Decision Ready Spouse or De-facto Partner Visa Application

 

The process of reviewing your application and preparing it for lodgement is important. Taking some extra time to properly complete this step can really benefit your application in the following ways:

  1. Presenting an organised and concise application can really make life easier for your case officer when he or she assesses your application. And considering that your case officer will need to use his or her own judgement and discretion in deciding whether some of the eligibility requirements are met, you really want to make the their task of assessing your application as easy as possible
  2. Lodging a complete a decision-ready application means that DIAC will process your application as soon as possible

In this post, I’ll cover how I go about preparing a partner or spouse visa application for lodgement, including using DIAC’s decision-ready checklist (“DRC”) if your application is complete and decision-ready.

Use the decision-ready checklist

If the application is complete and decision-ready, then you should follow DIAC’s checklist as closely as possible when it comes to putting the various forms and documents of your application into order for lodgement. You should go through each of the items on the DRC and tick off on the boxes that correspond with the forms and supporting documents that are relevant to your application. Of course, you need to also ensure that you’ve included all these relevant forms and supporting documents in your application.

You’ll probably find that not all of the forms and items listed on the DRC are relevant. I just tick the relevant boxes and mark all the irrelevant boxes with ‘n/a’.

Since you’re ordering your documents in accordance with the DRC, there is generally no need to include an index or contents page.

Don’t over (or under) organise your application

You don’t want your application to look a university thesis (i.e. too much unnecessary evidence, statutory declarations that are long because they contain unnecessary information and of course, too many photos). At the same time, you don’t want your application to under organised such that it resembles a year 6 science report.

You want to provide your case officer with a well organised and concise application that contains the information and documents that your case officer needs to make a decision.

Organising your application

Applicants often over organise their application by dividing everything up into sections by using staples, paper clips, plastic folders and dividers etc. You don’t need all this because someone from DIAC will remove all these staples and dividers from your application anyway.

Submit your partner/spouse visa application as just one bundle of forms and documents. No clips, no staples, no plastic.

If you want to divide your application up into various sections, then I’d just insert a plain document that has the title of the section in large font at the beginning of the section (e.g. ‘Forms’, ‘Evidence of de-facto relationship’). This page can also double as a contents or index page for that particular group of documents. This is not absolutely necessary but these separating pages help your case officer immediately identify what documents that they are looking at.

The right type and amount of evidence

I have previously discussed the relevant strength and importance of different types of evidence. Generally speaking, what you should be providing is various forms of evidence that cover the entire duration of your relationship. Documents that demonstrate the sharing of various aspects of your lives are particularly important (e.g. joint bank accounts, joint liabilities, joint ownership or purchase of major assets etc.).

It is hard know exactly what types of evidence you need to submit or how much evidence you need in your application, particularly since the end decision is at the discretion of your case officer. The particular circumstances of your relationship can also have a significant bearing on the evidence that you’ll need to provide.

For my applicants, I’m generally ask them to provide the following (this is a very general guide so don’t read this and feel that you must provide evidence in accordance with my suggestions):

  1. Evidence of at least 12 months of co-habitation
  2. Around 6 or so ‘strong forms’ of evidence
  3. Around 6 or so ‘good forms’ of evidence
  4. Around 10-12 photos. You can provide a brief comment which indicates when and where the photo was taken. There is no need to provide a photo album with hundreds of photos

If you are not sure about whether your evidence is sufficient, then it’s better to provide a bit too much evidence rather than too little.

Make sure that you have provided the below documents

  • Certified copies of supporting documents – Don’t provide plain copies, and don’t provide originals. Provide DIAC with certified copies. If you’re not sure about how copies are certified and who can assist you with this, have a read of this.
  • Provide ORIGINAL health and character documents – You need to provide original police clearances and your sealed health examination result. If you’re in Australia and you attended Medibank Health Solutions for your health examinations, then they should provide you with your examination result in a sealed envelope. This envelope will have ‘do not open’ stamps all over it, so I suggest that you follow this advice. Unless your case officer makes a specific request, these are the only original documents that you should be providing to DIAC.
  • Provide English translations (if applicable) – If you’re providing documents that aren’t in English, then you need to provide English translations of these documents. Your case officer will ask for this if you don’t provide translations. This will delay the processing of your application because your case officer will need to write up this request, and you’ll then need to respond to it.

