The new sponsored family visa and approval of family sponsor changes commence on 17 April 2019. We have been notified that these changes will NOT affect Partner visas on 17 April 2019 and that current arrangements will continue to operate.
At this stage, there is no time-frame for expansion of the new sponsorship framework to other family visas and therefore the current arrangements for existing visas, including partner visas, will continue to operate from 17 April 2019.
At this stage the new changes to Sponsored family visa’s, scheduled to commence on 17 April 2019 will only be implemented for the new Sponsored Parent (Temporary) 870 visa.
Once the above changes roll out to Partner visas it would mean that Sponsorships must be lodged first and approved before Partner visas can be lodged. If you are planning to apply for a Partner visa we recommend booking an appointment to discuss and understand how these changes may impact you.
Features of 820/801 partner visa – Temporary to permanent residency in Australia
The Partner visas (subclasses 820 and 801) allow the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia.
The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) is granted first and lets you stay in Australia, after 24 months you may be eligible for a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).
You must be married or in a de facto relationship with:
- an Australian citizen
- an Australian permanent resident
- an eligible New Zealand citizen.
You could be granted an 820/801 visa if:
- Your marriage must be valid under Australian law. This means you must have parental permission if you are 16 or 17 years of age.
- You must have been in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months.
- If you’re inside Australia at the time of application.
- You already hold another visa type, e.g. student visa, visitor visa or working holiday visa.
- You do not have an “8503 – No further stay” condition.
- Meet health and character requirements.
Length of stay
- On the temporary 820 visa, you can stay until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).
- On the permanent 801 visa, you can stay permanently.
From AUD 7,715
Processing time for subclass 801 Partner (permanent) visa is from date of eligibility (2 years after the 820/801 application is lodged) to finalisation can be seen here.
The 12-month cohabitation can be waived if the couple registers their relationship in the state they live in. Relationship registration is only available for people living in certain Australian states.
To apply for a partner visa on defacto grounds you, you would generally need to show you have lived with your partner for 12 months. The 12-month cohabitation requirement also applies when including a spouse for the following types of visa:
- Permanent visas
- Business Skills (Provisional)
- Student visas
- Partner visas
- General Skilled Migration visas
However, you would be exempt from the 12 month requirement if you register your relationship in an Australian state or territory. You would need to show that you are living together but not necessarily for 12 months.
Registration provides legal recognition as a couple under the state law and as well as being beneficial for immigration purposes. Usual requirements include:
- Both partners must be 18 years old or over
- Must not be in a relationship as a couple with another person – in particular they must not be married, in a defacto relationship or in a registered relationship
- Must not be related by family.
- Same sex and different sex couples can register their relationship.
Long term relationship
If, at the time you apply, you have been in a long term relationship with your partner or hve achild together and been living together for 2 years, your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801) visa will be granted immediately after the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) visa.
If your current visa is about to end
You can stay in Australia on a Bridging visa if you have already lodged your application.
If you are married, usually you must be 18 or older when you apply. This is because usually, you must be 18 or older for your marriage to be valid under Australian law.
If you are a de facto partner, you must be 18 or older when you apply.
You must be the spouse (married) or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
You might still be eligible if your relationship breaks down after you lodge your application.
You must have a sponsor, who will be your partner, except if your partner is under 18 years of age.
Debts to the Australian government
You must have repaid, or have arranged to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian government.
Cancelled or refused visas
You might not be able to apply for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.
Eligibility criteria for the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801)
- hold a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820)
- continue to be in the spouse or de facto partner relationship unless your relationship has ended and there are special circumstances
- have complied with all Australian laws whilst on your temporary visa.
What you can do
The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) lets you stay in Australia until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).
From AUD 7000.
If you hold a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) – from AUD 1170.
You pay only one fee, which covers the permanent and the temporary visa, and you pay this when you lodge your application. In most cases, visa application fees can not be refunded, even if you withdraw your application, or your visa is refused.
Additional family members
There is a fee for any children applying for the visa with you.
If you need to have them, you will have to pay other costs such as those for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.
You must be in Australia when you lodge your application and when a decision is made on the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820).
You can be in or outside Australia when a decision is made on the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).
If you are outside Australia when you want to lodge your application, consider either:
- a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)
- a Partner visa (subclass 309 and 100).
More information is available about partner visa options.