on current times for low risk? Not the times as per their website but processing times based on your experience. I have been advised I may not even have to meet a CO but again I am not sure what is true.

    • September 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Hi Jas – very happy to be helpful, and I understand the frustration induced by this process! When we had originally looked into the visa (before the 1 year mark), wait times were 5 to 7 months with many approvals quicker than that. We read so many “approved the next day!” stories that we foolishly counted on that and waited until a convenient time in our lives to start applying (which happened to be three months after hitting the defacto mark). Imagine our shock and horror and disappointment when we discovered that the wait time was now supposedly 12-15 months, that our medical might expire before anyone official even opened our documents… UGH!

      The only thing I can recommend insofar as figuring out current wait times is to have a look in Australian Partner visa forums. People from all over the world post the details and statuses of their applications. That’s how we originally got a feel for timelines (inaccurate though it ended up being as we didn’t check back for changes in the seven months leading up to our application). Unfortunately, you’ll also run across a handful of others in your inexplicable situation – “We’ve done everything. WTH could possibly be taking so long?” Maybe the Canadian office is overwhelmed? Maybe the Canadian office has a larger pool of applicants competing for their allotted visas? <- I don't know how it actually works office by office, but I know there is an annual visa quota and that the wait times come from only being able to hand out a certain number of visas per year. But you applied in Feb and the quota resets in July, I think, when the government releases the next fiscal year budget (and ups the application fees, usually!). So it seems that you should be next in line for a visa unless there was already a huge line of people in front of you? Hope that isn't more confusing. Wish I had official info on how the mysterious immigration machine worked for you. Good luck in the forums!

      • September 14, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Hi Jema,

        Thank you so much for that. Do you know if its possible to enter on a working holiday visa and just use that until my de facto is approved and switch over? I assume I would just leave the country for few business days and re-enter to activate the PR?

        • September 15, 2016 at 12:50 am

          Hey Jas – not totally sure, but I entered on a tourist visa and then left the country to activate the partner visa. And I felt comfortable doing it in the first place, because I read that lots of others did it, too. So seems like it might be a possibility for you?

          • September 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm

            Hi Jema,

            Ironically I got an email for immigration and the requested one more document. I went to police and got the correct check done now just waiting for it to arrive and I will upload. I am hoping this is a good sign and the only thing left to provide? She sent me an email saying she has begun considering my file and please provide the following document(s) and only one was listed. Does this mean it was the only thing required and she wont send me further emails requesting docs?

            REALLY HOPE ITS CLOSE!

    • September 13, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      I am in the same boat with my wife. Applied to Ottawa office in Feb 2016 for the 309. We were told to get medicals and police clearance a month after applying. No news since then. Hard to track others in forums going through the Ottawa office, all the threads have gone quiet for 2015/2016 Canadian applicants…… Good luck!

      • September 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        Hi Codie,

        Waiting definitely sucks. I hear people getting their grants within 7-9 months so I am hoping the same with apply for you and I. The department just says 12-15 which is annoying and I just wish they would expedite ours files. There is no question with ours and logically if I were a CO I would process the easy ones first!

        Do you know how long medicals/police last? I would be livid if we have to do it again and pay after they are the ones who advised to get it done so early. I hope low risk country medicals/police remain valid for whole process.

        • September 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm

          Yeah I hear ya. I assume they are processing sooner than 12/15 months, otherwise they would not have told us to do police/ medicals that will expire 12 months from the issue date. The other thing with police/medicals from what I understand is once approved, we have up until a year from the date police/medicals were issued to enter Australia on the 309, otherwise new police/ medicals are required. So hopefully once approved, we will have adequate time to prepare for the move, and not having the added expense and inconvenience of getting new police/ medicals. But we have to remember we are dealing with a government agency so who knows…… I have tracked a couple cases out of Ottawa taking 7-9 as well, but not too much as of recent. Best of luck, let me know if you have any updates, I will do the same!

          • September 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm

            Hi Codi,

            Ironically I was just emailed by someone from Ottawa. She said she needed one more document and I supplied the wrong criminal record check. I just sped to the RCMP and did my fingerprints and applied for certified criminal background check. Once they arrive ill upload and hopefully that is the only thing holding me back? I don’t know how to interpret this message from Ottawa lol. Is it good she made contact to ask for one document or will it be even longer now? In her email she states ‘I have begun processing your file” so fingers crossed.

            • September 15, 2016 at 1:14 am

              That is ironic. I’m sure it won’t hold things up too much if at all. We got our record check in a week or so from the rcmp. I think it is a very good sign to at least hear they are processing your application now. Hopefully they get in contact with me soon. I’ll keep ya posted. Good luck!

              • September 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

                Where are you moving my friend? I will be in Melbourne and hopefully we can catch up for a beer and celebrate leaving the cold!

              • September 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm

                Haha Melbourne is still too cold for me, I’m heading to Byron Bay Area it’s where I grew up. Hopefully before Xmas but time will tell….

              • September 21, 2016 at 2:41 am

                Got visa approval email today. Also got the 100 visa right off the bat (Been together since 2012) instead of the 309. Best of luck, I’m sure you are just around the corner!

              • September 21, 2016 at 5:55 am

                Congrats!! So happy for you guys – been a long time coming! 🙂

  • September 12, 2016 at 5:45 am

    Hi,
    Did you guys attached the legal will? We are wondering if we should have our will written as it is an extra expense.Thank you for all useful tips.

    • September 12, 2016 at 6:28 am

      Hi Domi,

      Happy to be helpful! We did not have, nor did we attach our will. If you are worried your relationship doesn’t have enough proof, you could consider doing it. But if you think you have enough proof, it seems to me it wouldn’t be necessary. I’m no expert, though – just an applicant like you!

      Cheers!

  • September 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Jema, I am the sponsor of my wife’s subclass 309/100 application(Partner visa). I applied online for that visa. We both have separate immi account. We applied about 6 months ago and medical has been completed as well.
    Recently i noticed a change in my(sponsor’s) immi account saying “approved” beside my name. Although its still saying “Assessment in Progress” beside my wife’s(applicant) name.
    DOes it (“Approved” beside sponsor’s name) indicates the processing is nearing completion? Thanks.

    Regards
    Tayeem.

    • September 10, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Tayeem – that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that. I’m not sure. Sounds like, to me, that it could mean that your part of the visa is approved. Or perhaps they just confirmed that you are eligible to sponsor someone? I guess that’s sort of the same thing.

      Good luck either way!

    • October 5, 2016 at 4:53 am

      Hi Tayeem, I am currently going through the same application you are and have had an “Approved” stamped next to my name. Has there been any movement from your end? This happened after I was called from the High Commission in Canberra and had a 10 minute interview over the phone.

  • September 5, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Hi Jema, thanks so much for taking the time to provide all this very useful info for us! I am a sponsor and I have filled out the “Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia” form via the Immi account thingy, and in the “uploads” section it asks for the “Form 40SP Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia”. I was under the impression that it was this form I was originally filling out on the Immi account.. do you know if this is the case or if there is a seperate form I have to fill out and upload?

    • September 5, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Happy to be helpful! The form listing under the uploads confuses tons of people. I can tell you the general consensus is that the form you originally fill out on the immi account is the 40SP. We didn’t submit a 40SP under the sponsors’ account (or the applicant’s) – just answered all the questions. Hope that brings you some peace of mind. You can also call one of the service centres (just search the immi website to find the numerbs) or ask in partner visa forum.

      Hope that helps!

  • September 1, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Hi

    Thanks for the amazing info.

    You might have mentioned it already, but can you add documents later to the application.

    Dabs

    • September 1, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      You’re welcome! Yes, you can add documents as you have them ready.

  • September 1, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Hi!

    We are paying for subclass 309/100 tom. Hubbys in australia while me and the kids in the philippines. Just one thing, we have to use 2 credit card for payment but the form we need to fill up only got one credit card detail needed. Would that be a problem?

    • September 2, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Hi Deniece – Sorry I don’t know the answer to your question. We paid with a single card. Your best bet is to contact one of the services centres and ask them – see links a few comments below. Good luck!

      • September 2, 2016 at 5:17 am

        Thanks Jema! Your blog entries has been most helpful 🙂
        My hubby would drop by the office for assistance. Xx

      • September 2, 2016 at 5:27 am

        Btw Jema, I filled up Form 80. And that includes my education and work background. Would they be needing my college transcript and diploma? And certificate of employment as well? Thank youuu so much.

        • September 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

          Hi Deniece,

          Just to be sure you know, I’m not a migration agent or a lawyer. Just a person like you who went through the arduous process of Australian Partner Visa application and was very frustrated about the lack of information out there. I put my experience online to hopefully save others from the pitfalls we experienced!

          That said, I’m not sure about Form 80 or associated needs. That wasn’t a part of our application. Maybe try asking in an Australian Partner Visa forum. I like this one:
          http://www.australianvisaforum.com/forum/15-partner-visas/

          Good luck with your visa!

        • November 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm

          In my case, they didn’t ask for my diploma and employment certificate. Visa got approved in 3 months, I’m filipino! 🙂

  • August 26, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Hey thanks for the tips. Just a quick question : did you include past skype convos? If so, how did you retrieve them from skype? I keep reading that people have included them but I just went to try it and can’t figure out how to access them. Cheers.

    • August 26, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      You’re welcome! We didn’t have a need to include our skype as we were very fortunate in the separation department (the longest was just a few weeks). I know lots of people do, though. I don’t know skype well enough to tell you where to get skype logs, unfortunately. Try asking in an Australian Partner Visa forum. Here’s one I like:

      http://www.australianvisaforum.com/forum/15-partner-visas/

      Cheers!

  • August 24, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Hi Jema!

    Thanks for this! Just wondering if you could help me out with some things as I honestly have no idea of what to do with these list:

    -change of name (I haven’t change my name)
    -military discharge
    -military service
    -photograph (other than passport)
    -divorce (never been married)

    It says “recommended” but I have no way of getting any of those.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • August 24, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Also, I just download your partner visa application. This would definitely help our application!

      Thanks. And hoping for some answers from the questions above.

      • August 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm

        Glad the visa evidence is helpful for you! Good luck with your visa! 🙂

    • August 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Angeline,

      These are mostly items you don’t need to address if they don’t apply to you (divorce, name change, etc). I know it’s confusing that it says “recommended.” I think maybe it says that because if they do apply to you, they do need the relevant information.

      The only one I’m not totally sure about is “Photograph.” The only “photograph (other than passport)” we submitted was to prove the Social Aspects of our relationship, but I think we submitted them elsewhere.

      They’ll let you know if you’re missing something – don’t worry!

      Hope that helps!

      • August 24, 2016 at 8:12 pm

        Thanks Jema! I was stressing out for days about it.

        Also one more thing, my family back home is being ask for a health assessment when they’re actually not migrating with me.
        Do you have any idea as to why is that?

        • August 24, 2016 at 8:16 pm

          The following prompts also appear, but didn’t apply to our situation:

          Change of Name, Evidence of
          Family Composition, Evidence of
          Form 956 Appointment of a migration agent
          Form 1221 Additional personal particulars form
          Health, Evidence of
          Medical Examination, Evidence of Intention to Undergo d
          Military Discharge, Evidence of
          Military Service, Evidence of
          National Identity Document (other than Passport)
          Photograph – Other
          Divorce/Separation, Evidence of
          Form 956A Appointment of an authorised contact
          Form 80 Personal particulars for character assessment
          Marriage, Evidence of
          Registered relationship, Evidence of
          Visa status in country of residence, Evidence of

          So with this list, you just left it blank?

          • August 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm

            Yup – we didn’t submit any of those. My health ended up being under my other immi account (for a different visa I held previous to our partner visa). Our Australian state didn’t register relationships, and all the others just weren’t applicable to our situation.

        • August 26, 2016 at 10:03 pm

          Glad to be helpful!

          Not sure about the family health assessments. I guess perhaps it’s to estimate their future possible need? I really have no idea, but perhaps the rights you will eventually have if you pursue citizenship will extend to them in ways relevant to health issues?

          I would ask in a partner visa forum to find others in the same situation.

          Cheers!

  • August 16, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Good Afternoon,
    I have recently got married in July. My husband lives in Afghanistan and I live in Western Australia. We were engaged for one and a half year till we got married.
    We are both currently studying full time. He is originally from Afghanistan but he is studying Electrical Engineering in New Delhi at the University of Sharda. It is his second year that he is living in India on a student visa.
    We both decided to not start our marriage life till we finish our studies because it is difficult to study when you are starting a new life. I won’t be sponsoring him until he is in his last year of degree.
    I am very confused if I should I sponsor him from India or Afghanistan? I think it will be difficult to sponsor him from Afghanistan because he will be in India at the time of sponsorship. He is still on his Afghani passport.
    Also please let me know if you have an estimation of how long it will take for the Department of Immigration to grant a visa for a Indian or Afghani partner sponsor application?
    I am not sure when I should I start his application.

    Please let me know if you are able to help.

    Thank you very much! 🙂

    • August 16, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Maddy – I’m afraid I don’t have any black or white answers for you. I think you can submit an application through any embassy, but I would pick the country where he resides so if he gets called for an in-person interview it will be easier for him to get to the office. This question would be best answered in an Australian Partner Visa Forum, however, where you might come across someone with your situation. Same with the length question. The best anyone can do is read about others’ partner visa experiences in a forum and look for others who have applied from India and/or Afghanistan to get an idea of how long it is taking currently. I think Afghanistan is considered a high-risk country, so the processing will take longer. (India is a high-risk country, too – but for the purpose of categorizing either high or low risk, I believe it’s based on the applicant’s citizenship).

      I would read in forums to find people who have applied from both Afghanistan and India to get a feel for average timelines from each embassy. Sometimes the embassies abroad are surprisingly fast, and othertimes they are shockingly slow.

      Hope that helps!

  • August 15, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Hi Jema,

    I am the primary applicant, an American and have an ImmiAccount which I have started the application on. My partner who will be sponsoring me also has made an ImmiAccount and is doing a corresponding application as well… is this the right process for this? Do you recommend we get a Case Officer?

