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Australian Partner Visa Online Tips for Success- Free Printables for Nailing It

Getting started with the Australian Partner Visa:

Having been there, done that and got the t-shirt in lovely Victoria, I thought I’d help any other unmarried partner visa applicants with my experience of the Australian partner visa online application. Also, can you tell I was excited to get to Uluru?

Here’s something very important to think about. Are you a couple with 1 half in Australia and 1 half in another country? If you apply for the visa from abroad, you will not be able to be live together in Australia until the visa is granted, and that often takes 2 years+. Eighteen months is actually a pretty short partner visa processing time. That’s a long wait! Are you prepared?

Also read all the confusing departmental info on spouse visa requirements and try not to let it drive you bananas.

This post will take you through:

  • Getting started
  • The best ways to gather documents
  • Tips for a smooth partner visa application process
  • How to obtain records from your social media and phone
  • What I wish I’d known before I paid the fee
  • Downloadable printable to help make this huge task easier

 

Getting all of your evidence together:

My biggest recommendation is to use secure online storage space to keep scans of your documents, it’s so much easier to track them that way. You can then both access them and constantly be updating and collecting. Start AT LEAST 6 months before your submission date!

The rules as of 2017 are that you DO NOT need to certify most documents submitted via colour scans, so this makes a colour scan the perfect method. I wish I’d known this, having poured hours into certifying all my docs. I’m sorry to all my teaching friends who had to help with that!

If you DO need a document certified, here are some great places to try:
Pharmacies- small donation often required
Any friends who are registered state teachers in Australia
Helpful friends who are registered accountants (must have CPA membership)

Next step, if at all possible, try to get a domestic partner registration in your country or Australia, and a joint bank account and collect the statements for evidence.

You can upload 60 files for 1 partner, and 60 files for the other.

There is a tight file size limit, so keep all documents compressed while maintaining the quality.

The sponsoring partner (the Australian resident) of the spouse visa needs a lot fewer pieces of evidence than the applicant (or person who wants to stay in Australia) so take care with where you upload files. if you run out of space, head to the other partner’s file upload page.

Australian partner visa online ring sizing evidence

We included a photo of us getting sized for commitment rings.

Key information:

Before you start, make sure you are on the right track. I don’t want to scare you with tales of it all going wrong, but friends of ours spent over a year apart from each other because they got things wrong. Lesson being: seek advice from a professional!

I visited 2 migration agents, at a cost of around $300AUD per hour, but they were well worth the cost.

There is also a forum where a registered migration agent, very, very kindly provides some free advice if you post a short question. Responses are usually within a few working days. He is worth his weight in gold!

The migration agent is Mark Northam and I strongly recommend him for more professional advice than a blog can give, plus he offers Skype appointments if you are based far away from his office.

 

Where can I get evidence? Some items we used for the de facto visa that you might not have thought of.

  • Have you travelled with your partner on train journeys, or used the Sydney Opal/Melbourne Myki/ another transport system together? You can request a copy of your transactions from the company showing that you swiped your tickets at the same place and proving you were together.

 

  • Do your parents know about and support your relationship? Ask them to write a letter of support, or to send you cards and letters addressed to you both as a couple.

 

  • We used social media evidence, because as a modern couple, we receive very few physical letters in the mail. When you and your partner go to a social event, or have a Skype  call, if you are long distance, take some photos and put them on Facebook. On the Facebook album, mark the date and tag the people involved, then screenshot that for evidence. We also used screenshots of Google Calendar to show events we had attended, and printed tickets.

 

  • Friends who are Australian citizens or permanent residents (note: not New Zealanders) can write official letters to support your application. They can verify that they have seen you and your partner behaving like a couple, that it is really you in the photos provided, that you went to certain events etc. Here is the partner visa statutory declaration form.

 

How to get records of contact between the couple (social media, phone etc) as evidence for the Australian partner visa online:

So you need to prove that you and your spouse have been in contact, even if you were apart and texting into the night, but it’s surprisingly hard to get those records! Modern communication is all through apps! Here’s how we did it:

  • Skype– there is a free open source software that can held you access skype records.
  • Facebook– you can download your messages as an HTML file.
  • Whatsapp– in the account settings there is an option to sync your data with Google Drive
  • Phone calls and texts– you can make a request in writing to receive a log of all the calls and texts you have made from your phone company. Then, use a highlighter to pick out the relevant entries. To get the content of the texts, I couldn’t find any better method than screenshotting each one with my phone, but that was a long process.
Australian partner visa online evidence of social activities

Include photos of you both spending time together, such as this day out in the Australian countryside.

 

Things I wish I had known before I paid the fee:

  • It’s great to group your file uploads into small amounts, e.g. all your letters from friends could go together but each file is limited to 5MB. Don’t stray above that, as you’ll find you have to re-scan everything and cry- not that I’d know about that…..!

