There are two pathways that will allow your Thai partner to migrate to Australia. Firstly, there is the partner visa. To be eligible for a partner visa you must be either legally married or in a de-facto relationship with your Thai partner. Common to both is the requirement that you and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others. For those that do not qualify for a partner visa, a prospective marriage visa may then be a suitable option. To be eligible for a prospective marriage visa, you must have met your partner in person as adults, be known to each other personally, and have a genuine intention to marry in the future. A prospective marriage visa is often referred to as a fiancé visa.
A partner visa can be applied for in either Australia or Thailand. However, in order for your partner to apply in Australia, they must already be in Australia at time of application and holding a visa which permits them to apply in Australia for an onshore partner visa. If they are unable to apply in Australia, they will have to make an offshore application in Thailand. A prospective marriage visa can only be applied for in Thailand and cannot be applied for in Australia.
What are the de facto criteria for a partner visa?
Although you may consider yourself to be in a de-facto relationship with your Thai partner, your claimed relationship will be assessed against the criteria provided for in the Migration Act and Regulations. If you do not meet the criteria, then your partner visa application will be refused. In order to satisfy the de-facto criteria, your de-facto relationship must have existed for at least one year immediately preceding the date of application. There are however some exceptions to this rule where the applicant and sponsor have registered their relationship or there are children born into the relationship. However, in most cases, the applicant and sponsor will be subject to the minimum one-year de-facto relationship rule.
What factors will be taken into consideration in assessing our de facto relationship?
The Department of immigration will want to be satisfied that you and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others and that you do not live apart on a permanent basis. In assessing whether your relationship is genuine they will examine all aspects of your relationship, including the history, financial, social context and your commitment to each other. If you feel that you do not meet the de-facto visa criteria you should consider a prospective marriage visa as an alternative option. All Australian visa subclasses have certain criteria that must be satisfied at both times of application and time of decision.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at Thai Visa Express for further information on visa options available for your Thai partner to migrate to Australia.