Do you have a partner who is currently in Australia but not a permanent resident? Perhaps you’re exploring your Permanent Partner Visa options or maybe your partner is already on an 820 Partner Visa and ready to proceed with their 801 Permanent Partner Visa? The Onshore 820 and 801 Partner Visa pathway allows your loved one to live with you so you can build your future together in Australia. There are two visas involved in migrating through this pathway – the Temporary/Provisional 820 Partner Visa followed by the Permanent 801 Partner Visa. This visa pathway is open to married or de facto partners of Australian Citizens/Permanent Residents (or eligible New Zealand citizens). Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different sex.
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To apply for an 820 Visa, the applicant must be in a genuine relationship with the sponsor and the 820 Visa application must be lodged from ‘onshore’ (within Australia). Once granted, the 820 Temporary Onshore Partner Visa provides 2 years of stay in Australia. The applicant can also apply for an 801 Permanent Onshore Partner Visa to permanently live in the country with their partner.
A valid Partner Visa application must include evidence that the relationship is genuine and ongoing, and that the visa applicants meet several requirements of a ‘financial’, ‘social’, ‘household’ and ‘commitment’ nature.
If you plan to marry your partner, or if you are already married, your partner needs to meet Australian legal requirements relating to marriage laws. For example, under Australian law, you must be 18 years or older to be married. Applicants in de-facto relationships must also meet this age requirement when they apply. The Department of Home Affairs may not grant this visa if they believe it is not in the best interests of the applicant.
If you have a de-facto partner, your relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before the application was made. This 12-month requirement might be exempted under several circumstances.
As with all family visas, your eligibility depends on your personal circumstances and whether you have substantial evidence to show your relationship meets the visa criteria. An experienced migration agent can guide you through these requirements for your particular case.
The Department also requires the main applicant and any dependent family members who apply for the visa to meet specific health and character requirements. The applicants may need to have health examinations to prove they meet the health requirement. To prove that the applicants have good character, the Department may also request documents such as police certificates. The visa applicants will also need to pay any debts to the Australian Government if any funds are owed. Applicants who had a visa cancelled or refused while they were in Australia may be ineligible for this visa – if this applies to our circumstances, you may wish to seek professional migration advice.
To apply for an 801 Permanent Partner Visa, your partner generally needs to hold a temporary Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 820). Obtaining Permanent Residence through the Partner Visa process involves a two-stage process. The Onshore Partner (Provisional) 820 Visa is usually lodged at the same time as the Permanent 801 Visa, however, the two are considered separate applications, and the decisions to grant these visas are usually done at different stages.
Before the decision on the permanent visa application is made, your partner can include members of the family unit such as dependent children (age limits apply) who are not engaged, married, or in a de-facto relationship. A newborn child that is born after the subclass 820 Visa is granted can also be added to the application.
Apart from holding the 820 visa, you must also be in a genuine and ongoing relationship with your spouse or de facto partner and have continued to satisfy all social, financial, household and commitment requirements in the 2 years after you applied for the visa. The Department of Home Affairs assesses your application using these criteria to determine your ‘genuineness’ as a couple and to decide whether to grant the permanent 801 Partner Visa.
The main applicant and any member of the family unit or dependent child that is added to the visa must meet the health and character requirements specified by the Government. This may include health examinations to prove they meet the health requirement. Family members who are not applying for the visa might also need to meet the health requirement. To prove that the applicants have good character, the Department of Home Affairs may request documents such as police certificates. Other requirements may include biometrics of all applicants. The visa applicants will also need to pay any debts to the Australian Government if funds are owed. Applicants who had a visa cancelled or refused while they were in Australia may not be eligible for this visa – if this applies to your circumstances, you may wish to seek professional migration advice.
Given that the 820 Visa precedes the 801 Visa, you may be interested to know that Partner Visas have been prioritised for Government visa processing – particularly for Onshore applicants. This is to help retain migrants already in Australia while international border restrictions are in place. The below graph shows the impact of the pandemic on Onshore 820 Partner Visa grants from the Financial Years 2018-19 (pre-pandemic times) to 2021-22.
The 820 Visa allows your partner to stay, work and study in Australia until the Department of Home Affairs decides to grant the permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 801). This is a key benefit.
Once the 820 Visa is granted, your partner can:
Eligible visa holders may also attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program – a service to help improve English language skills so your partner can more easily settle into Australia.
Importantly for many couples, a Subclass 820 Visa offers a pathway to permanent residence in Australia for de-facto and married applicants through the subsequent 801 Visa.
