Visa & Citizenship Lawyers are LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex Queer/Questioning plus) friendly immigration lawyers who are a part of the community that you can trust.

We have placed an emphasis on creating an environment where our same-sex clients feel safe. We understand same-sex couples and are delighted to assist our same-sex clients in obtaining partner visas.


Same-Sex Partner Visas
Australian immigration law provides that de-facto or married same-sex couples may apply for a partner visa.

An Australian citizen or permanent resident may be able to sponsor their non-Australian citizen partner for a temporary or permanent same-sex partner visa. A non-Australian citizen partner can be either the spouse or de-facto of the Australian sponsor.

Partner visa applications are truly extensive. The information below is a brief outline of the partner visa application process and what is required.

spouse is a married partner, while de-facto is a non-married partner who meets the immigration law definition of de-facto.

The immigration law definition of what is a de-facto partner is detailed and is prescribed in the Migration Regulations.


The Main Partner Visas are:

  • Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)
  • Offshore Partner (subclasses 309 and 100)
  • Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801)


Two Applications

With a partner visa application, there are actually two applications. There is the partner visa application which is lodged by the visa applicant and there is also the sponsorship application which is lodged by the Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Both applications are comprehensive.


The 4 Pillars

Partner visa applications will be assessed against what’s known as 'the 4 pillars', which are:

  1. The social aspects of the relationship
  2. The joint financial aspects of the relationship
  3. The nature of the household
  4.  The nature of commitment & development of the relationship


What Can Go Wrong?

Many partner visa application clients are unaware of the comprehensive detailed evidence that is required to support a partner visa application. Unfortunately, the Department of Home Affairs website does not include the policy which the Department assess applications against (we have access to the Department’s policy).

Not supplying all of the required documents can lead to a very lengthy visa process, stress and possibly a visa refusal.

Example 1*

Bob and Terry have been in a relationship for 1 year and decide to get married. They have a wedding ceremony with family and friends. Bob is an Australian citizen and Terry is from the UK. The couple decide that it is time to apply for a partner visa. Bob is under the belief that their partner visa applications will be straight forward as they have a marriage certificate, photos from the wedding and statements from their family and friends. The couple would also like to save money if they can as the partner visa application itself is not cheap and if they can do the visa application themselves without legal fees, then great.

To their surprise, the couple receive a notification of partner visa application refusal because the Department of Home Affairs do not believe that the couple meet the 4 pillars.

Bob contacts Visa & Citizenship Lawyers to review their matter and represent them at the Tribunal. Visa & Citizenship Lawyers inform the couple that had the couple engaged their services to prepare and lodge the partner visa application the couple would likely be holding a visa by now instead of the refusal.

Visa & Citizenship Lawyers assist the couple to obtain the visa at the Tribunal hearing which is 2 years after the refusal.

Bob and Terry end up paying twice the professional legal fees for the representation at the Tribunal hearing as they would have paid for assistance for the partner visa application. Apart from the extra financial cost, the couple endure 2 years of stress waiting for the Tribunal hearing.

* (Names and facts have been changed to protect the identity of clients)

Example 2*

Lucy and Sue are both Chinese citizens. Lucy is also an Australian permanent resident. Sue is in Australia on a temporary student visa. Lucy and Sue have been in a relationship for 4 years and have been living together for 3 years. The couple have plenty of evidence of living together but are concerned that they may be seen by the Department of Home Affairs as friends and not as partners. Their family members back in China know that the two girls live together, however the girls have not told their family that they are in a relationship because they believe that their family will feel cultural shame. The couple are also not open about their relationship on social media.

The couple do some research about partner visas and do not believe that they have a lot of evidence to meet all of the 4 pillars, especially the social pillar. The couple engage Visa & Citizenship Lawyers to prepare and lodge a partner visa application for them. Over the next 5 months, Visa & Citizenship Lawyers work with Lucy and Sue to help them build and submit the strongest visa application that they can. The visa application is lodged and granted.

* (Names and facts have been changed to protect the identity of clients)


Why use Visa & Citizenship Lawyers?

At Visa & Citizenship Lawyers, we understand the importance of having your partner becoming a permanent resident and ultimately a citizen. Our goal is to get your partner visa application right the first timewhich will save you:

  1. Money; 
  2. Time; and
  3. A lot of worry. 

When assisting clients with partner visa applications, the bulk of our work is in preparing a Statutory Declaration for the visa applicant and also a Statutory Declaration for the Australian sponsor. Our Statutory Declarations tie all of your evidence together and we aim for the Statutory Declarations to be between 14 – 17 pages each (this is not including attached evidence). A lot of time and effort goes into these Statutory Declarations.

We take care and pride in helping our partner visa clients achieve the visa result that they need.

The current Department of Home Affairs partner visa processing fee is $7,850. Our current standard partner visa application professional fees are $4,990 (plus GST if applicable).

For partner visas enquiries only, we offer a FREE 15 MINUTE CONSULTATION to understand your current situation and decide whether we can help you. Contact us today to book in for your free 15 minute consultation with an immigration lawyer.

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