20.5 Partner visas form part of Australia’s family migration stream allowing non-citizens to enter and remain in Australia on the basis of their spouse or de facto relationship (both opposite and same-sex) with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. All applicants for a partner visa must be sponsored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
20.6 To obtain permanent residence on a partner visa, applicants must go through a two-stage process. Irrespective of whether the visa application is made onshore or offshore, a partner visa application is an application for both a temporary and permanent visa. In the first stage, a temporary visa is granted for a period of two years, on the basis that the parties are in a genuine spouse or de facto relationship. After this probationary period, the relationship is reassessed and a permanent visa can only be granted if, among other things, the spouse or de facto relationship remains ‘genuine and continuing’.
Prospective marriage visas
20.7 A non-citizen who wishes to enter Australia for the purpose of marrying an Australian sponsor can apply for a Prospective Marriage visa (Subclass 300), that allows for entry into Australia for a nine-month period, within which the marriage must take place. After the marriage, an application can be made for permanent residence on the basis of the married relationship via the two-stage process outlined above.
 See, generally, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Fact Sheet 30: Family Stream Migration—Partners (2010) <www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/30partners.htm> at 13 December 2010. ‘Spouse’ is defined in Migration Act 1958 (Cth) s 5F and Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) reg 1.15A; and ‘de facto partner’ in Migration Act 1958 (Cth) s 5CB, Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) regs 1.09A, 2.03A.
Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) reg 1.20(2)(a). The sponsor undertakes, among other things, to assist the applicant, to the extent necessary, financially and in relation to accommodation for a two year period.
 See Immigration Advice and Rights Centre, Domestic/Family Violence and Australian Immigration Law (2009), 4–6 for a comprehensive outline of the different onshore and offshore categories, and the two- stage process.
 Applications are made at the same time and on the same form. See Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Form 47SP—Application for Migration to Australia by a Partner (2010) <www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/47sp.pdf> at 13 December 2010. The definitions of temporary and permanent visas are set out in the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) s 30.
Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) reg 1.15A outlines the factors that must be considered in determining whether a spouse or de facto relationship is genuine.
 Permanent visas can be granted before the two year waiting period if, at the time of application, the relationship is considered a long-term partnership—three years or more or two years or more if there is a dependant child of the relationship. See, eg Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) sch 2, cl 100.221(5) in relation to Subclass 100 visas.
 Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) sch 2 cls 300.215, 300.216 require the applicant to establish that the parties genuinely intend to marry within the visa period and genuinely intend to live together as spouses.
 Ibid sch 2 cl 300.511.