The Australian partner visa offers individuals in a serious and committed relationship with Australian citizens who are permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens the opportunity to join their partners in Australia. The visa subclass you apply for depends on your relationship and where you are applying from.
Temporary vs permanent:
The category of Australian spouse visa is classified into several subclasses. Your classification depends on whether it is a temporary or permanent visa and where the application is submitted. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection evaluates the application on a "combined application". This means that your application will be evaluated according to the criteria for temporary and permanent visas for partners.
Depending on the criteria you meet, you will be given the appropriate visa. You can also take help from immigration firms such as Australia Migrate so as to get rid of the stress of any kind of mistake.
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Applicants who can demonstrate that they have had a family or business relationship with their Australian partner for at least three years are eligible for a permanent partner visa. Applicants with less than three years of evidence will receive a temporary spouse visa and are able to apply for a permanent spouse visa two years after applying for the first visa. Once issued, the spouse visa remains valid for five years, and once you meet certain residency requirements, you can apply for citizenship.
Dry against offshore:
Depending on whether you are applying from overseas or are already in Australia, there are different subclasses of partner visas. Partner subclasses 820 (temporary) and 801 (permanent) can only be applied if you are already in Australia. If you wish to apply from another country, you will need to look at subclasses 309 (temporary) and 100 (migrant visa).