Partner Visa in Australia

You may have heard from a de facto visa, fiancée visa, partner visa, or spouse visa. But all those visas belong to the same Australian partner visa category and are designed to bring your partner to Australia, regardless of whether you’re married, in a de facto relationship, in a civil union or in a same-sex relationship.

Partner visas in Australia are usually granted in two stages: initially the applicant gets a provisional visa. Approximately two years after the initial application the Department of Home Affairs starts processing a permanent visa. There are – of course – exemptions to this rule and if you have been in a long-term relationship you may be granted a permanent visa right away.

There are three main partner visa categories:

  • 309 (provisional) & 100 (temporary
  • 820 (provisional) & 801 (permanent)
    • The difference between these two is whether the visa applicant is onshore or offshore at the time of application and decision
  • 300 (temporary)
    • This is a visa for fiancés only. It’s valid for 9 months and will enable you to travel to Australia to get married and apply for a partner visa.

Partner visa can get refused on a variety of reasons. The most common are probably:

  • You missed a deadline to provide further information, e.g. if an email wasn’t received or ended up in your junk folder
  • You have insufficient evidence that you really are in a genuine relationship
  • Your partner has previously sponsored someone
  • You lodged an application in Australia because you didn’t know or didn’t really understand that you were subject to a ban to do so (e.g. if you have overstayed a previous visa or if you had a ‘no further stay’ condition attached to your existing visa)
  • You provided conflicting evidence on a previous visa application (e.g. you declared yourself to be ‘single’ in a student visa application)
  • You made a mistake in your application and/or provided information or evidence the Department deemed to be ‘misleading’ or ‘incorrect’

The cost of Australian partner visas is unfortunately relatively high. At this stage (July 2020) the visa application charge for one adult (and no children attached) is A$ 7715. If you include children in your application, there is an additional charge of A$ 1935 per child. On top of that you may have to consider cost for medical examinations, police clearances, translations and a migration agent, if you chose to hire someone to assist you.

Important: None of these fees are refundable if your application is refused, but you maybe able to appeal a negative decision. However appealing a refusal will cause further cost and delays.

*** COVID-19 effects on Partner Visas for Australia ***

The Department of Home Affairs has announced to cut the migration intake in the 2020/21 financial year. It’s expected that this will hit predominantly skilled and employer sponsored migration. Partner visa and family visa are not likely to be directly affected by the reduced numbers.

However, there may well be further delays in processing and the current travel ban does also create additional hurdles for family members. If you’re planning to travel to Australia to visit your partner, you need to apply for a travel exemption to do so.
Covid-19 effects on Partner Visas for Australia

If you would like to apply for a partner visa to Australia and are not sure if you’re on the right track, or if you have hit a problem with an application you prepared yourself, feel free to book a consultation with a Migration Agent to discuss your best way forward.

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