Obtaining the permanent Partner visa is a two stage process.
To be eligible for a permanent partner visa you first need to be granted a temporary partner visa. You apply for both the permanent and temporary visas at the same time and pay only one fee.
If you are granted the temporary visa, you are eligible to be assessed for the permanent Partner visa about two years after you lodged your application.
HOWEVER, if you have been in a relationship for at least 3 years and can prove your relationship, the relationship can be defined as a long term relationship.
The regulations state that there are prescribed provisions to grant the permanent visa within the two-year waiting period if the relationship was already long-term when the visa application was made.
The Migration Regulations, and Migration Procedures Manual, define long-term partner relationship, in relation to an applicant for a visa, as a relationship between the applicant and another person, each as the spouse or defacto partner of the other, that has continued in any other case for not less than 3 years.
Therefore if you are applying for a partner visa and you have been in a long term relationship, in accordance with the definition above, you may be eligible to be granted permanent residency in a shorter time-frame.
If you would like further information feel free to contact us.