Partner Visas provide a Permanent Residency pathway for people in a relationship with an Australian. 

The Partner Visa program consists of the following subclasses: 

  • Partner Visa (Temporary) (Subclass 820); 
  • Partner Visa (Permanent) (Subclass 801); 
  • Partner Visa (Provisional) (Subclass 309);  
  • Partner Visa (Migrant) (Subclass 100); 
  • New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa (Subclass 461); and 
  • Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300).

Eligibility for these visas is dependent upon applicants proving that their relationship meets the ‘four pillars’ of a relationship as assessed by the Department of Home Affairs. These four pillars are an assessment of: 

  • The ‘financial aspect of the relationship’ (how financial affairs are managed as a couple);
  • The ‘social aspect of the relationship’ (how the relationship is perceived by family, friends and the community at large); 
  • The ‘nature of the household’ (how the house is managed on a day-to-day basis as a couple, including things as mundane as how the chores are split); and
  • The ‘nature of the commitment’ (an assessment of the couple’s long term commitment to one another, including joint plans for the future). 

The length of your relationship prior to making the application may be critical depending on whether you are married or in a de-facto relationship.

Australia has a system of ‘onshore’ and ‘offshore’ Partner Visas. These visas have a range of different rules.  There are a number of important issues to consider before lodging a Partner Visa, as these can start processes that cannot be changed. Some questions you should ask yourself are: 

  • If I am offshore, is my passport high-risk and if so, will I be able to arrive in Australia to lodge onshore? 
  • Do I have work or other commitments in my country that I need to wrap up prior to moving onshore with my partner? 
  • Will I need to leave the country for a significant period of time whilst awaiting an outcome on a visa if lodged onshore? 
  • Will my visa strategy allow me to lodge a visa onshore, or will conditions on my visa prevent this?

We want to remove the stress of the Partner Visa process for you, by creating a comprehensive application. We will look at your circumstances and outline whether we think lodging onshore or offshore is most practical for you. 

Many people attempt DIY Partner Visas and key reasons for refusals of Partner Visa applications include: 

  • Inconsistencies between the evidence that is submitted, and the information on the application; 
  • A lack of relationship evidence from couples who misunderstand the level of evidence required; 
  • A misunderstanding of key ‘time of application’ criteria which if not understood would result in a refusal which has no grounds for appeal. – i.e. the ‘12 month criteria’ for de-facto applicants (discuss with an agent the way in which you can remove the need to meet this criteria); and/or
  • A failure to outline to the Department why one or more pillars of the relationship may be weak in your circumstances.

Partner visas have significant costs involved. We strongly suggest that you discuss the application with an expert as financial and emotional costs can be significant in the event of a refusal.

Government fees for Partner Visas are currently set at $7,715. Fees are usually raised on the 01st of July each year. Different fees may apply if you apply for a Prospective Marriage Visa or add dependent children to your application. You will also need to consider fees associated with health examinations, police clearance certificates and other items. 

The Partner Visa is a two-stage visa. The first stage is the provisional stage and is considered a ‘temporary visa’. The Permanent Residency stage can be applied for two years’ from the date you made the initial Partner Visa application.

Fair Go Visa Consultants will discuss the circumstances of your relationship and help you to decide whether the application is best lodged in or outside of Australia. We will establish what evidence you can and cannot provide, look for creative alternatives and assess the strength of the application. If we believe that the application has little success, we will look at other strategies and options available to you. We can also discuss strategies for bringing you into the country to lodge your application onshore. 

If you would like our help, the first step is to book a consultation using the link below.


Applying for a visa can be confusing but we are here to help. Now that you have a basic understanding of how this visa works, book in a consultation so that we can discuss how we can help you start your new life in Australia. 




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