This visa allows the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia.
Who could get this visa
The applicant must be sponsored and married or in a de facto relationship with:
- an Australian citizen
- an Australian permanent resident
- an eligible New Zealand citizen.
The relationship must be genuine and ongoing. The applicant and the partner must live together, if they do not, any separation must be only temporary and both parties must freely consent to the relationship.
The applicant must also be older than 18 years of age and not be related to the partner by family. This means the applicant cannot be an ancestor or descendant of the partner, or have a parent in common.
The marriage must be valid under Australian law. Same-sex couples can apply for this visa only based on their de facto relationship.
De facto applicants
Usually the de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before the applicant applies for this visa. However, the applicant can be granted a visa without having been in a de facto relationship for 12 months if:
- s/he can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances, such as having dependent children
- the de facto relationship has been registered in Australia (this is not available in all states and territories).
Who can sponsor
The sponsor must:
- be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
- be in a married or de facto relationship with the applicant
- be older than 18 years of age.
Limitations on sponsorship
The sponsorship might not be approved if the sponsor:
- was sponsored for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the past five years
- has successfully sponsored two people for migration to Australia on a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa
- has successfully sponsored another person for migration to Australia on a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the past five years.
- If the prospective sponsor was granted a Contributory Parent category visa after 30 June 2009, s/he cannot sponsor a partner for five years from the date the visa was granted if they were in relationship before the visa was granted. There are some exceptions to this limitation.
Visa application process
The application is processed in two stages, about two years apart. The first stage grants a temporary visa and the second stage grant a permanent visa. However, a single application is lodged for both the temporary and permanent visas, and a single application fee is charged. Based on the location of the applicant there are two types of Partner visas.
- For onshore applicants: Temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) and Permanent Partner visa (subclass 801)
- For offshore applicants: Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100)
The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820 or 309) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801 or 100 respectively). For Temporary Partner visa, the applicant(s) must be onshore when the outcome of the visa application is decided. Similarly, for Partner (Provisional) visa, the applicant(s) must be offshore when the outcome of the visa application is decided. However, the applicant can be in or outside Australia when the outcome of Permanent Partner/ Partner (Migrant) visa is decided.
In most cases, permanent residence cannot be granted less than two years from the day the initial application is lodge.
- Visa applicant(s) must meet the health requirements. Visa applicant(s) might need to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process and can choose to undertake them prior to lodging the visa application.
- Visa applicant(s) must meet certain character requirements. Visa applicant(s) must provide a police certificate from each country s/he has lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after turning 16 years of age.
Including family in your application
The main applicant can include dependent children in the same visa application. The dependent children must also be able to show that they meet Australia’s healthand character requirements. It should be noted that onshore and offshore applicant(s) cannot be included in the same application in this visa.
The partner temporary/provisional visa lets the visa holder to:
- enter Australia and stay here until a decision is made regarding the permanent Partner visa
- work and study in Australia
- enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses.
If the applicant is later granted a permanent visa, s/he can:
- stay in Australia indefinitely
- work and study in Australia
- apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible)
- sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
- receive some social security payments
- travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted