Onshore Partner Visa

Subclass 820/801 - Onshore Partner Visa

The Subclass 820/801 visa application is an onshore two-stage partner visa that enables a spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen residing offshore to move to Australia permanently.

Applicants must be onshore when they apply for the visa.

Some of the benefits of the visa include:

  • Remain in Australia: The 820/801 visa allows you to live and work in Australia while your partner visa application is being processed.
  • Pathway to PR: If your relationship is still genuine and ongoing, you can apply for a permanent partner visa which will allow you to stay in Australia permanently.
  • Access to healthcare and education: As a 820/801 visa holder, you will be eligible to access Medicare from the time of visa lodgement.
  • Travel in and out of Australia: You can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you like during the validity of your 820/801 visa.
  • No points-based system: The 820/801 visa does not require a points-based system, unlike other permanent visas.

How do I prove my relationship
to the department?

There are 4 main aspects of the relationship that the Department of Home Affairs will consider when assessing any partner visa application:

Financial aspect of relationship

Under this section, you can provide facts and evidence of your financial commitment to each other.

Nature of household

In this section, you can provide evidence of any joint responsibility for the care and support of children, your living arrangements and sharing of the responsibility for housework. 

Social aspect of relationship

In this section, you can outline important social aspects of your relationship, including opinion of your family, friends and acquaintances about the nature of your relationship.

Nature of commitment

In this section, you can outline significant events in your lives during which you have relied on each other for support and future plans together.

Temporary Visa Eligibility

Subclass 820 - Offshore Partner Visa

To be approved for sponsorship, your sponsor must be: 

  • Your spouse or de-facto partner
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen; and
  • aged 18 years of age or older (unless an exemption applies).


Your sponsor is barred from sponsoring you if:

  • your sponsor has already sponsored two partners over their lifetime;
  • your partner has previously sponsored another partner in the last five years.
  • if your partner was granted a partner visa themselves in the last five years, they can sponsor you only after five years have passed since they lodged their own visa application.
    • unless compelling and compassionate circumstances applies.

You must be the spouse or de facto partner of an:

  • Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • The relationship is genuine and continuing
  • You meet health and character requirements.


If you are in a de-facto relationship, your relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa. This will not apply if you:

Permanent Visa Eligibility

Subclass 801 - Offshore Partner Visa

Your sponsoring partner must:

  • be the same person who sponsored you for your temporary partner visa 
  • continue to be married or in a de facto relationship with you
  • You must hold:
    • a Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309), or
    • a Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa.
  • 2 years must have passed since you applied for the combined 309 and 100 visa for you to be assessed for the permanent visa.
  • You must:

    • be married or in a de facto relationship
    • have a genuine and continuing relationship
    • live together or don’t live permanently apart
    • be mutually committed to a shared life excluding other partners.

Partner visa to Permanent Residency

Getting the Permanent Partner (Migrant) Visa (subclass 801) is a three-stage process which goes as follows:

Apply for a Subclass 820 Visa

To begin your permanent residency journey, you begin with by applying for a Subclass 820 Temporary Partner Visa.

Apply and be granted a Subclass 820

Once you have applied for Subclass 820, wait for the Department to respond with any documents that they require to process your application. Once the Department is satisfied that you have met all the criteria, they will grant the Subclass 820 Visa.

Alternatively, if you have been in a long-term relationship before you lodge your 820 (temporary) application, the permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 801) may be granted immediately along with the temporary Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 820).

Apply for Permanent Partner Visa

You are eligible to apply for the Permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 801) two years from the date of lodgement of your Subclass 820 visa. Once this is granted, you will become a permanent resident in Australia. 

Things to watch out for
in a partner visa application

Partner Visa may seem easy, but we’ve seen many applications refused, due to issues that they weren’t aware of!

Forgetting to lodge a sponsorship application

Many applicants are not aware that you are required to apply for a sponsorship application, after lodging a Temporary Partner Visa. Although this might not lead to a visa refusal, this can increase your visa application processing time.  

Condition 8503

If you are in Australia and you have a visa with condition 8503, you will not be able to apply for a partner visa onshore, unless if the condition was waived.

Assuming your previous visa was automatically cancelled

Applying for a partner visa does not automatically cancel your current visa. Your current visa remains valid until it expires. This could lead to non-compliance to your current visa, putting your partner visa application in jeopardy!

Schedule 3

If you do not have a valid visa when applying for a Partner visa, this can lead to your partner being subjected to Schedule 3. This means your partner visa will only be successful if compelling circumstances apply to your case.

Section 48 Bar

If you have had a previous refusal in your bridging visa, you may be barred from applying for other visas. While exemptions do apply for Partner Visa, this may only be granted, in certain circumstances.

Relationship Breakdown

If your relationship breaks down whilst applying/holding on to a Temporary Partner Visa, you may not be eligible for a Permanent Partner Visa, unless if specific circumstances apply. 

Public Interest Criteria 4020

Under PIC 4020, a visa might be refused if bogus documents or information that is false or misleading is given to the Department or the AAT. If there is any false or misleading information in your visa application, this can lead to complications.

Assuming you are not eligible for a Partner Visa

The 12 months of de-facto relationship requirement does not apply if you have registered your relationship with an Australian authority such as a registry of births, deaths and marriages

Something else ?


    We are happy to answer
    any queries you may have

    My sponsor has sponsored their former partner for a partner visa. Can I still be sponsored by my current partner?

    The Department may bar your partner from sponsoring you if:

    • They have already sponsored two partners over their lifetime;
    • They have previously sponsored another partner in the last five years.
    • They were granted a partner visa themselves in the last five years; they must wait five years before lodging their sponsorship partner visa application.

    Unless compelling and compassionate circumstances apply.

    Can I be granted a permanent partner visa quicker?

    If you have been in a long-term relationship before you lodge your temporary partner visa, the permanent partner visa may be granted immediately along with the temporary visa.         

    I have a dependent child. Can I include them in my partner visa?

    Children under the age of 18 will be considered dependent, and therefore be included in your partner visa application. Children over 18 may be included if they are dependent on your or is incapacitated and is substantially reliant on you.

    Can I visit my Partner during visa processing time?

    If you are offshore, you are able to visit your partner, if you have an approved visa to travel to Australia. If you are in Australia, you have validly applied for a Subclass 820, you can continue to stay back in Australia with your partner. 

    Can I get married during my visa processing time?

    You may be able to get married during your visa processing, if you had applied as de-facto, as soon as you satisfy de-facto requirements at the time of lodgement of your visa application (12 months of living together or have a relationship certificate). We strongly recommend that you consult with us before getting married.

    Do I need to pay for Partner visa twice?

    When you apply for a partner visa, you are taken to have applied for both the temporary and the permanent partner visas together.

    Therefore, you are not required to pay any additional visa fees when lodging your permanent partner visa application. However, you will need to make a separate application for the permanent partner visa application.