Visa Summary

This visa allows you to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of your married or de facto relationship with your partner. This is a permanent visa category unlike subclass 802.

  • on a permanent visa if, after the waiting period (if applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa

Your partner must provide sponsorship for you.

This visa is for you if you want to enter Australia on the basis of your relationship with your partner. Your partner must be one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen

Note: As the partner or fiancé of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you do not have an automatic right of permanent residence in Australia. If you want to reside permanently in Australia you must first apply for a permanent visa and be assessed against the legal criteria for the grant of that visa.

Partner permanent visa

  • remain permanently in Australia with your partner
  • work and study in Australia
  • enroll in Australia's medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme, Medicare eligible to receive certain social security payments apply for Australian citizenship (subject to the residency eligibility criteria)

How does this visa work?

Applying for temporary and permanent visas

You apply for a permanent visa by completing and lodging one application.

  • If you meet all the legal criteria for the grant of the visa, you may be granted a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820). This visa remains valid until a decision is made on your permanent visa, which is usually two years after you initially applied for your visa.
  • If you still meet all legal requirements when your application is considered after the waiting period, you may be granted a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).

However, you may be granted a permanent visa without having to wait if you can demonstrate one of the following:

  • at the time you apply for the visa, you have been in a married or de facto relationship with your partner for three years or more
  • at the time you apply, you have been in a married or de facto relationship with your partner for two years or more, and there is a dependent child of your relationship
  • your partner was granted a Protection visa or a permanent visa under the humanitarian program and you were in the relationship before the visa was granted and this had been declared to the department at the time

Visa validity period

If you are granted a temporary Partner visa, it is normally valid throughout the waiting period until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa application.

If you are granted a permanent Partner visa, it will allow you to remain in Australia permanently.

Visa application process

Applying for permanent visas 801

You apply for both a temporary visa and a permanent visa by completing and lodging one application. If you:

  • meet all the legal criteria for the grant of the visa, you will be eligible for the grant of a Partner (temporary) visa (subclass 820). This visa remains in effect until a decision is made on your permanent visa, which is usually considered two years after you initially applied for your visa.
  • still meet all legal requirements when your application is considered after the waiting period, you will be eligible for the grant of a Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 801)

Application checklist

The application checklist details the information and supporting documents that you and your sponsor must provide with your visa application forms

Note: This checklist is only for the processing of Partner (temporary) visa (subclass 820). If you are the holder of a Partner (temporary) visa (subclass 820), the department will provide you with a checklist when you are eligible for the Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 801).

Application forms

Active Migration Australia will assess each application individually and provide extensive checklists consisting of instructions to help you successfully complete the forms required.

Information to help prepare your application

More information is available on certifying and translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorizing another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application.

Including dependent family members in your application

There is important additional information that you should read if you are lodging a visa application that includes dependent family members.

You must provide evidence of their dependency on you.

How to lodge your application

As the applicant, you must lodge the appropriate application forms, together with all necessary supporting documentation and application charges.

Visa Requirements

Married Applicant Eligibility

Marriage legality

Your marriage must be legal under Australian Law. If you were married in a country other than Australia and that marriage is valid in that country, generally it will be recognized as valid under Australian law.

There are some exceptions, such as same-sex, underage or polygamous marriages, which are not accepted in Australia. Same-sex couples are eligible for this visa however they will be recognized as being in a de facto relationship for the purposes of this visa.

More information on marriages recognized in Australia can be found on the Attorney-General's Department website on marriage celebrants.

Sponsorship

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. An eligible sponsor is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, who undertakes sponsorship obligations. Usually, the sponsor is your partner.

Relationship

In a married relationship, you and your partner must show a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must be living together or, if not, any separation must be only temporary. You must also have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.

Note: Under certain circumstances, you may still be eligible to apply for and be granted, or continue to be an applicant for, a Partner visa in Australia if:

  • your relationship breaks down and you and your partner have custodial rights under the Family Law Act 1975 for any children aged under 18 years that you and your partner may have
  • your partner dies, and you can establish that, had your partner not died, the relationship would have continued and that you have developed close ties with Australia

If this situation occurs, you should contact the relevant departmental office in Australia that has been processing your visa application.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. Please do not undertake a health check unless requested to do so.

