Before you read on, please note that there is no substitute to talking to us about Partner Visas.
While the information on this page and other sites is useful, the best way to find out whether you & your partner qualify, and what the best option for you is, is to talk to us directly.
Partner Visas are designed to let Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents (as well as some eligible NZ citizens) offer a permanent visa for their partner.
Partner Visa (subclass 820 & 309)
There’s three main ways to qualify to apply for a partner visa.
- Be married (only available for opposite sex couples)
- Have registered your relationship (note, not all states in Australia allow this, but where allowed it can be used by same sex couples AND opposite sex couples).
- Have lived together for 12 months (note, this has been challenged in the courts, so please contact us for a personal assessment if you have lived together for less than 12 months).
However, each of these three ways is not enough on their own. The DIBP will also look at various other elements to the relationship, such as:
- The length of your relationship
- Your financial commitment to each other
- How you arrange your household
- How your friends & family see the relationship
You can apply for a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) in Australia if you already hold a substantive visa (or did so within the last 28 days).
Once we lodge your Partner Visa the process is as follows:
- You get granted a Bridging Visa A, which comes with full work rights. This only comes into effect when your current visa expires.
- You get access to Medicare.
- You wait!
- Roughly 12-18 months after you apply you should be granted the Temporary Partner Visa (820).
- 24 months after we lodged your application the DIBP will be in touch to see if you are still together, and we then submit more information to confirm that.
- You wait for the DIBP to grant the Permanent Partner Visa (801). Congratulation you now have PR in Australia! Note, at this stage the DIBP does not really care whether you remain a couple or not.
If you are outside of Australia you can apply for a Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) from offshore, or you can come to Australia on another visa and apply for the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820).
The main two negatives of applying offshore are:
- You don’t get a bridging visa with full work rights (as you are offshore)
- You need to wait offshore for the visa to be granted (the time varies depending where you are from).
- You can however apply for a tourist or student visa to come & be together during this waiting period.
In general we try to find a way to apply onshore, due to the advantage of the full work rights, which should enable you to live more comfortably while you wait for the visa to be approved.
Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300)
If you don’t meet the requirements for a Partner Visa then you can consider applying for the Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).
This visa, as the name suggests, is designed to allow your partner to come to Australia so that you can then get married, and then lodge a Partner Visa. If you have no intention of getting married then this visa is not for you!