    Thank you for your time and thank you so much for writing about this.
    So grateful for you doing this!

    • August 15, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Shriyanka,

      Happy to be a help! 🙂 Sounds like you’re on the right track – the initial questions, I believe, are the online equivalent of the 40SP 47SP forms. By “do you recommend we get a Case Officer” I think you are asking whether or not you should get a migration agent? A case officer is assigned to you once you have submitted all the necessary information. They are the person who reviews your file and hopefully grants you a partner visa. A migration agent… totally up to you. I’m a big DIYer, so I personally never would. A very good South African friend of mine, however, was absolutely swimming in stress about her application and found the rather large sum of money one pays to an agent to be completely worth it. She, however, had a much more complicated visa situation. Totally up to you!

      Cheers,
      Jema 🙂

    • November 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      In my own immiaccount, there are two sections, one for me as the applicant, and another for the sponsor. I submitted all the documents required for the sponsor and my husband didn’t even register for his own immiaccount.

      • January 5, 2017 at 7:27 am

        Hi Nina Im from the philippines too.. did u applu inshore or off? just got married last month and planning to apply a partner visa.. but i wanted to include my son in my application? woulf that be possible?

  • August 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Jema,

    Thanks so much for putting all this together – all really helpful info. We are just in the process of applying for this for my Fiancee but are doing so from the UK. Stressful times! Thankfully I am currently on a defacto visa in the UK so we have had to previously gather a lot of evidence for this a few years back. Quick question regarding documents. Did you guys certify all documents or just the official ones such as passport, birth cert, statements etc. Also, is it every page of the passport or just the info page. Sorry to bombard you! Nightmare finding accurate information! Really grateful for your time 🙂

    • August 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Alex – glad to be helpful and how great that you already have some of the info collected! I wish I could give you some certainty, but I can only pass on the hearsay I’ve gathered. We did not certify anything outside of our identity documents and personal statements (those who wrote stat decs certified their own stat decs as required). I’ve heard from others applying for the Australian Partner Visa that they didn’t even certify their identity documents when they were colour-scans of the original. We only submitted the info page of our passports.

      Hope that helps a bit! You can always call one of the Services Centres (links a few comments below in my reply to someone else – or google “Europe Services Centre Australia Immigration”) for more certainty.

      Cheers!

      • July 2, 2017 at 4:56 am

        Jema!
        thank you so much for taking the time to put all this out there.
        I too am from the USA. I started gathering my douments and thinking about it and researching 5 months ago. Im a little confused about the certification stuff…
        What documents need to be certified before scanning/uploading? Do i need like…say printouts of bank statements or a copy of my car rego showing my address certified?

        Or do you think im ok to get certified copies of our passports, lisences, and what else?
        xxx

        • July 3, 2017 at 5:12 am

          Hi Kelly,

          One of the recent commenters said, “I just wanted to share a helpful bit of advice, I just got off the phone with Claudia at DIBP, who informed me that since we are applying online, we can just scan in originals of all important documents like passports, birth certs, etc; no need to get certified copies and THEN upload them. She also said that when it comes to uploading passport photos, there’s no need to worry about the whole “signature on the back” part – she said that only applies to the paper application.”

          Hope that helps! Good luck with your visa 🙂

  • August 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Jema, thank you soo much for this article. It made our visa processing a little less tedious. I have a question though, my bf for 5 years wants to sponsor me and wants me to apply a de facto visa. Due to time constraints, we are also planning to register our defacto relationship in NSW before lodging my Provisional visa (subclass 309) instead of getting married. Would you know if this might conflict our future plans of getting married soon once temporary visa is approved? Or can the marriage be done in between the waiting period for my permanent visa (subclass 100). The goal is for me to be with him in Australia the soonest. Thanks much in advance. 🙂

    • August 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Hey there! My advice to you would be to ask your question to one of the services centres (see a few comments down for the links or just google Australian Immigration Services Centre). You could also ask in an Australian Partner Visa forum to perhaps connect with someone in your same shoes.

      My thoughts (although they are only thoughts!) are: the 309 visa says on this immi page, “The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) allows you to live in Australia if you are the spouse or de facto partner of…” From my experience, I feel like the visas are divided into “partner of a sponsor applying outside OZ” and “Partner of a sponsor applying from inside OZ.” If you become the spouse instead of defacto partner during your application process, it doesn’t seem like it will matter to immigration. Best to confirm with them, though, hey!

      Hope that helps!

      • August 8, 2016 at 10:57 pm

        Hi Jema, thanks for the very quick response. Appreciate it. Yep sure ill ask in one of their service centers. I just started gathering facts. Long way to go but your inputs in this blog helps a lot. Cheers! Goodluck to us. 😉

  • August 7, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Hi Jema!

    Thanks for your very helpful blog.
    I applied TV and PMV thru paper so im not too confident in online application that I did it right. I hope you can help clear my mind.
    *On the “My Application” of my Immi Account, there’s the 40SP & 47SP which we filled up online. The 47SP status is “received” and the 40SP is “submitted”—am I correct in this area?

    *When I open the 47SP, I can see the application status where the BVA letter and Acknowledgement and in the left side is the name of applicant and sponsor where there’s a “attached documents” below each name.–I uploaded most of the docs in the applicant’s name and just the Birth Cert, History of Relationhip, passport & drivers license in the sponsor’s name-Is this fine?

    *So, there’s no docs uploaded in 40SP at all–is this okay?

    Thank you in advance Jema for your help.

    Regards–Johara

    • August 7, 2016 at 1:43 am

      Hi Johara – I would try asking your question in an Australian Partner Visa Forum or by calling one of the services centres. I can’t clearly understand your questions, so I’m afraid I can’t be of much help. Here’s my best attempts:

      1) seems fine to me.
      2) I’m not sure which items you need to upload for your specific situation. It seems like you’re saying you uploaded relationship proof to the applicant’s account and only identity proof to the sponsor’s account. If that’s true, in my experience that would be fine.
      3) I’m not sure.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help! Maybe someone here will understand and can help answer, but your best bet is to call a services centre.

    • October 10, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Johara!

      Did you find out about uploading documents to 47SP only and leaving 40SP with no docs uploaded?
      I’m just getting too confused about it, because I’ve already uploaded some documents (my fiance’s passports and birth certificate) to 47SP under my fiance’s name and when I open 40SP – ‘Attach documents’ it shows some sections ‘0 Received’ with the green tick box.

      Thanks a lot in advance.

      Regards, Yelena

  • July 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    hello Jema! thanks so much for your help ! This page is so helpful! I was just wondering if you know if
    photos of my partner and I need to be justified by a JP?

    As well as screen shots of texting and calling each other? Or can they be added to the immi account without a JP signing them? I’m applying online ! Thanks xx

    • July 24, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Sonia – happy the page is helpful! We only certified official documents and statements. I heard in Australian Partner Visa forums that some people certify even less than we did.

      Hope that helps!

      • July 25, 2016 at 9:06 pm

        Thanks Jema! we have certified everything ! except for photos of ourselves.

        Another question I have:

        does Form 47SP or Form 40SP Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia need to be written by hand and scanned in? because both forms ask for signatures!

        or are these form (s) just done online through the Immi account only?

        Thanks for your help! ( I have subscribed! love your page!!)

        • July 25, 2016 at 11:04 pm

          Hey there – You’re welcome! Re your question: it’s my understanding and experience that the 47SP and 40SP are basically gateways to your immi account. I don’t think it’s possible to apply for a visa online without being pushed through the 47SP and 40SP gateways. Clear answer: I think these forms are just done online through the immi account only.

          Cheers!

  • July 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Jema, sorry if this has been asked previously. I know this question may sound silly but can you group together and upload all of your ID documents in the one PDF or do you need to upload them all separately into the correct Evidence attachments? I have grouped them all together like in your example (and because my ID documents will take up 5 of my 60 files if I upload them all separately). So I am thinking of just uploading them in the one PDF to the…. Citizenship – Not Australian, Evidence of… section only? Do you think this would be acceptable?
    Many Thanks,
    Jan

    • July 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Sorry Jema I have figured it out haha I just needed to do more research and playing around with the evidence/document types! Thank You

      • July 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

        Hi Jan! Sorry not to get back to you sooner. I take a day off every 10 days, and that was yesterday 🙂 To answer your question, it is technically possible to do this but there are a few things standing in your way. 1) It’s unlikely that all of your evidence will fit in a PDF that doesn’t exceed the MB file size. I’m pretty sure it’s 5MB per PDF. 2) It would be really annoying for your C.O. and slow the processing. I’m assuming they have a little checklist with all the evidence points you have to meet and they have to personally verify them. If they have to dig around in one giant PDF instead of just opening your properly labeled evidence, it will slow them down (and maybe annoy them.)

        Glad you got it sorted! Good luck with your visa! 🙂

  • July 14, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Hello
    I applied for partner visa subclass 300 from Bangladesh last year.On april i did my medical and 3 month b4 i did my biometric and on May 9th they send an email for recent conversation and bank statement,recent communication.There they gave a time frame of 28 days nd wrote result will b given after 28 days but yesterday my husband called they said it will be august.Why they r taking so late?

    • July 14, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Neha/Tara,

      Have you tried looking in the Australian Partner Visa Forums for others who have applied from Bangladesh?

      I don’t think it’s a concern that they are taking longer (aside from the way it affects your life, which sucks!). Governments are so often slow, bureaucratic quagmires. If it’s taking a long time, it probably has little to do with you, and more to do with overloaded C.O.s.

      Good luck! Hope you hear soon and can find some fellow Bangladesh applicants in the forums.

      Cheers!

  • July 13, 2016 at 1:46 am

    Hey! I am currently living in Sri Lanka with my husband: we submitted our partner visa on 20th June 2016. On July 8th 2016, immigration emailed to request his health and police checks. All the advice I have recieved about this is all extremely positive and a very good sign/final stage of processing. A friend of mine (also Sri Lankan) recieved their visa six weeks after the health and police checks were submitted (their visa was approved in 4 months total).
    I would like to hear about other people’s experiences of this stage of the processing. We are so excited, but it seems so quick and we know it can just take so long. It just seems too good to be true to think I could actually go home with my husband in 2016!! Any thoughts? 🙂

    • July 13, 2016 at 2:07 am

      Hey Hayley! I’ve heard there are a few countries with pretty quick processing times. My South Africa friend got her visa processed in just a few months! If you don’t get feedback here, try one of the Australian Partner Visa forums.

      I really like the layout of this one:
      http://www.australianvisaforum.com/forum/15-partner-visas/

      Cheers!

      • August 4, 2016 at 6:39 am

        Thanks Jema! Lets hope Sri Lanka is one of those countries- I wouldnt have thought so! But lets see. Do you know much about the police/health checks in terms of the stage of processing? To me it seems pretty standard, but 3 agents and friends in the same process say its an excellent sign. Hope you can shed some light on this!

        Hayley 🙂

        • August 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm

          Hi Hayley! I have a theory about how the whole process works, having been through it, but I don’t “know” anything for sure! It seems that there is a person who looks over your file and makes sure you aren’t missing anything critical. Then it goes to a case officer who begins to review your actual content. I think when the first person says your documents are all in order, they request your medical/police checks. Then, I think if your documents are well organized, it’s easy to quickly approve you – pending police and medical.

          Hope that helps! Remember, just my speculation. 🙂

          • August 8, 2016 at 6:00 am

            Thanks Jema! I do believe our file has already gone to a case officer, as it is the same name and position number as the officer who approved a friend also living here. Sounds like things are heading along fairly well. Just hope we are not separated for too long! My documents are extremely well organised as I am a pedantic perfectionist!
            Thanks for this site and the opportunity to build connections with fellow partner visa applicants!

            • August 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm

              How exciting! Fingers crossed for you. Very happy to help. 🙂 Cheers!

    • July 28, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Hi Hayley

      I am also applied in Sri Lanka in May 2016 and waiting for the decision . good luck
      Pata

      • August 4, 2016 at 6:36 am

        Thanks Pata! Thanks for your response!
        Have you heard anything about police or health checks yet? Or did you submit them with your initial application?
        I am an Australian born citizen, living in Sri Lanka. Is your partner Australian?
        Hope to hear from you soon and I wish you the very best outcome for your application!
        Hayley

        • August 4, 2016 at 10:15 am

          Hi Hayley

          I applied paper application and AHC requested me to submit medical and police report after 2 week time ,same as you
          my partner Australian citizen but originally Sri Lankan.some of my friends who applied in 2015 Oct and Nov first week received their visa last week.
          Hope we will hear good news by this month

          Waiting is killing us
          Pata

          • September 1, 2016 at 1:42 am

            Hi Pata and Jema
            I have a question I can’t get answered by the embassy:
            After we submitted the police and health checks through VFS on 4th August (within 28 day timeframe) , we did not receive an acknowledgement email from the high commission stating they have received the information. Is this normal process? We have not been able to get anyone to call back, nor answer my emails and x2 simply trying to follow it up just to make sure they have received everything they requested.
            Please let me know if this is normal?
            It’s starting to weigh down on me about the reality of this process: I feel like we will be in the dark until a decision is made and that is scary to me 🙁
            Hope to speak soon
            Hayley

            • September 1, 2016 at 2:59 am

              Hi Hayley – I know the (lack of!) communication process can be so frustrating and anxiety inducing. I also didn’t receive any acknowledgement of receipt of my police or health checks. It seemed to be mostly “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” I know waiting is maddening. The best I can suggest to you is to call one of the services centre #’s. I know for sure there is an Americas Services Centre and a European. I think they will answer questions from anyone though.

              Also check in Australian Partner Visa Forums to get more feedback from others applying now.

              Hope that helps!

