Onshore Partner Visa

Onshore Partner Visa

Subclass 820/801 is a two-stage visa application that are designed to allow a foreign partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, currently in Australia, to continue to live in Australia, indefinitely.


Benefits of Onshore Partner Visa

Full Working Rights

Allows for travel in and out of Australia

Access to Medicare from Lodgement

One Visa Application Charge

Access to Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)

Pathway to Permanent Residency

Temporary Visa Eligibility - Subclass 820

To be eligible for a Subclass 820/801 application, you must:

  • Be the spouse or a de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • The relationship is genuine and continuing.
  • 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 criterion will not apply if you:

    • Are in a de facto relationship with a partner who is an applicant for a permanent humanitarian visa, or
    • You have registered your relationship with an Australian authority, including a registry of births, deaths, and marriages.

Permanent Visa Eligibility - Subclass 801

To be eligible for an 801 visa, you must:

  • Hold an 820 visa
  • Be in an ongoing relationship still, unless you meet certain special conditions
  • Have complied with Australian laws

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.

What partner visa is suitable for me?

Ideally, we recommend that you apply for an Onshore Partner Visa. However, you may not always be eligible for this. This could be due to many factors, including:

  • You are currently offshore
  • You are unable to secure a travel ban to travel to Australia.
  • You have a Condition 8503 – No Further Stay on your visa application.
  • You are currently in Australia, but is on a bridging visa and cannot satisfy Schedule 3 Requirements


If the above circumstances apply to you, we recommend that you apply for Subclass 309/100 or a Prospective Marriage Visa, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

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

Partner visa to Permanent Residency

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. 

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.

    Do I need a travel ban exemption if I have been granted a partner visa?

    No, you are not required to apply for a travel ban exemption if you have an approved partner visa to travel to Australia.

    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.

    Summary of cost estimates
    for your application

    We have summarised a cost estimate for a Partner Visa application as below. 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.


    AUD 8,085.00

    The visa application fee of $8,085.00 for the main applicant.



    Paid directly to the medical agency that conducts your health examination.



    Paid directly to the agency that conducts your character checks.

    Processing Times for Subclass 820

    75% of applications are processed in: 21 months
    90% of applications are processed in: 33 months

    21 months
    33 months

    Processing Times for Subclass 801

    75% of applications are processed in: 12 months
    90% of applications are processed in: 21 months

    12 months
    21 months

    Partner visa during COVID times


    From 2022-23, Partner visas will be granted on a demand-driven basis. This means that Partner visas will not be:

    • not subject to a ceiling- this means there will be no limit placed on how many Partner Visa can be applied/granted for the 2022-23 year.
    • Facilitate family reunification
    • Reduce the Partner visa pipeline and processing times for many applicants.

    Upcoming Changes

    As part of the Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will implement reforms to strengthen the integration outcomes of the Partner program soon. These include:

    •  Introducing an English language requirement for permanent resident sponsors and Partner visa applicants; and
    • Apply the family sponsorship framework set out in the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 (the Act) to the Partner visa program.


    The English language requirement may be met by demonstrating that the person has made a ‘reasonable effort’ to learn English, or demonstrating an existing level of English, for example Functional English.


    The new sponsorship framework will separate the sponsorship and visa application into two separate processes. The sponsorship application will be assessed separately and will need to be approved before a valid Partner visa application can be lodged.

    In addition to the above, The Department can also: 

    • Disclose ‘adverse information’ about the Partner sponsor to the prospective Partner visa applicant.
    • Adverse information could include relevant and registrable offences – such as child sex offences – as defined in the Migration Regulations 1994, other serious offences, or history of domestic and family violence.
    If you intend to lodge a Partner visa in Australia prior to your substantive visa expiring in the next couple of months or anticipate that you or your permanent resident sponsor may have difficulties in meeting the functional English language requirement, please contact us to discuss lodging your visa before the new changes come into effect.

    Send Us Your Migration Enquiry