Having been in this industry for quite some time now, we've heard most of the common misconceptions our clients have about the Partner Visa. So we've compiled a list of\u00a0Top 10 Biggest Misconceptions with explanations to straighten them out for you!\r\n\r\nMisconception #1:\r\n\u201cWe're married so my partner can automatically come to Australia.\u201d\r\nWrong. No, no, no, no, no, definitely INCORRECT. Getting married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident doesn't give you an automatic right to ANYTHING when it comes to a Partner Visa. You need to go through the exact same process as an unmarried couple \u00a0t and lodge an appropriate Partner Visa. This might be a Partner Visa being applied for either inside or from outside Australia. Getting married isn't the magic step that will result in your partner being able to remain here automatically. The marriage certificate is not the magic piece of paper that's going to guarantee your Visa being granted.\r\n\r\nMisconception #2:\r\n\u201cThe Partner Visa process is really easy. My friend told me she lodged an application and hers was successful.\u201d\r\nSeriously, please don't take 'barbecue' advice. Don't take advice from friends and family who've been through the application process. Learn from them, find out what the process was like for them, but remember, no two relationships or circumstances are ever the same. The \u00a0the type of evidence required or how you put the application together will be different and unique to your situation. The worst thing you could do is rely on something that a friend told you.\r\n\r\nMisconception #3:\r\n\u201cImmigration will tell me if I don't have enough information.\u201d\r\nUh-uh-uh, no they won't. Case officers are not there to teach you how to put the application together. They're there to make a decision on your application, to JUDGE your application. The responsibility is on YOU and your partner as the Visa Applicant and Sponsor to make sure you're giving the decision maker enough evidence to prove you meet the requirements and have a watertight case.\r\n\r\nMisconception #4:\r\n\u201cWe filled in the forms, we're married, and we have a joint bank account. This application's bullet proof!\u201d\r\nSorry, wrong again! Completing the forms is really only 10% of the input required in putting an application together. A marriage certificate and a joint bank account are helpful, but you're going to need a lot more than that to prove that you're in a genuine and continuing relationship.\r\n\r\nMisconception #5:\r\n\u201cIf we apply for the Partner Visa while the Visa Applicant is outside Australia, we can't see each other during the processing period.\u201d\r\nThis is so untrue and is probably one of the saddest misconceptions we have heard. We've seen situations where people have followed this advice given by a friend. They were told that as they were applying from outside Australia, the Visa Applicant can't come to Australia during the processing period and this meant that couples were needlessly separated for a whole year!!. This misconception is definitely a myth.\r\n\r\nIn reality, when you apply for the Partner Visa, \u00a0whether from Onshore or Offshore, the processing times can be lengthy. . But if yours is an Offshore application, you can apply for a Visitor Visa during the processing period . If your requested Visitor Visa is granted, you can come into Australia and spend time together while you're waiting for the Partner Visa to be granted.\r\n\r\nMisconception #6:\r\n\u201cWe're applying for a Partner Visa so we'll also just apply for one of those \u2018Bridging Visa\u2019 things.\u201d\r\nAgain, not every Partner Visa applicant is able to secure a Bridging Visa as part of the Partner Visa process. So, a Bridging Visa is automatically applied for if you're in Australia, have lodged an application for an Onshore Partner Visa and you have a valid Visa without a limiting condition like a 'No Further Stay' condition attached. If this is the case, in all likelihood, a Bridging Visa will be granted.\r\n\r\nHowever, if you've applied for an Offshore Partner Visa, either a \u2018309\u2019 or a prospective marriage Visa, there is no possibility of a Bridging Visa. So our heartfelt advice is that if you're applying for the Onshore Visa and a Bridging Visa is \u00a0an important requirement for you, seek expert guidance to ensure the Bridging Visa will be granted.\r\n\r\nMisconception #7:\r\n\u2018We can lodge some of the evidence now and we'll just give the rest of it to immigration later.\u2019\r\nWell of course you can lodge application evidence later on, but we strongly discourage you from doing that. And why? Because when you lodge your application, some of those requirements must be MET at the time of the visa application. If you haven't met those requirements at the time of applying, there's no going back and this may result in the Visa application being refused.\r\n\r\nIf you have met the requirements at the time of application, but you've just done a bit of a sloppy job in putting the evidence together; just say you didn't have time and you plan to upload the rest later or when the time comes. Again, we would \u00a0strongly discourage you from doing this. Immigration is not bound to request or prompt you to give them the missing evidence or documentation when they're ready to make a decision. They can make a decision at any time. They're there to do their job, not to encourage you or to time manage you into providing what they need.