            • September 1, 2016 at 4:33 am

              Hi Hayley

              I was in the same situation, but I have send them an email to acknowledge received my documents,then they have send me an email that whatever we submitted has been forward to case officer.when you send email please mention the person name and position number , your application details.immigration.colombo@dfat.gov.au
              hayley you can check other forums (www.australiaforum.com) have lot of srilankan applicant , yesterday one got the visa who applied in 24th Nov 2015.
              Thanks
              Pata

              • September 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

                Thanks for the speedy response Jema and Pata- I feel less worried now, as to is good to know this seems to happen to other people. And I will def check out the forum to read about other SL applicants 🙂
                SO today, I realized that we have made a mistake with a date on my husbands statement- it says he opened his restaurant in 2015 when it was actually 2014 as reflected in his resume. He has emailed them asking if we need to do a form 1023 (incorrect answers form) to correct the info. But not sure if this is needed as its not an ‘answer’ as such? What do you suggest? Shall we wait for a reply or just send the form straight in?
                Everything is making me fret!
                Speak soon
                Hayley

              • September 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm

                If you’re worried about it (i.e. need to prove financial stability?), it wouldn’t hurt to submit it. Worst case scenario – they care and you have to wait extra time getting a document and submitting it. Even if they don’t end up needing proof, it can’t hurt to submit it just in case? (Unless it would be really expensive to do?)

              • September 3, 2016 at 2:03 am

                Immi emailed back and asked for the form 1023, so we submitted it yesterday. It is definitely not a major issue, just a typo. I just hope it does not delay anything…
                It makes me realise when something is an issue, they will respond immediately! However, re my enquiry about not getting an acknowledgement after a VFS submission, well thats just normal I see. This process is bound to send my nerves into oblivion!

              • September 3, 2016 at 6:20 am

                Hope it all gets sorted really soon! I know the whole process and the uncertainty is crazy-making!

  • July 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Hi gemma.I’m glad to find this site
    .im a pilipina.my ausie bf and I are now in 12 months relationship. Planning to apply a defacto partner visa.
    Make me confused cause I’m previously married to someone in Philippines.
    Do I need to attach my separated agreement W/ notary?to my application?
    Or statutory declaration?
    And one thing….ms.gemma…each one of mine we need to attached a statutory dec to prove that me and my bf in 12 months relationship?

    • July 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Hi An –

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but I’m afraid I can’t clearly answer your questions.

      Yes, I do believe you have to attach proof related to your previous relationship, but proof-of-what I don’t know. My previous relationship was defacto, and I just had to make a statement about it and why it ended on the application.

      I’m not sure what you’re asking about statutory declarations. Not sure what you mean by “each one of mine.” Yes, you do have to attach stat decs that support your claim of having a defacto relationship.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • July 6, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Hello Jema,

    This is such an informative blog and so glad I found it. I’m preparing my documents for an 820 visa application and looking for things I will need when uploading an online application. For the 888 statutory declarations, did you need to get them certified and if so do these witnesses need to be present when they are being certified?
    Or will having their ID and statutory declarations in front of a JP for example be enough for them to certify it and then scan in to upload?

    Thanks

    • July 6, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Christine – glad you found everything helpful!

      The folks who wrote stat decs for us had to get them certified and I do believe they have to be present. Most just went to the post shop or bank. One guy had a co-worker who was a JP. What’s your circumstance where they couldn’t be in front of the JP? I think they have to be physically present to say “I’m me and I’m the person who wrote this.”

      Just my thoughts! You can try calling the Europe Services Centre if you need a more solid answer.

      Cheers!

      • July 9, 2016 at 8:29 am

        Hi Jema! Thanks so much for clarifying so many things. Quick question – I’ve just purchased your annotated bank statements and was wondering did you actually upload the statements with all the annotations so that the C.O could understand each transaction or was that just for our benefit? I hope that makes sense.

        Thanks!

        • July 9, 2016 at 2:51 pm

          Hi Joy – happy to be helpful! Annotated bank statements were for the C.O. We didn’t have much tying us together financially, so it was the way to show that we were spending on lots of little shared things (since we didn’t have a shared lease, split house bills, etc.).

          Good luck with your visa!

  • June 29, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Hi Gemma, thank you very much for taking this additional time to support others after the visa application nightmare. We have downloaded your document and are happy to see, that we were on the right track. Your detail level gives us an additional support to move forward a bit faster. Marga & Greg

    • June 29, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Marga – so glad to be helpful! Also happy that seeing our evidence is helpful.

      Good luck with your visa!

  • June 26, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Thank you so much for passing on all this info.

    I am in Australia on a 300 visa and we have now married, so I now need to apply for the partner visa (820). I’m confused about where the 47sp form that I have to fill in is uploaded as most of the questions it asks I seem to have to answer on the online application. Plus my sponsor has to answer questions within my application that she is also asked on the 40sp form which she is meant to upload separately after I have lodged mine.

    Can you shed any light on this?

    • June 26, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Hi Mark – you’re so welcome!

      Fair warning that I’m not an expert, hey, but we were confused about the 47sp and discovered that – like you said – the online application’s barrier to the upload screen is the set of 47sp questions. For us, after I’d answered those questions, my partner could then go to his account and answer the 40sp questions.

      Hope that helps!

  • June 25, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Jema! You are amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. Only I wish I had seen it sooner. My partner and I did something similar to what you had done where we devised our own system. Basicaly we each wrote a Statutory Declaration which touched on each of the different categories and we referenced all the attachements within it. In the online application, they break each of the categories down into separate attachements. What did you do in your situation? Did you have to re-write your stat dec to break it down into different categories? We’ve already put so much work into this and don’t want to have to redo it! Any advice is appreciate!

    • June 25, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Ashley! I know what you mean – was so, so, so disappointing to have dotted all our i’s crossed, all our t’s, and find out we had to re-do so much! If your total document doesn’t exceed the 5MB (unlikely), you could just upload the whole thing under a broad category.

      Unfortunately, we had to break it all apart. We had to go back and change all our attachment references and make section intros for each category explaining the attachments. All that frustration and hard work is exactly the reason I made this page – to try and save others from that drama. 🙁

      The May 4th and 7th 2016 comment exchange with “Nicole” might be useful to you. Sorry I can’t link directly to it!

      Good luck!

      • June 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm

        Okie thanks Jema! I actually made sure all my attachments were under the 5MB limit. Maybe there is a way out of this without having to redo anything. I think I’ll contact the embassy here and ask them where I should include a general stat dec.

        I’ll scroll through and see if I can find that comment. Thanks! 🙂

        • June 25, 2016 at 8:59 pm

          Any document we had that we felt didn’t fit a single category we put under “Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of.”

          Hope that helps!

  • June 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Definitely bookmarking this page.

    And thanks for posting this. I’m an American citizen who married an Australian and I’ve only just begun researching what I’ll need to move there for more than a vacation.

    Seems like an awful lot more work than what we needed to do to get her here, but that’s usually how these things go, eh?
    🙂

    • June 24, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Jared – Glad you found the site helpful! Yeah, definitely lots of hoops to jump through. I can’t speak to the reverse U.S. situation. If OZs’ is comparatively harder, perhaps it’s because the initial barrier to entry (able to be defacto instead of having to be married as required in pretty much every other industrialized nation) is comparatively lower. So perhaps they make you do double time to prove the relationship is real? It’s a bummer that people who have been married and living together for years have to jump through all the same awful hoops as people in much shorter and culturally less committed relationships, hey?

      Good luck to you two!

  • June 23, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Hello I have applied for partner 309 everything has gone gud except that I am a Fiji citizen but due to family problem I couldn’t go to Fiji and apply from there instead I choose india the thing is I have been on tourist visa in india which I kept going to Nepal and extending it. I was told from india it takes 11months to process but case officer called me on the same day I had lodged the application exactly after 1year, I have lived with my husband in Australia for 2 yrs plus n because I had a condition 8503 I couldn’t lodge on shore, only extra documents asked by case manager is india police clearance as I have lived in india a total of 12 months and my father in laws stat dec, stat dec submitted but FRO office and SP have said they cannot issue pcc to tourist visa holders and now I am in a situation where if I am entering Australia I must have pcc from each country I have lived 12 months or more for the past 10yrs has anyone been in such a situation have told case officer he said send me email done that and now case officer has said he will talk to his supervisor and manager regarding this situation we are worried my visa would be rejected on this grounds it is something which is not in the law of india any help would be very helpful thank you

    • June 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Jotika – I had a similar situation and it ended up being okay. I officially lodged from the U.S. state of Arizona where I required to get a police clearance. My case officer’s assistant asked me to get a state police check and sent me the Arizona website. On the AZ website it said very clearly that they will not issue police checks for the purpose of immigration. I pointed that out the the C.O. but was helped by the fact that I hadn’t actually been in Arizona for most of that time. She had me send bank and travel records that proved I had been moving around (traveling with my Australian partner) all over the U.S.

      Hope that helps! I’m sure they’ll find a solution if the rest of your application is solid.

      Cheers!

      • June 27, 2016 at 2:18 am

        Hello there Jema my name is Isaac I’m a 22 year old male from and currently live in the U.S. New Jersey and my question for you is my Australian girlfriend and I of 2 years whom currently lives in Australia are thinking of doing a prospective marriage visa so I can move there. My question is after I apply for it can I visit Australia on my tourist visa that is still valid until January 2017 and leave Australia when the PMV visa is granted can I go to New Zealand or Fiji then go back to Australia? My other question is if I apply for a long stay tourist visa for 12 months would I be able to do my medical check in Australia for the onshore partner visa? Thanks.

        • June 28, 2016 at 7:14 am

          Hi Isaac – I’m not 100% certain, so it’s best if you contact the Americas Services Centre. You could also read around in Australian Partner Visa forums to find others in your shoes.

          My best guesses:
          1) I think you can go to Australia on your tourist visa after applying and leave (yes to NZ, Fiji, or really any other country works) when the PMV is granted.
          2) As far as I know, you can do your medical check anywhere in the world (I did mine in Thailand). I either don’t know about the rest or I don’t understand your questions (long stay tourist visa as it relates to onshore partner visa).

          Hope that helps a bit!

  • June 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Jema,

    Thanks for your website, it’s been a huge help! Partner is from the U.S. and we lodged April 1st, 2016 so still in the process of getting everything together (official Aussie tax returns and FBI check taking a while). Haven’t heard anything yet but I guess it’s still early days! I just have a question regarding what we do when we feel like we’ve uploaded all necessary items? Is there a specific button to click to “send” the completed application? Or do we just leave it as is and wait for a CO to get in contact with us?

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Tebby – so glad the site has been helpful! I know what you mean about the “send” button. There is no “we’re done” button. The only equivalent is paying the fee. That was the “send” button. Now it’s a hurry-up-and-wait situation + uploading those lingering but critical items as they come in.

      Hope that helps!

      • June 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

        Perfect, that’s what I thought! Thanks again for your site, we would have been pretty lost without it!

        • June 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm

          You bet!

          • August 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

            Hi Jema,

            Thought I would update – our visa has been granted! Took just a little over 4 months 🙂
            Your site helped SO much so thank you again for putting this together for everyone in this stressful situation.

            • August 6, 2016 at 2:29 pm

              That’s wonderful! Congratulations, and thanks for letting us all know. Happy to help!

              Cheers!

      • June 21, 2016 at 6:34 am

        Thanks so much for this blog Jema!

        My situation with my partner (Australian PR) is such that we have been advised to apply onshore for the partner migration visa since my contract finishes end of August this year and there won’t be anymore work commitments for me. We cannot wait to start our life together.

        My question for you is:

        (1) Have you and your partner thought of applying for the partner visa onshore?

        (2) When you were visiting your partner when your application was being processed, which category (Yes or No) did you ‘tick’ on the immigration card for this question: Are you intending to stay in Australia in the next 12 months?

        I’m on a ETA tourist visa (without a No Further Stay clause attached to it) and this visa should be for countries considered low risk. So technically, I can apply both onshore and offshore. I’m wondering which is the better option for me. Your thoughts on this would be very welcomed!

        • June 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm

          Hi Irene! I don’t feel qualified to speak definitively about your situation. Here are my thoughts:

          1) My partner and I didn’t consider applying onshore because I wanted to go travel anyway and we didn’t want to risk perturbing the immigration department by pushing the limits of the rules. We didn’t even research if there was a way I would be eligible to stay and apply onshore.

          2) We researched pretty heavily to ensure it was okay for me to come to OZ as a tourist while we were waiting for my visa to be granted. This bout of research is when I found that there doesn’t seem to be much crossover within different areas of immigration and that our worries referenced in #1 here weren’t really founded. On the card, when I returned as a “tourist,” I checked “no.” I wasn’t planning on being in Australia for 12 months. I was planning on leaving whenever the partner visa case officer asked me to or when 90 days was up.

          I’m not sure which is a better option (onshore/offshore) for you personally. I would read in Australian Partner Visa forums and look for people with variables that match yours. If it’s logistically and financially easier for you both to stay in Australia while your visa is being processed and you find a way to legally do so, great. If you find you can’t legally stay and get a bridging visa to apply onshore, offshore it would be, hey?

          Hope that helps a bit!
          Cheers!

          • June 23, 2016 at 6:25 am

            Thanks a lot Jemma! Your answer to #2 has helped me to frame my answer when I go in as a tourist with the intention of doing an onshore application. We have researched extensively on #1 and was also advised by our very competent migration agent that it’s perfectly legit to apply for another visa onshore (in this case, the partner migration visa) whilst on a tourist visa. I guess my concern was more like #2, which category do I check? But your response has helped me to think of a response if I should be queried later if immigration finds out – i.e. I wasn’t planning to be in Australia for 12 months when I went in on my ETA and definitely planning to leave should I be summoned to or when the 3 months is up 🙂

            Thanks a zil!!!!

            • June 24, 2016 at 8:23 pm

              That’s great! I don’t know that you’d be queried later – like I said before… Immigration seems pretty fractured with each section just doing their own part. Glad to be helpful!

              Cheers!

