Australia offers temporary and permanent visas for partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. Partners applying from Australia will be granted a bridging visa with work rights and be able to access Medicare.
Partner visa types
1. Prospective Marriage visa (offshore) (Subclass 300)
2. Partner visa (onshore) (Subclass 820/801)
3. Partner visa (offshore) (Subclass 309/100)
Available to Fiancé of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens.
If an application is made from outside of Australia, the applicant will need to remain outside the country until their partner visa is approved. The cost is the same as applying onshore.
If an application is made from inside Australia, the applicant will be granted a bridging visa with work rights and will be eligible for Medicare.
- Married partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens
- de facto partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens
- Fiancé of partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens
- The above includes same-sex relationships, which are recognized under Australian law.
- All relationships must be genuine and continuing.
- Cannot sponsor more than two partners in their lifetime unless there are compelling reasons
- If the sponsor was previously sponsored on a partner visa, not less than the last 5 years have passed unless there are compelling reasons
- Sponsor must not have any unresolved charges or convictions for a registrable offence.
Prospective Marriage visa (offshore) (Subclass 300) [“Fiancé” visa]
The Australian Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) (offshore) visa is a type of visa that allows individuals who are engaged or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia to get married. This visa is specifically designed for individuals who are offshore, or not currently present in Australia.
To be eligible for this visa, the following requirements must be met:
- The individual must be engaged or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- The individual must have a genuine intention to marry their partner within the nine months following their arrival in Australia.
- The individual must not have any health, character, or security concerns that would prevent them from being granted a visa.
- The individual must provide evidence of their relationship with their partner, including photographs, letters, and joint financial records.
- The individual’s partner in Australia must provide a written statement of support for their application.
- The individual must have a valid passport and must not have any outstanding debts to the Australian government.
It is important to note that this visa is not a permanent visa, and the individual will need to apply for a different visa after they have married their partner in Australia.
While the individual is in Australia on a Prospective Marriage visa, they are permitted to work and study. They will also have access to Medicare. It is important to remember that this visa is not a pathway to permanent residency in Australia, and the individual must meet the requirements for a partner visa after they have married their partner.
A partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen can apply for a partner visa either inside Australia: Partner (Subclass 820/801) (onshore) visa, or outside of Australia: Partner (Subclass 309/100)(offshore) visa. Both Visa categories have two stages of processing: provisional and permanent, unless the couple has been in a long-standing relationship, explained further below.
Two-stage processing of visas
Partner visas are generally processed in two stages:
The provisional stage is the first stage of the visa application process unless the couple has been in a long-standing relationship. After two years after the date of applying for the provisional partner visa, if the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant is ongoing, the applicant can then apply for a permanent partner visa.
Access to the permanent stage for people already in a long-standing relationship
Partners who have been in a long-standing relationship may be granted a permanent visa immediately, rather than first going through the provisional stage. This option is available to applicants who have been in a relationship with their sponsor for a minimum of three years, or two years if there are dependent children in the relationship.
Including children in the application as dependents
In a partner visa application, the applicant can include children as dependents if they are under 18 years of age and meet certain eligibility criteria. Children can be biological or adopted and must be single and not in a de facto relationship. In addition, children who are over 18 years of age but are unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental disability may also be included as dependents in a partner visa application.
If children are included in the application the migrating parent must prove:
- they have sole custody of the child (including the right to determine where they live) OR
- consent of the non-migrating biological parent of the child
Grant of Bridging visas for applicants who apply from inside Australia
Applicants who apply for a partner visa from within Australia may be granted a bridging visa. This allows them to remain in Australia while their visa application is being processed. The bridging visa is valid for the duration of the visa processing time and allows the applicant to work and study in Australia.
Access to Medicare for applicants applying from inside Australia
Applicants who apply for a partner visa from within Australia and are granted a bridging visa are also eligible for Medicare. This provides access to essential medical services and treatments, including hospital care and some medical procedures.
If you would like to discuss your particular circumstances to apply for a partner visa, please schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration lawyers or registered migration agents.