Life is better when it is shared. Whether you find your life partner at a local club or in another country far across the world, you will want to be with the one that you love. However, while you may want to live together, there are often legal complications to overcome if the two of you hold citizenship in different countries. Unless your partner is an Australian citizen or has permission to enter the country, they cannot expect to live long-term with you. They must have a valid visa in place before they can leave their home country.
What visa do you need?
Many people start their visa application process by thinking about what visa they need, but that isn't always helpful. The visa you need will depend on your existing circumstances and your plans for the future. You should consider whether you are already married and need a partner visa, or whether the visa process would be quicker if you married in your partner's home country and then applied for the visa as a married couple. Alternatively, you might decide to apply for a prospective marriage visa and then apply for a partner visa once your partner is in the country and the marriage has taken place.
Making your decision
With so many options, you could struggle to find the right solution to your visa quandary. If you could benefit from some advice, speak to an experienced visa advisor. They can guide you through the options, explaining how each partner visa is different, and help you to submit your application once you have made a decision. They will know the most effective way to fill in the forms and what pieces of evidence you should submit with your application to maximize the likelihood of approval. If there is any unfamiliar terminology in the paperwork or anything that isn't clear, an advisor will help you. They will have the knowledge and experience to ensure that no mistakes with the application will result in it being delayed or rejected.
When should you apply?
If you aren't planning to marry for a while, or if you are still discussing future arrangements, it can be tempting to put off the visa application until all the details have been settled. Delaying the application is normally a mistake. The partner visa application process can be slow, so the earlier you can finalise the details and put in the application, the quicker the two of you can be united in Australia.