  • June 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Finally finished off my partner’s visa. Just wanted to share my experience for any other’s were are currently applying. We applied on 14/3/16 in London online and received an email on 20/5/16 asking for my partner he had 21 days to provide upload his health and character checks. We phoned the Australian High Commission to check as we were told it was taking 10-14 months. We were informed they have had a decline in visa applications and it could be as quick as 5-6 months. I will wait till I see it but hopefully it happens that quickly. Thank you once again for this site.

    Hope you don’t mind but I thought it may be helpful to attach the below information that was part of a letter my partner was sent with FAQ’s about the Visa.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

    How long will processing take?

    The time frame is based on the number of applications currently awaiting processing and the planning levels available in the family stream of the Australian migration program, which is set by the Australian Government as part of the Budget.

    The department currently receives more applications than there are places available in the family stream of the migration program. This means that there is some increase in processing times for these visas. It is therefore recommended that you do not take any irreversible action during the processing of your application, such as ceasing employment, selling property or purchasing airline tickets.

    If you provide false or misleading information, this may result in your processing delays and your application being refused.

    Can my application be processed sooner?

    Applications are processed in the order they are received and there is little scope to process applications earlier. If you feel you have compelling or compassionate reasons why your application should be processed earlier, please provide a written statement to your case officer outlining those circumstances. It should be noted that as a general policy, circumstances such as employment in Australia; schooling for children; pregnancy; selling your house; or separation from your partner are not considered compelling or compassionate.
    If I complete any health or character requirements earlier, does this reduce the processing time?

    Health and character checks are usually valid for 12 months from the date of clearance. Obtaining health and character checks earlier will not reduce the processing time for your application and will determine the date by which you have to travel to Australia if your visa is granted. If these checks are done too early, it may mean you only have a short time frame in which to enter Australia, or, if they expire, you may need to do them again in order for your visa to be granted. If you undertake these before lodging an application, you may be required to provide these again if your visa is not granted before they are due to expire.

    Can I travel to Australia while my application is being processed?

    You may apply for other visas while your migration application is being processed. This will be assessed against the criteria for that visa subclass and will not affect the assessment of your migration application. Further information on other visas to Australia can be found on our website, http://www.border.gov.au, or by contacting the Europe Service Centre on +44 (0) 207 420 3690. English language services are available from 1pm to 4pm (London GMT), Monday to Friday.

    Please note that if your travel to Australia results in you spending an accumulative period of 12 months or more in Australia in the last 10 years, you will need to provide an Australian FederalPolice (AFP) check in order for your visa to be granted. For further information, please see the following website: http://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police-checks/national-police-checks.aspx
    It is also a legal requirement that you be outside Australia at the time of visa grant. If you are in Australia when your visa is ready for grant, you will need to depart. You can depart for any country in the world and you should spend at least 3 working days outside Australia to allow for processing of your visa. Working days do not include Saturday, Sunday or Public Holidays.

    Do I need a Bridging Visa?

    No. Bridging Visas are granted to visa applicants who apply for a visa in Australia to ensure they remain lawful while their application is being processed. As you have applied while outside Australia, you are not eligible for a bridging visa.

    What if my circumstances change?

    Contact this office if there are any changes to your circumstances during processing, including changes to your name, passport, family composition or contact details.

    Will you confirm receipt of my documents?

    To confirm receipt of your documents, it is recommended that you check your ImmiAccount as this will advise once a document has been uploaded to your application.

    Should I provide originals or copies?

    Police clearances must be scanned colour copies uploaded to your ImmiAccount. All other documents, such as identity documents, birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates, evidence of your relationship, can be copies uploaded to your ImmiAccount.

    Should I provide translations?

    Original documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by an English translation. The English translations must be appropriately endorsed translations. In Australia, translators must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. Their accreditation details must be recorded on the translation. Translations provided by non-accredited translators outside Australia should be endorsed by the translator with their full name, address, telephone number, and details of their qualifications and experience in the language being translated.

    Do I have to travel to Australia by a certain date?

    Yes. Once you have received advice that your visa has been granted, you will be advised of your ‘initial entry date’ (IED). The IED is based on the expiry date of your health and character checks. Generally, health and character checks are valid for 12 months from the date they were issued. If you fail to enter Australia by the IED, this will affect your ability to travel to and enter Australia on that visa.

    If you provide health and/or character checks and they expire before you are able to enter Australia before the IED, your visa may be subject to cancellation. However, following the grant of a visa, you will be advised of your IED and you can contact your case officer if you have any difficulties in meeting this time frame.

    • June 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks for passing on the info Natalie! Great to hear that processing times might picking up. Good luck getting your speedy approval!

      Cheers,
      Jema

    • July 8, 2016 at 5:05 am

      Thank you Natalie, this has given me some hope. I applied online from London on 30th March 2016 and I had a CO allocated on 8th June 2016. They informed me in the email that the average processing time is 10-14 months but knowing that it could be sooner is great news. I have completed my police checks but not my medical, my CO didn’t tell me when to do my medical, they just said don’t do it too soon because of the processing time. I am currently in Australia but am going back to the UK on the 8th August so I think I am going to get my medical as soon as I am back in the hope that my visa could be approved sooner. Anyway good luck and thanks for the info.

      • July 8, 2016 at 3:54 pm

        Hi Hannah,

        We applied 14/3/16 and my partner received an email 6/7/16 and we have received our visa. Don’t think I have processed that yet. It was less than 4 months.

        When our CO sent my partner the email on the 20/5/16 he had requested both the criminal record check and Medical at the same time. We did not receive the criminal check within the 21 days but provided proof that we had applied and paid for it and when we expected to receive it.

        • September 6, 2016 at 9:29 pm

          Hi Natalie,

          Congratulations that’s fantastic news. My CO emailed me on the 11 August and told me I could get my medical done, I completed them on the 30th August and that has now been updated on my IMMI account. Hopefully mine will be soon and I get that amazing approved email.

          Congratulations again

  • June 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Hi! Just stumbled upon your website while trying to find info on a defacto visa application and the best options for applying, wow your “how to page” was SUPER informative, thorough and helpful, THANK YOU! My question though is what type of visa were you on when you applied for the defacto visa? Were you already in AUS on the working holiday visa, a tourist visa? Why did they make you leave? We are considering the prospective marriage visa as well as defacto – we just want to be together in the same place (preferably Australia!) I am in USA now, but my partner is back in Sydney. We haven’t ever officially “lived together” but we travelled together for a number of months and then he was forced to go back to AUS because of his job, we have been together for one year though and we are planning our life together, we even briefly considered getting married in Vegas last month!! l realise you’re not an attorney but any insight, first hand info you can provide would be incredibly appreciated! Keep on travelling!!!!

    • June 2, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Jess – Glad you found the page helpful! I wasn’t on a visa at the time I applied. My Australian partner and I left OZ to travel around the world, including a long stint in the U.S. We applied from “overseas” when we were in the U.S., but he ended up going back before me. I followed him a month later as a “tourist” on a 90 day ____ (I want to say automatic tourist visa, but I don’t know what the official term is). I was in Australia as a “tourist” for about a month and a half before our visa got granted. At that time, I had to leave the country and re-enter to activate my partner visa. (Flew to Indonesia and back a few days later).

      Back when I read about visa stuff every single day (while I was waiting), I repeatedly heard that the prospective marriage and defacto visas have the same processing time. I’m not sure if this is still true. If you read up in Australian Visa forums, that should help you make your decision about which you want to apply for.

      Hope that helps!

  • May 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Hi Jema!
    Hope that you are having a good time!
    I have recived an email today!
    Request Detail
    Other Requirements
    ✃ The applicant’s statement regarding countries visited in the past 10 years. Please list all.
    They dident ask for mor doc; does it means that all other doc are ok?
    Is the first email that Im reciving after the automatical email. After that mail does it take too much time; do you have any idea?
    Thank you! 🙂
    Suzana! 🙂

    • May 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Congratulations!

      I have no idea what their communications mean with you in regards to your other documents or to the timeline. Sorry! Good luck!

  • May 10, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hi Jena! I really want to thank you for your help. Im back in your blog. As i told you before i am waiting an answer as i applied for partner visa 309 three months ago. Now im thinking to visit Australia for some days. I have to apply for tourist visa. I wonted to ask if is it a problem as Im waiting an answer for partner visa 309.
    I have been in Australia 1 year before with tourists visa. Before i apply i want to know if this is allowed or not.
    Thank you
    Suzana

    • May 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Suzana,

      I had the same question while waiting for the partner visa to be approved and DID visit Australia during that time. However, I don’t know what the rules are for your country specifically. On page 47 of the department’s Partner Migration Booklet, it says,

      Travel during visa processing
      After you apply for a partner category visa, you should inform the department if you intend to travel (either
      to or from Australia) while your visa application is being processed.
      This is because, if you applied for a partner category visa while you were:
      • in Australia, you must be in Australia at the time your temporary visa is granted. You may be either in
      or outside Australia when the permanent visa is granted; or
      • outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the temporary visa is granted. You may be
      either in or outside Australia when the permanent visa is granted.
      If you have applied in Australia, you must ensure that, before you travel outside Australia, you have a
      visa to return. Otherwise, you may not be able to return to Australia and, if your partner category visa
      application is refused while you are outside Australia, you may not have a right of review.

      I think you will be able to visit with a tourist visa as long as they will approve it. You might want to read around in the Australian Visa Forum to see what others experiences are. I don’t know what the liklihood is of the government approving you for a tourist visa. I do know if the department grants your visa while you are in Australia, you have to make arrangements to leave the country immediately. I left Australia (went to Indonesia) within a few days of being asked to leave the country for the purpose of granting the visa.

      Hope that helps!

  • May 8, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Hi,

    I found your blog so helpful, so thank you! I am in a similar situation where I am an Aussie living in the USA with my husband. We just applied for the 309/100 partner visa online from the usa but now i am worried because I am reading that the Australian sponsor should be residing in Australia. I’ve lived in the USA for 6 years, and we were planning on moving to Sydney together. Do you know/or have you had any experience with visa’s getting rejected because the Australian citizen is living overseas ? I could move home now but since we already applied I am not sure if there is a point.

    Thank you!

    • May 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Alex,

      Glad you found the info here helpful! I haven’t heard anything about rejections for the Oz citizen living overseas. I have read that the Australian sponsor should be residing in Australia when the sponsor isn’t an Australian citizen (which you seem to be… Aussie by birth, no?). In the Partner Migration Booklet (update 2019 – no longer exists), on page 15 about what’s required to be a sponsor it says, “If you are an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you are required to be usually resident in Australia.” My (completely unofficial) interpretation of that is, “If you aren’t a citizen by birthright or years of jumping through red-tape hoops, you can’t sponsor someone if you yourself aren’t living in Australia.” I think the rule must be protecting the system from cheats who are using the 309 partner visa as a technicality to gain access to Australia.

      My guess is that you’re fine, but you can confirm by calling the America Services Centre.

      Hope that helps!

      • May 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        Hi Jema. You really have an amazing page. Thanks for all thr insights. I would like to ask if we’ve done the payment for our de facto visa, what would be the time frame of uploading/attachments that has to be done? And can we upload some and just go back to the rest from time to time? Thank you so much!

        • May 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm

          Hi Mharge – Glad you found the page helpful! I don’t know about the time frame (no one seems to know!), but you can get a good idea of current likely wait times by reading the Australian Partner Visa Forum. My partner and I waited five months before anyone even glanced at our documents, during which time we could upload some and go back to the rest from time to time. I think you probably can, too!

          Hope that helps!

  • May 5, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Hi there – Thanks so much for your blog. We are at second stage and will soon apply online. I noticed you mentioned “Travel Document” under the “Evidence Type”.
    What do you think this could mean? Is it any travel itinerary’s such as, flight tickets, accommodation invoices/reservations, car hire etc..
    I wonder if it means proof that we travelled together, or should that actually go under social aspects?

    • May 7, 2016 at 3:26 am

      Hi Mel – copied this from the Immi website: “You need a valid passport or other travel document for this visa.” So in this case, it seems travel document means passport. I think itineraries etc. would only be necessary if you’re using them to prove something (joint travel? (<- under social aspects) nature of commitment?) Hope that helps!

  • May 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Hi all! Im living in Albania.Im marrid with an Austrakian citizent from 6 months.
    On February 22 I applied online for partner visa 309. From that day I received only an automatic email.
    I just wonted to ask some questions.
    1. I live in Albania; is Albania in high risk zone? How long will take to grant my visa?
    2.Visa tarif was payed from my mother inlow. Is this a problem.
    3. My partner changed his job during this period. Do I need to aplode his payslip?
    4. What about the police check? Do we need( my partner and me) to aplode a new one as we took it 6 month before?
    5. I have attached my medical exams. Do you have any idea how long is it valid?
    Thank you
    Suzana

    • May 7, 2016 at 3:30 am

      Hi Suzanna – here are the same answers from below for the purpose of anyone reading the thread.

      Sorry I wasn’t more clear: when I said, “Try asking in ‘this forum’ ” it was a link to the Australian partner visa forum: http://www.australianvisaforum.com/forum/15-partner-visas/

      It’s a great resource!

      Answers:

      1. According to this website (I don’t know if it’s current or correct), you are from a high risk country. I have no idea how long it will take for your visa.
      2. I don’t know if it’s a problem that your mother in law paid the visa tarif, but my guess would be that it’s okay.
      3. I don’t know if your partner’s job change will affect your visa application. Try asking in this forum.
      4. Regarding the police checks – they will tell you when they contact you when to get new police checks. If they expire before the visa is granted, you will have to get new ones. If they don’t expire, they will accept them I think.
      5. I think medical exams are valid for a year, but again – definitely try asking your questions in the forum – you’ll get lots more experiences there.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • April 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Jema,

    I’m really glad I’ve come across your website – I was starting to go round in circles no knowing where to start with my visa application! I’m applying for a 309 De facto offshore visa online with my Aussie partner, but I’m finding the whole process pretty confusing! I’ve started filling out the 47SP form. From your website and other people’s comments, it seems that I should fill this out and pay the visa cost. Then and only then will I be able to upload supporting evidence. Do you remember when the sponsor’s form (4OSP) can be submitted? It seems like that has to be done after I’ve submitted my 47SP form and paid, too. I want to make sure I understand the process correctly – the visa cost is huge, so I don’t want to make any mistakes!