 

  • I had a major panic while we were preparing this evidence because I’ve been trying to live in 10 countries and the visa seemed the require a character check from each country! Those checks take months to arrive! Luckily we were told that we only needed character checks from countries where I’d stayed longer than 1 year, and I usually move on within a year, so that was a big relief. This may have changed, double check it with your Case Officer.

 

  • On the same note, your application requires you to list every single country you have visited ever, since birth, with dates. This was impossible especially because when I lived in the Czech Republic we used to cross the border with Poland daily to go shopping. I did my best with it, using stamps in my passport, and uploaded a document in my evidence to explain why it could not be 100% accurate. I think that’s the best solution!

 

Free downloads to make your Australian partner visa application (a bit more) easy!

Here is the master Partner Visa Online Evidence Checklist that we used to track all of our evidence for the visa application, a total lifesaver.

Partner Visa Online Evidence Checklist

Another issue with the onshore spouse visa requirements is finding evidence that the couple have lived together for one year. Not everyone has a rental contract or a mortgage statement, you may just been living with a friend or couchsurfing, who knows. Here’s a document that you can ask your friend or housemate to sign as proof that you and your de facto partner were living together:

De Facto Living Together Letter

 

Got a question? Drop me a comment below!

Keen to find out my best tips for the Australian Working Holiday visa?

Tips trick and a guide with free printables to help you succeed with the Australian Partner Visa online. Good luck!

If you like it, then you shoulda put a pin on it!


Please don’t take this as professional or legal advice, it’s just one blogger sharing her personal tips and experience with the getting the Australian partner visa in hopes of providing insight! This is not legal advice.

14 Comments

  1. Roxanna Keyes

    August 19, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Wow! That is a TON of information!!

  2. Kelly | A Pair of Passports

    August 21, 2017 at 9:13 am

    We went through this last year for the UK spousal visa – it’s insane how much is required even when you’re already married. I think the best tip is, if you ever think you MIGHT need a partner/spousal visa, just start keeping EVERYTHING!

    1. Danni Lawson

      September 5, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Really good advice, you can never plan too much!

  3. Star ash

    September 4, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Hi is theres another way of contact or conservation?? Bcos since we get merried 1 yr bfor we known each other i use other account and number but after we merried my husband want me to make new email,facebook account evn my phone number i change..now i cant open my old one were is our first conversations since we meet and known eachother..

    1. Danni Lawson

      September 5, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Don’t worry, you can contact your mobile phone company to get your old records, and ask Facebook to reset the password on your old account, so that might be a good option! Did you and your husband communcate through email or paper letters? You can use records from any form of communication.

  4. Jenny L.

    September 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    This is so helpful! I’ve realky struggled with collecting evidence since my partner and I are renting, we own nothin like a house, car… so happy to hear we can get the partner visa online anywaym. I didn’t know colour copies don’t need certifying!

  5. Vibeke

    September 12, 2017 at 1:47 am

    I chose love instead of getting an extended visa after studying in Australia. I miss Australia so much. Do you think the visa process will get harder and harder for people from non-western countries? It is good to read this process because I am trying to get my partner moving to Norway with me, which is a country with way harder process than Australia even. Such a useful post 😀

    1. Danni Lawson

      September 14, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Ah I feel you! I stayed in Australia for love too, all worth it in the end! It seems like the visa process in Australia is only getting more expensive at the mo, not harder so I guess that’s a positive. Good luck setting up a couple’s life in Norway, let me know how it works out!

  6. mark wyld

    September 12, 2017 at 10:54 am

    My brother recently married a lady from another country. I remember him telling me about the costs and struggles he went through. It was pretty tough as his partner had a child with health issues. The oz government did not want to have to pay for medical problems

  7. Ozzy

    September 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the bucket load of information. I understand it is pretty cumbersome to get an OZ Visa from India due to the loads of documentation and costs involved. But all in all I guess this would help a lot of my acquaintances who’re looking to visit ‘down under’ this summer.

  8. Danielle Desir

    September 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I had no idea how detailed this process is for Australians. I wonder what the process is like here in the States! Also, what sources would you recommend for the secure online storage?

    1. Danni Lawson

      September 14, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Good question! I think SpiderOak is really great for that, the only unencrypted data is on my own PC so it’s top notch.

  9. sophie

    September 14, 2017 at 6:03 am

    I seriously didn’t know about this procedure. I have been to australia for like quite a few times now but never needed a partner visa as I always travel solo. However, this is a writeup which many of my friends will see useful because they have faced such situations. I will share this with them. Thanks 🙂

  10. Agness of aTukTuk

    October 4, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    This was a very useful, practical and helpful post which I am definitely saving, Danni! Thanks a lot for bringing this topic closer!

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