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Australian partner visa requirements & checklist items

Sharing Li
Sharing Li
Australian Migration Agent
May 20, 2024
minute read

The Australian partner visa serves as a means to reunite loved ones separated by international borders, allowing them to focus on their relationship and continuing their lives within Australia. It offers couples (same or different sex) a level of stability, and for applicants, a host of benefits including a route to Australian permanent residency and potentially Australian citizenship. Nonetheless, navigating the application process for an Australian partner visa is not necessarily straightforward and can prove to be time consuming.

This blog aims to give applicants an overview of the various requirements and documentation that is required in order to make successful partner visa applications. It is critical that applicants understand this part of the process as it can directly affect their ability to demonstrate their eligibility.

If applicants need assistance or guidance at any stage of the Partner visa application process, seek support from an Australian Migration Agent who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in aiding couples pursuing this type of visa.

Overview of Partner visa eligibility in Australia

A partner visa enables Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens to sponsor their partner’s visa application should they wish to relocate to Australia. The specific visa which is sought by couples will depend on whether the applicant is onshore or offshore, and if there is a prospective marriage in the near future.

Applicants should be aware that on top of the specific requirements for a partner visa in Australia, they will still have to meet the other eligibility criteria outlined by the Department of Home Affairs. This includes the applicant being over the age of 18 (limited exceptions apply), meeting the health and character requirements, not having any existing debt to the Australian Government (or having arrangements in place to deal with that debt) and signing of the Australian values statement

There are multiple types of Partner visas available in Australia, and it is important that applicants note that each subclass entails distinct requirements and procedures. While these subclasses will be discussed below, seeking guidance from an Australian Migration Agent can aid applicants in selecting the appropriate visa pathway for obtaining a partner visa.


The Onshore Partner visa (subclass 820/801)

The Onshore Partner visa (subclass 820/801) is available for those who are currently in Australia validly on another visa type. Applicants should be sponsored by their partner, who is required to be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant and partner need to be in a particular type of relationship, either being spouses (officially married) or de facto partners (living together for a period of at least 12 months). This relationship needs to be a genuine and continuing relationship where both parties are mutually committed to a shared life excluding other partners. The Partner visa (subclass 820) is the provisional visa that is issued, whereas the Partner visa (subclass 801) is the permanent partner visa.

The Offshore Partner visa (subclass 309/100)

The Offshore Partner visa (subclass 309/100) is available for those who are not currently in Australia on another visa type, and are applying for the visa outside of Australia. The same requirements apply as the Onshore Partner visas, with the key difference that the applicant must be outside of Australia when lodging the application and when the provisional Partner visa (subclass 309) is granted. The provisional visa is the subclass 309 visa, with the subclass 100 visa being the permanent visa.

The Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)

While similar to the previously mentioned visa types, the Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) has particular requirements in regards to the status of the relationship. For applicants seeking a Prospective Marriage visa, applicants are required to apply for this visa offshore and must demonstrate an intention and actually marry their prospective spouse within the relevant visa period (must be able to produce a ‘notice of intended marriage’). A Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) is initially a provisional visa allowing the applicant to come to Australia and marry their prospective spouse, after which they can apply for a permanent Partner visa.

As stated earlier, different visas are available to different couples in different circumstances. Therefore, it can often be difficult for couples to understand what visa type is right for them. Where applicants require additional guidance, an Australian Migration Agent can provide relevant advice and assistance.

Partner visa application process

The visa process for a Partner visa occurs over several stages.

Initially, applicants will pursue either a Temporary partner visa (subclass 820), a Provisional partner visa (subclass 309) or a Prospective marriage visa (subclass 300). Following this, and after meeting various requirements (such as 2 years passing or becoming married), applicants will then be able to apply for the second stage of consideration that leads to a permanent partner visa (subclass 801/100).

During the first stage, applicants must satisfy the various requirements outlined above, crucially being substantiating the relationship between themselves and their sponsor. In evaluating this, the Department will look at the dynamics of the household, level of financial interdependence, nature of the commitment and social aspects of the relationship. If the applicant satisfies this, the applicant will attain provisional status.

In the subsequent stage, applicants become eligible to make a permanent visa application. Permanent visa applications require the presentation of additional documentation to the Department demonstrating the continuity of the relationship since the initial visa grant. If the Department’s criteria is met, applicants will be granted a substantive visa, entitling them to Australian permanent residency and its accompanying benefits, as well as a pathway to Australian citizenship.

Applicants should be aware that any dependent children can be attached to the primary visa application. Typically, dependent children will have a temporary visa granted to them which the applicant’s visa is being decided upon. If the applicant is successful, they are able to sponsor the dependent children’s visa application.

Additionally, applicants should be aware that the Department will consider any other Australian visas that the applicant has had or is currently holding. This includes when their current visa expires or if on a previous visa they had that visa cancelled.

For guidance throughout this visa process or on how to make a valid Partner visa application, it is advisable to seek assistance from an Australian Migration Agent who can offer detailed explanations of the process tailored to your circumstances and offer assistance in navigating lodging an application.

Australian Migration Agents

Partner visa checklist

The Partner visa application process requires a substantial amount of supporting documentation and relevant evidence to meet the eligibility requirements for being in a genuine and continuing relationship.

When making an application, some of the documents that should be included are:

Personal Documents

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)
  • Divorce certificate (if applicable)
  • National identity card (if applicable)
  • Adoption papers (if applicable)
  • Applicant passport photo/application passport photo

Character documents 

  • Australian police certificates (i.e. Australian Federal Police clearance)
  • Overseas police certificates
  • Military service records (if applicable)
  • Military discharge papers (if applicable)
  • Character assessment documents

Evidence of your relationship to demonstrate you meet the Department’s criteria

  • Nature of your household (E.g., joint home address evidence, correspondence addressed jointly to household)
  • Nature of your commitment (e.g., detailed relationship statements)
  • Financial aspects of your relationship (E.g., joint financial commitments, joint bank account, joint bank statements, joint car loans, joint pet bills, joint gym membership, joint credit agreements)
  • Social aspect of your relationship (e.g., statutory declaration)
  • Notice of Intended Marriage (if applicable)
  • Relationship registration documents (if applicable)
  • Court issued documents (if applicable)

Previous Relationship Documents

  • Provide divorce documents (if applicable)
  • Death certificates (if applicable)

Benefits of engaging Australian Migration Agents

At Australian Migration Agents, we are committed to assisting any visa applicant at any stage of their application process. Leveraging our wealth of experience and understanding of the Australian immigration system, we can provide invaluable guidance through what is often a daunting and time-consuming process for couples. 

An Australian Migration Agent will ensure that all applications are meticulously prepared and contain all necessary information and supporting evidence for a timely assessment by the Department. While we cannot expedite processing times, our assistance can help minimise avoidable delays, allowing applicants to concentrate on nurturing their relationship. This includes helping applicants exceed the Departments eligibility criteria and ensuring that the appropriate visa is being pursued.


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