    Sorry, but I’ve a few other questions too. Did you get every single piece of evidence certified? I don’t understand whether it’s just a copy of my passport, his passport and my birth certificate that need to be certified, or if the passport photos, the photos of us as a couple, tenancy agreement, bank statements, bills etc also need to be certified?

    You mention in your post that you uploaded a copy of your partner’s birth certificate. I didn’t realise we needed to get my partner’s birth certificate – we live in the UK and he doesn’t have his birth certificate here, so is it something we have to provide?

    Police checks – did you get these done before submitting your application, or did you wait to be prompted? Also, the gov’t booklet says to submit the original of the police check – does scanning the document count as the original, or did you have to send this by post?

    Health checks – I can see from the comments above that you had your health checks done before submitting, but that this was a bit risky. I’m finding the Aus gov’t website extremely confusing as it talks about doing a ‘My Health Declarations’ form, but then says don’t do this is your visa could take over 6 months to process (which I’m assuming the 309 generally does). So is it best to wait to be prompted before getting this?

    I can see that we’re meant to use the 888 form for the statutory declarations from our friends, but is it this form we’re meant to use to write our own statements about each other? Did you make it personal (‘XXX and I have been together…’) or formal (‘My sponsor and I…’).

    Thanks so much – your website is so helpful where all the official stuff really lacks explanation!

    • April 10, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Claire,

      Happy to help where I can! Glad to hear the page etc. has been helpful.

      I can’t remember when we were allowed to do the sponsorship form, but it makes sense that you would have to submit the visa application form first. I don’t think there’s a way to mess anything up in an irrevocable way. I found the department to be pretty understanding.

      We didn’t get every piece of evidence certified. I’ve heard from others lately that they didn’t even get color copies of things like passports certified. Where it’s easy for you to do, certifying certainly wouldn’t hurt, I guess.

      Re: his birth cert – yes, sponsor had to prove his identity in certain ways and that was something that fit our situation. I’m not sure if every sponsor has to do that. But I do remember us getting a copy before leaving OZ (we applied from overseas as well) because we knew we’d be applying.

      We applied for police checks upon submission, which was a risk. I needed FBI checks, which are notorious for not being issued for several months. So we crossed our fingers that when they came, we’d get approved for a visa within the next 12 months. It worked out for us! All a bit of a guessing game, unfortunately.

      Same with health checks – we took a HUGE gamble (hadn’t done much research and certainly hadn’t read about the new, much longer processing time) and just went ahead and got my health checks when we were passing through Asia because it was so much cheaper. They expire after a year. If you read around in forums, you could probably guess about how long it might be before you hear anything (I think for us it was a few months before we were contacted for the first time). So you could estimate how many months you think it will probably be before they first have a look and schedule your medicals for then? And then hope you’re accurate within 12 months? Or you could just wait until they ask – but I understand that it’s frustrating to add extra time to an already lengthy process. Hope that helps you weigh your options a bit more!

      We did not use the 888 form for our personal stat decs. We weren’t super formal either. We just answered all the questions and then signed the word document and had it certified.

      Hope that helps! Good luck!

      • April 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        Hi Jema,

        Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve had confirmation from the High Commission that I’m not to get health/police checks until they ask me to. It’s because the initial entry date I’d be given were my visa to be granted ok would be tied to the validity date of these checks, so they don’t want people to get the checks done and them to run out.

        On the subject of initial entry dates, do you know if it’s ok to just go on a holiday to Aus by this date instead of actually doing the permanent move across by then? I think a friend of mine who was granted her visa last year just did this as she couldn’t move over straight away, and that might be my situation too (lots to sort out here before moving)… it’s quite difficult if you have to move immediately and are only given potentially a few weeks notice!

        With the certification, I think I’m going to get our identity docs certified but not the bills, bank statements, correspondence etc. That would be a heck of a lot to get certified! Do you remember if you got scanned copies of photos (passport and general photos to prove your relationship) certified?

        I might have misunderstood this, but did you do separate personal statements for the financial nature or your relationship/the nature of the household/how your relationship developed etc, or did you just do one each covering all of that? And if you didn’t do it on an 888 form did you just do it on Word?

        Thanks!

        • April 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm

          That makes sense about the health checks and entry dates. Thanks for letting everyone know!

          Re: “just go on a holiday” vs. permanent move, I’m not sure. Once you enter and activate your partner visa, I think you’re free to come and go as you please. Of course if you’re considering establishing residency and citizenship, then you want to be strategic about your time out of the country. But “officially moved” is just a state of being in your mind. I think once you’ve activated the visa you’ve technically officially moved. If you go on “vacation” or “holiday” back to your old life to tie up loose ends, I haven’t heard of any situations where that’s impacted anyone.

          That said, I have absolutely no experience or reason to think what I think. I’d recommend asking the question in a forum so you can get responses from people with actual experience, hey. Or just call and ask one of the services centres? Sorry I can’t be of more help with this one!

          We did get scanned copies of our passports certified. General photos of our relationship, we did not.

          Our personal statements covered all the bases, then we wrote summaries for each of the seconds you mentioned. And yup, did personal statements in word. You can find out more about our personal statements here and the whole compilation of evidence we submitted here.

          Hope that helps a bit!
          Cheers!

          • May 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

            Hi Jemma,

            Just jumping in here with a question because everything you have written has really helped me in putting things together. In terms of the Personal Statements, I understand writing the summaries for each of the relevant sections but for the entire Personal Statements by me and my partner where/how do those get uploaded. I have looked through your list of evidence type labels and I cannot see what category the Personal Statement would be included. Do you have any recollection?

            For the various components (like nature of household, financial etc) we were just going to write a joint statement and then an index with the supporting documents which would also include our personal statements (again) because they will each contain information relevant to the particular component. To save space I was going to bundle it all into one pdf to upload. From your experience of the online process, would that work?

            What evidence did you use for “couple living together” – is that just a bundle of documents like joint bank accounts and utility bills or do we need more than that?

            Also there is a requirement to submit passport photos. Did you just upload passport photos? (Seems a bit strange!)

            Thanks so much (in advance).

            • May 7, 2016 at 3:21 am

              Hi Nicole – Sorry it took me a few days to get to this, and I have to apologize that my answers won’t be great as I don’t have time to go in and look at our visa stuff right now – in a massive crunch. 🙁

              I think we put our personal statements under “Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of.” It was sort of the catch-all category we kept using anytime we didn’t know where to put something. (And then we were really good about our filenames and descriptions).

              Re: your question about bundling each component into a PDF – that’s what we did. Although we didn’t include our personal statements again, but pulled the relevant info out of the personal statement and put it in the section-specific joint statement. Sometimes the PDF exceeded the upload limit, so we broke it out into “1 of 2” and “2 of 2.” Here’s more on how we submitted our evidence.

              I can’t recall specifically what we used for “couple living together.” Highlighted bank statements, pieces of mail at the same address… we didn’t have a shared lease and none of the bills were in my name.

              I can’t remember on the passport photos, but I think we did it. I’m guessing that they might eventually get rid of that requirement. When bureaucratic things are done on paper, passport photos are stapled/paper clipped to the fronts of files. Now that things are going electronic, maybe they still need one to reference?

              Hope that helps!

      • April 27, 2016 at 3:21 am

        Hello Jema, have you been able to view the documents you uploaded in your application since the temporary visa was granted?

        Phil

        • April 27, 2016 at 1:43 pm

          Hey Phil – no, I haven’t! The day I got the email that my visa was going to be granted soon, I quickly took some screenshots just in case. I had been intending to get this info out for everyone for months, but I’m a procrastinating perfectionist.

          I’m guessing you’re asking because you can’t see them either?

      • May 2, 2016 at 6:19 pm

        Hi Jema! Im living in Albania.Im marrid with an Austrakian citizent from 6 months.
        On February 22 I applied online for partner visa 309. From that day I received only an automatic email.
        I just wonted to ask some questions.
        1. I live in Albania; is Albania in high risk zone? How long will take to grant my visa?
        2.Visa tarif was payed from my mother inlow. Is this a problem.
        3. My partner changed his job during this period. Do I need to aplode his payslip?
        4. What about the police check? Do we need( my partner and me) to aplode a new one as we took it 6 month before?
        5. I have attached my medical exams. Do you have any idea how long is it valid?
        Thank you
        Suzana

        • May 2, 2016 at 8:29 pm

          Hi Suzana,

          Sorry I don’t have many answers for you. I can tell you that after applying, we only received an automatic email.

          1. According to this website (I don’t know if it’s current or correct), you are from a high risk country. I have no idea how long it will take for your visa.
          2. I don’t know if it’s a problem that your mother in law paid the visa tarif, but my guess would be that it’s okay.
          3. I don’t know if your partner’s job change will affect your visa application. Try asking in this forum.
          4. Regarding the police checks – they will tell you when they contact you when to get new police checks. If they expire before the visa is granted, you will have to get new ones. If they don’t expire, they will accept them I think.
          5. I think medical exams are valid for a year, but again – definitely try asking your questions in the forum – you’ll get lots more experiences there.

          Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • April 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    SOLVED!! Thanks so much Gemma 😀 x

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Right on! Did that technique work for you? Or did your immiAccount return to normal?

      • April 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

        Yes, it was the technique you suggested! I didn’t realise there was an additional ‘Attachments’ button at the bottom of the screen. The general ‘Attach documents’ link doesn’t seem to come back to the category once you’ve logged out. But it’s just as easy adding the documents the way you suggested. THANK YOU!

  • April 8, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Hi everyone,

    We applied for the prospective marriage visa 300 in March 2016 and lodged our application. we planned to sign our marriage paper in Jan 2017 after the visa has been granted in Australia. now we are planning to get married earlier September 2016 in Uganda.

    I heard that when you inform the immigration, it will automatically change into partner 309.

    What about the processing time, does it re-start again or it keeps counting the date is in March?

    Thanks.

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      Hi Beth,

      I’m not sure, but maybe someone else here can answer? If not, I’d recommend contacting one of the “Services Centres” with your question or try other forums?

      Cheers!

  • April 7, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Jemma,
    We have paid for the visa (woohoo!!) so I’m now working thorough uploading all our evidence. It’s all going well until today when I logged out of the immiaccount (as I needed a break!) and came back to it about half an hour later. I needed to add another different evidence type to the length of defacto relationship category. I had already added ‘utility bills’ as a document. I now wanted to add ‘travel tickets’. However, the ‘attach document’ button was no longer there for the overall category. It was only there for my already existing evidence type (which can’t be changed anyway). I’m worried now- do you have to upload all attachments for one category in one login session? It seems that once I logged off, the attach documents button for the category disappeared. I have
    A few more evidence types I want to upload for the category!

    Hope this males sense?!

    Thanks Jemma (and anyone else who may be able to help!)

    Best wishes,
    Amy

    • April 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Amy! Congrats on your progress – handing over the cash is a big step, hey! My suggestion would be to try just uploading a document rather than clicking the special link (that is no longer there?). When you upload a document not using those pre-set links, you are able to choose the drop downs. (The link automatically fills in at least one of the drop downs.) Hopefully you can just select length of defacto that way.

      Hope that helps!

  • April 4, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Jema
    Thanks for sharing this post with us.
    Just a quick question. I’ve been with my partner for more than a year but we’ve only been living together for 9 months. Do we need to wait for another 3 months (to meet the one year relationship criteria) to proceed with payment for us to upload supporting documents? Do you know if we could pay, upload supporting documents and submit the application once the one year mark is up?

    • April 5, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Hi Andrea! My apologies – I don’t know the answer for sure to your question. I can see it argued both ways. I know you need to be in a defacto relationship for a year before applying (last I knew you couldn’t apply before passing the year mark). But I’m not sure what impact living together has because my partner and I lived with each other from the very beginning.

      The date you pay is your official date of application, so the scenario you’ve proposed doesn’t seem possible. (Pay, upload, then “submit application once the year mark is up.”) Paying and uploading *is* applying, if that makes sense?

      Feel free to ask on a forum. Wish I could be more helpful. Good luck! 🙂

  • March 30, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Hello, thank you for your great tips! I have a question, I payed and submitted my application but did not attach all the documents straight away hoping i could do it later but now it does not let me attach the documents. Have you experienced a similar problem? I would greatly appreciate if you could tell me.

    • March 30, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Zina – I didn’t experience that. Perhaps you need to click a link to get to the screen to upload?

      Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • March 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you so much Jema. I don’t know if you know how much your site has helped and how much I appreciate it.

  • March 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Sorry I also wanted to ask. I am the sponser and on my immi account there comes up a screen where you can upload documents. DO you need to upload documents there and also the same documents in relation to me on my partners immi account?

    • March 21, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      I’m fairly certain you just upload documents in the applicant’s account.

  • March 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Hello,

    My partner and I have lived together for over a year but I went on holiday for 5 days and another time 3 weeks to visit my family. I believe they count this as a period of separation. With the technology this days you don’t really make phone calls. We stayed in contact through messenger through messages, voice calls and video calls. I don’t know if I will need to prove this?

    • March 21, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Natalie – we had similar “periods of separation.” We did supply a bit of proof about this – lines of text in an email if I’m remembering correctly. We didn’t go overboard. I think (just my opinion) this particular category is perhaps for people who haven’t spent much physical time together albeit being in a relationship for a long period of time.

  • March 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Hello everyone and a very special hello to Jemma,

    I had helped my sister in law to apply for her partner visa to australia. I wqnted to share with all of you that my sister in law got her visa approved yesterday, on 3/18/2016. We had applied for her visa in May 2015. So all you girls and guys out there, take heart, its not so bad after all. Its just the waiting that kills you.
    We had no problems during or after our application. I found Jema’s website and article much later after we had almost finished all our application, but nevertheless kudos to Jema for taking her time and outlining in detail for everyone of us out here.

