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Partner Visa Subclass 820/801

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Within the Australian immigration landscape, securing a partner visa is often the gateway to starting a new life. Partner visas facilitate the reunion of couples, bridging the gap for those separated by borders. Whether you're applying for a temporary or permanent partner visa, the process can be complex. With the assistance of a reputable partner visa migration agent, you can streamline the partner visa application process and ensure that you meet the criteria. 

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may sponsor your partner, including an eligible New Zealand citizen, for a partner visa. From the prospective marriage visa, to the onshore partner visa, each pathway has its nuances, and meticulous preparation is key. 

With the expertise of a registered migration agent, your journey towards obtaining a partner visa can be smoother, ensuring your love knows no borders in the land down under.

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What is the Partner visa (subclass 820/801)?

If you're the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, you might be eligible for a partner visa.

There are two kinds of partner visas, categorised by subclass. Subclass 820/801 partner visas cater to onshore applicants, whereas subclass 309/100 partner visas are for those offshore. If you're outside Australia, please consult the Partner visa 309/100 page.

Subclass 820 and subclass 801 are applied for at the same time, and have a few key differences. The subclass 820 visa is temporary, while the subclass 801 is permanent. Applicants will first receive the temporary 820 visa, and upon fulfilling all eligibility requirements for a partner visa post-application, will typically receive a permanent subclass 820 visa. The permanent visa allows for unrestricted living, working, studying, and travelling, along with Medicare access. 

After two years on subclass 820, you become eligible for subclass 801. Upon obtaining subclass 801, you attain Australian permanent residency and its associated benefits.

Navigating the application process for a partner visa can be complex, and it's essential to understand the requirements. Whether you're in a de facto relationship or legally married, seeking assistance from a reputable partner visa migration agent can streamline the process.

Eligibility requirements for a subclass 820/801 Partner visa

Before submitting your application for a subclass 820/801 partner visa, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements. The eligibility criteria under the Migration Act requires the following:

  • You must be physically present in Australia during the application process.
  • You must be in a genuine and ongoing relationship with your sponsoring Australian partner (an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen).
  • Your sponsoring Australian partner must be either your spouse or de facto partner as defined by law.
  • You must be over 18 years old, with limited exceptions.
  • You must satisfy health and character prerequisites.
  • It's important to note that same-sex partners are eligible to apply for this visa as well!

With a thorough understanding of the partner visa requirements, you can navigate the application process confidently, ensuring a smoother transition to life in Australia. Many foreign nationals find it helpful to speak with our registered migration agents about their partner visa eligibility. In such circumstances, we can provide helpful advice on how to best apply for your Australian partner visa.

Benefits of a Partner visa

The primary benefit of a Partner visa is the stability it provides for you and your sponsoring Australian partner. It allows an uninterrupted life together in Australia, fostering continuity even before obtaining permanent residency.

In essence, the Partner visa not only fosters uninterrupted companionship but also lays the foundation for a thriving life in Australia, characterised by stability, opportunity, and diversity. The opportunity to apply for a permanent visa when your temporary or prospective marriage visa expires helps applicants to feel secure in their future.

As a subclass 820 visa-holder, you are granted a range of privileges:

  • Work without restriction and be guaranteed minimum wage under Australian law
  • Study without restriction
  • Travel in and out of Australia 
  • Access Medicare 

Upon transitioning to the subclass 801 visa, you unlock an array of further benefits, including: 

  • Full-fledged access to Medicare services, ensuring comprehensive healthcare coverage for you and your family.
  • The opportunity to pay domestic student fees, thereby alleviating financial burdens associated with tertiary education.
  • Eligibility to pursue citizenship after fulfilling the requisite residency requirements.
  • Furthermore, you have the ability to sponsor family members under relevant programs, facilitating their integration into Australian society.

Subclass 820 Partner visa checklist

The partner visa application involves multiple components and requires substantial documentary evidence to prove the genuine nature of your relationship and meet legislative requirements.

Every year, the Australian Government rejects numerous partner visa applications due to insufficient evidence of genuine relationships. To assist you, we've developed a comprehensive checklist encompassing all necessary documents to demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship and fulfil all legislative requirements for a partner visa.

The most important thing that you need to prove is that you and your partner are in a genuine and continuing relationship. Failure to provide sufficient evidence to provide this is one of the key causes of partner visa refusals. As part of the visa services provided by Australian Migration Agents, we will advise you on what information is required to successfully satisfy the requirement of being in a genuine relationship. This may vary depending on whether you are married or de facto applicants, or whether you are applying for a prospective marriage visa. 

