Partner and Family Visas

Partners of Australian citizens or permanent residents can apply for Australian permanent residence. This is available to both married and de facto couples in some circumstances where you are intending to marry an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Applications are tested by the Department to ensure the relationship is genuine. Because genuineness is the relevant test if it is extremely important to ensure the application is well prepared and comprehensive and supported by relevant documents.

There are four types of partner Visas:

  • fiancee visas
  • offshore temporary and permanent visas
  • onshore temporary and permanent visas
  • permanent residency

If you are in a de facto relationship you must provide evidence that the relationship has existed for at least 12 months. This can be is by documents such as the joint bank accounts, leases or contracts, or evidence of cohabitation.

If you are in a same sex relationship is known as an interdependent relationship. For the purpose of obtaining the Visa the same test applies as for a de facto relationship.

Process for applying for a visa

We will deal with specific visa requirements under the relevant subheadings. Once your application for a spouse Visa is granted you are given a two year temporary Australian spouse Visa. This allows you to live and work in Australia for a two-year period as well as having access to the Australian health system.

If you have been in the relationship for either:

  • five years at the time of the application; or
  • two years at the time of the application and you have dependent children of the relationship

You can immediately apply for permanent residency.

Otherwise if you are still in the relationship after the two years on the temporary spouse visa you are entitled to apply for permanent residency.

If the relationship breaks up within the two years on the  temporary spouse Visa you will have to look at alternative Visa options to stay in Australia.

Fiancee or Prospective Marriage visa subclass 300

This Visa allows you to enter Australia if you intend to marry an Australian citizen or permanent resident spouse within nine months of when the Visa is granted.

You must show that you have actually met and personally know your intended spouse (including for arranged marriages) and intend to marry and live with them as husband and wife. Your intended spouse acts as your sponsor to come to Australia.

The Visa requires you to come to Australia before you marry. You must marry within nine months of when these is granted.

Once the Visa is granted you can live and work in Australia, and come and go from Australia as many times as you like.

Temporary and Permanent Offshore Spouse Visa subclass 309/100

These visas allow you to enter, live and work in Australia, on the basis you are in a genuine marriage or de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

The Visa requires to either been a genuine marriage or have been in a genuine de facto relationship for at least 12 months up until the date of the application. Your partner acts as your sponsor into Australia.

You are initially granted a two-year temporary Visa. If the relationship is ongoing at the end of the two year period you will be granted permanent Visa. The exceptions to this are as follows:

  • you have been in a relationship for five years or more at the time of the application; or
  • you have been in a relationship for two years or more at the time of the application and you have dependent children of the relationship.

Once the Visa has been granted you are entitled to live and work Australia. You can bring dependent children and family with you and get permission for them to study and work in Australia.

Temporary and Permanent Onshore Spouse Visa subclass 801/820

These visas allowing you to remain in Australia with your spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent Australian resident.

To apply for this Visa you must be in a genuine marriage or genuine de facto relationship for at least 12 months prior to the date of the application.

You will be initially granted a two year temporary Visa. If the relationship is ongoing after the two years you will be given a permanent visa. You will not have to wait the two year period if:

  • you have been in a relationship for five years or more at the time of the application; or
  • you have been in a relationship for two years or more at the time of the application and you have dependent children of the relationship

With these visas you are entitled to live and work in Australia. Your dependent children can accompany you into Australia and you can get permission for them to study and work in Australia.