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Australian Partner Visa

Partner visas are a popular category of Australian migration visas that provide a path for individuals to reunite with their spouse or defacto partner 


If you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can help you migrate to Australia, please contact our Migration Team.


We plan a Visa strategy that looks at at the whole picture, understanding your circumstances and making a vision for your future in Australia.


Partner Migration to Australia

The partner visa is actually a pair of visas. A provisional visa is applied for in conjunction with the permanent visa. The visas are the onshore 820/801 visa, and the offshore 309/100 visa. 

The aptly named Fiancé visa or 300 visa can also be utilised for people who are not married and don't meet the defacto relationship requirements to allow the sponsored partner to come to Australia, Marry, then apply for the 820/801 partner visa. 

These 5 visas are what we commonly refer to as the partner visas.

Do I Qualify?
  • You must be married or in a defacto relationship with and eligible Australian partner

  • For defacto relationships you must have 12 months of relationship evidence unless you have registered your relationship

Visa Benefits

  • A pathway to Permanent Residency in Australia.

  • Few or Limited Visa conditions and restrictions.

  • Permanently join your Loved Ones.



A great starting point is to create a timeline of your relationship

A timeline of your relationship is a fantastic way to set the foundation for your partner visa application.

By creating a timeline it can assist you in keeping your thoughts,, and your evidence structured. This can include every significant event, holiday or milestone of your relationship. 

This timeline will not only help you to gather documents to support your application but it will also help you create a “relationship statement” which is a statement from you and your partner outlining your relationship. 

When you are putting together your timeline you should consider what the department calls the “relationship factors” 

We will call them the ‘Four Factors’

No Two relationships are the same


There is no such thing as essential evidence. with respect to the four factors.



The Financial Aspect of the relationship considers how you and your partner share finances, do you have joint accounts or shared financial responsibilities (lease, mortgage, loan), do you have shared assets, who pays the bills? : How do you pay for living expenses such as food, bills rent or a mortgage? Do you have joint assets or financial responsibilities? How do you share money? How do you support one another during times of financial hardship? All of these and more is considered when deciding your application.


Where do you live, are you on the same lease or mortgage, do you have friends over together, do you both get mail to the house, do you live with roommates? do you have proof of shared responsibility for a pet or a child, Mobile phones on a shared plan, Correspondence from your real estate/strata sent to both of you? This factor also includes things like how you share household responsibilities (e.g. cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, paying the bills, etc.).


do you spend time with one another’s friends and family, do you have mutual friends, do you get invited to events together, do you travel together, do your work colleagues know your partner, what shared interests do you have? Do your friends and family have knowledge of your relationship? How have you made your relationship “official” as recognized by government bodies (e.g. marriage, registration)? Or are you a couple on social media? All of these points and more can be used to establish the social aspects of your relationship.


Fortunately, you don’t have to go to epic Romeo and Juliet type lengths to prove this factor. However, it is the hardest to prove. How do you prove something that you can’t physically hold? Lucky for you the department has decided what a constitutes a committed relationship and it does not involve any Shakespearean measures.

Considerations include the duration of the relationship, The length of time the parties have lived together, The degree of companionship and emotional support that the parties draw from each other, and whether the parties see the relationship as for the long term

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What Partner Visa Should I Apply For?

The appropriate choice varies based on the stage of your relationship with your partner.

If you've met in person and are engaged but not yet married, the Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) Visa could be a viable option.

The 300 visa enables you to enter Australia and marry your Australian partner within 9 months or arriving in Australia and activating your visa. Subsequently, you'll become eligible to seek the Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801).

If you're already married, in a de facto or registered relationship with an Australian, but reside in another country, the temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 309/100) might be suitable. The initial temporary phase of this visa is attainable only from outside Australia, while the subsequent permanent stage can be pursued either from within or outside Australia.

For those who are already married, in a de facto or registered relationship, and are presently in Australia, the temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) could be fitting. The initial temporary stage of this visa can solely be applied for from inside Australia, while the ensuing permanent stage is open to either being within or outside Australia

​.For those who are already married, in a de facto or registered relationship, and are presently in Australia, the temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) could be fitting. The initial temporary stage of this visa can solely be applied for from inside Australia, while the ensuing permanent stage is open to either being within or outside Australia.

