No, there is not a need to get married before applying for the Australian permanent residency because the government of this country recognizes live-in relationships for granting Australia PR.
However, if your partner is already a permanent resident of Australia, then you cant get Australia PR on his/her behalf until and unless you are married or are in a relationship for the last 3 years. Instead, you need to avail the 820 visa in Australia and then you can get the Australia permanent residency through 801 visa.
The 820 partner is a short duration visa and allows you to be in this country until a verdict is given on your 801 visa application. To be eligible for the 820 visa, you should be in a de-facto association for 1 year or should have a matrimonial alliance with an Australia PR holder.
Whilst you are in Australia, you can get this spouse visa Australia and it’s highly beneficial to get this visa.
It includes all the advantages which accrue under the Australia PR such as you can work here. You can also become a part of Medicare which is Australia’s program for providing low-cost health care benefits to PR holders. After living here for 5 years, you also become eligible for Australia citizenship. You can also go out of Australia and come back without getting any additional visa for visiting this country.
However, there are certain requirements which have to be ensured while applying for these visas. You have to apply for these visas simultaneously. The cost of making an application for both these visas is seven thousand AUD.
Now, the following conditions are important for getting these visas:
- A candidate can get the PR through the 801 visa after 2 years of application. He can, however, get the visa earlier if he has been in a long-term i.e. 36 months or older relationship with the spouse, prior to applying for the 801 and 820 visas.
- Under the same criteria, you can also be in a relationship, with your partner for 2 years and have a child younger than 18 years. So, the 801 visa can also be granted to those people who are in a live-in relationship with their partner.
- It’s important to understand if you are married while applying for 801 visa, that you must be married as per Australian law. So, you should be more than 18 years of age at the time of getting married.
- The 801 visa or the permanent partner visa is still given if after filing the application, the two partners break up due to some extraordinary reasons.
- Also, note that you have to apply for 820 temporary residence visa whilst you are physically present in Australia only. So, you can take some other visa and come to this country and then apply for the 820 visa. The same holds true for the application of 801 permanent partner
- If your visa validity ends and you are still not given the 820 visa, your residence in Australia is valid because a bridging visa gets issued to you. This visa is valid till you get your 820 visa.
If you are living in some other country and want to join your partner who is living in Australia, then visa 309( a partner provisional visa) is the correct option. You can get entry into Australia on this visa and then apply for visa subclass 100 to get the Australia PR.