If you are an Australian and are married to, or in a de facto relationship with, a woman from the Philippines (a ‘Filipina’) she may be eligible to apply for an Australian Partner visa. Before discussing the requirements I will discuss briefly what a Partner visa is and what it allows one to do.
A Partner visa, if granted will allow the holder to reside in Australia and enter and exit Australia as much as is desired. It is a temporary visa that becomes permanent after a period of time if everything remains the same – i.e.: if the relationship is still going on. That means that your Filipina wife or partner will become a permanent resident of Australia. The Partner visa also allows the holder to work and also gives them access to the Australian health care system: Medicare.
If your Filipina wife or partner has dependent children or other dependents, they can be included in the application for a Partner visa. As I will mention below, there are strict rules as to what defines a dependent. And obviously, the rules provide that she would need to have the legal right to bring any dependent children out to Australia.
A Partner visa can be applied for in Australia or in the Philippines. The cost of the application and the processing time for the Partner visa application depends upon many factors including such factors as where the application is processed and the current case load of the Embassy or Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) office in question.
Because of the great features of the Partner visa, including the fact that it gives full work rights and leads to permanent residency, the applications are processed very carefully and there are a lot of enquiries made by DIAC. DIAC examines both the Filipina and her Australian husband or partner and looks at finances, character, medical fitness, family, visa history and many other things. DIAC is also very concerned with the nature of the relationship – whether it is a genuine and continuing relationship or whether it is merely a marriage of convenience. There are many rules which define what an accepted relationship might be and this can include the length of the relationship and the amount of contact time.
A considerable amount of supporting documentation is required. If applications are not prepared correctly they can be delayed for months or years or they can simply be refused. I strongly recommend that the first thing you, whether you discuss it with a migration agent or not, is to make sure you have a firm understanding of what is required and whether you Filipina wife or partner qualifies.