Recently we had an inquiry from an Australian man living in Pattaya who wanted an Australian married partner visa for his Thai wife of almost six years. Because of his age, he was no longer able to obtain affordable expat medical insurance in Thailand and had decided to make the move back to Australia with his wife as he could be better treated there under the Medicare system. He wanted to move back to Australia as soon as possible with his Thai wife and he approached us for professional Australian migration advice and assistance in order to make this happen. As he was legally married to his wife the correct visa pathway for her to migrate to Australia was a partner visa. A partner visa is for people that are either legally married or in a de facto relationship with their Australian partner.
Where can I apply for an Australian partner visa?
Our client wanted to know what partner visa, onshore or offshore, was best suited for his Thai wife? The answer to this was simple, and that is the one that best suits an applicant’s circumstances, and that they not only meet the criteria for but are eligible to apply for as well. Although we were completely satisfied that both the applicant and sponsor met the partner visa criteria, because the applicant was located in Thailand, she was only able to apply for a partner visa in Thailand. This meant that she would need to be outside of Australia at both times of application and time of decision which could potentially be up to 20 months from date of application. If she wanted to visit her husband in Australia during this period, she would need to be granted a visitor visa.
When it comes to partner visas, whether applying offshore or onshore, Australian visa processing times are very lengthy indeed. Our client had specifically informed us that it was his desire to move back to Australia with his wife as soon as possible. He also did not want the added expenses of applying for visitor visas for his wife, and flights back and forth from Thailand to Australia for what could be up to 20 months.
How was our client was able to apply for a partner visa in Australia?
On behalf of our client, we firstly submitted a subclass 600 visitor visa under the tourist stream. Included with our client’s application was a lengthy written submission by us that addressed, with reference to the Migration Act and Regulations, the criteria for the grant of a visitor visa against our client’s circumstances. It also highlighted our client’s previous history of Australian visa compliance (she had previously traveled to Australia on 3 separate visitor visas). Our objective was to submit a solid visitor visa application enabling the Department to make a favorable decision to grant her a visa.
Our client was granted a 12-month multiple entry visitor visas permitting her to stay in Australia for a period of 3 months from the date of each arrival. Significantly her visitor visa did not have the Condition 8503 attached to it. This meant that whilst in Australia she could apply for the onshore partner visa. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa-conditions-subsite/Pages/no-further-stay-waiver.aspx
How can I guarantee that condition 8503 won’t be on my visa?
The short answer is that you can’t, and nor can you ask for it not to be put on your visa. The best way to prevent it from being placed on your visa is by submitting a thoroughly prepared visitor visa application which leaves the Department with no doubt whatsoever that your intention is to visit Australia for a temporary visit only. In circumstances where the Department may have some residual concerns as to your genuineness, but these concerns are not enough to refuse your visitor visa application, this is when we usually see Condition 8503 imposed on a visitor visa.
It is also important to note that for some visas, Condition 8503 must be imposed, that is, it is a mandatory condition. If our client had applied for a visitor visa under the sponsored family stream, then it would have had Condition 8503 attached to it, preventing her from applying for a partner visa in Australia. With regards to a visitor visa under the tourist stream, the Department had to discretion to impose it or not, and in our client’s case the discretion exercised was to grant her a visitor visa without Condition 8503, therefore enabling her to apply for her partner visa in Australia