\r\n\r\nSo our advice, always, is to put your best foot forward. Put the strongest application possible in when you first lodge the application and this will avoid immigration perhaps seeing an application that's poorly prepared and thereby refusing it quickly. Definitely prepare in advance. Make sure you have the strongest case. After lodging the application, you can certainly do updates, and this is strongly recommended when you're going through a Partner Visa\u00a0process due to the lengthy processing time. If it takes 10 months, or a year, or even a year and a half, you may have more evidence available to submit. But none of this removes the definite requirement to have a strong application at the time of first applying.\r\n\r\nMisconception #8:\r\n\u201cIn the processing period, I can't leave Australia.\u201d\r\nThis is not the case in every circumstance. If you have lodged an Onshore Partner Visa application, and a Bridging Visa applies to you during the waiting period, and you're holding, for example, a Bridging Visa A, and you need to go back home or want to go overseas, you can do so.\r\n\r\nAs it's a process you need to go through to achieve this,It just takes a little bit of preparation. You will need to apply for what's called a Bridging Visa B. This\u00a0will allow you to come back into Australia at the end of your trip. And so if you are experiencing lengthy processing times and the two of you are in Australia, and you hold a Bridging Visa A, and you need to go offshore, then we advise you to check out the process for obtaining the Bridging Visa B.\r\n\r\nMisconception #9:\r\n\u201cVisitor Visas are cheaper than Partner Visas. We'll just use Visitor Visas instead of a Partner Visa.\u201d\r\nThis is definitely the case, Visitor Visas cost significantly less than the Partner Visa. But using a Visitor Visa long-term to reside together in Australia is not a great idea. And you should consider this before you head down the pathway of using multiple Visitor Visas on an ongoing basis without having lodged a Partner Visa.\r\n\r\nWe don\u2019t think this is a great option as when you are periodically entering through immigration, they may decide you're misusing the Visitor Visa. You may raise their suspicion that you're using it to reside in Australia and not for visits to family, short-term nature reasons, and \u00a0Immigration may then refuse you entry at the border. You may be put on a plane and deported to your home country.\r\n\r\nThat's a pretty extreme scenario, but it's really important, if you are in a relationship with somebody and plan a future together, that you realise the use of Visitor Visas will be short-lived. They're not intended to be used long-term and you need to put a plan in place to work towards that Partner Visa. If you are using a Visitor Visa ongoingly, and you are concerned about the implications, it might be best to get advice from a Registered Migration Agent.\r\n\r\nMisconception #10:\r\n\u201cUsing a migration agent is a waste of money\u201d.\r\n\u201cAll they do is fill in the forms!\u201d we\u2019ve heard people say. But this really is not the case. A Registered Migration Agent will help you with completing the forms, but that's just a small part of their job.\r\n\r\nYou can rely on your Registered Migration Agent to assist you with answering the most fundamental question, that is, if you meet the requirements for a Partner Visa.\r\n\r\nThe Registered Migration Agent can also help with assessing your evidence and documentation while giving answers to these questions:\r\n\r\nIs now a good time to lodge the application?\r\nIf not, when should we be lodging the application?\r\nWhat can we go and do now to help us with being ready to meet the requirements when it is time to lodge?\r\nDo you have enough evidence to clearly prove you\u2019re in a genuine and continuing relationship?\r\nDoes the application on the whole meet all of the requirements or is something more needed?\r\nYour migration agent is responsible for giving you a checklist and letting you know what information and evidence you and your partner need to give to the Department of Home Affairs. Your migration agent will help you with your statements of relationship, your witnesses and their statements. They'll help you prepare the application in a way that helps Immigration see clearly that YES, you do meet the requirements.\r\n\r\nThey're the helping hand, always available for those days where you're just not too sure about how if certain circumstances come up, they might affect your application, or you're worried about something and you've forgotten what you were told.\r\n\r\nThese are the things you can rely on your migration agent for. Giving them a call when you need it, running the situation by them, and being sure of their ongoing support throughout the worrisome processing times while you are nervously waiting for a decision. As mentioned previously, processing times can fluctuate. They can be anything from six months to a year and a half, and in some cases, even two years. During this \u00a0period, you've got someone with you on your side who's knowledgeable, who's up to date with the legislation, and who knows what to expect when going through the process. The Registered Migration Agent will be there to answer your questions and give you reassurance throughout the process.\r\n\r\nYour Registered Migration Agent is with you on your Partner Visa journey, every step of the way.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPlease feel free to comment below, we love getting your feedback. We read all your remarks and will reply if we can answer any questions. We may even use your comments to form the next \u00a0blog topic.