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491 thoughts on “Decision Ready Spouse or De-facto Partner Visa Application

  1. H.A

    Hi peng
    I am planning to apply for 309 partner visa. I am permanent resident in Australia and my boyfriend lives overseas. I am currently separated with my ex husband. My question is can I use translated overseas divorce certeficate for the partner visa application?

    Reply
  2. kyutie

    Hi Peng,

    i was on total of 5 years relationship with my bf, 1 years defacto.. and last dec 2016 we get married in australia while im on a visit visa.

    September 2016 when we lodge our (de facto) partner visa application, and this January 2017, the immigration contacted us to send new Cenomar and marriage certificate and to do the Medical. I’ve finished my medicAl on first week of February.

    Now, I am worried about the result that the immigration may release, some of our friends says that once the immigration requested for medical, it means theres a big chance.

    Can u give me your opinion please? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Kyutie,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  3. Nushma

    Hey Peng!

    Me and my husband lodged our application in January of 2017. I just recently received an email from.the department regarding my health exam.
    Does this mean I have been assigned a case officer and they’ve started working on the application?

    Reply
  4. Jhoan Navalta

    Hi Peng ,Good afternoon. Just want to ask if possible that my Spouse visa that I’m waiting for 12to15 is that they can give in shorter Cause I’m pregnant and soon Deliver my Baby on April 10, 2017. I lodge my Spouse Visa last May 2016 and I Lodge here in Australia. My Concern is I cant Get Medicare Yet while my Visa is not Yet Granted, I just want to help my Husband beacause the Hospital bill that my Husband will pay for us too expensive and it cost $9,000 aud. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jhoan,
      You can contact the Department by email if you would like to ask for priority processing.
      PC

      Reply
  5. Sarah

    Hi Peng
    I am on bridging visa. I have two applications in the process (temporary graduate- applied in end of august and independent skilled visa-189- applied first week of October). I have already provided all the required documents for 189 visa. Now the case officer has requested for police check and skill assessment for temporary graduate visa-485 application. Should I provide the requested documents or wait for the decision for 189 visa? Is it okay to have two applications in process? Or Do I have to withdraw 485 application? I am very confused 🙁
    I would greatly appreciate your reply.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Sarah,
      You can have two applications under assessment at the same time.
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  6. Tessa

    Hi Peng,

    My boyfriend and I are considering applying for the De facto partner visa (on-shore). We read that you need to be in Australia when you apply for the visa and when the decision is made if you want to get a bridging visa that will allow you to work. We also read that the decision can take up to 15 months. The problem is that we are not 100% sure if we are going to be in Australia in 15 months. My boyfriend is a professional sportsman and might get a contract overseas) (probably for 6 months. However, after that, we do probably want to go back to Australia. Is it still worth applying for the visa? And what will happen if the decision is made when you’re not in Australia?

    Thanks in advance,
    Tessa

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Tessa,
      For a 820 visa applicant, the applicant needs to be in Australia at the time that the Department makes a decision.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  7. Josie Morris

    Hi Peng

    Do you recommend submitting a decision ready application (ie complete health check at time of lodgement) or wait until asked by CO?
    My working holiday visa expires on 29th Nov. I have gathered a lot of evidence but still more to do.
    Can I submit my initial online form to gain bridging visa A and then gradually upload documents over 1 month? Is there an advised time limit? Does it matter my WHV visa will have expired while still uploading documents? I don’t want to rush it
    Thank you
    Josie

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Josie,
      Can I submit my initial online form to gain bridging visa A and then gradually upload documents over 1 month? You can do this.
      Is there an advised time limit? There isn’t any strict time limit.
      Does it matter my WHV visa will have expired while still uploading documents? No if you hold a bridging visa.
      PC

      Reply
  8. HR

    Hi Peng,

    Thank you for this helpful site.

