Partner Immigration

If you are married, engaged to or a de facto partner to an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand resident living in Australia, your partner may sponsor you to migrate to Australia.

There are a number of Partner Visa streams that may be applicable to your situation.

Partner Visas

This visa is for spouses and de facto partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand residents living in Australia.

There are two types of Partner Visa streams including the Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) and Offshore Partner Visa (Subclass 309/100).

Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801)

This Application consists of a two-phase process including an application for the temporary visa (subclass 820) and thereafter the permanent visa (subclass 801). These applications are made together.

You must be in Australia when applying for this visa.

Offshore Partner Visa (Subclass 309/100)

The second partner visa stream is the offshore partner visa. As the name suggests this visa is for partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens who reside outside of Australia.

As with the Onshore Partner Visa application this is a two-phase process including an application for the temporary visa (subclass 309) and the permanent visa (subclass 100).

You must be outside of Australia when applying for this visa.

Process

Two years after the initial temporary partner visa is granted, you will be issued with a request from the Department of Home Affairs to provide current evidence of your relationship. This evidence will then be assessed by the Department before determining whether to grant you permanent residency.

In some cases, you may be granted the permanent visa at the same time as the temporary visa. This may occur where:

  • You have been in a relationship with your partner for at least three years at the time of the initial application;
  • You have been in a relationship with your partner for at least two years and have dependent children at the time of the initial application; and
  • Where your partner was granted a permanent visa under the humanitarian program or granted a protection visa and was in the relationship with you before the grant of the aforementioned visas.

Eligibility

The Department of Home Affairs will assess whether you have a genuine and continuing relationship with your sponsor. In assessing this, the Department will likely consider the following five criteria:

  • The History of your relationship;
  • Financial evidence of your relationship;
  • The Nature of your household (if you are living together);
  • Social Context of your relationship; and
  • The Nature of your commitment to each other.

Further eligibility criteria include:

  • Health and Character assessments:
  • You will be required to provide a full health and character assessment including police checks.

De Facto Partners

The Department of Home Affairs has provided insight into how they assess whether a genuine de facto relationship exists:

  • You must not be 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 permanent basis; and
  • You are not related by family.

In most cases, your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months before an application for the visa is made.

Processing Times

Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801)

The Department of Home Affairs currently estimates that 75% of subclass 820 applications are determined within 21 months of lodgement, and 90% of applications within 28 months.

Thereafter, the processing times for the permanent visa (subclass 801) are 19 months for 75% of applications and 24 months for 90% of applications.

Offshore Partner Visa (Subclass 300/100)

Currently 75% of subclass 309 applications are determined within 14 months and 90% of applications are completed within 20 months.

Thereafter the processing times for the permanent visa (subclass 100) are estimated to be 20 months for 75% of applications and 37 months for 90% of applications.

It is important to note that these figures are only estimates and are subject to frequent change. We advise that you refer to the Department’s website for an updated estimation of processing times.

Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)

If you are engaged to an Australian citizen or permanent resident and intend to marry them, you may be eligible to apply for a prospective marriage visa.

This visa allows you to travel to Australia to marry your fiancé/fiancée.

The Visa grant duration is 9 months within which you must marry your fiancé/fiancée.

Eligibility

  • You Must be engaged to an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Intend to get married in Australia.
  • Have met (in person) your fiancé/fiancée.
  • You and your fiancé/fiancée must be above the age of 18.

Processing Times

The Department of Home Affairs currently estimates that it processes:

  • 75% of applications in 15 months; and
  • 90% of applications in 21 months.