Given the uniqueness of each individual's circumstances, it is crucial to select the appropriate visa aligning with your specific situation.

What is the Difference Between the Subclass 820 and Subclass 309 Partner Visas?

The primary distinction between these two partner visa subclasses lies in their application locations. Specifically, the Subclass 820 visa can exclusively be submitted within Australia, while the Subclass 309 visa must be applied for from outside of Australia.

The Subclass 820 visa request initiates a bridging visa that permits your stay in Australia until a decision is reached on the visa application.

Conversely, for the Subclass 309 visa, doesn't automatically provide a bridging visa and unless you apply for and are granted another visa such as a tourist visa to travel to Australia you will need to wait for the grant.

The choice of which visa to apply for hinges on your current physical location and individual circumstances. Nonetheless, the application procedures for both subclasses are remarkably alike, encompassing aspects such as forms, application fees, documentation, as well as health and character assessments.

Do I need to get married to lodge to get an Australian Partner Visas?

Having a married relationship is not a mandatory prerequisite for applying for a Partner Visa (subclass 309/100 or subclass 820/801) unless you hold a defacto 300 visa.

To qualify for a partner visa, you have three options: you can either be married, be in a defacto relationship for a minimum of 12 months prior to applying, or be in a relationship recognized and registered under specific Australian state or territory legislation. You don't need 12 months relationship evidence in a registered relationship.

It is a common misconception that marrying makes the visa process smoother. However, the Department of Immigration still necessitates proof of various facets of the relationship known as the four factors.

Relying solely on a marriage certificate is insufficient to establish the authenticity and continuity of your relationship.

Who can I include in my visa application?

When applying for a partner visa, you have the option to incorporate your dependent and stepchildren into the application. In the case that your children are above 18 years old, they should be more reliant on you than any other person, for financial support, In most cases they should still be enrolled into school or university.

Should I apply for a visitor visa before applying for Partner/Defacto visa?

It's advisable to consider applying for a visitor visa prior to seeking a partner visa, especially if the couple hasn't had the chance to be together or live together yet. Frequently, couples opt to request a visitor visa for the non-Australian partner, allowing them to enter Australia for a vacation and spend quality time with their Australian counterpart. This presents an opportune moment to collect evidence pertaining to various aspects of the relationship that the Department of Immigration will find pertinent when you eventually submit your Partner Visa application. It's crucial to be transparent and truthful regarding your intentions for applying for the Visitor Visa.

For instance, one aspect under scrutiny by the Department of Immigration is the social dimension of the relationship. This includes evaluating whether you engage in social activities together, if your friends and family consider you as 'de facto' or 'married' partners, and if you project yourselves as such in social settings. If you've already spent time with each other on a visitor visa, you likely had ample opportunities to interact with friends or family, commemorate special occasions, partake in recreational activities, and more.

Given that every relationship is unique, seeking guidance from a Registered Migration Agent before finalising plans for either a visitor visa or a partner visa is highly recommended.

Can I apply for a Partner Visa while I am on 600 Subclass Visitor visa

You may be able to apply for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) while in Australia on a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa if you meet the eligibility criteria and you do not have an “8503 - No Further Stay” condition on your visitor visa.

Where do I get the checklist of the Documents I need?

Since each individual's circumstances vary, a universal checklist detailing all the documents required for your Partner Visa application by the Department of Immigration does not exist. Your optimal approach would be to seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent. They can grasp your specific situation and subsequently direct you on the specific documents needed, maximising your likelihood of a successful application.

What evidence do I need for Partner/Defacto Visa?

When presenting proof of a de facto relationship, applicants need to establish that their partnership has endured for a minimum of 12 months prior to submitting the application to the Immigration Department. The Department will evaluate whether the relationship is a genuine and ongoing commitment, exclusive of any other affiliations. This evaluation will be based on the relationship's history, financial dynamics, social interactions, household arrangements, mutual dedication, and future intentions of the partners. The documents supplied should effectively demonstrate these aspects of the relationship. This could encompass items such as photographs from shared outings, statements from a joint bank account, or agreements for shared tenancy. Additional evidence comprises personal identification verification, testimonies from witnesses affirming the relationship, and assessments of health and character.