Character requirements

You must meet character requirements.

De Facto Applicant Eligibility

General

You must be at least 18 years at the time of application.

You must not be related by family. This means you and your sponsor must not:

  • be an ancestor or descendant of one another
  • have a parent in common

Related by family includes relationships traced through an adoptive parent, and for this purpose, also includes any adoption that may have been declared void or has ceased to have effect.

Sponsorship

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. An eligible sponsor is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, who undertakes sponsorship obligations. Generally, the sponsor is the partner of the applicant.

Relationship

You and your partner must have been in a de facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to lodging your application.

The 12-month relationship requirement may be waived if, at the time of application, one of the following situations applies:

  • you can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances, such as if you have children with your partner
  • all the following circumstances apply:
      • your partner is, or was, the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
      • prior to their permanent humanitarian visa being granted, you were in a relationship with your partner that meets the requirements of a de facto relationship
      • the department was informed of this before the permanent humanitarian visa was granted
  • you had registered your de facto relationship

    Note: De facto relationship registration is not available in all states and territories. If you are considering registering your relationship, check with the relevant state or territory Births, Deaths and Marriages agency for further information.

You and your partner must show a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must be living together or, if not, any separation must be only temporary. You must also have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. Please do not undertake a health check unless requested to do so.

Character requirements

You must meet character requirements.

Australian Values Statement

If you are aged 18 years or over, you are required to sign an Australian values statement. The statement is included in your visa application form and all applicants aged 18 years and over will need to sign it to confirm that they will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. Before signing this statement you are required to read, or you might have been explained about the book ‘Life in Australia book’.

The Life in Australia book provides more information on the values that Australians share and their way of life.

Sponsor Eligibility

Eligibility criteria

To be an eligible sponsor you must be all of the following:

  • an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who want to sponsor the visa applicant as your partner to Australia
  • in a married or de facto relationship with your partner
  • if married, generally aged 18 years of age or over
  • if in a de facto relationship aged over 18 years of age

If you are married and 16 or 17 years of age, your parent or guardian must be your partner's sponsor.

New Zealand citizen eligibility

If you are an eligible New Zealand citizen who is sponsoring their partner, you must meet health and character requirements. The department will contact you to advise if you need to undertake health examinations and character checks.

When you may not be eligible

You may not be able to sponsor your partner if any one of the following applies:

  • you are not an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • you have previously sponsored two other partners for migration to Australia (including sponsorships you may have withdrawn where your former partner obtained permanent residence on family violence grounds)
  • you have sponsored another partner within the last five years
  • you were sponsored for a partner visa as a partner yourself within the last five years
  • you are the holder of a Woman at Risk visa (Subclass 204)
  • you have a conviction or an outstanding charge for an offence against a child

If you have previously sponsored or been sponsored, you may still be permitted to sponsor your partner in compelling circumstances, such as:

  • if your previous partner has died or abandoned the relationship leaving young children
  • if your relationship with your current partner is long standing (that is, two years or more)
  • if you and your current partner have dependent children of your relationship

Current and previous contributory parent category visa-holders

If you have been granted a contributory parent category visa on or after 1 July 2009, you are unable to sponsor your partner or fiancé for five years from your visa grant date if you were in a married or de facto relationship with that person on or before the date you were granted the last contributory parent category visa. There are some exceptions to this limitation in compelling circumstances.

Sponsorship limitation and best interests of the child

Where an applicant includes a dependent family member less than 18 years of age in their application, the sponsorship cannot be approved (except in very limited circumstances) where the sponsor has a conviction or an outstanding charge for an offence against a child. There is also a requirement that there is no compelling reason to believe that the grant of the visa would not be in the best interests of the dependent family member.

