Partner Visa Program

Partners of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens may apply to enter and/or remain permanently in Australia. Partners include:

  • people intending to get married
  • married (de jure) partners
  • de facto partners
  • interdependent partners (including those in a same-sex relationship)
  • In Australia

Subclass 820 and 801

For people to stay in Australia with their partner, who must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. If two years after you apply the spousal relationship is ongoing, a permanent visa may be granted.

This visa allows you to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of your married or de-facto relationship with your partner:

  • on a temporary visa (usually for a waiting period of approximately two (2) years from the date you applied for the visa)
  • on a permanent visa if, after the waiting period (if applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa.

Your partner must provide sponsorship for you.

This visa is for you if you want to enter Australia on the basis of your relationship with your partner. Your partner must be one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen

You apply for both a temporary visa and a permanent visa by completing and lodging one application.

  • If you meet all the legal criteria for the grant of the visa, you may be granted a temporary Spouse visa (subclass 820). This visa remains valid until a decision is made on your permanent visa, which is usually two (2) years after you initially applied for your visa.
  • If you still meet all legal requirements when your application is considered after the waiting period, you may be granted a permanent Spouse visa (subclass 801).

However, you may be granted a permanent visa without having to wait if you can demonstrate one of the following:

  • at the time you apply for the visa, you have been in a spouse relationship with your partner for five (5) years or more
  • at the time you apply, you have been in a spouse relationship with your partner for two (2) years or more, and there are dependent children of your relationship
  • your spouse was granted a Protection visa or a permanent visa under the humanitarian program and you were in the relationship before the visa was granted and this had been declared to the department at the time.

Note: Generally, you should be living with your partner in a spouse relationship at the time you apply.

Key responsibilities when obtaining and using a Spouse visa are summarised in the table below.

Person Responsibility

Sponsor and applicant

Be in a married or de-facto relationship prior to lodging an application.

Sponsor

Be prepared to sponsor the applicant and any dependent family members also included in the application and who are migrating with the applicant.

Applicant

Complete and lodge your application including all forms, supporting documentation and application charges.

Note: You apply for a temporary and a permanent spouse visa at the same time. If you are granted a temporary spouse visa, there is no need to lodge another separate application for your permanent spouse visa.

If you can meet all the legal criteria, you may be granted a temporary Spouse visa.

Sponsor and Applicant

After the grant of a temporary spouse visa, the sponsor and applicant must maintain their spouse relationship and meet all legal requirements when a decision is made on the applicant’s permanent spouse visa (usually a two year waiting period from the time the application was lodged).

A permanent spouse visa may be granted at the end of the waiting period if the sponsor and applicant still meet all legal requirements.

If you are granted a permanent spouse visa, it will allow you to remain in Australia permanently.

Married Applicant Eligibility

This page provides information the eligibility requirements for this visa for applicants in a married relationship.

Marriage legality

Your marriage must be legal under Australian Law. If you were married in a country other than Australia and that marriage is valid in that country, generally it will be recognised as valid under Australian law.

There are some exceptions, such as same-sex, underage or polygamous marriages, which are not accepted in Australia. Same-sex couples are not eligible for this visa and should consider an Interdependency visa.

Sponsorship

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. An eligible sponsor is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, who undertakes sponsorship obligations. Usually, the sponsor is your partner.

Relationship

You and your partner must show a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must be living together or, if not, any separation must be only temporary. You must also have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.

Note: Under certain circumstances, you may still be eligible to apply for and be granted, or continue to be an applicant for, a Spouse visa in Australia if:

  • your relationship breaks down and you and your partner have custodial rights under the Family Law Act 1975 for any children aged under 18 years that you and your partner may have
  • your partner dies, and you can establish that, had your partner not died, the relationship would have continued and that you have developed close ties with Australia.

If this situation occurs, you should contact the relevant departmental office in Australia that has been processing your visa application.

  • You must meet certain health requirements.
  • You must meet character requirements.

Reliance on social security

If your circumstances, or those of your sponsor, indicate that you or your accompanying dependent family members are likely to become high users of Australia’s social security system, you may need an Assurance of Support (AoS) from an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.

If you need an AoS, the department will send you a letter advising you that you need an AoS, and explaining how to get one.

De Facto Eligibility

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. An eligible sponsor is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, who undertakes sponsorship obligations. Generally, the sponsor is the partner of the applicant.

You and your partner must have been in a de-facto spouse relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to lodging your application.