Is it possible to apply for a De Facto Visa if we haven't cohabited for 12 months?

Typically to be eligible for a Partner Visa as de facto partners (regardless of gender), you and your sponsor must demonstrate that you've been in a dedicated de facto relationship for the full 12 months immediately before submitting your application.

There could still be a chance to apply if you and your partner were prevented from living together temporarily during this 12-month period. This could be for cultural or religious reasons or a matter of circumstance.

For instance: You lived with your partner for 9 months before they had to unexpectedly relocate to a different city for work reasons. Due to a family matter, you couldn't move to the same city until 3 months later. These 3 months of living apart could be included in the 12-month requirement, as they represent a transient separation beyond your control and your commitment to each other as a de facto couple persisted.

And don't forget if you have registered your relationship in an approved state the 12 month requirement does not need to be met.

If you've experienced periods of living separately from your partner, seeking professional advice is advisable to determine whether you fulfil the 12-month de facto relationship criterion.

Do I have to show my financial record when applying for a Partner Visa?

When assessing the authenticity and ongoing nature of a couple's relationship, the Immigration Department considers the financial elements of your partnership. These financial aspects can be proven through shared real estate loan agreements, co-ownership of vehicles, joint bank accounts, mutual financial responsibilities, the division of daily household costs, and various other means.

Due to these requirements, you and your partner should be prepared to furnish reasonably comprehensive financial details when submitting your Partner Visa application to the Immigration Department.

Where do I need to be when I lodge my Subclass 309 application?

You need to be OUTSIDE of Australia at the time you lodge the Visa application.

Where do I need to be when I lodge mu Subclass 820 application?

If you’re applying for the subclass 820 you need to be INSIDE Australia at the time of application.

Who can be a witness for my Partner Visa application?

In order for a Form 888 to be acceptable for a partner visa application, the witness must possess direct information about the visa applicant, the sponsor, and their relationship's chronology. The witness must meet these criteria: they should be above 18 years old and hold either Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

When filling out Form 888, the witness is required to offer proof of their present name, age, and Australian citizenship or permanent residency status. This evidence could include a certified copy of their birth certificate, Australian passport, or notification of their permanent visa approval.

What is Bridging Visa?

 bridging visa is designed to let you remain in Australia legally starting from the time you submit a visa application until you receive a substantive visa or until you depart Australia. For instance, if you currently have a 3-month visitor visa and submit an application for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) while being in Australia, you'll receive a Bridging Visa A. This visa will become active once your visitor visa expires, enabling you to continue your stay in Australia until your Partner Visa is approved.

How does a Partner Visa and Bridging Visa work?

A bridging visa is authorised for your lawful stay in Australia starting from the moment you submit an application for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801), and it continues until the visa is approved. The condition for eligibility is that you must have applied for this visa while you were already in Australia on a valid visa. To illustrate, if you hold a 3-month visitor visa and you apply for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) while you're in Australia, you will receive a Bridging Visa A. This Bridging Visa A becomes active after your visitor visa expires, and it remains valid until your new visa is granted. It's important to note that you won't qualify for a bridging visa if you have submitted an application for the Partner Visa (309/100) while you were outside of Australia.

Do I have to apply for Bridging Visa after my Partner Visa is lodged?

If you've submitted an application for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) while being present in Australia on a valid visa, you will receive a Bridging Visa A along with work rights. This visa is granted automatically, eliminating the need for a separate application. In case you intend to travel abroad while holding the Bridging Visa A, it's essential to request a Bridging Visa B before departing from Australia. This specific visa is the only option that permits you to return to Australia and reinstate your Bridging Visa A upon re-entry.

Getting a bridging visa when you have lodged offshore or while not holding a valid visa can be a complex situation and you should seek professional advice from a registered migration agent

Can I work on a Partner Visa and on a Bridging Visa?

If you've submitted an application for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) while being present in Australia on a substantive visa, you'll receive a Bridging Visa A automatically. This visa includes the privilege to work in Australia.

