What is a Partner Visa?
As the name implies, the Partner Visa enables spouses of permanent Australian residents or citizens to be with them in Australia. Accordingly, this visa will easily progress to permanent residency.
If your partner is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen, then this visa may be for you!
There are 3 main types of visas that allow partners of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to stay in Australia. These are:
- Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
- Partner Visa Offshore (Subclasses 309 and 100)
- Partner Visa Onshore (Subclass 820/801)
Who can apply for it?
You can apply for this option only if you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, a permanent Australian resident, or a New Zealand citizen. The relationship can be:
- a de facto relationship; or
- a marriage
What is a de facto relationship?
A relationship is de facto when the parties are not legally bound by marriage but the relationship is real and ongoing. Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different gender. Also, it is the relationship between a couple who lives together or who lives separately on a temporary basis. To prove that a relationship is real and de facto you can present a series of documents that we will list below!
Partner Visa Onshore (Subclass 820/801) – Applying from inside Australia
This application has two stages: The 820 (Temporary) and the 801 (Permanent).
Stage 1: Partner Visa 820 (Temporary)
The first step is the 820 Visa, which requires you to be married or have been with an Australian citizen for at least 12 months in a de facto relationship.
If eligible, you will be receive the 820 Visa (temporary) while the government processes your permanent visa (subclass 801) application. While you wait for your 820 Visa, you will automatically receive a Bridging Visa A which will allow you to wait for your application while inside Australia.
The visa application process can take from 23 months to 28months.
Stage 2: Partner Visa 801 (Permanent)
The 801 Visa is the permanent visa which is issued on the basis that your partnership is going steady two years after the 820 Visa. Both visas are required at the same time, but approval is carried out in two steps.
The visa application process can take from 12 months to 21 months.
While the 801 Visa may take up to 21 months of processing, it is worth mentioning that the it may be approved sooner if you have had a long term relationship with your Australian partner.
Partner Visa 309 and 100 – Application from outside Australia
The 309 and 100 Visa allows the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen to live in Australia.
Similar to the Partner Visa application made from inside Australia, the 309/100 Visa has two phases. However, the difference is that you will be able to apply for this visa only from outside Australia.
Stage 1: Partner Visa 309 (Provisional)
First, you need to have a temporary 309 (Provisional) to be eligible for a permanent visa (subclass 100).
The visa application process can take from 12 months to 17 months.
Partner Visa 100 (Permanent)
As soon as you receive your 309 Visa, you will be able to enter Australia and wait while the department considers your application for the permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100).
You will apply for both the permanent and provisional visas at the same time and pay only one fee.
The visa application process can take from 17 Months to 28 Months.
Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
This visa enables you to travel to Australia to marry your prospective spouse and then apply for a partner visa. Therefore, the prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) is the best alternative for anyone engaged to an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident or a person who is qualified to be a citizen of New Zealand.
However, the applicant must remain outside Australia at the time of application to receive this visa.
If you receive a provisional Partner Visa (subclass 820 or 309), you will have the following entitlements:
- Stay in Australia while you wait to apply for the permanent partner visa
- Study in Australia (you will not receive government support)
- Work in Australia
- Travel as many times as you want to get to and from Australia
- Up to 510 hours of free English classes offered by the Adult Migrant English Program
- Enrol in Medicare – Australia’s health insurance system
As soon as you receive your permanent Partner Visa – Subclass 100 or 801, you will be eligible to the above plus all the rights of an Australian permanent resident which includes:
- Working and living permanently in Australia
- Studying and traveling without limits in and out of Australia
- Sponsoring your relatives for permanent residency
Below is the list of documents you may need to apply for this visa in Australia. These documents are specific to the partner visa application:
- Joint bank account
- Properties that are mutually owned, such as real estate
- Joint ventures such as joint leases
- Naming one another in wills or life plans as beneficiaries
- Flight tickets or receipts evidencing your mutual holidays or journeys
- Pictures or Photo Albums
- Joint obligations such as mortgages
- Bills, receipts, invoices etc.
- Bank Statements;
- Evidence that others recognising the relationship
- Evidence that you make decisions and plans together
- Emails or messages sent to each other
- Interaction with one another on social media
- Records of conversations on the phone
While some of these documents are required, others can be good to include in order to avoid complications with the application.
Other than the documents needed for the application, the applicant may also need to provide:
- health certificates,
- background checks,
- Education and work experience,
- Social security
- From AUD7,715 for most applicants.
- From AUD1,285 for Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).