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PARTNER VISA

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Australian Immigration Law can be complex and determining the right visa type for you is a time consuming and often expensive process. You need specialist advice to navigate the system. Contact our immigration lawyers for a free initial consultation. Our teams are qualified lawyers and registered migration agents with MARA.

If you have married or are the de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, there are a number of visa options available for you to enter Australia.

Citizenship and immigration are Commonwealth matters, governed by the Department of Home Affairs (previously known as the Department of Immigration) in accordance with the Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) and the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). The Department is responsible for all citizenship and immigration decisions, however, these decisions can be appealed.

Partner Visa

The Australian Partner Visa has a number of visa subclasses. They are Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 820 and subclass 309), Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801 and subclass 100), and Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300). 

A Partner Visa allows a de facto or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia. It may also entitle you to apply for Medicare or private health insurance. Your visa is only valid until its expiry date or a decision regarding an application for another visa has been made. 

If your marriage or de facto relationship breaks down during the application process, or your sponsor passes away, your application may still be considered.

The Department of Home Affairs will consider the best interests of the child for all visa applications involving a person under the age of 18.

Partner Visa categories

Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 820)

You, and any family members or child dependents included in your application, MUST be in Australia at the time you apply for this visa. You will need to apply for this visa before you can apply for a Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801).

Eligibility:

  1. You must be over the age of 18 at the time of your application to meet the relationship requirements
  2. Meet the health requirements
  3. Meet the character requirements
  4. Pay any debts owed to the Australian Government 
  5. Meet the relationship requirements

If you are married:

  • You and your spouse must both be committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others;
  • Your relationship with your spouse must be genuine and continuing;
  • You must live with your spouse or not live apart on a permanent basis;
  • Your marriage must be valid under Australian law.

To be a de facto partner, you MUST be in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying. To be considered a de facto partner:

  • You and your partner are not married to each other;
  • You are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others;
  • Your relationship is genuine and continuing;
  • You live together or do not live separately and apart on a regular basis;
  • You are not related by family

Cost:

When you apply, you will need to pay for your temporary and permanent visa together. The total cost starts at $7,715.00. This does NOT include additional fees associated with health check, etc.

You may be able to include family members on your application for an additional fee. 

Processing time:

The current processing time for a Partner Visa (Temporary) is 22-26 months.

What you can do:

You are allowed to 

  • Live, work and study in Australia while your application is being processed;
  • Travel to and from Australia. There are no restrictions on the number of times you can do this;
  • Attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program.

Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 309)

You must be offshore at the time of applying for this visa. You MUST obtain this visa before you can apply for the Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100).

Eligibility:

  1. You must be over the age of 18 at the time of your application to meet the relationship requirements
  2. Have a sponsor. Your sponsor must be approved by the Department of Home Affairs and the sponsorship applies for two years
  3. Meet the health requirements
  4. Pay any debts owed to the Australian Government
  5. Not had a visa previously cancelled or had an application previously refused
  6. Meet the relationship requirements

If you are married:

  • You and your spouse must both be committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others;
  • Your relationship with your spouse must be genuine and continuing;
  • You must live with your spouse or not live apart on a permanent basis;
  • Your marriage must be valid under Australian law.

To be a de facto partner, you MUST be in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying. To be considered a de facto partner:

  • You and your partner are not married to each other;
  • You are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others;
  • Your relationship is genuine and continuing;
  • You live together or do not live separately and apart on a regular basis;
  • You are not related by family

Cost:

When you apply, you will need to pay for your temporary and permanent visa together. The total cost starts at $7,715.00. This does NOT include additional fees associated with health check, etc.

You may be able to include family members on your application for an additional fee.

Processing time:

The current processing time is 16-22 months.

What can you do:

You are allowed to:

  • Stay in Australia until your Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100) application has been decided or you withdraw your application;
  • Work in Australia;
  • Study in Australia (but you will not receive Government assistance);
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want;
  • Attend up to 510 hours of free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program;
  • Enrol in Medicare to receive medical assistance.

Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801)

This visa is for current holders of a Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 820) or dependent child. The application can be made while in Australia or overseas. 

Eligibility:

  1. You MUST hold a Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 820) or Dependent Child Visa (subclass 445);
  2. You MUST still be in an ongoing relationship with your spouse or partner. However, if your relationship breaks down during the application process, you may still be eligible;
  3. Continue to be sponsored
  4. Pay any debts owed to the Australian Government

Cost:

The cost of this application is paid at the time you applied for your Temporary Partner Visa.

Processing time:

The current processing time for this visa is 11 to 17 months

How long can I stay?

This visa grants you permanent residency. 

