Partner Visa Application
Partner Visas can be separated into two pathways depending on whether the visa process was initiated onshore or offshore.
The most common partner visa application is the onshore partner visa where the applications can be onshore throughout the entirety of the visa application. The process begins with the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) and is the first stage towards a permanent partner visa (subclass 801).
The offshore partner visa application acts as a transitional visa from the provisional partner visa (subclass 309) to the permanent partner visa (subclass 100).
The 820 and 801 Visa Process and Criteria
To be eligible for a temporary subclass 820 and permanent 801 visa the applicant and sponsor must be able to show the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that they are in a genuine and ongoing relationship, consenting freely to the relationship and to the exclusion of all others
The 820 and 801 visa process requires that the applicant is the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen. The applicant and sponsor must be in Australia when they apply and when the visa is decided.
For married applicants, the marriage must be valid under Australian Law. Underage and polygamous marriages are not legal or valid in Australia. Same sex marriages are also currently illegal in Australia, however same sex couples can apply for this partner visa as a de facto applicant.
For de facto applicants, the Department generally requires the de facto relationship to have existed for 12 months prior to lodging the application. There are however some circumstances where the visa may be lodged prior to the 12 month criteria including if there are compelling and compassionate circumstances that warrant the visa being granted or the de fact relationship has been registered.
To be eligible for the 820 and 801 visa, the applicants are also required to meet certain health and character requirements, including partaking in a health exam and providing police clearances from other countries lived in and signing an Australian Values Statement.
The lodgement process for both the temporary and permanent visas occurs at the same time, however they are processed in two stages, two years apart. An applicant is eligible to lodge the 801 (Permanent Visa) two years after the lodgement of the 820. The subclass 820 visa allow the applicant to stay, work and study in Australia until a decision has been made on the permanent subclass 801 visa. It also allows the applicant to enrol in Medicare, Australia’s health care scheme. Dependent children can be included in the application but other independent relatives are not eligible for inclusion.
The subclass 801 visa allows the applicant to stay in Australia indefinitely. Permanent residency also allows the holder to work and study unrestricted, as well as apply for citizenship when eligible. Permanent 801 visas also include a travel facility, allowing travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa was granted.
For the subclass 801 visa to be processed, the relationship must continue to meet all criteria, including that the relationship is genuine and ongoing. In some exceptional circumstances the visa can be granted where your partner relationship has ended including when there is a child of the relationship, the sponsor dies or the application has suffered family violence perpetrated by the sponsor.
The 309 and 100 Visa Process and Criteria
The provisional partner subclass 309 and migrant partner subclass 100, is the same as the 820/801 application process except the applicant is required to be outside Australia at the time of application and until the subclass 309 is granted. The applicant can be onshore or offshore when the subclass 100 visa is granted.