Applying for any visas for Australia during Covid-19 can be a stressful experience.
This is especially so for those applying for Partner Visas.
There seems to be so many pressures on relationships at this time, adding a Partner visa application to the mix can be very stressful for both parties.
I wanted to try and help you avoid a possible visa refusal by outlining some of the most common reasons for Partner Visa refusals.
1.Lack Of Relationship Evidence
This really is the big one.
Clearly, a Partner Visa’s success is based around proving to Immigration with evidence that you are in a spousal or de-facto relationship.
Essentially Immigration will be assessing your application for evidence of a mutual commitment to a shared life as a couple to the exclusion of all others, that the relationship between you is genuine and continuing and that you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
To make this assessment they will analyse 4 key aspects of your relationship, namely:
- Financial Aspects
- Nature of your Household
- Social Aspects
- Nature of your commitment to each other.
Typically couples have strong evidence of the social aspects (friends are a wonderful thing) but can be lacking in Financial and Household evidence.
In many cases it is worth waiting until you have strong enough evidence before applying.
It is a very expensive visa in which to obtain a refusal as there is no refund should the Partner visa be refused.
You will generally have the right for a visa refusal appeal however, this again can be expensive and your life is placed on hold for potentially 1 to 2 years. The appeal to visa refusal process can be a long and stressful time for couples.
To find out the current AAT partner visa processing time, please click the link below:
AAT partner visa processing time
So as you can see the average calendar days from lodgement to finalisation for the AAT partner visa processing time is currently 679 days (ie 1 Year 10 Months and 1 Week).
So the bottom line you need to make a judgment on whether you feel you have sufficient relationship evidence to be able to proceed to avoid your Partner Visa being refused.
2. Inconsistencies in your application
Partner visas applications typically provide to Immigration a vast amount of information regarding your relationship.
This can include your own relationship evidence, statements from friends and family, information in the visa and sponsorship applications and any forms you may provide (eg Form 80).
Anyway as you can see you need to be sure that your application does not contain any notable inconsistencies.
For example, if you state the start of your relationship as 2 different dates in the visa and sponsorship application or potentially a friend provides inconsistent information in their form 888 to that which was stated in the application.
Genuine mistakes are generally not an issue (eg typos), however any significant inconsistencies may indicate to Immigration that your relationship is not genuine.
In addition any information that is deemed to be misleading could be a reason for Immigration to refuse your application. (Google: PIC 4020 - the Sledgehammer clause).
3. Not meeting Schedule 3 (Partner Visa)
Many Partner Visa (820/801) applicants get caught by Schedule 3 and have their visas refused based on this criteria.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) deals with a large number of Schedule 3 cases.
So what exactly is Schedule 3 criteria you may ask…
Schedule 3 specifies additional criteria for visa applicants who are in Australia and at time of application are an unlawful non-citizen (ie those with no visa) or those who hold only a bridging visa.
The objective of Schedule 3 is to encourage non-citizens who have a legitimate basis for remaining in Australia to apply for a further visa before their current substantive visa ceases.
Schedule 3 comprises 5 separate criteria: 3001, 3002, 3003, 3004 to 3005.
Also please note the parts of Schedule 3 may be different from one visa subclass to another.
I have summaried the 5 elements below but be aware this does not cover every detail.
3001 - Can be met if the visa application was validly made within 28 days after the relevant day. (typically the ‘relevant day is the last day the applicant held a substantive visa).
3002 - Can be met if the visa application was validly made within 12 months after the relevant day.
3003 - Only relevant for those here back in 1994.
3004 - There are a number of elements that need to be met. However, the main elements are that the applicant is not the holder of a substantive visa because of factors beyond the applicant's control, there are compelling reasons for granting the visa and they have compiled substantially with conditions of their last substantive visa.
3005 - If any time in past the visa applicant met/passed the Schedule 3 provisions they cannot meet the Schedule 3 clauses again for a second time.
Please note for Partner visa 820/801 failure of any part of criteria 3001, 3003 or 3004 results in failure of the Schedule 3 criteria.
For some visas (eg Partner Visa 820/801) there is a Schedule 3 waiver available if “compelling reasons” for waiving Schedule 3 can be established.
So for those lodging Partner visas onshore and do not hold a visa or a bridging visa Schedule 3 can be a huge problem.
If you require assistance to try and meet the Schedule 3 criteria or need help with a Schedule 3 waiver please contact us on the details below.
There we go, there are 3 common reasons why Immigration could refuse a Partner Visa.
We hope this article helps you on your journey to getting your Partner Visa granted and you will be able to sit back on the beach with a pina colada and not have to think about visas again.
If you have any questions about Partner Visas or for any other visa please call Andrew McAuley (Registered Migration Agent on 0416 468 333 or email email@example.com.
Alternatively please complete the form below and we will be in touch as soon as possible with you.