Partner Visas

The Australian Partner Visa allows foreign de facto partners or spouses of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens to live in Australia.


Access to Medicare

Unrestricted Work Rights

Pathway to Permanent Residency

Single Visa Application Charge

Allows for unlimited travel in and out of Australia

Access to Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)

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Types of Partner Visas

There are two types of Partner Visas:

Onshore Partner Visa

Subclass 820 Partner Visa (Temporary)

This visa is applied for whilst in Australia and will permit you to remain in Australia with your partner/spouse until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).

Offshore Partner Visa

Subclass 309 Partner visa (provisional)

This visa is applied for from outside Australia and will allow you to live temporarily in Australia until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).

Partner Visa Strategies

At Augustine & Co., we endeavour to provide you with a strategic action plan that serves as a solution piece to all your specific immigration needs and desires. The following are common partner visa strategies that we often utilise:

Strategy 1

Apply for an Onshore Partner Visa with Full Working Rights

If you are in Australia and hold a valid substantive visa, you may make a combined application for Subclass 820/801 Partner visas in Australia, before your visa expires. This will entitle you to full work rights and access to Medicare.

Strategy 2

Apply for an Onshore Partner Visa from a Bridging Visa

If you are in Australia, but not a holder of a substantive visa, you may still be able to apply for Subclass 820/801 Partner visas in certain circumstances.

In this case, we may be able to assist you by preparing your Partner Visa application, Schedule 3 Waiver and Work Rights application if applicable.

Strategy 3

Apply for a Tourist Visa followed by an application for an Onshore Partner Visa

We may recommend applying for an alternative visa to come to Australia with/without your partner/spouse. Once you are onshore, you may be able to apply for the Subclass 820/801 visas and receive a bridging visa with access to Medicare and full work rights.

Strategy 4

Apply for an Offshore Partner Visa followed by a Tourist Visa Application

If you are unable to obtain an alternate visa to come to Australia, depending on your specific circumstances, we may recommend applying for the offshore Subclass 309/100 visas followed by a Tourist visa application if your partner/spouse is in Australia, and you would like to visit them as soon as possible.

Each strategy that we recommend is catered towards your unique circumstances based on Australia’s complex immigration policy and legislative requirements. Therefore, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with us to discuss your visa matter, before applying.

How do Partner Visas Work?

The application process involves two stages:

The first stage would involve an in-depth assessment of all vital aspects of a genuine and continuing relationship which would lead to a decision being made on the temporary partner visa application.

Once the temporary partner visa is granted, the applicant is eligible to apply for the second stage, which is the permanent residency visa application, usually two years from the date of lodgement of the temporary partner visa application.

Exceptions to the 2 year Partner Visa Timeline

In accordance with Departmental policy, decision-makers are able to grant permanent residency at the initial application stage, if a couple has been in a long-term de facto/spousal relationship. The Department defines a long-term relationship as:

  • being in a relationship for at least 3 years; or
  • having a dependent child (other than a
    stepchild) from the relationship between the applicant and the sponsor.

As such, if you have been in a long-term relationship and/or have a child together, you may be eligible for permanent residency through the partner visa route in a much shorter timeframe.

Partner Visa Melbourne

Current processing Time

The general processing times set by the Department for a Partner Visa are as follows:


75% of applications: 18 months
90% of applications: 26 months


75% of applications: 24 months
90% of applications: 31 months

Individual processing times for any given application may vary depending on an applicant’s specific circumstances, their country of origin, as well as the quality of the application lodged with the Department of Home Affairs, i.e. a decision ready application in compliance with all legislative and policy criteria.

Partner Visa Costs

When you apply for a partner/spouse visa, irrespective of where you apply from, you are taken to have applied for both the temporary and the permanent partner visas together, even though in practice, you will need to make a separate application for the second stage.

Hence, you are not required to pay any additional visa fees when lodging your permanent partner visa application.

  • 820/801 or 309/100 Partner Visa Application AUD 7,850

    Paid directly to the Department of Home Affairs at time of application: Visa application fee of $7,850 for the main applicant, $3,930 for any dependents over 18, and $1,965 for each child under 18.

  • Medical Examination Approx AUD 350

    Paid directly to the panel clinic/hospital that undertakes the medical examination for the applicants.

  • Police Checks Cost Varies

    Paid directly to the relevant authorities that issue national/state level police/character checks of the applicants.

Upcoming Partner Visa Changes (2021)

The Department of Home Affairs will be introducing a new sponsorship framework, requiring sponsors to be approved before their partners/spouses can apply for a Partner visa. These new changes are set to come into effect in or around November 2021.

What are the Proposed Changes?

New reforms will require partner visa applications to meet:

  • English language requirement for permanent resident sponsors and Partner visa applicants; and
  • Applying the sponsorship framework set out in the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 to the Partner visa program. This means the sponsorship application will be assessed separately and will need to be approved before a valid Partner visa application can be lodged.

What are The Implications of these changes?

This change will adversely impact onshore Partner visa applicants who want to lodge a partner visa application before their substantive visas expire. 

Additionally, the changes will also require the applicant and the sponsor to demonstrate a functional level of English or demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English in order to acclimate to the Australian community.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Further, this info is subject to constant change based on any changes in the law, and therefore, is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a solicitor-client relationship. The reader should consult with an immigration lawyer prior to lodging any application as each lawful case may be different.