Types of Australian Partner visas
The Australian Partner visa category is divided into various subclasses. Their classification is dependent on whether the visa is temporary or permanent as well as where the application is made.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection assesses applications under a “combined application”. This means that your application will be assessed against the criteria for both temporary and permanent partner visas. You will be issued with the appropriate visa, depending on which criteria you meet.
Temporary partner visa
The temporary Partner visa is valid for two years, during which your relationship will be assessed to ensure that you intend to say with your partner. If your relationship passes the test, you will be granted a permanent partner visa.
Permanent partner visa
The permanent Partner visa is valid for five years. This is a permanent residence visa. After holding this for four years, you are able to apply for citizenship.
All Australian Partner visa applications are assessed on the following:
- The financial aspects of the relationship, which includes how financial responsibilities are shared or pooled
- The nature of the household, which includes how household tasks are divided and shared
- Social aspects of the relationship, which includes how you are perceived as a couple in public
- Nature of the persons’ commitment to each other, which includes the willingness to move to another country
Bringing your partner to Australia
There are four routes to bringing your partner to Australia:
- Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100)
Must be applied for outside of Australia
- Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801)
Can be applied for within Australia
- Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)
For those couple engaged to be married
- New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461)
For those with New Zealander partners
Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100)
Any person submitting an application for a visa falling under either subclass 309 or 100 must do so outside of Australia. You may not enter the country while your application is assessed.
However, you will be free to travel to Australia on another visa while the application is under process. Please note: You will not be able to obtain a Bridging visa in relation to visas falling into subclass 309 or 100.
Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801)
As subclasses 820 and 801 cover permanent partner visas, you may apply from within Australia.
In order to apply, you must hold a valid Australian visa (excluding a Bridging, Criminal Justice or Enforcement visa) or be eligible for a waiver. In addition to this, these applicants must not hold a visa with condition 8503 which would prevent them from making a further application in Australia.
You may apply for this visa if you possess a Bridging visa which allows you to live and work in the UK while your partner visa is processed.
Applications for the partner visa can take a year or more to process.
Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)
The purpose of this permit is to allow the unmarried partners of Australian citizens to travel to Australia to get married and is granted for nine months. As this is a temporary visa, you must be outside of Australia when you apply for the visa as well as when it is granted.
The Prospective Marriage visa has unrestricted work rights. The holder is required to marry their partner and apply for the Australian Partner visa before the visa expires.
This visa is often referred to as the fiancé visa and is used by unmarried individuals who cannot show that they have cohabited for 12 months.
New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461)
This visa allows a non-New Zealand family member of a New Zealand citizen, who is living in Australia, to live and work in Australia for up to five years.
This is a five year provisional visa that will not lead to permanent residence, but can be renewed onshore as required. This visa allows the holder to:
- Work and study in Australia
- Live in and travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted.