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To qualify and apply for a Partner Visa Australia, you are required to be:

  • Married

OR

  • In a defacto relationship unless exempt

This relationship is required to be with an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen at the time of the application.

If a Partner visa were to be lodged whilst onshore (in Australia) you will additionally receive a Bridging visa in association to it. Limitations on being able to work or study may also become a factor. The Partner visa will depend on your previous held visa, with the same conditions continuing from your Bridging visa to your partner visa. For example, if you had work or study rights on your previous visa, this will carry over onto your Partner visa.

But, if you are to wait for a Permanent partner visa (subclass 100 or 801) and have the previous entitlements when your previous visa expires, you cannot receive fee assistance like HECS or Newstart or other government subsidies.

Partner Visa Eligibility Tool

In order to lodge your Partner visa on your own behalf, be sure that you:

  • Fill out the form Form 47SP Application for migration to Australia by a partner

Your application can be lodged by post, but is not recommended due to its difficulty to track and attach documents to the application in the future.

Once having met the detailed criteria, you will be granted a Temporary Partner visa (Subclass 820 for onshore or Subclass 309 for offshore) up until the time you get the Permanent Partner visa (subclass 801 or 100). After having been on the Temporary visa for two years, you will usually be eligible to apply for a Permanent Partner visa.

There are two eligibility paths to a Partner visa, but you are required to be in either a Married relationship or a De Facto Relationship.

If you wish to apply through the marriage pathway and are in Australia, you are required to be legally married to your partner. If you are applying from outside of Australia (offshore), then you need to be either:

  • Legally married in your country of residence or another country
  • Intend to get married in the near future (before a decision is made on your Temporary Partner visa)

The following relationships are not accepted from overseas:

  • Certain polygamous marriages
  • Marriages of persons within a prohibited degree of relationship
    •      a person and an ancestor or descendent of the person (that is, parent and child or grandparent and grandchild) or
    •      siblings (whether full blood or half blood).
  • Certain underage marriages

Apart from the details above, Australia’s case office will expect that your relationship will meet the following:

  • The couple have a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others and
  • The relationship is genuine and continuing and
  • The couple live together, or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
  • Meet Certain Health and Character requirements

What is a de facto relationship?

If all of the following is applicable to you, then you and your partner are in a de facto partner relationship:

  • You are not legally married to each other
  • You are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • Your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • You live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • You are not related by family

Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different sex.

Length of relationship

Your de facto relationship must typically have existed for a minimum of 12 months immediately before applying for a visa. It must be noted that time spent dating or in an online relationship does not count as being in a de facto relationship.

If your relationship were to have lasted for less than 12 months, you might still be eligible for the visa.

Applicant document Checklist for a Partner visa

Identity documents

One of the following documents to prove your identity:

  • A birth certificate showing the names of both parents:
  • Identification pages of a family book showing the names of both parents
  • Identification pages of an identification document issued by the government
  • Identification pages of a court-issued document that proves your identity
  • Identification pages of a family census register

Your current passport open to the page of your photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates are required.

Two recent passport photographs (45 mm x 35 mm):

  • The photograph should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background
  • The applicant’s name must be printed on the back of the photograph

A national identity card (if owned).

Proof of name change if applicable.

Documents about you and your partner’s relationship

  • Two of Form 888 – Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or a Prospective Marriage visa application (84KB PDF).
  • Proof that your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • If you are married, you will need your marriage certificate
  • Documents that prove you are in a de facto relationship (if you are)

Documents about other relationships

Divorce documents, death certificates, separation documents or statutory declarations are required if you have previously been married, widowed, divorced or permanently separated.

Health documents

Documents to show you meet the designated health requirement are not needed, as your doctor will send them through.

Character documents

  • Completed Form 80 – Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (PDF 554KB )
  • Police certificates
  • If you served in the armed forces of any country, military service records or discharge papers

Identity documents

  • Proof that your sponsor is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • If your sponsor is an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, proof they usually live in Australia

Character documents

  • Police certificates
  • If you served in the armed forces of any country, military service records or discharge paper
If you are sponsoring on behalf of your child
  • You are required to provide:

    • A court document allowing the marriage between your child and the visa applicant
    • Proof that you are the parent or guardian of your child

    Both the applicant and the Sponsor are required to provide:

Proof that your relationship is genuine and continuing

Meet as many of the documents below as possible:

Factor 1 – Financial aspects of the relationship

A statement about your relationship that describes:

    • how, when and where you first met
    • how the relationship developed
    • when you became engaged or married, if applicable
    • joint activities
    • periods of separation
    • significant events in the relationship
    • your future plans together
Factor 2 – The nature of the household

Documents that show you and your partner share financial responsibilities, for example:

    • mortgage or lease documents showing joint ownership or rental of property
    • loan documents of major assets such as homes, cars or major appliances in both names
    • joint bank accounts
    • household bills in both names
Factor 3 – Social aspects of the relationship

Documents that show that you and your partner share household responsibilities, for example:

    • a statement about the way housework is distributed
    • household bills in both names
    • mail or emails addressed to both of you
    • joint responsibility for children
    • your living arrangements
Factor 4 – The nature of the commitment

Documents that show your relationship is known by others, for example:

    • joint invitations, going out together, friends and acquaintances in common
    • proof that you and your partner have declared your relationship to government bodies, commercial or public institutions
    • proof of joint sporting, cultural or social activities
    • proof of joint travel

Documents to show you are committed to each other your long term relationship, for example:

    • knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances such as background and family situation. You could tell us this at an interview.
    • documents that show you have combined your personal matters
    • the terms of your wills
    • letters and phone bills that show you have been in contact when apart.

All of the circumstances of the relationship are to be considered when a Tribunal is assessing a Partner visa application, not simply the matters listed in Regulations.

To learn more about Regulations and visa assessments, you can follow the link below:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCCA/2018/121.html

If your current visa expires

You are eligible to stay in Australia through a Bridging visa A (BVA) even if your current visa were to end before having been granted the temporary partner visa.  

Your BVA will be automatically granted once having applied for a partner visa. Once your temporary visa ends, the BVA will start.

If you wish to travel out of Australia and return, you are required to apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB), as the BVA does not permit travel outside of Australia and return.

BVAs and BVBs granted to applicants for this visa allow you to:

  • Work in Australia
  • Study in Australia (no government support)
  • Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s health care scheme

More information is available about bridging visas.

If you cancel a current visa

By cancelling your current visa, you will become an unlawful non-citizen, which means you will not be eligible for a Bridging visa A, B, or C. The only visa you can be generally considered for is a Bridging visa E. You will then need to lodge an application for a Bridging visa E, as you will not automatically be granted a bridging visa in this situation.