Partner, Spouse and Family Visas: 3 things to prepare for Australian border reopening

With the recent announcement of the Federal Budget for the 2020-2021 financial year, the Morrison Government has suggested a reopening of the Australian borders in mid-2022. The original rumours of a late 2021 reopening have now been all but quashed as overseas migrants anxiously await further updates from the Federal Government regarding the closure of the country’s borders. Despite Australia’s strong response to the pandemic, the borders are likely to remain closed for another year as was affirmed during the announcement of the Federal Budget.

Family Visas and the Australian Borders – 3 Things You Should Do To Prepare

With that in mind, there is still plenty to do if you are seeking a family visa to Australia on the basis of your relationship to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident. Read below our top 3 tips for what you can do between now and the borders reopening to prepare for your family visa to Australia.

Australian partner visa eligibility: Ensure you are eligible

This may seem obvious, but with at least a year until the borders reopen, you should ensure that you have researched all of your options and know exactly which visa you are eligible for. Although the borders remain closed, this does not prevent you from lodging the visa and placing your application within the queue to be processed. Particularly if you are applying for a permanent visa as you will not require a travel exemption to enter the country.

For example, there are several different types of offshore parent visas that you may be eligible for and the one you will need will depend on a variety of factors and your individual circumstances. Each parent visa has its own criteria, processing times and visa application charge which can vary rather greatly depending on the visa.

Similarly, there are two options for offshore partners, the Prospective Marriage Visa and the Offshore Partner Visa. The visa you apply for depends on the length and strength of your relationship as the threshold for an Offshore Partner Visa is generally higher than that of the Prospective Marriage Visa. If the relationship with your partner is a certain length, you may also be eligible to have the permanent partner visa granted simultaneously with the temporary stage, allowing you to enter Australia without a travel exemption.

It’s important to know your options early to provide you the best possible chance of obtaining the visa and allow you to begin planning well in advance. Take advantage of our free initial assessment at No Borders Law Group to discuss your options and eligibility under different visa pathways.

Applying travel exemption to enter Australia : Plan your travel exemption request

If you are applying for a temporary family visa to Australia, then you will still require a travel exemption to enter the country. The criteria for the exemption is unclear and often unpredictable, given that the situation is relatively new and unprecedented. More than one exemption criteria may be relevant to you, depending on your occupation and employment history. The Australian Border Force advises that you should apply for the travel exemption between 2 weeks and 2 months in advance and that all supporting documents should be uploaded at the time of lodgement.

Visas under the family stream will likely fall under the exemption category of compassionate and compelling circumstances. Of course, this is highly subjective and will depend on the nature of your relationship as the exemption requests are granted on a case-by-case basis . Generally, you should provide proof of your relationship and any other factors which support the grant of an exemption.

Partner Visa australia Checklist : Gathering your documents

Visas under the family stream in particular require a large volume of supporting documentation so you should utilise the time to ensure that you have collected all that is required for a positive outcome. All documents will need to be translated into English and certain documents will need to be provided as certified copies. The Department has also advised that as of ‘late 2021’, partner visa applicants will be required to have functional English in order to be eligible. As English tests are valid for 3 years from the date of the examination, you should consider preparing for this test sooner rather than later.

Partner visas in particular require a considerable volume of supporting documents to substantive the relationship with your partner. As the visa application charges are significantly higher for family visas, they are not applications you will want to lodge twice so use the time wisely to double-check that you have provided everything needed to secure a favourable outcome.

At No Borders Law Group, we have assisted many clients in having their family visas approved, including parent visas, child visas and partner visas. For more information on the family visas, contact No Borders Law Group for a free initial assessment with one of our migration lawyers.

Need help with getting Australian Visas?


Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000


We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry  or  book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].

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