Australian Spouse

If you are married to an Australian citizen, are a permanent resident, or have been in a defacto relationship (common law) with a citizen for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for immigration by obtaining a Partner Permit to Australia. Your spouse may sponsor you for a period of two years. After this, if the relationship is still genuine and continuing, you may be eligible for permanent residence.


​You and your spouse have a commitment to a shared life as husband and wife, whether or not you are legally married, to the exclusion of all others.

​Your relationship is genuine and continuing.

​You and your spouse live together, or don’t live separately and apart on a permanent basis

​Unless you are legally married, you must have been in a spouse relationship for the last 12 months, which usually involves showing that you have lived together during this period.

Rules and Procedure

Once your initial application is granted, you will be issued an Extended Eligibility Temporary Permit. This will allow you to stay in Australia for two years, and you will have full work rights during this period.

In some circumstances, it is not necessary to wait the two-year period before applying for permanent residency. This may happen if:

​You have been in the relationship with your spouse for five years or more at the time of application.

​You have been in the relationship for two years where there are dependent children of the relationship.

​After the two-year period, you will be entitled to apply for permanent residency in Australia provided that your relationship still continues.

Take our free online assessment to see if you are eligible for a Partner Permit.