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Documentation proving any name changes (if applicable)
  • Divorce certificate (if applicable)
  • National identity card
  • Australian police clearance certificate
  • Overseas police clearance certificate(s)
  • Military service records (if applicable)
  • Military discharge papers (if applicable)
  • Description of living arrangements (nature of your household)
  • Demonstration of mutual commitment (nature of your commitment)
  • Evidence of financial ties within the relationship (financial aspect of your relationship)
  • Confirmation of social ties and interactions (social aspect of your relationship)

How the subclass 820/801 Partner visas work

The onshore partner visa comprises two stages – the subclass 820 (temporary) stage and the subclass 801 (permanent) stage.

Stage 1: Temporary partner visa (subclass 820)

To apply for the subclass 820 visa, you must present evidence demonstrating the genuineness and continuity of your relationship, along with other personal and character documents.

Upon approval, you receive a subclass 820 visa, enabling unrestricted living, working, studying, and travelling for two years until eligible for subclass 801. You can also access Medicare.

Stage 2: Permanent partner visa (subclass 801)

After two years, subclass 820 visa-holders can apply for subclass 801, requiring similar evidence of ongoing relationship.

Double-grant of subclass 820 and 801 visas

Applicants in long-term relationships may be eligible for a double grant of the 820/801 visa, subject to meeting specific criteria.

Australian Migration Agents can assist in preparing a thorough application to maximise your chance of success.

Future visa pathways

After receiving the subclass 801 visa, you will be considered a permanent resident eligible for various benefits. You may choose to maintain permanent residency, or apply for citizenship after meeting residency criteria.

Remaining a permanent resident entitles you to a 5-year travel facility on your subclass 801 visa. If you opt for Australian citizenship, you gain additional benefits like consular services, visa-free travel to over 100 countries, and access to government jobs.

Benefits of using Australian Migration Lawyers for your Partner visa

The team at Australian Migration Agents boasts decades of combined experience, ensuring a high success rate for partner visa applications and tackling complex cases head-on.

We're committed to providing access to justice by representing all clients in partner visa applications. Our team comprises qualified Australian lawyers leveraging their legal expertise to navigate legislation and improve success rates.

We assist in preparing applications, guiding through additional requests, and ensure compliance with all legislative requirements, maximising your chances of success.

  • Our team of qualified Australian agents draw on their knowledge of relevant legislation and case law in advising you on your Partner visa application and other migration options and strategies available to you
  • We have an obligation to ensure that your Partner visa application is compliant with all legislative requirements for the grant of a Partner visa, which naturally improves your chances of success
  • We assist you with preparing your application all the way through to the grant of your visa, including working with you to action any additional requests from the Department of Home Affairs

Subclass 820/801 Partner Visa Costs

The costs associated with a partner visa application consist of professional fees payable to Australian Migration Agents for preparing the application, and the relevant Department fees. 

Department fees include $8850 payable to the Department of Home Affairs at lodgement, with upfront payment required.

Our fees vary based on application complexity and are quoted on a fixed-fee basis, with payment plans available. Our fees are affordable, flexible and customised to your needs. Book a free consultation for a quote.

Australian visa application steps

The application process can be a complex and time-consuming journey, with strict eligibility criteria and a certain amount of evidence required to support your application. A registered migration agent can help you gather the correct documents and improve your chances of visa success. 

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Step 1

Initial consultation

Book a free consultation with one of our registered migration agents, where we’ll discuss your situation and see how we can help you move forward.

Step 2

Application preparation & submission

Your Australia visa agent will prepare a submission to support your application, tailored to your unique situation and backed by all the documents required. Once completed, we’ll submit your application to the Department of Home Affairs on your behalf.

Step 3

Visa outcome

We’ll be in touch once the Department has come to a decision. If the application isn’t granted, we can appeal on your behalf.

Partner visa processing times using Australian migration agents

The processing time for partner visas can vary significantly, ranging from five (5) months to ninety-six (96) months from the application date. This timeframe depends on factors such as the complexity of your application, the quality of your evidence, and Departmental processing backlogs. Partner visa applicants often seek assistance from Australian Migration Agents to ensure their applications meet the highest standards, minimising the risk of delays.

It's important to note that not all visa applications undergo processing within the same timeframe. Various factors influence the Department's processing speed. Applicants can take proactive steps to enhance their application's chances of approval. This includes providing comprehensive and credible documentation upfront, reducing the need for additional requests from the Department. Timely responses to any further information requests, accompanied by relevant but concise details, are essential to prevent delays. Our team of Australian Migration Agents specialises in preparing 'decision-ready' applications, ensuring all necessary documents are included, expediting the processing timeline.

Partner Visa Considerations: Timing & Location

When applying for a partner visa, timing depends on your situation. Generally, you can apply at any time if in a registered de facto relationship or married to an eligible individual. 

Migration Agents can offer tailored advice on your application. Deciding between applying onshore or offshore involves considering various factors. Offshore application may be necessary if you can't obtain an Australian visa to enter the country, or if you need time to prepare for relocation. Conversely, onshore application lets you experience Australian life firsthand, though it comes with restrictions on working and studying. 

