Many people wonder what a Partner visa really is. The word suggests that it is some sort of relationship visa. It certainly is a relationship visa, but it highly specific as to the type of relationship it refers to. An Australian Partner visa applies to a married or de facto couple. There are strict rules as to what a de facto relationship is for the purposes of the Migration Act and Regulations. The ‘Applicant’ is the person who is applying for the visa (your Thai (or other) wife or partner) and you, as an Australian citizen or permanent resident are her ‘Sponsor’.
A Partner visa is a great Australian visa that may be suitable for you and your wife or partner. It will allow your Thai, Filipina (or other) partner to enter and remain in Australia. It will allow her to travel to and from her country of origin without any limitations. It will allow her to work and be eligible to be enrolled in Medicare. The visa starts off being temporary and after about 2 years it will become permanent.
When a couple gets married or satisfies the de facto requirements and they want to live in Australia (or at least want the option of being able to spend periods in Australia without the hassle of trying to obtain a visa all the time) they can start to think about applying for a Partner visa. They will also need to satisfy health, character and financial requirements. They will need to gather supporting documentation and fill in a number of different forms. The medical examination is usually preformed after the application is submitted. An interview will also take place at some time during the processing of the application.
When you and your partner are ready you can submit her application. The processing time outside of Australia can be 10-12 months or more or less depending on the Embassy and other factors such as the Embassy’s case load. Once the visa is processed you and your partner can travel to Australia and start your life together without concerns about the need to apply for another visa.
To get good advice about whether the Partner visa might be right for your partner, you should always consult a qualified and experienced Migration Agent.