So you have fallen in love and want to stay together in Australia? What are your options?. This guide aims to answer the most common questions about partner visas in Australia. Also known as spouse visas, de facto visas or even sometimes referred incorrectly as “partnership visas”.

The most basic requirement is one of you will need to hold either Australian PR, be an eligible NZ Citizen or be a citizen of Australia. That person is known as the sponsor of the application. Partner visas in Australia are also available to same sex relationships. Sometimes the term “partner visa” is wrongly used to refer to a dependant of a temporary visa (i.e student or 485 visa).

What types of partner visa are there?

There are five main types of partner visa in Australia. Three of them are temporary visas and the 2 remaining are permanent visas that require the applicant to prove they are still in a continuing and relationship to be granted.

On-shore partner visas

Temporary partner visa (820 visa)

The application for a partner visa in Australia is a 2-stage process. The first stage is getting the 820 visa granted. This temporary partner visa is a provisional visa and partners qualify for the permanent stage of this visa two years after applying for the temporary partner visa.

For example, if you APPLY for your visa on the 15th of March, 2021, it doesn’t matter how long takes to get granted the 820 visa, on the 16th of March, 2023, (if the 820 is already granted), you can apply for the next stage.

What You Can Do With the 820 Partner Visa?

  • Live and work full-time in Australia until a decision is made
  • Study in Australia (but without government funding) at a lower cost than international students
  • Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s healthcare insurance plan
  • Bring and live with your young dependents in Australia

How long does it take to get the 820 partner visa?

As of July 2021, the immigration website, states that 75% of the applications are being processed within 21 months and 90% within 26 months.

Permanent partner visa (801 visa)

In most cases, partners need to prove that they have remained a couple for two years since lodging stage 1 (820 visa) – Although there are exceptions to this rule. You may qualify for the permanent Partner visa without having to wait for two years if:

  • You have five years or more of marriage or de facto relationship evidence.
  • There are dependent children from your relationship (duration of two years or more)

What can you do with the 801 Partner visa?

  • Work and live in Australia with no time limit
  • Study and travel in and out of Australia without restrictions
  • Join Medicare, Australia’s state-run healthcare insurance program
  • Apply for Australian citizenship
  • Sponsor your relatives for permanent residence

How much does the 820/801 visa cost?

When you apply for this visa, you are applying – and therefore paying – two visas at the same time. As of July 2021, applying for a partner visa inside Australia is AUD7,850.

Off-shore partner visas

Partner visa (309 visa – 100 visa)

If your partner is outside Australia and still want to apply for a partner visa, the alternative partner visa options are the offshore partner visa. The temporary version of this visa is the 309 visa and the permanent version is the visa subclass 100.

As your partner is applying outside Australia this application doesn’t give you a bridging visa (or other type of entry to the country) and therefore you must wait until the visa is granted to be able to come to Australia.

How long does it take to get the 309 partner visa?

As of July 2021, the immigration website, states that 75% of the applications are being processed within 18 months and 90% within 23 months.

How much does the 309/100 visa cost?

Again, when you apply to this visa, you are applying – and therefore paying – two visas at the same time. As of July 2021, applying for a partner visa outside Australia is AUD7,850.

Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)

The Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) is also known as the “fiancé visa”. You must be outside Australia and be engaged with one eligible sponsor to apply for this visa. This visa allows you to stay in Australia from 9 to 15 months and then leads to the 820 visa.

The criteria for each of these varies slightly from the onshore version, based on the location and duration of the relationship but the majority of evidence required will follow a similar theme of the four factors of assessment.

What evidence do you need for a partner visa?

There are several areas of relationship evidence that Immigration will assess your application on:

  • Financial aspect; such as joint bills, joint bank account, or joint purchases.
  • The Nature of your household; such as whether you live together as a couple and share house chores, domestic duties and can show you have lived together for at least 12 months OR have a registered relationship OR be married.
  • Social aspect; such as whether you present as a couple to friends, family and socialise as a couple.
  • The nature of your commitment to each other in relation to your future plans.

What are the top 3 reasons your partner visa might be refused?

In this video, our senior migration agent, Shannon Semenikow explain the top 3 reasons your partner visa could be refused.


At Education and Migration Services Australia, EMSA, we assess each individuals situation. Our job is to help you to identify and provide these documents to immigration. We provide tailor-made strategic guidance to make sure you have the best possible chances for Permanent Residence while making the journey an enjoyable one!

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