The 12-month relationship requirement may be waived if one of the following situations applies:

  • you can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances, such as if you have children with your partner.
  • all the following circumstances apply:
    • your partner is, or was, the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
    • prior to their permanent humanitarian visa being granted, you were in a relationship with your partner that meets the requirements of a de facto relationship
    • the department was informed of this before the permanent humanitarian visa was granted.

You and your partner must show a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others.You and your partner must be living together or, if not, any separation must be only temporary. You must also have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.

You must meet certain health requirements.

You must meet character requirements.

If your circumstances, or those of your sponsor, indicate that you or your accompanying dependent family members are likely to become high users of Australia’s social security system, you may need an Assurance of Support (AoS) from an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.

If you need an AoS, the department will send you a letter advising you that you need an AoS, and explaining how to get one.

If you are applying from outside Australia and you have a debt to the Australian Government, you may not be granted a visa until satisfactory arrangements have been made to pay that debt.

If you believe you have an outstanding debt to the Australian Government, you should contact your nearest departmental office before making an application.

Sponsor Eligibility

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sponsor an applicant for this visa.

To be an eligible sponsor you must be all of the following:

  • an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who wishes to sponsor the visa applicant as your partner to Australia
  • in a married or de-facto spouse relationship with your partner
  • generally aged 18 years or over.

If you are 16 or 17 years of age, your parent or guardian must be your spouse’s sponsor

If you are an eligible New Zealand citizen who is sponsoring their partner, you must meet health and character requirements. The department will contact you to advise if you need to undertake health examinations and character checks.

You may not be able to sponsor your partner if any one of the following applies:

  • you are not an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • you have previously sponsored two other partners for migration to Australia (including sponsorships you may have withdrawn where your former partner obtained permanent residence on family violence grounds)
  • you have sponsored another partner within the last five (5) years
  • you were sponsored for a partner visa as a partner yourself within the last five (5) years
  • you are the holder of a Woman at Risk visa (Subclass 204).

If you have previously sponsored or been sponsored, you may still be permitted to sponsor your partner in compelling circumstances, such as:

  • if your previous partner has died or abandoned the relationship leaving young children
  • if your relationship with your current partner is long standing (ie, five (5) years or more)
  • if you and your current partner have dependent children of your relationship

Family Members Eligibility

You may include the following dependent family members in your visa application:

  • your dependent children
  • your other dependent relatives.

To be included in your visa application, dependent family members must meet the following requirements. All your dependants, whether migrating with you or not, must meet health and character requirements. If not, you may not be granted a Partner visa.

Dependent children

A person is your dependent child if they meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • they are your natural, adopted or step child
  • they are under 18 years of age
  • if they are aged 18 years or over, they have been wholly or substantially dependent on you for a substantial period (at least 12 months) for their basic needs (food, clothing and shelter) and the reliance on you is greater than any other person
  • if they are aged 18 years or over, and they are wholly or substantially dependent on you because they have a total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions that stops them from earning a living (whether or not they migrate with you).

Note: If your child (regardless of their age) is married, in a de facto relationship or is engaged to be married, they will not be considered to be a dependant.

Dependent children may, in some cases, be added to your application after it has been lodged.

Other dependent relatives

A person is your dependent relative if they are one of the following:

  • your parent, brother or sister; step-parent, step-brother or step-sister; grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece or step-nephew,

and all of the following

  • not your dependent child
  • single, such as a widowed aunt, etc.
  • usually resident in your household
  • wholly or substantially financially reliant on you for their basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter
  • reliant on you for a substantial period (at least 12 months)
  • more reliant on you for that support than on any other person or source

All your dependants, whether migrating with you or not, must meet the health and character requirements.

Accompanying family members must be of good character to enter Australia. The information you provide in your application will be used to assess your character, and that of any dependants accompanying you to Australia.

All visa applicants aged 18 years or over, are required to sign an Australian values statement. The statement is included in the visa application form and all applicants aged 18 years and over will need to sign it. Before signing the statement, applicants for this visa are required to have read, or had explained to them, material made available by the government on life in Australia which is contained in the Life in Australia book.

Obligations

Applicant Obligations

If you are granted this visa, you must meet the following requirements.

Visa Type What You Must Do

Spouse temporary visa (subclass 820)

Adhere to visa conditions and comply with all Australian laws.

Continue to meet all legal requirements for visa eligibility from the time you are granted a temporary visa until a decision is made on your permanent visa, which is usually two (2) years after you lodge your application.

