Throughout our work, we receive a lot of immigration enquiries. Over time, similar questions seem to pop up repeatedly. With this in mind, we have decided to do a question and answer round up. This article will look at some of the most common questions we have had and provide our answers.

I would like to attach my Partner to my current Student Visa. Will they have to write their own genuine temporary entrant letter?

Both yourself and your partner will be assessed against the genuine temporary entrant requirement. It is possible that a subsequent entrant will be found not to be a genuine temporary entrant even though you me this requirement. For this reason, it is best for your Partner to include a letter outlining how she meets the requirement. Care should also be taken to ensure any new information provided does not conflict with previous information from your application. Your Partner will also have to meet the financial requirement, so make sure to provide evidence of genuine access to adequate funds as well.

My fiancée is overseas. We have been together for over 12 months and visited each other multiple times. With the current travel ban, what is the best way to be with my Partner in Australia?

You essentially have three options – 1) apply for a Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) Visa; 2) attempt to obtain travel permission, obtain a visa to Australia and then apply for an Onshore Partner (Subclass 820) Visa; 3) apply for an Offshore (Subclass 309) Visa.

Option 1 is the safest. The evidence requirements are lower than the other visas, you will have to obtain formal evidence that you want to get married and after lodging you can expect a wait of 13 – 17 months. Once the visa is granted you will have nine months in which your Partner must come onshore, marry you and lodge the Onshore Partner Visa. This nine month period is great for obtaining some solid evidence. However, the process include a significant waiting period and AUD 1,285 in visa application charges to the already expensive Partner Visa (AUD 7,715).

Option 2 will be difficult to execute. You will need to prove you are in a de facto relationship to obtain a travel exemption. Your Partner will then also have to obtain a Visitor Visa or some other visa to be able to come to Australia. There are further practical matters of obtaining a flight over and the risk of getting a “no further stay” condition on the Visitor Visa that prevents an onshore application. There is also a risk the Visitor Visa could be refused. In the end, this option could be cheaper, quicker and allow you to see each other sooner. It could also be lengthy, more expensive and end up being a waste of time. It will really depend on the evidence that you can use to justify obtaining a travel exemption.

Option 3 again will depend on your evidence. But you will need to be comfortable with the fact that your Partner may have to remain offshore for the full processing time. This could be 13 – 21 months. You can apply for another visa so she can visit during processing but there is always a risk of refusal. You will also need to keep in mind, this is a full Partner Visa application, so you must provide compelling evidence.

There is a lot to consider based on your appetite for risk.

Is there some way to qualify for a visa without having a sponsor yet? My Partner and I have a vast amount of experience.

It will depend on your circumstances. There are essentially two ways of obtaining Skilled Migration to Australia – Employer Sponsored or Points-Tested (also known as General Skilled Migration).

Depending on your occupation, you may be able to obtain Employer Sponsored Visas without obtaining a Skills Assessment. However, you are then tied to a particular employer and must work for them to meet the conditions on your visa. After working for them for some time, you can then pursue Permanent Residency in this way.

If you do not want to be tied to an employer, you can nominate yourself for a Points-Tested Visa. To do this, you will need a Skills Assessment and to show that you are a desirable migrant to invite to come to Australia. The frustrating thing about this type of visa is that you can meet the eligibility criteria but not get an invite. This is because you are competing against other migrants doing the same thing and for whatever reason, they may be invited instead of you.

For this reason, I often advise clients to try and pursue both avenues where possible and thereby increase chances of obtaining a desirable outcome.

I am planning to lodge a Partner Visa soon. Do you have to upload all evidence at once like Form 888s? Or can you do this while the application is processing? What about police clearances and health checks?

When you lodge your application, you will need to include the names of Form 888 providers as well as enough evidence to demonstrate you are in a genuine and continuing relationship. While you do not have to upload this all immediately, it would be advised to do this within a few weeks of lodgement. Make sure your evidence is dated before you apply. You need to establish you were in a serious relationship when you lodged. You will need to continue to provide updates throughout your application to show you are in a genuine and continuing relationship up to the time of decision. Health and police checks are only valid for 12 months, so these should also be provided later on, rather than at time of application.

My Visitor Visa application was refused. When can I try and apply again?

There is no universal rule, however it would depend on the reasons of refusal. If the application was refused and you make the exact same application without any new circumstances, evidence or arguments – it is likely you will get the same result. If the refusal has been helpful in identifying areas where you have not provided enough evidence to meet the criteria, you may be able to apply more quickly. Of course, you would provide this supplementary evidence.

Keep in mind, at the moment, you will have to obtain a travel exemption however.

Can I apply for an Offshore Partner Visa without meeting my Partner in person? We have been communicating almost daily online for almost 12 months. We have met each other’s family online and send each other gifts.

This is not something I recommend. Even the Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) Visa, which has a lower relationship evidence threshold, requires you to have met your partner in person. You should at least meet each other first and consider applying for the Prospective Marriage Visa to build up evidence first. If you are attempting to apply for a Tourist Visa, just know these are pretty high risk and I often see people having their cases refused a few times before they finally go through. However, your chances will depend on your circumstances and whether you can meet the eligibility requirements. The current travel ban also complicates matters. You will need obtain permission to visit each other.  

What are the chances of getting an invite with 70 points in the 189 Visa, 75 points in the 190 Visa and 85 points in the 491 Visa?

Regarding a 189 Visa application, the last round of invitations (on 11 April) required at least 95 points to be invited. 70 points will likely be insufficient. As for 190 / 491 points requirements, this is a bit more tricky. Each of the States and Territories in Australia have their own specific requirements when applying for Sponsorship. The important thing to keep in mind, is that even if you meet the criteria for these Points-Tested Visas, it is up to the relevant Government body to decide who to invite. It is therefore no guaranteed that you will receive an invite and it will come to who you are competing against, the demand for your job in the State / Territory and other circumstances.

It is my opinion, that it is quite difficult to get invited while offshore, this is because there are plenty of applicants inside Australia that are likely prioritised to invite first. With the current pandemic, you should also expect further difficulties based on the depressed job market. For this reason, it is best to work on increasing your chances. You could do this by increasing your points score, practising English, getting more work experience etc.

Got Questions? We Can Help

The answers provided above are general guidance only. This is because immigration law is complex and with only a paragraph question to go off, the answer cannot be as detailed as it should be. If you require immigration advice that is tailored to your needs, please book a consultation. Our Registered Migration Agent can help you to determine your eligibility for any visa. They can also assist with all aspects of the application from requesting, reviewing and strengthening evidence to responding to queries from your case officer. 

Our Registered Migration Agents can analyse your circumstances, identify any areas of risk and discuss the most appropriate strategy to meet your goals. If you have a question, fill the form below or send an email to You can also book a consultation using the link below. 


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