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Australian Visa for a Thai Spouse

Foreign spouses of Australian nationals have the opportunity to enter Australia by being sponsored by their spouse. This sponsorship can be done by a spouse who is either a permanent resident or a citizen of Australia. In some cases, an entitled New Zealand citizen can also act as a sponsor if approved. The sponsored spouse can apply for a temporary or permanent spousal visa, which grants them the ability to enter, work, and live in Australia.

Types of Australian Spouse Visas

There are two types of Australian spouse visas:

  1. Temporary Spouse Visa: This visa is valid for two years and can be adjusted to a permanent spouse visa if the visa holder remains married to their Australian spouse and meets all legal requirements.
  2. Permanent Spouse Visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Australia indefinitely. Usually, it is approved on or before the expiration date of the temporary spouse visa, as long as all legal requirements are met.
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Eligibility of the Sponsor

To be eligible as a sponsor, one must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Intend to sponsor their partner to Australia.
  • Be in a married or de-facto spousal relationship with the applicant.
  • Be at least 18 years old (or obtain consent if under 18).
  • Be prepared to sponsor the applicant and their dependent family.

Eligibility of the Applicant

To be eligible for the visa, the applicant must:

  • Be married to an Australian citizen.
  • Meet certain health requirements.
  • Have a clean criminal record.

Benefits of a Temporary Spouse Visa

Once granted a temporary spouse visa, the spouse can enjoy the following privileges:

  • Stay in Australia with their spouse until a visa decision is made.
  • Work in Australia.
  • Study in Australia (without government funding).
  • Access Australia’s medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme.

Benefits of a Permanent Spouse Visa

As a holder of a permanent spouse visa, one is entitled to the following:

  • Stay permanently in Australia with their spouse.
  • Work and study in Australia.
  • Access Australia’s medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme.
  • Become eligible for certain social security payments.
  • Apply for Australian citizenship.

Applying for Temporary and Permanent Visas

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to be granted a permanent visa without going through the temporary spouse visa phase. This can occur if one can show any of the following:

  • A legal marriage length of at least 5 years to the Australian spouse.
  • The couple shares children and has been in a relationship for at least 2 years.
  • The spouse holds a protection visa or a permanent visa.

If you are unsure about living in Australia and would like to visit on a tourist visa, you can find more information here. For Thai nationals who want to register their marriage to an Australian national, visit our guide on marriage licenses in Thailand. Additional information about the legalities of marrying in Thailand can be found in the family section of our website.

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Conclusion

In summary, the Australian spouse visa offers an opportunity for foreign spouses of Australian nationals to enter, work, and live in Australia. This sponsorship can be done by a spouse who is either a permanent resident or an Australian citizen. Whether it’s a temporary or permanent visa, both offer various benefits and privileges to the visa holder. If you meet the eligibility requirements, this visa can be the beginning of a new chapter in your life with your spouse in Australia.

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