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Hi, I am a 27 year old Australian male and my partner is a female from Colombia. She is currently on a student visa that ends in March next year and her college has gone into liquidation. My partner and I have just started the process for applying for a spousal visa and I am just hoping someone here might have recently gone through this and would be able to lend a hand?

We have been together a year but only living together for the last 4 months. On the 21st of this month we are getting married and were considering applying for the partner visa soon afterwards. She is currently studying 2 days a week and trying to find a more consistent job in her free time. We would be able to survive without the extra money but it would be better if she could work full time and stop studying.

What we are really wanting to know is what would be the best way forward in this situation.

The processing time for the visa is currently 12 to 18 months and to the best of my knowledge she would need to apply to a new college and continue studying until the new visa is finalized.

The options I think that we have are:

Cancel the visa and go onto a Class E bridging visa. Which would mean she could not study or work and if we were unsuccessful she would have to go back to Colombia and also be unable to apply for a new visa.

Continue studying(possibly may need to apply for a new visa because of her College?) until her visa expires or the new visa is approved and then she would be able to work full time and stop studying.

Please feel free to correct anything that is not right here as this is just what I have been able to ascertain from researching online and also speaking to immigration.

I really appreciate any help that you might be able to give.
 

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If she applies onshore, then the processing time doesn't really matter much as she's allowed to remain onshore with work and study rights once the BVA goes into effect.

So apply onshore, get granted BVA. BVA goes into effect when current visa ends so she'd need to maintain that visa and obligations until then. If it gets cancelled, so does the BVA.

BVE is not a good option and really a last resort. No work (though a waiver can be applied) and no travel and the partner visa can be a LONG process.

You also need to be aware of the de facto requirements. Not meeting them at time of application will mean refusal. Best to try and register the relationship if that is allowed in your state. Keep in mind that student visa to partner visa tend to face a bit more scrutiny from what I've seen on the forums of others' experiences so you want to make sure you have a solid evidence case.

Don't take advice from immigration. They often give misleading or incorrect advice (not everyone that works there is actually familiar with the entire process) and they are not responsible for anything that happens after you take their advice. Best to contact a registered migration agent and get proper legal advice. I seriously recommend the ones that post frequently in the Immigration Forum. I know of many other users that have used them and have always spoke highly of their services. You see far more people that hired others that claimed to be MARA agents or are inexperienced ones and have had serious mistakes done that cost them their visas. Most recently, someone used a registered agent (not one that frequents this forum) and due to a technical glitch that they have no evidence of, none of the uploaded documents made it to immigration and their partner visa was refused. Bye bye $7000. After coming for help, one of the RMAs that post here said it was a terrible mistake that could have been avoided by simply screenshotting the documents once they were uploaded and emailing the applicant the evidence that the app was sent and documents sent. That would have been proof to immigration that the documents were in fact uploaded at one point and lost through technical error, which would have given them grounds to appeal the decision and continue the process. Expert knowledge on little things like that is what you want so not every agent is created equal.
 

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This post confirms what I have already discovered. The process of acquiring a visa for a partner is a minefield. So many ways to fail the process and then have to appeal - add another year? Get it right the first time by collating and checking all the evidence and not rushing to pay the $7,000 until someone has at least checked how well you comply.
 
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