Immediately notify the office handling your application if:

  • you change address
  • your circumstances change
  • your relationship with your partner ends.

Spouse permanent visa (subclass 801)

Adhere to visa conditions and comply with all Australian laws.

Sponsor obligations

If you want to sponsor your partner’s visa application to migrate to Australia, you must sign a sponsorship undertaking.

If you sign this sponsorship undertaking, the following obligations apply while your partner is in Australia on this visa. You:

  • are responsible for all financial obligations to the Australian Government that your partner might incur while they are in Australia.
  • agree to provide adequate accommodation and financial assistance as required to meet your partner’s reasonable living needs. This assistance would cover the two (2) years following the grant of their temporary partner visa.
  • will provide financial and other support, such as childcare, that will enable your partner to attend any English classes they need.
  • will provide information and advice to help your partner settle in Australia. This information and advice should include telling your partner about employment in Australia.
  • immediately notify the department if your relationship with your partner breaks down, or if you withdraw your support for your spouse before their application is finalised.

Other obligations apply if, as a sponsor, you have agreed to provide an Assurance of Support (AoS) for your partner.

Family Member obligation

If your accompanying dependent family members are granted this visa, they must adhere to visa conditions and comply with all Australian laws.

Spouse temporary visa (subclass 820) and permanent visa (subclass 801)

Charge Type Charge Amount

If you hold a subclass 445 Dependent Child visa

Nil

If you hold a valid Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300), and

  • have married your spouse and
  • you seek to remain permanently in Australia on the basis of that marriage.

$685

If you entered Australia as a fiancé(e), and

  • do not currently hold a substantive visa
  • married your sponsor while your Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa was valid and
  • you seek to remain permanently in Australia on the basis of that marriage.

$870

If you currently hold a Transitional (temporary) visa and were granted this visa on the basis that you satisfied the requirements for the grant of an extended eligibility entry permit under the Migration Regulations 1989.

$245

If you hold any other visa

$2105


7 Comments

  1. Leah Quattromani   |  Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at 2:57 am

    I am writing in regards to making an appointment with regards to obtaining a spousal visa.
    My partner Rony is currently studying and working and is a Brazilian citizen. I am an Australian citizen and full time school teacher. We would like to know what the process is and whether there is a possibility of speed tracking the process through a lawyer. We plan to get married but cannot do so on our current incomes. It is imperative that Rony gets work in his field (International Business and Marketing) to improve our financial situation. This however is impossible due to his current visa.

    We would like to make future plans but currently have limited options.

    We look forward to hearing and meeting you.

    Kind Regards

    Leah and Rony

  2. rankin   |  Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Email Immigration@AusVisa.info with further details about where you are located, Rony’s studies and an up to date cv/resume.

  3. Ali   |  Tuesday, 05 August 2014 at 3:20 am

    Hi,

    I had a question, will the child still be elegible for 100 visa subclass if the primary applicant dies before the grant of 100 visa subclass?

  4. Raneet Verma   |  Friday, 08 January 2016 at 12:32 am

    Hi,

    I am currently on the Prospective Marriage (Temporary) (class TO) Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) in Brisbane. I have legally/traditionally married my partner and I would like to apply for the Spouse temporary visa 820.

    I am correct in doing this. Is this the correct visa rto apply

  5. Australian Immigration Visas   |  Friday, 08 January 2016 at 6:41 am

    Email immigration@ausvisa.info

  6. Max   |  Thursday, 05 May 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hi,

    I’ve lodged my application for a Partner Visa (subclass 309, applying from the UK). It was very expensive – almost $7,000 now!

    My wife is an Australian citizen living in the UK but has spent plenty of time in Australia. We have one daughter who we adopted in the UK, through the regular UK adoption service.

    We are struggling to understand the best option for ’emigrating’ our daughter. We thought she would qualify for Australian citizenship easily through her Mum, my wife. It doesn’t appear that easy and looks very expensive AGAIN!

    Can anyone give advice on the best/ least costly option for our daughter? My wife will be travelling on her Aussie passport and I’ll be travelling on my Partner Visa.

    Thanks in Advance.

    M

  7. C   |  Sunday, 22 May 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Hi,
    Is immigration@ausvisa.info still current? And is this the official department handling the visas or an agency?
    (Australian living in Germany – married to a German with one child and one on the way – child is Australian by descent – very hard to find a competent contact person/department to inform on which, what and how much… frustrating)
    Thanks C

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