Obtaining Permanent Residence through the Partner Visa process involves a two-stage process. The Onshore Partner (Provisional) 820 Visa is usually lodged at the same time as the Permanent 801 Visa, however, the two are considered separate applications, and the decisions to grant these visas are usually done at different stages.
If you had applied for the 801 Permanent Partner Visa at the same as your 820 Temporary Partner Visa, the Department of Home Affairs will usually contact you to advise when you are eligible to start the ‘Second Stage Partner Visa process.’ At this time, or soon afterwards, a Department case officer will be allocated to process your 801 Visa. You will be asked to provide up-to-date relationship evidence that your relationship is genuine and continuing. The Department will reassess these criteria when deciding whether to grant the permanent 801 Visa.
The sponsor must have financially supported their partner during the period of waiting for the subclass 801 Visa to be granted and the applicant must continue to be in a married or de-facto relationship with the sponsor. Should complexities arise, such as a relationship breakdown or other unfortunate circumstances that could impact your application, you may wish to seek professional migration advice. Our team has assisted with complex cases and may be able to assist you.
Once the permanent 801 Visa is granted, it allows your partner to stay in Australia indefinitely as it is a permanent visa. Your partner becomes a permanent resident on the day the visa is granted. Therefore, they could live, work and study in Australia, enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare, sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia, and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible. They can also travel to and from Australia as many times as they like for 5 years from the date the visa is granted and apply for a Resident Return Visa after 5 years if they want to travel after the initial 5-year travel provision (although you should consider any travel restrictions that may apply during the pandemic).
Does your partner currently hold an 820 Visa? If you had applied for the 801 Permanent Partner Visa at the same as your 820 Temporary Partner Visa, the Department of Home Affairs will usually contact you to advise when you are eligible to start the ‘Second Stage Partner Visa process.’
At this time, or soon afterwards, a Department case officer will be allocated to process your 801 Visa. You will be asked to provide up-to-date relationship evidence so they can assess whether to grant your 801 Visa for Permanent Residence. An experienced Registered Migration Agent, such as Interstaff, can help you finalise your case for Permanent Residence and prepare your final evidence requirements according to the Government’s Partner Visa criteria. A migration agent can also provide advice on complex cases where the relationship has broken down or other unfortunate circumstances that may impact your application.
Once the 801 Partner visa is granted, your partner will be able to stay in Australia indefinitely as this is a permanent visa. Your partner becomes a permanent resident on the day the visa is granted. Therefore, they could live, work and study in Australia, enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare, sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia, and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible. They can also travel to and from Australia as many times as they like for 5 years from the date this visa is granted and apply for a Resident Return Visa after 5 years to travel after the initial 5-year travel provision.
To sponsor your partner for an Australian visa, you will need to be an Australian citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. You first need to be approved as an eligible Sponsor before a Partner Visa application can be made. A migration agent will usually assist with your Sponsorship application requirements once they are engaged to manage the Partner Visa process.
Sponsors must support and provide financial assistance for 2 years after their spouse or de-facto partner and anyone included in their visa application are granted their temporary Partner visa (subclass 820). Once granted the Subclass 801 Partner (Migrant) visa, as a sponsor, you must help your spouse or de-facto partner and anyone included in their application by providing accommodation and financial assistance until they can fully support themselves in the country.
Our Registered Migration Agents servicing Perth, Melbourne and Sydney can:
Our team can assist with managing your Partner Visa application from start to finish – including helping you prepare your evidence requirements for the temporary and permanent visa and sponsorship applications and guiding you through any complexities that may arise. We can even assist with Australian Citizenship if eligible. We are committed to supporting you through your entire journey.
Interstaff has assisted couples with their partner visa application and sponsorship requirements for over 30 years since 1988. Couples that are interested in applying for a subclass 820 and 801 Visa in Australia are encouraged to contact us or call 08 9221 3388 to discuss their circumstances and application requirements.
“I just wanted to say thank you and to let you know you have been very helpful and professional during this process. I would definitely recommend Interstaff to any of my friends in the future if they require immigration assistance.”
On behalf of my family and I, we would like to thank the staff at Interstaff for working around the clock to achieve our goal of Permanent Residency. They are a great team of professionals and handled our case with very high standards. We greatly appreciate it – thank you!
We applied for the Offshore Partner 309/100 Visa with the advice and representation from the team here and am happy to say, after a very long period apart from my partner due to Covid, our application recently got granted the 309 Visa with my partner looking to arrive shortly and our plan is to apply for the 100 visa mid/late next year. I highly recommend the team at Interstaff for any Partner Visa applications and I feel the fee is well worth the peace of mind you have given the high level of experience the team here offers and knowing you will be represented correctly/reliably based on the evidence you provide.
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