    Warm regards to everybody!
    GOOD LUCK!

    • March 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      So great to hear the long awaited visa has been granted! Congrats!

  • March 17, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Hi Jemma
    i just want to thank you so much for your help! i just applied for my visa a few days ago and the whole process was so fast and smooth thanks to my advance prep thanks to you!
    youre the best!

    • March 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      So thrilled to hear that! Good luck with your visa, Kat!

  • March 8, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Thanks so much Jema, amazing 🙂

  • March 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Jema very good website!!! Thanks for your help 🙂
    I am on the process to prepare my offshore partner visa application. Do you think that the CO will think suspiciously when he/she sees that all the documents we are providing have been certified pretty much in a few days in a row?
    How many Photos of you guys did you provide? I have been told to make a PDF file of no more 5 pages with 5 photos per each page. Is that correct?

    • March 7, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Francesco – Glad you’re finding the site helpful. RE: lots of close together certification dates… I don’t know why a CO would be suspicious about that. Everyone tries to do everything at once if possible, right?

      I’m not sure on photos – my partner organized it, and I’d have to go and count. I’ve heard the 5 pages, 5 photos thing before, too. My guess is we were pretty close to that. If it helps and is within your means, our photo evidence was in our Social Aspects section of the visa here. (You have to scroll down a bit.)

      Good luck with your visa!

      • March 7, 2016 at 10:31 pm

        Thanks for answering Jema, very much appreciated. Yeah, I guess everyone tries to do as much as possible at once 🙂
        Another quick question. Can you confirm that the max size for the PDFs is 5Mb? For example my proof of ID file is 4Mb cause I put 8 PDFs together each one with a different ID(passport, birth cert, national ID, driver license and so on).

        • March 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm

          Hi Francesco – no worries! I can’t confirm for sure about 5 MB, but that’s what I remember. Maybe someone else here can confirm? Or check in a forum?

          Regardless – I think you’ll find when you go to upload that they might want those things separated out. I don’t have time to look through and figure it out right this moment. If you look at the screenshots linked to in this page, you should be able to figure it out on your own. Hope that helps a bit!

          Good luck!

          • March 7, 2016 at 10:48 pm

            Righto…Well, just to be extremely prepared at the time of the application I am also keeping all the PDFs separated to each other so if I need to attach the passport somewhere else during the application I will have the PDF ready to go 🙂

            • March 8, 2016 at 1:17 am

              Good to be organized, but you’ve heard the advice to do the first part of the process and pay asap, right? You have time (weeks to months) to meticulously organize your uploads after that. Paying is what puts you in the queue. Just saying because that’s what we wish we would have done! We would have paid months earlier had someone told us what I’m telling you.

              Hope that helps!

              • March 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm

                Yes I know that. We are just waiting to reunite cause at the moment I am in Italy and she is in Australia. We have registered our relationship in QLD more than a year ago so we can waive the 12 month period of living together but still we would like to provide evidence of us living together in Italy to make our case stronger.

              • March 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

                Cool! Good luck!

              • June 20, 2016 at 9:35 pm

                Wow Jema, I had no idea about this. I’ve been organizing evidence for PMV for months (I’m a bit of a perfectionist), but would’ve submitted weeks ago had I known! Also thanks so much for your advice on the website, we also bought your pdf which has been a great framework to go by. 🙂 ! Will be submitting this week in this case, and uploading everything over the next month! 🙂

              • June 21, 2016 at 4:58 am

                Hi Jan! So glad you found everything helpful. Glad you’re getting in at least a bit sooner than you might have. If you read the past few comments, I think you’ll see another UK commenter saying their visa was processed faster than they’d hoped. Hope it goes quickly for you! Good luck 🙂

  • March 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Jema – and anyone else out there that may be able to help me!
    Firsty – Jema, you are a legend. Thank you sooo much for taking the time to write all of this helpful info and the time you take to acknowledge and in many cases answer everyone’s queries! Star 🙂

    I’ve just finished completing the 47SP online form, just going back to edit some info- mostly being the ‘Relationship Details’ section, where you get a 2000 word limit. I’ve described in as much detail as I can the nature of our de facto relationship in each of the boxes, but I’m struggling to even crack the 500 word mark! It just feels like rambling and repeating myself if I continue to fluff it out, whereas the actual evidence I provide (once I pay the application fee) really is at the core of proving our realtionshop…am I right? Or have people maximised the 2000 word limit?

    For example, here is what I’ve written for Financial aspects of the relationship:

    We share our money, with X (applicant) being the main earner in the household. X works full-time in a permanent position and earns a good salary. X (sponsor) works as a part-time freelance community music facilitator (2 days per week) and the rest of the week is spent taking care of our 1 year old son X. X’s (applicant) salary pays for X’s (sponsor) bills and most of our outgoings such as; car insurance, phone bill, utility bills, some groceries, holidays. X’s (sponsor) earnings pay for some groceries, most day to day baby requirements such as formula, nappies, clothing, etc and petrol. X owns a property in Hove and has been a home-owner for the past 15 years, never missing a mortgage repayment. We share money, even though X earns a lot more, whatever money the two of us have earned is shared between us based on whatever we need. It has been this was especially since X was born and X was on maternity leave, then returned to a part-time work capacity.
    Evidence to upload:
    Attach statement of shared bank account (statements spanning a few years)
    Attached utility bills showing both names
    Attach Vodafone bills (showing various years)

    Apologies for the huge question…hoping someone can offer some advice.

    Many thanks 🙂

    • March 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Amy! Happy to help. Pretty sure it’s a character limit. We didn’t always max out the 2000 word limit, but got close sometimes.

      Here are our character counts for our 47SP

      Financial: 1887
      Nature of Household: 1974
      Social: 1358
      Nature of Commitment: 1964
      Details of Development: 1081

      Your sample of what you’re planning on writing for Financial is similar in style to what we did. We also outlined the evidence we were planning on submitting and explained briefly why we were doing so.

      Hope that helps a bit!

      • March 17, 2016 at 11:16 am

        Hi Jema (and fellow visa applicants!)
        Has anyone got this error before when saving the screen after entering the aspects of the relationship online:

        Give details of the financial aspects of the relationship. can only contain standard English alphabetic characters including numeric, whitespace and punctuation characters.

        It a tech issue but I can’t see any problem with the text I’ve entered! I’ve not used any weird characters. I made sure I copied my text from a plain text edit program so no weird background formatting was entered but I’m still getting this error message on every box!

        Any suggestions very welcome!

        Thanks:)
        Amy

        • March 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm

          Hi Amy,

          I actually do remember having similar maddening problems with one of the sections. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the solution. I think I tried taking out a sentence at a time? Or maybe I retyped the whole thing?

          Here, googled the error message and found this page. Here’s the most helpful excerpt: The problem seems to be caused by using an invalid character in any of the fice text fields. The character in question is an apostrophe (‘). You can try using another character or simply using a space ( )

          I confess I didn’t read the entire thread, but hopefully you’ll find your solution there.

          Cheers!

      • December 14, 2018 at 1:25 am

        Hi Jema, I loved your page – so helpful! 🙂
        We are currently about to apply for the visa as well and I’m also searching for an answer about the Relationship Statements – maybe you can help me: we filled out the 47SP form online with the Relationship Details section with 2000 characters each, but we are not sure whether this is replacing our statutory declarations and the relationship statements or if it’s meant to be a summary and if you have to additionally attach longer essays by each of us. Thank you! 🙂

        • December 14, 2018 at 11:40 pm

          Hi Emmi – glad you found everything helpful! It is my experience that the 2000 character sections are just meant to summarize the evidence you plan to be submitting and do not replace the need to do the longer personal relationship statements and stat decs. Hope that helps. Good luck! 🙂

  • March 4, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Heya again Jema! Just another quick questions (thanks a bunch in advance if you get the chance to reply!)

    We’re loving your amazingly annotated bank statements, however just have a quick question about your telephone usage annotations. You labelled your *Provider* transactions as-

    Nature of household: day to day living expenses
    (FA): Sharing household expenses

    and then you annotate that you spent X% SMS and X% VOICE with partner. Did you guys share bills for your providers, or did you annotate here in order to reiterate the percentages represented in your phone records?

    Sorry if that is a bit wordy, we’re trying to figure out whether or not to annotate our respective phone bills on the bank statements… We thought we might put it under “Nature of commitment”, and “social aspects” .

    Thanks again for all the info, still loving your visa document, it’s ace!

    Marcelle

    • March 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Marcelle – So glad you’re finding our evidence helpful. We annotated our phone bills in our statements to re-iterate the percentages represented in the phone records. You’re right. Now that I think about it, it makes more sense labeled “nature of commitment.” From a budget perspective, I think about a phone as a household expense. But in term of our relationship, our percentage of use that went to communication with each other really shows nature of commitment, doesn’t it?

      Hope that clears things up!

  • March 4, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Hi jema

    I’m planning to apply for Prospective visa online and I’m confused on how to go about it. I have two questions . That Is whether myself and my Fiancé needs to open TWO Immiaccounts or whether we only need on immiaccount? If we need to open up two immi account who uplods what other than the obvious applicant and sponsor forms as well as identifications?

    • March 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Betty

      I wish I had a better memory for this. As far as I can remember, at first, we just had the one account and we uploaded most of the stuff there. But for the form the sponsor has to fill out, I think the might have to create their own account. Sorry I can’t remember more clearly. Maybe someone else here can clarify?

      Good luck!

  • March 2, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Jema

    Firstly thank you so much for creating this site. I have been incredibly stressed about applying for a visa but this site has helped alot.

    I wanted to ask about the Statutory Declaration for a Witness to a Partner Visa Application. On the application it requests two declarations from witnesses, are most people just doing two or do people do more?

    Also, from what I have read is it best to fill out the online form, send it off and pay then get all your evidence to upload organised including our own Statutory Declarations?

    Thank you.

    • March 2, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Natalie – so glad to hear the site has been helpful!

      We submitted more than one stat dec – his mom, his sister, our housemate and our mutual friend (all Australian) and my closest Australian friends/sort of surrogate parents plus my mom (American). But I’ve heard from people who have just submitted the two. I think it’s really up to you.

      If I had to do the visa over again, I would do the online form and pay even sooner. So, yes, I agree with other that it’s what’s best. It gets you in the queue. Most people experience that no one even looks at your file for several weeks to months after you pay. You’ll find it hard to fill out the online form without getting somewhat organized, though. e.g. from what I can remember, I think we had to say who was going to submit stat decs before we could get to the payment screen.

      Hope that helps a bit!

      Cheers!

  • February 27, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Also, another quick question! I have my statements from aussie citizens signed and witnessed on the offical Statutory Declaration provided on all govt web sites, but I haven’t used For 888 – it still has the aust crest etc and all the laws the stat dec relates too…. Would you have an inkling as to whether these would suffice or if I should get them re done?? I’ve also provided certified IDs for my statement-makers….

    Many thanks

    Susie Bee

    • February 28, 2016 at 1:39 am

      Not sure! Sorry I can’t be of more help. I guess you could try them the way they are (like I said, our stat decs weren’t on a stat dec form). Worst case scenario, they tell you to re-do it when they finally look at your materials.

      Good luck!

      • February 29, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        Thanks Jema – quick and helpful responses! Cheers!

        (Also, I’ll post this here in case there are any Irish or British citizens living in the North/Northern Ireland… There is no panel doctor for medical exams registered in NI so you would have to go to Cardiff, Manchester, London or Dublin. I suggest Dublin as you will pay in Euros not Stirling so it might work out a little cheaper!)

    • February 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Susie, I submitted the minimum number of 888s required on the checklist and then used ordinary ordinary stat dec forms for the rest. As you know, Form 888 is specifically a “Statutory Declaration for a Witness to a Partner Visa Application”. I believe the 888 is a mandatory requirement. (In my case, I thought it ideal to have one or two individual/s complete the 888 from my first visa through to my 801 so that there was a person who knew about our entire relationship history, in case the DIBP needed confirmation or cross-checking.)

      Good luck.

  • February 27, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Jema

    I was wondering if you could help me – We’ve applied for the Partner Visa (Offshore) and paid etc. I am currently uploading our (many) documents, however there doesn’t seem to be a specific section for uploading the personal statements from both the applicant and the sponsor – do you just attach it to one of the many possible tags (i.e. evidence of commitment to each other)?? I just don’t want to attach it to the wrong tag/place! Also, did you supply evidence of your intention to get a medical health check or just wait until you were prompted by email?

    • February 28, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Hi Susie – for any document that I wasn’t sure about the category, I just picked the best fit. Didn’t seem to be a problem. I remember I had to inform the department of my intention to travel to Australia after applying from offshore. I ended up submitting it under Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of. No complaints from the C.O! Seems like that category might work for your statements? Or, now that I look at my screenshots, I see we uploaded our under stat decs, even though we didn’t use the stat dec form. I don’t think you’ll get it in the wrong place.

      Didn’t supply evidence of intention as health check was done well before we even applied (stupidly… we didn’t research how long it would take!)

      Hope that helps!

  • February 25, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Hi All,
    Currently drafting our history statements / 47SP/40SP forms and scanning evidence to get ready for online 820 visa onshore just seeing if you can help with the below please !

    1. Can we start the online application and save at anytime and keep coming back to it before we submit e.g.. if we get to a question that we happen to get stuck on save exit come back to it the next day ?

    2. Ive been made aware that any colour scanned documents DO NOT have to be certified including our Passports / Ids….
    So my understanding is only the 888 Stat decs and any evidence e.g. black and white love notes/cards need to be

    3. Ive also been told for the ‘History Of Relationship Statement’ there is only room for 2000 characters mine is up to 8000 !
    So would you suggest to upload this as evidence/ document in total such as a pdf or word document and if so does this to be certified or only if handwritten ? OR
    to start writing and fit as much as i can and than write along lines of “please see attached document for rest”

    4. For the “Evidence Of Relationship” financial , social etc etc
    do we each again wrote another statement elaborating in detail about this ? and if so do we write this separate again or can it be joint ?

