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Australian Partner Visas and the 2020-21 Budget


Written By Shannon Dutt
Tue, Oct 13, 2020
Shannon Dutt

The release of the 2020-21 Budget has offered an increase in places offered in the partner visa category, allowing a total of 72,300 partner visas to be granted in the 20/21 program year.

The Government is prioritising Partner visa applicants with a sponsor residing in regional Australia.

Expected in early to mid-2021, as part of the Government’s commitment to combatting family violence and to further support integration, two main changes will be implemented:

  • The extension of the family sponsorship framework to Partner Visas; and
  • The introduction of an English language requirement for Partner Visa applicants and sponsors who are Australian permanent residents

If you hold a Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage and have been unable to enter Australia due to the ban on international arrivals into Australia and the closed border, you will be able to access a refund of the Government lodgement fees.

Partner Visas | Overview

If you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may be eligible for a grant of a partner visa on the basis of their sponsorship.

You may be eligible for a partner visa if you and your partner:

  • Are married
  • Are engaged to be married
  • Are in a de facto relationship
  • Have registered your relationship with a relevant State/Territory authority

The most suitable visa option will depend on your individual circumstances, including whether the person applying for the visa is inside or outside Australia at the time of application.

There are three pathways through which partners of Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents can obtain a visa for Australia on the basis of the relationship.

The Subclass 820/801 (Onshore) Partner Visa

This visa is available to those who are married to, or in a de facto relationship with, an Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen, or eligible NZ Citizen. An applicant for this visa must be in Australia.

The initial stage, the subclass 820, requires that you have been in a de facto relationship with your partner for 12 months, be married, or have registered your relationship with a relevant State/Territory authority.

Two years from the date of application for the subclass 820 visa, the applicant is invited to submit evidence that the relationship is continuing, to allow DIBP to process the permanent stage, the Subclass 801 visa.

An applicant is entitled to Medicare access, work rights, and study rights, upon grant of the bridging visa associated with lodgement of the 820/801 visa application.

The Subclass 309/100 Offshore Partner Visa

This visa is available to those who are married to, or in a de facto relationship with, an Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen, or an eligible New Zealand Citizen. This pathway is for applicants who are outside of Australia.

An applicant must be outside of Australia when the temporary Subclass 309 visa is granted, after which they can enter Australia, and access Medicare, work rights and study rights.

In much the same way as the onshore process outlined above, the applicant will initially be granted a Subclass 309 visa, and will be given the opportunity to obtain the permanent visa, the Subclass 100, two years from the date the initial application was submitted.

Subclass 300 (Temporary Residence) - Prospective Marriage Visa

This visa is available to those who are engaged to be married to an Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen, or an eligible New Zealand Citizen. This pathway is for applicants who are outside of Australia. Once granted, the subclass 309 visa allows the holder to enter Australia and marry their Australian partner within a nine-month period.

Prior to the end of this nine-month period, applicants can apply for an onshore Subclass 820/801 visa as outlined above.

This visa allows holders to access work and study rights.

Our Services

As part of our services we will assess the eligibility of the application and provide you with frank advice as to your chances of success. We operate on a fixed fee basis and the costs cover our assistance from initial assessment, preparation of the application through to lodgement and liaison with the Department of Home Affairs on your behalf until finalisation of your case.

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