Do you have a partner who is currently in Australia and would you like them to stay? The Onshore 820 and 801 Partner Visa pathway allows your loved one to live with you so. 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.
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.
The 820/801 visa pathway is open to married or de-facto partners of Australian Citizens/Permanent Residents (or eligible New Zealand citizens). As a sponsor, you will need to prepare Sponsorship evidence requirements as part of the 820 Temporary Onshore Partner Visa application process for your spouse and any dependents they may have.
All Sponsors must pass the character requirements stated by the Government to successfully be granted sponsorship. You may be required to submit a police certificate as well as biometric records. If you have any convictions for relevant offences, you must also consent to the Department disclosing your convictions to the visa applicant. Sponsors must also meet certain obligations, such as providing financial support and accommodation until their spouses can support them.
Dependent children can be included in the application any time before the temporary 820 Visa is granted. The dependent children must meet the Government’s health and character requirements and be in Australia to be included in the application. The ability to add overseas family members to the visa provides the option to include not only your partner but also for loved ones to join you here in Australia.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be interested to know that Partner Visas have been prioritised for Government visa processing – particularly for Onshore applicants. This is to facilitate family reunions and 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).
Since 1988, Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents have helped couples by providing comprehensive advice on how they should prepare their visa application and sponsorship application according to the Partner Visa criteria. During the pandemic, the Government is prioritising Partner Visa applications to help reunite couples and provide pathways for people to stay.
Interstaff’s migration agents assist by:
Our migration agents work with our visa coordination team to manage all aspects of your Visa and Sponsorship applications on your behalf with attention to detail and sensitivity. We also assist you to understand your visa conditions, requirements and sponsorship obligations – both during the application process and via ongoing advice as required.
If you are interested in a Partner Visa to live in Australia with your partner, contact us here or get in touch on 1800 449 858 to discuss how we can help. It would be our pleasure to assist you and your partner to start your lives together here in Australia.
“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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