    I applied for my partner visa in August 2015 to be able to be with my husband of 2 years (known for 10). I am currently in Australia on a Work and Holiday visa so I can be with him. I applied offshore whilst I was living in Dubai. I have been having some difficulty with the case officers there, since they requested a police certificate which was not possible for me to obtain, my first case officer did not reply to any of my emails. I then called and got a different person corresponding with me, they told me I can apply for a waiver (statutory declaration) and they can then process my application. I did so and uploaded the information. I then got different/new information back saying I needed to provide proof of trying to obtain the certificate when the only way you can get it is in person. I emailed again for clarification and got no reply, I then called and got a new person discussing my case, when I asked her who my case officer is she said “no one has case officers anymore, you don’t have one, everyone in the office handles all the cases”

    So my question to you is: Is that true?? Have they done away with case officers? I feel so confused and lost and worried she will deny my application just based on this judgement of effort of obtain the certificate.

    Thank you.

    Regards,

    H

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi H,
      I think they just mean that your visa application can be re-assigned to a different case officer, which isn’t unusual.
      PC

      Reply
  9. Bruce Kaemba

    Hi Peng Cheng
    My partner and I have known each other for 3 years and 1 month now. I’m a student here and shes on PR with her family she’s 22. We have been dating for 2 years of that time and we don’t want to have to be separated. So we want to apply for the defacto visa. Only issue is when her parents applied for their PR they did list her as being in a defacto simply because they are African parents. But we do have the proof to show that we’ve been in a relationship. So we wanted to know what we should do and how long would it take to get this process done and would it affect my partners parents visa in any way?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Bruce,
      Please see Department’s website: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/801-
      I’m sorry but we would need to complete an assessment before we can advise in relation to your visa options.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  10. Hayley

    Hi all- my Sri Lanka husband and I applied for a partner visa in June 2016. Police certificate and health checks were requested 3 weeks after submission and we successfully and promptly followed up within 28 days.
    My question is: I have heard many times (agents, friends in the process) that the police/health checks are requested when the other evidence has been satisfied and that it is a good sign things are processing well.
    However, my feeling is that its normal protocol.

    Can someone here please give some insight?

    Waiting in anticipation
    Hayley

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Hayley,
      This is just standard Department process – this doesn’t indicate the outcome for the application.
      PC

      Reply
  11. Justin Lopes

    Hello

    I have applied online for my Spouse and children visa in October 2015 from Mumbai India, I moved to Australia alone in September 2015 and we applied for Spouse visa in October 2015.

    To give you a brief background, we are married for last 15 years and have provided all the relevant documents as evidence for my case.

    April 2016 Case officer asked me for my Indian PCC which I promptly submitted in a week. We haven’t heard anything from the Case officer yet. Its been almost 12 months now since applied for the visa. When are we likely to get the Visa grant. We are not getting any information on the visa from the Officers in New Delhi.

    Thanks
    Justin Lopes

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Justin,
      Sorry but there isn’t any set processing time – DIBP’s general response is that it will take the time necessary to assess all the legal requirements if you call them.
      Department’s website currently indicates: Average processing time for this visa is 12 to 15 months.​
      PC

      Reply
        1. Justin Lopes

          Hello Peng,

          I got call from the case officer on 18th Oct 2016 asking me to submit my Australian PCC and Medical checkup for my Spouse. We submitted the requested docs on 24th Oct-2016. How soon can we expect the visa grant?
          Its already been 12 months since we applied for our visa. Hope to have it soon.