In order to assess the sponsorship application and the best interests of the child requirement, sponsors of children under 18 years of age are required to submit an AFP National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate/s, depending on the sponsor's circumstances. If the sponsor has spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age, the sponsor must provide an AFP National Police Check. The sponsor must also provide police certificates from each country in which they have spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

Note: Sponsors required submitting an AFP National Police Check must complete the National Police Check application form which is available from the Australian Federal Police website. Sponsors should use Code 33 at Question 1 on the form and include details of all names they have been known by. If an AFP Certificate is provided based on incorrect information, the department may request another certificate. Fingerprints are not required for AFP National Police Checks.

Family member Eligibility

You may include the following dependent family members in your visa application:

  • your dependent children
  • your other dependent relatives

To be included in your visa application, dependent family members must meet the following requirements. All your dependants, whether migrating with you or not, must meet health and character requirements. If not, you may not be granted a Partner visa.

Dependent children

A person is your dependent child if they are your child or step-child and they meet one of the following requirements:

  • they are under 18 years of age, or
  • if they are aged 18 years or over, they have been wholly or substantially dependent on you for a substantial period (at least 12 months) for their basic needs (food, clothing and shelter) and the reliance on you is greater than any other person, or
  • if they are aged 18 years or over, they are wholly or substantially dependent on you because they have a total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions that stops them from earning a living (whether or not they migrate with you).

Note: If your child (regardless of their age) is married, in a de facto relationship or is engaged to be married, they will not be considered to be a dependent.

Dependent children may, in some cases, be added to your application after it has been lodged.

Sponsorship limitation and best interests of the child

Where an applicant is under 18 years of age, the sponsorship cannot be approved (except in very limited circumstances) where the sponsor has a conviction or an outstanding charge for an offence against a child. The applicant will also need to satisfy the requirement that there is no compelling reason to believe that the grant of the visa would not be in the best interests of the applicant.

In order to assess the sponsorship application and the best interests of the child requirement, sponsors of children under 18 years of age are required to submit an AFP National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate/s, depending on the sponsor's circumstances.

Other dependent relatives

A person is your dependent relative if they are one of the following:

  • your parent, brother or sister; step-parent, step-brother or step-sister; grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece or step-nephew,

and all of the following

  • not your dependent child
  • single, such as a widowed aunt, etc
  • usually resident in your household
  • wholly or substantially financially reliant on you for their basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter
  • reliant on you for a substantial period (at least 12 months)
  • more reliant on you for that support than on any other person or source

Health requirement

All your dependants, whether migrating with you or not, must meet the health and character requirements. Please do not undertake a health check unless requested to do so.

Character requirement

All your dependants, whether migrating with you or not, must be of good character.

Australian Values Statement

If you are aged 18 years or over, you are required to sign an Australian values statement. The statement is included in your visa application form and all applicants aged 18 years and over will need to sign it to confirm that they will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. Before signing this statement you are required to read, or you might have been explained about the book ‘Life in Australia book’.

The Life in Australia book provides more information on the values that Australians share and their way of life.

Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 801

Applicant obligations

If you are granted Partner Permanent visa (subclass 820), you must meet the following requirements

Adhere to visa conditions and comply with all Australian laws.

Continue to meet all legal requirements for visa eligibility from the time you are granted a temporary visa until a decision is made on your permanent visa, which is usually two years after you lodge your application.

Immediately notify the office handling your application if:

  • you change address
  • your circumstances change
  • your relationship with your partner ends

Sponsor Obligations

If you want to sponsor your partner's visa application to migrate to Australia, you must sign a sponsorship undertaking.

If you sign this sponsorship undertaking, the following obligations apply while your partner is in Australia on this visa. You:

  • are responsible for all financial obligations to the Australian Government that your partner might incur while they are in Australia
  • agree to provide adequate accommodation and financial assistance as required to meet your partner's reasonable living needs. This assistance would cover the two years following the grant of their temporary Partner visa
  • will provide financial and other support, such as childcare, that will enable your partner to attend any English classes they need
  • will provide information and advice to help your partner settle in Australia. This information and advice should include telling your partner about employment in Australia.
  • immediately notify the department if your relationship with your partner breaks down. Even if you withdraw your support for your partner before their application is finalized.

Family Members Obligations

If your accompanying dependent family members are granted this visa, they must adhere to visa conditions and comply with all Australian laws.