What you can do:

  • Stay in Australia indefinitely 
  • Work in Australia
  • Study in Australia 
  • Join Medicare
  • Sponsor your family members to come to Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia for five years. If you want to travel and return after the five year period, you will need to apply for a Resident Return Visa. It allows you to return as a permanent resident
  • Attend free English classes provided by the Adult Migration English Program
  • Apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible)

Processing time:

The current processing time for this visa is 11 to 17 months

Partner (Migrant) Visa (subclass 100)

This visa is for current holders of a Partner (Provisional) Visa (subclass 309) or dependent child. It allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely.

Eligibility:

  1. You must be the holder of a Partner (Provisional) Visa (subclass 309) OR a Dependent Child (subclass 455) Visa. You are usually required to hold one of these visas for at least two years before you will be eligible to apply;
  2. You MUST continue to meet the relationship requirements.
  3. Pay any outstanding debts you owe to the Australian Government

Cost:

The cost of this application is paid at the time you applied for your Temporary Partner Visa.

Processing time:

The current processing time for this visa is 14 to 21 months.

What can you do?

  • Stay in Australia indefinitely 
  • Work in Australia
  • Study in Australia
  • Join Medicare
  • Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia for five years
  • If eligible, attend English classes provided by the Adult Migration English Program
  • Apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible)

Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300)

This visa enables you to come to Australia to marry your partner BEFORE you apply for a Partner Visa. Visa applicants must apply offshore.

Eligibility:

  1. You MUST be sponsored by your prospective spouse. This sponsorship MUST be approved by the Department of Home Affairs;
  2. You MUST be 18 years of age or older at the time of your application;
  3. You MUST meet the health requirements;
  4. You MUST meet the character requirements;
  5. Pay any outstanding debts you owe to the Australian Government;
  6. Not had a visa cancelled or an application refused.

Cost:

The total cost for this visa is $7, 715.00. This includes the cost of your Prospective Marriage Visa and Partner Visa. There are additional costs for each family member you include in your application. There may also be additional fees associated with medical checks, accessing required documents, etc. 

Processing times:

The current processing time for this visa is 22 – 26 months.

What can I do?

  • Stay in Australia for 9 – 15 months from the date the visa is granted
  • Work in Australia
  • Study in Australia (at your own expense)
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you like

STEP 1

STEP 1

Find the appropriate visa category to apply for

STEP 1

STEP 2

STEP 2

Ensure that you are eligible to apply for the visa selected

STEP 2

STEP 3

STEP 3

Ensure you provide copies of any necessary supporting documents e.g. birth certificate, passport, marriage certificate, etc.

STEP 3

STEP 4

STEP 4

Complete and lodge your application form

STEP 4

STEP 5

STEP 5

Lodgement of a visa application requires payment of a fee

STEP 5

STEP 6

STEP 6

Wait for the decision

STEP 6

STEP 7

STEP 7

Receive the decision

STEP 7

STEP 8

STEP 8

Wait for the decision

STEP 8

STEP 9

STEP 9

Lodge an appeal if necessary

STEP 9

Disclaimer

The above is general legal information and should not be considered legal advice. You should speak with one of our migration lawyers for legal advice tailored to your specific legal matter. The courts and tribunals deal with matters on a case by case basis. It should also be noted that there may be delays processing applications, appeals, medicals, etc due to COVID-19.

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Verified Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions.

There are many reasons your application may be rejected. The most common reasons are:

Inability to prove you meet the partner requirements set out above;

Inability to pass the health check;

Inability to pass the character test;

Inappropriate sponsor (e.g. their criminal record, inability to financially support you, etc);

It is deemed not to be in the best interests of a child (under the age of 18)

You haven’t supplied the required supporting documents or had them officially translated into English.

Government figures show that from 2017-2018, at least 42% of Partner Visa applications were rejected. Obtaining a Partner Visa is an expensive a time-consuming process due to the requirements you must meet (relationship, health, character, social, etc). You also have to provide evidence to support your application. This is in addition to the length of time it takes to process your application as well as the cost of your application. Ensure the best possible outcome for your application. Contact our experts for a free initial consultation.

No. Marrying an Australian citizen does not automatically make you an Australian citizen by proxy. To become an Australian citizen, you will need to meet the Australian citizen eligibility requirements and make an application. For further information on becoming an Australian citizen, click on the Immigration link at the top of the page. This does not prevent you from entering Australia and establishing a life here. You can apply for an appropriate Partner Visa to enter Australia and apply to become an Australian citizen later on. Contact our immigration specialists to work out the best option for your personal circumstances.

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