Partner Visas (Temporary / Permanent) Overviews

Partner visas or sometimes also referred to as spouse visas, are the most popular family visas sought by applicants. A partner visa is a two-stage process, comprising of provisional visa first and then permanent visa.

Applicant can be outside Australia or inside Australia to apply for this temporary visa. If you are outside Australia, the visa you are applying for will be subclass 309/100. When applicants are within Australia onshore, the visa type will be subclass 820/801.

Both onshore and offshore applications cost the same, and all criteria are the same. However if you are applying for subclass 820 onshore as a Prospective Marriage subclass 300 visa holder, the visa charge will be discounted.

When you are applying for a partner visa, you are actually applying for both subclasses—provisional and permanent visas together. If you are assessed to meet the criteria for a provisional visa, then you will be granted the first-stage provisional visa. After at least 1.5 years or 2, you may be requested to apply for the second stage of the visa without paying extra application fees.

Applicants may consider applying for the following three types of visas:

Partner visa offshore subclass 309/100

Partner visa onshore subclass 820/801

Prospective Marriage subclass 300

During the 2nd stage of a partner visa (subclass 100 or 801), sometimes the Immigration office may request the sponsor for partner visa to sign a Statutory Declaration in order to prove that the relationship between the visa applicant and the sponsor is genuine and continuing. For more information about the Statutory Declaration for a partner visa (sponsor), please visit our Statutory Declaration for Partner Visa page.

The following are some common criteria when applying for a partner visa:


Normally your sponsor is the person to whom you are married or in a de facto relationship with. That sponsor must also lodge a sponsorship application (without any cost) at the time of your visa application. The Australian government must approve the sponsorship of your sponsor before granting your partner visa.

Who can be a sponsor? The following people to whom you are married or in de facto relationship with can be your sponsor:

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

Your marriage registration can be in Australia or overseas, but must be valid under Australian law. This means that applicant must be 18 years of age or older.

It is important to note that your sponsor will need to continue to sponsor you at the second stage of the partner visa. If he or she withdraws the sponsorship, you partner visa may not be approved or withdrwan.


Visa applicant and the sponsor needs to demonstrate that they have genuine relationship and such a relationship will continue:

  • You and your spouse must be both committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all other people;
  • You relation with the spouse must be genuine and continuing;
  • You must live with your spouse most often, or do not live apart for too long;
  • In case you live apart, you must demonstrate that you and your partner remain in contact with each other;
  • If you and your sponsor are in a de facto relationship, you must demonstrate that such a de facto relationship has existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for this visa. You need to provide a series of documentation to prove the de facto relationship has been ongoing for a minimum 12 months.


The provisional visa 309 or 820 can take up to 2-3 years before a decision can be made. Once granted 309 or 820, you are eligible for the second stage of the permanent visa subclass 100 or 801 on shore. But your relationship must continue and you must live together and not separately for too long.

You don’t have to apply separately for your second stage of the permanent visa Subclass 100 or 801.