However, there are scenarios where work rights might not be granted automatically. This occurs when you weren't holding a substantive visa at the time of applying for the Partner Visa. In such instances, you'll need to demonstrate to the Department of Immigration that you would face financial hardship if unable to work. This demonstration is necessary to seek a new bridging visa with work rights.

Upon the approval of your initial stage temporary Partner Visa, you'll gain unrestricted work rights. These rights persist even after acquiring permanent residency.

My partner and I have been together for years, Do I still need to wait 2 years unti I can apply for Permanent Residency?

If you and your partner have shared a long-lasting relationship, you can express your desire (during the application phase) to be considered for permanent residency once the initial stage of the temporary Partner Visa (subclass 820) is approved.

A longstanding partnership is defined as one that spans over 3 years or over 2 years if you have a dependent child together.

What if my partner has health issues?

Individuals desiring to relocate to Australia, whether temporarily or permanently, are required to fulfil specific health prerequisites; this process is referred to as meeting the health criteria.

The nature of the medical evaluation that is necessary varies based on the type of visa applied for, as well as other determining factors such as age, travel history, and planned activities within Australia. In the case of applying for a Partner Visa, which ultimately paves the way for permanent residency, a more extensive series of medical assessments will be conducted compared to those required for a temporary work visa.

Should your partner not satisfy the health criteria, it could result in the denial of the Partner Visa application. If your partner is dealing with health-related issues or concerns, seeking professional guidance before submitting the visa application is crucial. This guidance can help determine whether the Department of Immigration might consider granting a Health Waiver in your specific circumstances.

What happens if my partner visa is refused?

Should this situation occur, you and the sponsor associated with your case have the right to request a review of the visa rejection decision by applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In case you are currently in Australia, you must submit this application within 21 days of receiving the notification about the visa refusal. Keep in mind that there is a fee that needs to be paid to the Tribunal when making this application.

If your appeal to the Tribunal is successful and your visa application is sent back to the Department of Immigration for reevaluation, you will be eligible for a 50% refund of the fees you paid.

My relationship ended and I am still waiting for my partner visa to be finalized. Can I still be granted a Partner Visa?

Regrettably, should your relationship conclude prior to being approved for the initial stage of the temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820 or 309), your visa application will be declined.

In the event that your partnership with your Australian sponsor concludes while you are in the process of the first stage temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820 or 309) and awaiting the subsequent stage for the permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801 or 100), there exists a possibility of still obtaining a partner visa. This can apply applies if you or a family member experienced instances of family violence during the course of the relationship, Or if you share custody of dependent children.

Navigating the regulations and assembling the necessary evidence to establish cases of family violence is notably intricate. Seeking expert guidance is of utmost importance if you find yourself in this scenario, as it significantly enhances your prospects of attaining permanent residency.

Can my current partner sponsor me for a Partner Visa if they previously sponsored someone else for a Partner Visa?

Indeed, your eligibility for sponsorship by your partner hinges on whether they are constrained by sponsorship restrictions.

If your Australian partner has sponsored two other partners for migration to Australia in the past, or has sponsored an additional partner within the preceding five years, or has been sponsored as a partner themselves within the last five years, they might not have the ability to sponsor you.

However, there are exceptions. In cases of compelling circumstances, such as the demise or abandonment of their previous partner, particularly if they left behind young children, or if your current relationship is of long-standing nature, or if you and your partner share children from your relationship, your partner might still be granted permission to sponsor you. In these cases you should seek professional advice. 

I was sponsored for a partner visa a few years ago and our relationship ended after I got PR. Can I sponsor my current partner?

Certainly, your ability to do so hinges on the timeframe when your own Partner Visa application was submitted. Restrictions on sponsorship come into play here.

If you've been sponsored as a partner yourself within the past 5 years, you may be ineligible to sponsor another individual for a Partner Visa. Nonetheless, there might be provisions allowing you to sponsor your partner under exceptional circumstances. For example, if your previous partner passed away or terminated the relationship, leaving behind dependent children, or if your current relationship is of considerable duration, or if there are children from your present relationship.


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