    5. For ” Evidence” if we have joint flight itnenarys / joint mail / joint bank statements etc do we upload this twice .. once in the applicant section and also again in sponsor ?

    thanks for your help feeling very stressed and ready to throw the laptop put the window !

    • February 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Dora,

      I don’t have time to respond right this second, but I’ve got it on my to-do list. In the meantime, maybe someone else here can help? You can also try cross-posting in a forum (maybe you already have?!).

      Cheers,
      Jema

      • July 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm

        Hy jema,
        I applied for my partner subclass 300 visa on last yr march.Then on april they called me for medical snd wanted police clearance.After tht we provided all documents needed.But on june the CO send mail asking for police clearance and call records as well as bank statements and wrote tht decision will be given within 28 days.But no response yet.My husband called aus immigration they said its going to be august it is still under processing.Why my application is taking so much time?

    • February 25, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Dora – here are my thoughts about your questions:

      1) I’m not sure what you mean by “start the online application” – there is a bunch of info/forms you have to submit before you can pay. You don’t have to do that part all at once. Once you’ve paid, you’re in the queue and can start uploading stuff. You don’t have to do the uploading all at once either. So I think the answer to your question is “yes.”

      2) I’ve been hearing the same about color scanned docs. We got all stat decs certified and the personal statements we wrote certified. We also certified our passports and birth certs and everything – hadn’t heard about the color thing at the time. We didn’t get anything else certified (love notes/cards).

      3) I’m not sure on this one again. You must mean the initial form that you have to fill out before you pay? I remember character limits on that form. We just did basic summaries referencing materials we planned to submit. Although in my copy of our original, pre-payment info, there was no “history of relationship” field we had to fill out.

      4) For evidence we wrote a joint statement explaining what evidence we were submitting and why and then made the whole thing (statement plus evidence) one PDF.

      5) No – you only upload once. My take: it’s confusing because you’re proving you’re in a genuine relationship. Those who are in genuine relationships approach the visa process as a couple (and try not to kill each other with all the stress – amen on the laptop throwing!). But at the end of the day, it’s really just the applicant’s visa and so the information is just given via the applicant’s section. From memory, the sponsor’s section is basically just to establish their identity, citizenship, and eligibility.

      Hope that all helps!

      Cheers!

    • February 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Hi Dora, to add to Jema’s response —

      In my experience as one who went through the entire process of applying for a paper PMV S/C 300 in 2012 (granted same year); a paper 820 in 2013 (granted same year) and finally an online 801 in August 2015 (granted January 2016)…

      #1 – Yes, you can
      #2 – Unless they are photocopies, scanned (and uploaded) cards, photos and notes need not be certified. Stat decs, yes.
      #3 – My husband and I each had a “history of relationship” in stat dec form. Yes you can maximize use of the 2000 character block as well. (I always imagined myself as my case officer and tried to make it easy for her/him to understand what I was driving at.)
      #4 – We had joint statements (in stat dec form) for each of the four aspects as an introduction to our evidence.
      #5 – I uploaded evidence only once, as I needed to “preserve” file space in case I needed to add more later on. (Jema, I have read about some successful applicants having actually used the sponsor’s “space” for additional evidence when they ran out of space under the applicant’s.)

      Good luck, ‘hope this helps.

      Maria

  • February 21, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks Jem and Senem for the info!

    Senem, are you aware of what documents need to be translated? Just official documents? We’ve got texts and Facebook messages in french and English, and for the most part we’ve left they out, but some are really necessary! Can’t seem to find an answer if these are ok to translate ourselves… will post in the forums I think!

    Cheers, M.

    • February 21, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Hello Marcelle,
      I have got my police clearance from my country and my birth certificate as well. So I just translated my official documents.
      I am not quite sure about Facebook. We won’t submit any Facebook evidence as we met in Melbourne and since then we weren’t apart. Sorry, I don’t know how Facebook evidence works 🙁

      Cheers
      Senem

    • May 15, 2016 at 1:53 am

      How much did you pay for the visa?

  • February 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Hey there Jema,

    My boyfriend and I are in the process of preparing his Australian Partner Visa application (He’s French, and I’m Australian). I was so, so relieved to find your Website; it has made the task of applying for his visa so much less daunting (we bought you sample visa, and even got it bound for easier use XD ). So here’s a big thank you from us.

    Now to my questions, which I would be so grateful if you or someone else could answer…

    1. What documents did you get certified?
    2. How did you and partner go about getting your phone records from Optus and Telstra?

    Cheers again for the amazing resources you have provided, we cannot thank you enough!

    Marcelle and Sebastien.

    • February 20, 2016 at 1:52 am

      Hey there! Glad the site and our information are helpful!

      I think we got our partner statements certified, as well as copies of our documents like passports, birth certificates, etc. Maybe some others can speak to this? I’ve thought I heard that anything that’s been translated needs certified, but I’m not sure. If no one here can answer, definitely you could get some insight in the forums, hey.

      Re: phone records, with Telstra he has month to month so we were able to login and download his call log. I had pay as you go with both companies and had to call and request them. I think I remember waiting too long with Optus and not being able to get the whole thing. Don’t have time to dig through my email at the moment, but if my memory is accurate then maybe Optus records are only available up to a certain point. I definitely remember wishing I’d done it sooner!

      Sorry I can’t be more clear, and hope that helps a bit!

    • February 20, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Hello Marcelle,
      You need translate them, from NAATI. It will be little bit expensive, but this what they want, and it is very important part of your application.

      I got my documents translated within 3 days 🙂

      ps: If you applying online, you don’t have to certified some of your documents as long as they are colour scanned (i.e colour scanned passport , birth certificate, etc) Because you are submitting original documents. And of course some documents has to certified, such as form 888, etc.

      Hope thats help.
      Senem.

  • February 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Hey George,

    I’m from Canada, applying for 309 Visa with my Aussie partner. We filled out the boxes on SP47 and SP40, then wondered the same thing when very similar info was required in the next stage. I called the Australian High Commission in Ottawa to ask, and they told me that if it’s an online application, that the parts we filled out with the 2000 words would be sufficient unless otherwise requested by Case Officer. That’s how I’m leaving it for now until I get a CO but Jema seems to have been very comprehensive, so you’d have to make that call. Good luck eh!

    • February 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks Jeff, thana so much for clarifying and good luck with the application.

      George

    • February 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      You are awesome! Thanks for clearing this up for everyone!

      • February 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm

        Oh jema I hadn’t scrolled up and seen your post!! Awesome!! Makes complete sense, but were the general statements you attached in the pdf Stat decs or just written on word? Thanks!!

        George

        • February 11, 2016 at 12:25 am

          Just written statements – we only had our general relationship statements certified as stat decs. Hope that helps!

        • February 27, 2016 at 1:49 am

          In my case, my partner and I both wrote stat decs and signed them (not sure if that was necessary) and uploaded them. We may also have written the same thing in the boxes– I would say as a rule of thumb, don’t be too worried about doubling up on info. We gave them so much info and so much of it and the documents fell into multiple categories of usefulness….. they accepted our application and granted the visa without ever contacting us or reprimanding us for repeating ourselves so frequently. Just make sure you don’t miss any bases 🙂 Good luck!

          Jenna

  • February 10, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Hi Jemma,

    Just a question that I’m not sure has been covered, did you fill out the details of the relationship, with the 4 boxes of 2000 characters, and then also include scanned stat decs with more detail in supporting evidence?

    My question is specifically if these statements need to be certified stat decs, or is answering these questions as part of SP47 and SP40 sufficient, because it seems it will be doubling up.

    Thanks for your help, by far the most informative page on the web re: partner visa.

    George

    • February 10, 2016 at 3:04 am

      Hey George,

      I think I know what you’re talking about… the little boxes that you have to fill out before paying the $? If that’s the case, yeah, we doubled up. Our boxes were basically an outline and summary of the info we were prepared to provide in each area. Then, for each area, we put a general statement at the beginning of each PDF that was an expanded version of what we put in the boxes.

      Not sure if that makes things more or less clear for you.

      Glad the page is helpful!
      Cheers!

  • February 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Hello,
    very good site – deserves recognition for the amount of work undertaken.
    We have applied online and have a lodgement date of 4/2/16
    The obstacles to my partner getting a partner or intending spousal visa were tremendous due to her country of origin’s place in the world’s pecking order (Madagascar). This led to us bringing our wedding date forward and we wed in November while she was in Australia on a 600 visitors visa. The difficulty in getting even a visitors visa was off-putting. We have made sure to state that the marriage date was not pre planned when applying for that trip as that is frowned upon. It wasn’t.
    We had planned to get married eventually anyway however, and for most of the requested data and evidences our situation is now less fraught.
    There is a wrinkle: My new mother in law,- a non-applicant financial dependent of her daughter,- has now been included in the visa application. No questions or data requests, but apparently needs HIV, Chest Xray and a medical examination. She won’t pass the medical exam unfortunately, but it has been made clear that these things must be done. Things are a bit different in Madagascar where the family unit is much more widespread than the western ideal and this lady has never travelled nor has any intention of starting now.
    I expect our time frame to be a little longer than the average and I am perhaps a little lax with the data I forward re ongoing communication between us while we are apart, other than stating how and how frequently we communicate. We just have to be patient, i expect.
    I posted this as my path is slightly different to those commenced above, and if there is any large or unexpected divergence due to our chosen manoeuvre, I will re-post.

  • February 2, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Jema,

    Firstly, wish you have a great day! After gone through your post and all of your advice, our application is much more smooth, though we haven’t received anything from High Comission yet, except medical exam and biometric collection requirement.

    If you don’t mind, Jema, or any other member here could help me, I have some concern while uploading docs and evidences needed.

    Because in the booklet, they require for evidence and PHOTOS of us, but I cant find any section in our application to upload our photos except PHOTO (other than passport photo)
    (Jema I am a bit panic now caz we alr paid for the application almost 1 month but still haven’t complete uploading those evidences >_<)
    I understand in category of EVIDENCE of Relationship, we should have been attached photos in pdf file, but other photos to convince our genuine relationship, which category should I upload?

    Jema, I got an email reg to your offer for paying to get samples of all docs that you have done for your application. I don't mind to pay to get more details. can you contact me?

    Best regards,

    Charly

    • February 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Hi there,

      Glad to hear things are going well for you. I believe we uploaded our photos under social aspects of the relationship. You could probably also just put it under Relationship – Spouse, De facto Partner, Evidence of and select “other” as your document type? I don’t think there are two categories for photos – evidence of relationship and evidence of genuine relationship – they’re all the same I think.

      I’ll send you a message about the Australian Partner Visa Evidence Examples, but you can also find out more here.

      Cheers!

      I think you’re fine not having heard anything. I didn’t hear anything either – for months!

      • February 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm

        Hi Jema,

        I got your email and thank you so much for always standby and share your experience. I got email asking for medical exam right after i apply in Singapore, and nothing else since then. Got a bit worried since we havent uploaded our evidence yet, and gonna complete it this weekend.

        Btw, jema i still have some other concern that hope you know sth

        – Have you done your medical exam? once im done and the result is uploaded via eMedical, the requirement is replaced by the status of health clearance is done, but in the Health category still need the health Undertaking form – or sth like that. Have you ever seen it? or upload/ or need it?

        – there is one of recommended form under my list is form Form 1221 Additional personal particulars form – the last section to ask if I intend to take any course or study in Australia once I move over, and next is to nask me about how i use my knowledge or experience in blah blah

        >>> of course I want and intend to, but the section require more details of arrangement which of course i havent done anything.

        How did you finish this, Jema, if any?

        thank you so much even you have no idea abt the case :-)))

  • January 26, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Hi Jema,
    Hope I’m not too late to catch you on this topic! I’ve just read your article above, so incredibly helpful as my partner and I have just started the visa process so he can emigrate out to Australia with me on the Partner 309 visa.
    I’ve just began his application on my immi account and have filled in about 3 screens worth of information about me as his sponsor (the usual, passport details, DOB, etc)…and now I’ve tried to access the next screen and get this message:

    AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED
    The applicant is unable to continue this application as the related application details cannot be confirmed. The applicant may wish to review the information entered in this application prior to continuing.

    I have gone back over everything and can’t for the life of me find anything wrong with the data I’ve supplied…is this the part where I’m supposed to pay the fee? I can see no where on any screen prompting us to pay any fee.

    I think this is a long shot, but thanks for any help you can provide anyway!!

    Amy

    • January 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      Hi Amy – you’re right – sorry I don’t have much insight. Perhaps there needs to be an email address confirmed or something? Or, in my experience, the immi system is constantly dealing with some problem. I can’t think of a single time I’ve logged in that there wasn’t at least one (usually several) items(s) on their list of things currently being fixed. If the issue doesn’t resolve itself, maybe try calling one of the service centers and asking for help? Sorry I don’t have a solution!

      • January 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm

        Hey Jema, thanks for getting back to me! There was a whole form I was missing, the initial form that my partner needs to fill in first, then once I lodge that I’ll be given a reference number that I then need to enter into the sponsor form in my immiaccount…what a headache already! Thanks again for a great article 🙂

        • January 27, 2016 at 7:37 pm

          No worries! Thanks for sharing your solution with everyone!

  • January 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Hello and thank you for your blog!
    Under Evidence Types – Sponsor you listed Form 40sp as an evidence type that you were not required to provide. Is this correct? I am wondering why you did not need to provide this, and if the information from that form was provided somewhere else that I am not aware of?
    Thank you so much, this site is an incredible resource!

    • January 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Hey there – My partner did have to provide the information required on Form 40sp. I think, because we applied online, that information was collected in the initial part of the application process, before we were allowed to pay. Not totally sure, but that’s what I can recall.

      Hope that helps!

  • January 20, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    This is incredibly useful information. One million thank-you’s for taking the time to do this!

