The subclass 457 visa allows you to include eligible family members as secondary applicant to your visa application. This includes your dependent children and your partner, subject to certain evidentiary requirements.
Secondary applicants to an approved 457 visa usually have unrestricted work and study rights in Australia.
Applicants wishing to include a partner must show that they are legally married or evidence they are in a defacto relationship.
Australian immigration law recognises both same sex and opposite sex relationships.
At this time, same sex marriages, whilst legal in other countries, are not recognised under the Australian Marriage Act, and thus are not considered to be a legal marriage under Australian law. However, you can still include your same sex partner in your visa application on the basis of a defacto relationship. If you are engaged and are not planning to marry before you apply for the 457 visa you must be able to evidence that you are in a defacto relationship.
Whether you are applying on the basis of marriage or a defacto relationship you must demonstrate a mutual commitment to a shared life, to the exclusions of all others, that your relationship is genuine and ongoing and that you live together, or that you do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis. The length of time you have lived together is also a consideration in assessing whether a defacto relationship meets the criteria.
If your 457 visa has been approved it is possible to have your partner added to the visa once you meet the requirements to do so.
If you and your partner do not live together then generally you would not be considered a defacto couple. If you and your partner have previously lived together but are temporarily separated for reasons such as work commitments, you will need to provide stronger evidence of your genuine and ongoing relationship.
Every relationship is different and as such the types of documentation you provide to evidence you are in a genuine relationship will differ from couple to couple. We can work with you to assess whether you meet the requirements to include your partner in your application. We provide guidance on the types of documentation required based on your individual circumstances and can offer assistance in exploring alternative visa options if you do not meet the relationship requirements.
For more information or advice, contact Southern Cross Alliance and speak with one of our Registered Migration Agents today.