          Thanks,
          Justin Lopes

          Reply
          1. Peng Cheng Post author

            Hi Justin,
            The Department can take a number of weeks, or months to make a final decision – usually takes a few weeks. Sorry but the Department doesn’t have any set processing time
            PC

  12. lolita

    Hi peng cheng,

    I lodged my visa 301/100 in march 2p16 and did the medical and police clearance in july 2016. As my aussie boyfriend is with me in France now and his visa is gonna expire in December, my lawyer emailed the embassy in Madrid to see if it would be possible to speed up the process.

    I received a call today and the only question she asked me was if me and my boyfriend were still together at some point in the relationship where he went back to Australia for 1.5 years without seeing each other. I answered her question and she said “I am about to grant the visa but I need to tall with my supervisor to finalise everything” and then said something about getting either 100 or 309.

    I have been with my boyfriend 6 years and registered our relationship in December 2014 (so almost 2 years)

    I was wondering if u knew how long would that take now to have an answer?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Lolita,
      Sorry but there isn’t any set processing time – DIBP’s general response is that it will take the time necessary to assess all the legal requirements if you call them.
      PC

      Reply
  13. Basheer

    Hi Peng Cheng

    lodge 08/10/14
    am on 820 Temporary Partner Visa Granted on 22/04/16 i just lodge online for 801 Permanent as been required from the immigration they have sent me an email as they asked me to lodge application as the time for me to think about my 801 and i did lodge online through immiaccount as they requested my.
    question is ?
    is it more faster for the immigration to processes the case online through immiaccount than by post ?
    or from case to case ?
    some people they said more faster through online?
    and what the processing time for Online lodge ?

    Thank you for your help

    Reply
  14. Nathan

    Hi Peng

    I hve a quick question. Me (australian) and my partner (bulgarian) are gathering all of our documents for the offshore partner visa application.

    However iam thinking about asking her to marry me after we have lodged the application.

    Does this change anything ? Or is it fine to do that and everything is the same.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Nathan,
      You can get married after lodging the application. You can inform the Department by uploading your marriage certificate and Form 1022 to your online application.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Nathan

        Hi Peng
        Thanks for your reply!
        So what if… I pop the question around a week before we planned on lodging our de-facto offshore partner visa ( subclass – 309 ) .. And we then decide to go for the prospective marriage visa ( so we can both come to australia, find some work, rent a house together etc..) We just need to send the 47sp and 40sp for the prospective marriage visa yeah ?
        OR
        What if we lodged our offshore partner visa and then I asked her to marry me. Are we still able to get the prospective marriage visa as a bridging visa while our partner visa is being processed so we can both come to australia ? Rather then us being locked out of australia while it takes up to 18months to process…

        Thanks a lot ! Much appreciated !

        Reply
  15. Svetlana

    Hi Peng,

    I’m in Australia on a student visa atm but I’ll apply for a 820/801 next month. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on forums and I noticed that some applicants say that Onshore partner applications are reviewed in their home countries. This is a bit confusing since I’m in Australia when I apply so why would the application be sent off somewhere else? Can you please clarify this for me as I’m worried because I have double citizenship and for both countries the embassies are in completely different European countries.

    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Svetlana,
      The Department has a number of offices where they process partner visa applications. Onshore partner visas can be processed by an office location in Australia – this just depends on how the Department allocates work.
      PC

      Reply
  16. Sheryl

    Dear Peng Cheng,

    I have recently received a job offer from the local govt, however, I was informed one week after that they cannot provide me the official letter of offer if I cannot get my Permanent Residency by December.

    I am currently on my visa 820, and my eligible date for visa 801 would be 18 December 2016.

    I was wondering is there a way that I can get my pr granted by December?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,
    CC

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Sheryl,
      I doubt that the DIBP can approve the application that quickly – processing time is around 8-12 months.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Sheryl

        Thanks for your reply PC.

        Oh that’s too bad… is there any chance that they would take consideration on the job offer?

        Reply
  17. rix

    hi peng,
    I got already a email yesterday from the embassy to do medicals..thanks for replying my questions☺️☺️

    Reply

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