Typically, couples will need to have lived together for at least 12 months, but exceptions exist:

  • Registered relationships in some states may waive the 12-month requirement.
  • Special circumstances like having children together can allow for earlier application.
  • Marriage exempts from the 12-month rule, requiring proof of a genuine marriage.

If you wish to apply offshore, please head to our page on the relevant visa subclass 309/100 page.

Australia-wide services

Our skilled team offers in-person and virtual appointments, which means we can provide immigration assistance and advice regardless of where you live in Australia.  

Frequently asked questions

Read our most commonly asked questions about the subclass 820/801 Partner visas

What happens if my relationship ends before my visa is granted?

If you're holding a permanent partner visa (Subclass 801/100), your right to stay in Australia is not contingent upon your relationship status. Even if your relationship ends, you can continue living in Australia without the need to notify the Department of Home Affairs.

For those on a temporary partner visa (Subclass 820/309), the situation is different. If your relationship ends, there's a chance your visa could be revoked. It's essential to inform the Department of Home Affairs about the change in your relationship status promptly. To notify the Department, you can complete the Notification of Relationship Cessation form in your ImmiAccount's 'Update Details' tab or submit a Change of Circumstances form (Form 1022) via email.

Immediate notification is crucial. Failure to inform the Department about the change could lead to visa cancellation without the opportunity to explain your circumstances.

Once you've notified the Department, they'll review your situation and determine whether you're eligible for a permanent visa. If your explanation aligns with their criteria, you may still be eligible. However, if it falls short, they may proceed with visa cancellation proceedings.

Options to Remain in Australia

Following notification, you might still be able to stay in Australia based on specific circumstances:

  • Domestic and Family Violence: If you're a victim of domestic violence, you can provide evidence to the Department. This could lead to the grant of a permanent visa, depending on your circumstances.
  • Parental Responsibility: If you have a child with your sponsor, you may still be eligible for permanent residence in Australia. Evidence of parental responsibility and the child's birth certificate are required.
  • Death of Partner: In the unfortunate event of your partner's death, you may still be eligible for permanent residence. You'll need to demonstrate that your relationship would have continued if they were alive and provide evidence of their death.

Possible Visa Cancellation

If your relationship is no longer considered genuine and continuing, your visa may be cancelled. While certain circumstances may permit you to continue on the path to permanent residence, this isn't applicable to everyone. If your circumstances don't meet the criteria for an exemption, you may need to apply for a new visa or plan to leave Australia.

If you believe your visa decision was incorrect, you can seek review at Australia's administrative review tribunal or the Federal Court. It's advisable to engage an Australian Migration Agent to guide you through this process.

Applying for a Different Visa

If your partner visa is cancelled and you're not eligible for a permanent partner visa, you can consider applying for a different visa. Options include student visas, skilled migrant visas, working holiday visas, or protection visas. Upon application, you'll be granted a bridging visa allowing you to remain in Australia until your case is considered.

Is it easy to get a partner visa in australia?

It is difficult to accurately calculate the likelihood of your application being accepted at the outset. Many factors combine to determine your likelihood of success. Our Australian Migration Lawyers offer free consults for partner visa applications, where our experienced team will be able to give you a more accurate indication of your likelihood of success.

How long can you stay on the subclass 820 Partner visa?

The subclass 820 partner visa is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in Australia until your subclass 801 Partner visa has been decided. Until then, you can legally remain in Australia as long as you continue to meet all visa conditions.

What if my current visa expires before my subclass 820 is granted?

You will be granted an interim visa called a Bridging Visa A, which you will hold until your subclass 820 is granted. You can work, study and access Medicare on a Bridging Visa A. You are also eligible to apply for a Bridging Visa B, which allows you to travel in and out of Australia while your subclass 820 Partner visa is processing.

How do I speed up my partner visa in Australia?

There are a range of factors that influence the speed at which the Department will process your application. These factors include some things that you can change, and unfortunately, some things that you can’t change.

In terms of things that you can change, there are many ways that you can ensure your application is well placed to be processed quickly by the Department. Ensuring that you attach all relevant information, accompanied by credible and reliable evidence, will reduce the number of requests that the Department will have to make for further information. If they do request further information, responding in a timely manner with sufficient, but not excessive, information will help to prevent delays. 

Our team of Australian Migration Lawyers prepares applications that are ‘decision-ready’. This means that all of the necessary documents are attached and, in theory, an officer of the Department could make a decision on the first day.

How long can you stay on the subclass 820 Partner visa?

You can stay in Australia until your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801) application is finalised or you withdraw your application.

How long does a partner visa take?

It can take between five (5) months to ninety-six (96) months for the government to process your partner visa application. This depends on how complicated your application is, how happy the Department is with the proof you provide, and how many applications they have to handle.

When you choose Australian Migration Agents to help with your application, we'll make sure it's submitted properly to avoid any unnecessary delays. You can find a guide to processing times for different visa types on the Department of Home Affairs website.

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