This article will explain how to apply for a partner visa in Australia and other relevant information. You may be able to apply for a partner visa if you are in a relationship with a citizen or permanent resident of Australia. This type of visa allows you to live and work in Australia with your partner. A bridging visa can be granted to allow you to stay in Australia while the visa is processing.
To understand more on how to apply for a partner visa, the types of partner visa must be discussed too. The Migration Act and the Regulations provide the qualifications for granting a valid partner visa. There are two categories of partner visas:
- Onshore Partner Visa (Subclasses 820 and 801); and
- Provisional Partner Visa (Subclasses 309 and 100).
Onshore Partner Visas (Subclasses 820 and 801)
Onshore Partner Visas allow you to apply for your visa from within Australia and have it processed there. Because there is a joint application process, you must apply for both at the same time. You will, however, acquire the 820 first and must wait two years before becoming eligible for permanent residency.
- Onshore Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820). The validity of this type of visa is only two years.
The privileges granted by this visa are:
- You can work, live, and study in the country while the Department of Home Affairs evaluates the documents for your permanent Partner visa. In most circumstances, you must be the spouse (married) or de facto partner of an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- You can attend English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).
- Travel to and from Australia is at your discretion; and
- You can apply for access to Australia’s public health care, Medicare.
- Onshore Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801). This visa has permanent validity. After two years with a subclass 820 visa, you must submit additional documents before receiving the 801 visa.
- In addition to the advantages of your subclass 820 visa, the permanent partner visa will allow you to:
- Live and work in Australia indeterminately.
- Support qualified family members to come to Australia.
- Apply for Australian citizenship if eligible.
Offshore Partner Visas (Subclasses 309 and 100)
The Offshore Partner Visas allow you to apply from outside of Australia. After receiving your visa, you can join your partner and wait for permanent residency. You must apply for both the Subclass 309 and Subclass 100 Visas simultaneously; however, two years should pass after receiving the temporary visa before the Department issues a permanent visa.
When you apply, you must be outside Australia and receive the 309 Visa; nevertheless, you can be inside or outside of Australia when you acquire the permanent visa.
- Offshore Migrant Partner Visa (Subclass 100). This visa has a two-year validity being a temporary visa.
- Provisional Offshore Partner Visa (Subclass 309). When the temporary visa expires, you will receive this permanent visa.
Prospective Marriage Visa
A prospective marriage visa (Subclass 300) is for people who intend to marry their prospective spouse. This visa is valid for 9 months from date of grant. You must marry the sponsor within the validity period of the visa. Once married, within 9 months from the date of a subclass 300 visa grant, you will be allowed to lodge an application for an onshore partner visa (820/801).
Eligibility for a Partner Visa
One of the most important parts in understanding how to apply for a partner visa is the eligibility requirements. Before applying for a partner visa, you must meet the eligibility criteria. For Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801) and Partner Migrant Visa (Subclass 100), the eligibility requirements are:
1. Visa requirements:
- a Temporary Partner Visa (subclass 820) – for subclass 801 only
- a Provisional Partner Visa (Subclass 309) – for subclass 100 only
- a Dependent Child Visa (subclass 445).
2. Relationship requirements:
- You must be married or in a de facto relationship
- You must have a sincere and enduring relationship
- You must live together or must not live permanently apart
- You must be mutually committed to a shared life excluding other partners.
3. No debt to the Australian Government or have not arranged to pay debts back.
For Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820) and Provisional Partner Visa (Subclass 309), these are the eligibility requirements:
- You must not have a visa cancelled or an application refused.
- You must not hold certain regional visas (only required for subclass 820 visa)
- You must be in Australia when you apply.
- You must have a sponsor.
- You must be the right age.
- You must meet relationship requirements.
- You must meet the health requirements.
- You must meet the character requirements.
- You must have no debt to the Australian Government.
- You must consider the best interests of the child.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply because of your unique circumstances, and you want to know more about how to apply for a partner visa, you must avail the services of a migration lawyer to help you clear things out and proceed with your application.
Step-by-step Application, Processing Time, and Fees
The following is the step-by-step application on how to apply for a partner visa:
- Gather and prepare the necessary documents.
- Apply for the visa through the online application portal.
- After filling in and submitting the required documents, check if the Department has received your documents.
- When you have confirmed the receipt of the documents, the Department will process your application, and they will inform you of their decision through a written notice.
It is vital to conduct sufficient study on how to apply for a partner visa as well as other requirements for exceptional circumstances in order to improve one’s chances of having a successful visa application.
A partner visa application can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of your case and the volume of applications. Generally, processing time can take between 12 and 21 months for a partner visa application.
Another key aspect in understanding how to apply for a partner visa is knowing about how much the applicant is going to pay for the procedure. Fees can also vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for and whether you are applying from within or outside Australia. The current cost for a partner visa application is AUD 8,085 for the main applicant.
JB Solicitors Can Help You
Applying for a partner visa in Australia can be a daunting process. However, by following the steps on how to apply for a partner visa and ensuring that you meet the eligibility criteria, you can increase your chances of submitting a successful application.
The stress and uncertainty of the immigration procedure for your partner in Australia might outweigh the joy of coming to a new country. The expertise of the migration lawyers at JB Solicitors can help answer your queries on how to apply for a partner visa and ensure that you fulfil the requirements to obtain a successful outcome.
Contact us today.