With different pathways leading to Australian permanent citizenship, this post will explore why partner visas are so popular.
In 2016-17 there were 47,825 partner visas issued and there were 39,799 issued in 2017-18. As of June 2017, there was f 79,027 partner applications that were lined up for processing. The total number for both issued and applications being in the process can be compared to the total number of marriages in Australia in 2017 which was 112,000.
A part of the reason that partner visas are so popular is that they are relatively easy to obtain.
There are so many ways you can sponsor a partner. These are if once you turn 18 years old, even if you are unemployed or on a welfare benefit and even still living at home. Former migrants who hold a permanent residence visa even if granted very recently can also sponsor.
The key threshold is simply the requirement to provide that the relationship between the sponsor and applicant is genuine. Even if the visa is refused, there is a second opportunity to prove the relationship at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
As of June 2018, there were 1.4 million persons in Australia on temporary visas (not including New Zealanders) and around 673,000 are overseas students.
Almost all are eligible for a prized permanent residence visa via the partner visa pathway if they can find a resident willing to sponsor them. Given that the skilled visas are becoming harder and harder to obtain, many prospective migrants likely consider that a partner visa represents the quickest pathway to permanent residence. There are no complex English language requirements nor any need to find an employer willing to sponsor them. In 2016-17 around 11,048 former overseas students received a partner visa. In 2017-18 around 9,257 did.
This means that around half of those receiving a partner visa while in Australia in 2017-18 were overseas students or former overseas students
Currently, partner visa numbers already constitute 24.5 percent of the permanent migration program. Given the relative ease of access to the program, the demand for partner visas is set to grow.
There is significant political debate over the future of the partner visa regime. The Federal Labor opposition has argued the Department should drop the recent tougher scrutiny of partner visa applications and turn the visa into an ‘on-demand’ option.
Despite the popularity, applying for a partner visa, aside from being expensive, can be stressful. If you are planning to apply for your partner visa, it is recommended that you talk with a registered migration agent.
For personalized partner visa advice, contact Summit Migration to talk with the registered migration agent today.