Partner Visas Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers from our Registered Migration Agents to the most Frequently Asked Questions about Partner visas.


  1. To be eligible for a Partner Visa you must be married to, or in a de facto (common law) relationship, with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

It will depend on the type of relationship you have and where the main applicant is when he/she applies for a Partner visa.

Applicants in Australia may apply for an onshore partner visa (820/801) and applicants outside of Australia will need to apply for an offshore partner visa (309/100).
However, there might be certain visa conditions attached to the current visa/s for the applicants in Australia, which may prevent you from applying onshore.

The processing times vary and the published times on the Department of Home Affair’s website are not necessarily accurate.

You may not be able to sponsor your partner if you have previously sponsored two other partners for migration to Australia or have sponsored another partner within the last 5 years or were sponsored as a partner yourself within the last 5 years.
You may still be permitted to sponsor your partner in compelling circumstances, for example, if your previous partner died or abandoned the relationship, and you have young children, or you have been with your current partner longer than two years, or you or your partner have dependent children. A decision on whether to waive the sponsorship limitations can only be made once an application has been lodged. It cannot be decided in advance of lodgement.

You can only sponsor a second partner after five (5) years from the lodgement date of the previous application.

Schedule 3 criteria is additional requirements applicable to unlawful non-citizens and certain bridging visa holders, who wish to lodge their visa application in Australia.

Yes, if the dependents meet the criteria for secondary visa applicant/s.

It is all about showing that you are in a genuine, committed relationship.

Not generally speaking. Some offshore posts do so as a matter of course. If an interview is requested, this may be conducted either in person or by phone.

Applications for family stream visas were prioritised during the Covid-19 pandemic when our international borders were closed and now the priority is skilled migration.

Australian migration law does NOT require an applicant for a partner vis to be married to their Australian sponsor.

However, they are required to present evidence to verify that their relationship is genuine and continuing.
For de facto partners, a relationship needs to be established for at least 12 months before an applicant is eligible for the partner visa application unless you have registered your relationship.

The essence of a partner visa is to show evidence of your genuine and continuing relationship with your partner/spouse.

Marriage is a form of commitment evidence, but marriage alone does not provide evidence of a genuine relationship. More relationship evidence will need to be provided with your application. Applicants involving pregnancy or children of the relationship does not provide priority processing.

Applicants for a partner visa should intend to live with their partner on a permanent basis. If you are applying for a Prospective Marriage visa (Subclass 300), you are not required to live together

No, the Department processes applications in the order of date of lodgement. A Registered Migration Agent can assist with presenting a decision ready application that assists with the efficient processing of a visa.

When you apply for a Subclass 820 visa, you will be granted a bridging visa. The bridging visa will only come into effect when your current substantive visa expires. This will allow you to remain living and working in Australia lawfully while your Subclass 820 visa is processed.

The major reason for a partner visa refusal would be that the Department is NOT satisfied that you are in a genuine relationship with your partner. There may also be other factors that lead to a visa refusal, such as your and/or your partners and dependents’ health/character issues.

If your partner visa is refused, you may be able to lodge an application to appeal the refusal decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). This must be done within a specific time frame after receiving the refusal.

Complications, unfortunately, happen during some of the partner visa application process.
It is one of the sponsor’s and applicant’s obligations to ‘report changes in their circumstances’.
The Department of Home Affairs requests the sponsor and the applicant to notify them immediately if the relationship breaks down or if the sponsor wishes to withdraw the sponsorship.

Yes, partner visa holders have full work rights in Australia.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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