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    It helps a lot! From what I’ve gathered from your forum is that it’s best to get the ball rolling and do the payment and the initial forms first and upload the evidence as we get them.
    I just have one more question, do we need 2 witnesses for the statutory declarations and then one witness for the certified copies?
    Thank you so much for your help! It has been such a huge relief to read through all the comments and your advice!
    Krista

    • January 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Glad to be helpful! I’m not sure what you mean about the stat decs and certified copies. You need at least two Australian citizens to write statutory declarations (maybe this is what you’re calling “witnesses for statutory declarations?”). They have to have their stat decs certified by a qualified person (perhaps this is what you’re calling “witness for the certified copies?). The certifying of the stat decs has to be done by the person who wrote the stat dec. Hope that helps!!

  • January 18, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Hi Jema,
    Thank you for this information… It has set my mind a little about preparing all my evidence.
    I am an Australian citizen and my partner is American here on an ETA visa. We were married on Boxing Day and just gathering all our information. Do you have any idea whether or not an American will definitely need a health check? And he currently does not have any travel insurance/overseas visitor insurance. Is some sort of insurance a necessity? Obviously he wants to enrol in Medicare when he is able to.
    With Police Checks I’ve just read that American FBI checks you need fingerprints and they take a couple of months to get, do you think this will effect our application?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated?

    • January 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Krista – glad you found things helpful! I think every single person, regardless of nationality, needs a health check. I’m not sure about your insurance question. I know it’s a definite concern when coming into the country – immigration will sometimes ask for proof then. I don’t know if you’ll be asked for insurance proof under other circumstances. FBI fingerprints do take months to receive. I’m not sure what you mean by “affecting” your application – slow it down? Not sure. We applied for my FBI fingerprints immediately upon applying, knowing it was a risk. They can “expire” – only good for a year. It worked out for us!

      Hope that helps!

  • January 16, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Hello again!
    So we are gathering the documents together and it mostly done. Hopefully we will submit everything late March, early April. Well, we will lodge the application online, as it is easier and quicker, but I have 3 -4 PDF file only for our photos. And I am wondering how many documents we can upload for each “Evidence type “? I am from a “high level danger” country. Therefore I want to make sure, we are uploading good and strong documents!

    For example: Evidence type: Travel document, Document type: Passport. As you see only one document. How we can upload multiple documents for one evidence type?

    Any help would be great!

    Thank you so much! 🙂

    • January 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Senem – you’re right – I don’t think you should not upload multiple documents for one evidence type if it doesn’t make any sense. Giving your C.O. lots of documents to sort through won’t necessarily make their job easier.

      Hope that helps!

  • January 14, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve applied for the same visa…to my understanding no you don’t have to do the full ceremony but you just need to get legally married within that 9 months. After all some people might not really be doing anything major at all just going to the court to get married…so don’t see how a full out proper ceremony with cake, bridesmaids etc can be required 🙂 Then once you are married you get to start on the fun process of applying for the spousal visa and for that you’d need a copy of your marriage certificate. Good Luck!

    • February 3, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Hi dear,

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your reply. Hope you get good news now. And if you dont mind I ask, after you submit your application, as I believe under your name will have all of requested documents, is that right different cases, different documents needed? (Even though we apply under same visa type)

      Caz under category HEALTH, it state :check your attached document link to know that which document you have to upload under health requirement, and one of that is form 85 Health undertaking – which i dont understand what health undertaking i have to do. I have done medical examination right after I pay for the visa (only 1 week after I pay, i got n email ask for medical exam, and I have it done next day)

      Hope my concern is not so confusing lol.

      God bless you guys.

      Charly

      • February 3, 2016 at 8:56 pm

        Ya I hope so too! At least my fiancée gets here on Sunday for a 2.5 week visit!!! 😀
        I completed my health exam before I applied for my visa. Right now when I go into my account and click into the Visa application portion on the left hand side under my name where I can pick to attach documents there is a spot where I can click on “view health Assessment”. Going in there it tells me that the health assessment has been received and I don’t need to do anything further. When did you apply for your visa and do your medical? Maybe yours just hasn’t been updated yet…?
        As for me besides going and completing the health checks there wasn’t anything further I needed to do or forms to fill out. Although perhaps depending on what country you’re coming from they might have different requirements. Im coming from Canada..

        • September 1, 2016 at 12:45 am

          Hi Rachel, I have read a few comments here and see you are applying from Canada. I am also applying through Ottawa. Just wondering if you have had any contact with a C.O. yet or even better an approval? We have similar time frames, I’m having a hard time finding people out of Ottawa who have had a recent approval. Best of luck! Codie

  • January 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Hi guys,

    God bless you all in new year. I got a question and hope you can help me if possible. Any of you have applied for Prospective Marriage visa, you have any idea about the requirement of “GETTING MARRIED WITH YOUR FIANCE AFTER VISA IS GRANTED WITHIN 9 MONTH AND APPLY FOR VISA 820/801”. Does that mean we just need to complete our marriage registration and get the cert? Or We have to organize the entire wedding ceremony and so on?

    Thank you for any answer. Wish you have great day.

    Charly

    • January 14, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Jema,

      Sorry for spam-like message, but when you upload evidence and required documents, What is the evidence type of Address in applicant and sponsor section? Address in our current residence or in Australia?

      Hope you could help. Really thankful.

      Charly

      • January 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

        Hi Charly – I’m not sure. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • January 10, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Wanted to thank you for compiling so much great advice here and follow up with how the process went for my fiance Alex and I. I think we filed our paperwork (we went with the defacto partnership visa since our wedding will be after our 18 months in Australia) in July and we were approved in early December. It was just in time, as our flights were booked for between Christmas and the New Year… our plan had been to get a basic tourist visa for Alex if it hadn’t come through sooner. All advice we received via phone from the Australian offices were to not get the police and FBI background checks for many months, they kept pushing that the whole review process would be taking 15 months, but it really only took less than 5 once submitted. It did take some time to compile all the documents but we were very thorough and made powerpoint presentations for most categories as to be able to submit more than 60 documents. We repeated things that were relevant in multiple categories and uploaded things like letters addressed to us both in our New York apartment, photos of each of us with the other’s family at holidays, bank statements proving a shared address for every year we have been living together, bank statements noting that we are each other’s beneficiaries (since we do not keep a joint account), and lots and lots of facebook screenshots which are time and date stamped to prove when our relationship was known to the public and that our families are aware of us being a serious couple. We never heard from our CO in the review process, just found out that we were approved in the nick of time. We are now living in Sydney and on a great life adventure together.

    Good luck everyone, you can do it!!

    • January 14, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Jenna,
      Just wondering what country you now husband was coming from?
      I applied for the prospective marriage in Oct and was told the same 12-15 months, I’m from Canada, so def a low risk country lol. Nowhere on-line did it tell me the wait time was apparently currently way longer than the 5 months, only found out when I called the Australian High Commission, so was a little shocked at the 12-15 months…but maybe then mine will be quicker than that too….Glad your’s got approved so quick! 🙂

      • January 16, 2016 at 2:48 am

        Hi Rachel,
        We came from the States, lived in New York City. It was shocking when the Australian Consulate (or rather, the office in Canada which my call was forwarded to regarding visas) told me the wait would be so long, but all other advice suggested it would be shorter. I’m not sure what their purpose is with the long estimate, but it fortunately panned out to be much shorter. We were about to start calling to ask about its progress, as I’ve heard that sometimes gets them moving. I should think yours won’t take the year+ estimate coming from Canada either. We were expecting to be asked further questions or to be told we missed some details, but we seem to have covered all our bases well enough. Good luck to you!

      • January 16, 2016 at 5:04 am

        Hey Rachel, I’m from Canada as well and applied for De Facto 309 Visa with my partner in Nov. ’15. I’ve been to a bunch of online forums and haven’t seen recent posts from people along the same timeline as us, so I’d be interested in hearing when you get approved, since I’m hoping it won’t be the 12-15 months that they are saying now. Have you heard from Case Officer yet? We have not. Wish you luck!

        • January 18, 2016 at 4:45 pm

          Hi Jeff,
          Yeah likewise, Jenna’s is the most recent Ive seen anywhere…I applied October 3, 2015. I called and spoke to the consulate in Ottawa on Dec 23rd, they confirmed my application had been received and was, well in queue…Haven’t heard from a case officer yet, although with the happenings in the world and the extra refugees being processed could take longer than the 5 months that Jenna’s took, understandable though. Good luck with yours! Hope we both hear something soon!! Ill keep ya posted. Cheers

          • January 19, 2016 at 4:52 am

            I applied from US on Oct 22, 2015. I also have heard nothing so far… just wait and wait and wait so far

            • January 25, 2016 at 4:18 pm

              Hi Kerry, I am from the U.S. I applied on the 23 of October, 2015. So a similar time frame as you. I received a notification on January 7th, 2016 to go ahead and book my medical evaluation. The email was the first contact I have received from anyone since applying in October; however, it was not sent directly from a case officer. I underwent my medical exam on January 19th in Windsor, Canada. Once we left the office, I checked my email and sure enough, I was assigned my case officer that day. Included in the email was a request for more evidence: FBI background check, Form 888, and a medical evaluation. Obviously we just finished the medical so we uploaded the receipts from our appointment and waited for the clinic to send the information to the case officer, this took six days. Now we are working to complete the two other requests.I hope you hear something soon!

        • September 1, 2016 at 12:42 am

          Hi Jeff, I am also from Canada. We have similar time frames, so just wondering how your 309 application is going? Have you been approved or had any contact? All the best. Codie

  • December 31, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Hey again!
    I forgot to include this with my other question. Stat decs…I remember them only asking for 2 Stat Decs from Aussie Citizens on Form 888s and I can’t see anywhere that is explicitly asking for more Stat Decs from others. Are any additional ones definitely required or are they just added evidence if you feel like you need it? Thanks and Happy New Year!

    • December 31, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Jeff – you only have to have two stat decs. It’s up to you if you want to include more. Depends on how confident you are in your evidence, I guess?

      Hope that helps a bit!

  • December 31, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Hello again Jema,
    I’ve got another question, as we figured out our last issue. I’m Canadian, and my Aussie girlfriend is sponsoring me on 309 Visa. We have submitted my stage 1 application and her Sponsorship App. We have also submitted all the documents that we can think of that might apply to our situation on both our applications. My question is regarding the total number of documents you or others ended up submitting. We have only submitted 30 docs on my application and 5 docs on her part of it. Since the max is 60, I feel like we might be missing something but we have submitted at least one doc to every category that applies to us in checklist, and I’ve also combined multiple files into one document if it seemed to make sense to simplify things for CO. Did you use up entire 60 Document limit or anywhere close? If so, do you remember which kind of extra documents you decided to send? Thanks again for your very helpful info.

    • December 31, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      You don’t have to worry about not using up all your uploads. I can’t remember how many we used, but it wasn’t 60!

      Hope that helps!

      • December 31, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        Cool thanks! I suppose the CO will let us know if they want more when they contact us.

        • January 1, 2016 at 5:48 am

          Definitely. We were contacted first by an “underling” who checks to be sure you aren’t missing anything big… like, say, your proof of identity. Then for close examination of the evidence, they pass you to the C.O. Ours didn’t even back-and-forth with us. Just straight to the logistics of granting the visa! Good luck!

  • December 27, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Hey!
    I have a question a bout health insurance. I am on ETA for 3 months and i know if i apply within the 3 months I get bridging visa and medicare! so is there even a point to purchase travel insurance. what did you do? and for how long?

    Many thanks and happy holiday!
    Kat

    • December 27, 2015 at 4:08 am

      Hi Kat,

      I wouldn’t risk not having travel insurance upon arrival in OZ. I think I just bough a short term policy that I could show at customs. I can’t remember exactly what I did – sorry! Maybe someone else here can answer, or you can try asking in a forum?

      Cheers!

  • December 27, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Hello Jema,
    Thanks for all the information you gave to us, who really needs. Your blog is amazing and really really helps to my application.
    I am an international student and my partner is an Australian, who will sponsor me, onshore within 6 months. We are in a relationship for 14 months. We have registered our de facto relationship in VIC, etc.
    oh boy! We are running out of the time! We are gathering the document together. What I mean by is that I am putting out travel photos, xmas photos in a different PDF form, under “Social aspect of relationship” etc. You know. but when it comes to bill and e-bank statements I don’t what to do?! How did you organise them? Collet them and put in a PDF file? How many of them you put? Some advise would be great, if it won’t be hassle for you.

    Happy holidays and a Happy New year! 🙂

    Hope hear from you soon. Thank you so much.

    • December 27, 2015 at 4:07 am

      Hi Senem – we went though our bank records and just highlighted (electronically) things that proved various things – nature of commitment, intention relationship will be long term (buying big ticket to travel, purchases for the future), nature of household (when we bought groceries) etc. As long as it’s well organized and quick to read, I think your C.O. will be happy. I’m almost done putting together an identity protected version of the evidence we submitted. It will be available as soon as I can squeeze it in! Until then, maybe someone here can respond, or you can try asking for more examples in a forum?

      Hope that helps a bit!

  • December 15, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks so much, I’ll give them a whirl in the morning, I have my list of questions ready it’s really nice talking to someone who has been through the whole thing before! Thanks again.

  • December 15, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks so much for your prompt reply! Yeah, I have heard and read similar things about bridging visas. Although his situation is a bit different because he had to stay in Ireland to support his dad after losing his mother. His current 2nd year work visa will still be current when we arrive and so he will fulfil the requirement of having a “substantive” visa at the time of applying for the partner visa and the bridging visa. Do you know what services centres would be best to contact about it? I just can’t seem to get hold of any when I’ve tried recently.

    Thanks again 🙂
    Aleisha

    • December 15, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      No worries! Glad you know and have sorted the possible bridging visa stickiness.

      I think you can call and ask questions of any service center. I just did a “services centre” search on the immi website.

      You do have to wait an awfully long time on hold, but they are pretty good about answering questions, hey.

  • December 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Hello! Thank you so much for crea