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Hello,

I am an Australian citizen and my girlfriend is currently in Australia on a student visa. She's been here for about 1.5 years and still has 1.5 years until her visa expires.

We've been dating for 6 months now and was told by her education agent to be together for at least 12months, and gather as many evidence we can as proof of being together before applying for any other visa such as marriage or PR.

Can someone please tell me what is the best pathway option she should take in order to get a PR visa?

We're planning to either get married during her bridging visa or after she gets her PR.

I am not familiar with how the bridging visa work and when to apply it for her.

Is it best for her to apply for a PR bridging visa now while she's still on a student visa? or wait until we've been together for at least 12 months then consider applying for it?

Thanks
 

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Start by reading through the partner migration booklet: https://www.border.gov.au/about/corporate/information/forms/information-forms-and-booklets/booklets

And the 820/801 website: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/801-

Things to know:
1. You must apply for the partner visa to get the bridging visa.
2. You must meet the relationship requirements at the time you apply, so if you plan on going de facto, you must have 12 months of de facto evidence of your relationship before applying.
3. There are 3 partner visa options. Research all of them to find the one that best suits your relationship situation.
4. The bridging visa (BVA) is only for the onshore 820/801 application and will not go into effect until her current visa expires. Which means she'll still have to fulfill the obligations of her student visa. If the student visa gets cancelled, so does the bridging visa and this also creates a world of hurt if you have a partner visa app pending.
4. Marriage doesn't mean much, it's all about your relationship evidence. Being engaged is a benefit because it makes you eligible for the subclass 300.
5. The bridging visa is while she waits for the first stage temporary visa. She wouldn't be eligible to apply for permanent residency for two years after the initial 820/801 or 309/100 partner visa application and even then there's a wait time after eligibility.

One more thing: dating is not de facto. DIBP are very clear that they do not count time while dating as part of the de facto relationship. That 12 months must be as a de facto couple unless you register your relationship (which isn't available in every state and you'd still need the required relationship evidence).
 

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I was told by her education agent to be together for at least 12months, and gather as many evidence we can as proof of being together before applying for any other visa such as marriage or PR.

I am not familiar with how the bridging visa work and when to apply it for her.
If the education agent is based in Australia, they should not be providing migration advice, unless they are also a registered migration agent. If they are not registered migration agents, they are breaking the law if they provide migration advice.

You don't apply for a bridging visa by itself. Follow the advice in the previous 2 comments and keep in mind that your partner should continue to study and meet her student visa conditions until either the student visa ceases or has been replaced by another visa.
 
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