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Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801)

 

The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) is for people who are in a committed relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. The visa permits the partner of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to stay in Australia temporarily, followed by a permanent residency if the relationship continues to be genuine and ongoing.

 

The partner can be either a spouse, de facto partner or in a registered relationship with the Australian citizen or permanent resident. The visa is for individuals who want to live with their partner in Australia and be able to work and study while they are in the country.

 

Subclass 820/801 is an Onshore Visa

 

The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) is an onshore visa. This means that the applicant must be in Australia at the time of lodging the application and must remain in Australia until a decision is made on their temporary visa application. If the applicant meets the requirements for the temporary visa, they will be granted the subclass 820 visa, which allows them to live and work in Australia temporarily while their permanent visa application is being processed.

 

Once the applicant has held the subclass 820 visa for two years they are eligible to apply for the subclass 801 visa, which is a permanent residency visa. This application is also lodged while the applicant is in Australia.

 

Two Stages of the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801)

 

The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) is a two stage visa application process designed for people who are in a committed relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. This visa allows the partner of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to stay in Australia temporarily, followed by a permanent residency if the relationship continues to be genuine and ongoing.

 

The subclass 820 visa is the temporary visa that allows the partner to live and work in Australia for up to two years. Once the temporary visa expires, the partner can apply for the subclass 801 visa, which is a permanent residency visa. The subclass 801 visa can only be applied after the two-year waiting period and upon meeting the visa requirements.

Eligibility Requirements for the Australia Partner Visa820/801

 

The eligibility criteria for the Australia Partner Visa include:

 

  • Relationship status: The applicant must be in a genuine and ongoing relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen. This relationship can be a marriage, de facto relationship or a registered relationship.

 

  • Sponsorship: The partner must be sponsored by their Australian partner. The sponsor must be over 18 years of age and must be willing to provide financial and emotional support to their partner.

 

  • Health and character requirements: The applicant must meet the health and character requirements as specified by the Australian Government.

 

  • Age: The applicant must be over 18 years of age.

 

  • Meeting the visa conditions: The applicant must comply with the visa conditions while living in Australia.

 

Application Process for the Australia Partner Visa 820/801

 

The application process for the Partner Visa 820/801 involves the following steps:

 

Lodging the visa application

 

The applicant can lodge their visa application online. The visa application includes personal details, relationship details, health and character assessments and extensive supporting documents. The documents required are:

 

  • Identity documents: Passport, birth certificate, and any other identification documents required by the Department of Home Affairs.

 

  • Relationship documents: Evidence of your relationship with your partner, such as photographs, joint bank account statements, joint utility bills, joint rental agreements, and any other documents that prove that you have been living together as a couple.

 

  • Character documents: Police clearance certificates from all countries where you have lived for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, including any time spent in Australia.

 

  • Health documents: Medical examination report and chest x-ray report, if required.

 

  • Financial documents: Evidence that you and your partner have sufficient funds to support yourselves and any dependents during your stay in Australia. This may include bank statements, tax returns, and pay slips.

 

 

  • Other documents: Any other documents requested by the Department of Home Affairs, such as evidence of your qualifications, employment history, or business activities.

 

Providing biometrics and attending an interview

 

After lodging the visa application, the applicant may be required to provide biometrics (photographs and fingerprints) and attend an interview.

 

Waiting for the visa decision

 

The processing time for the visa application takes between 15 to 20 months.

 

Receiving the visa decision

 

Once the visa decision is made, the applicant will be notified of the decision. If the visa is approved the applicant can travel to Australia and start living with their partner.

Requirements to convert the The Australia Partner Visa subclass 820 into the 801

 

To convert the Australia Partner Visa subclass 820 into the 801 the applicant must meet the following requirements:

 

  • Eligibility: The applicant must continue to be in a genuine and ongoing relationship with their Australian partner.

 

  • Time requirement: The applicant must have held the subclass 820 visa for two years.

 

  • Health and character requirements: The applicant must continue to meet the health and character requirements.

 

  • Australian residency: The applicant must have lived in Australia for at least two years since the lodgement of the subclass 820 visa application.

 

  • Compliance with visa conditions: The applicant must have complied with all the conditions of their subclass 820 visa, including the condition to remain in Australia until a decision is made on their visa application.

 

  • No outstanding debts to the Australian Government: The applicant must not have any outstanding debts to the Australian Government.

 

Once the applicant meets these requirements, they can apply for the subclass 801 visa. The application process involves submitting additional evidence and documents to show that the applicant continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

 

The processing time for the subclass 801 visa application can be several months, and the applicant must remain in Australia while the application is being processed. If the subclass 801 visa is granted, the applicant becomes a permanent resident of Australia and can live and work in the country indefinitely.

Is the subclass 820 Permanent Residency?

 

No, the subclass 820 visa is not a permanent residency visa. It is a temporary visa that allows the partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to stay in Australia for a period of up to two years from the date of lodgement of the visa application.

 

Once the applicant has held the subclass 820 visa for two years they may be eligible to apply for the subclass 801 visa, which is a permanent residency visa.

 

Therefore, the subclass 820 visa is a pathway to permanent residency in Australia for partners of Australian citizens and permanent residents but it is not a permanent residency visa in itself. The applicant must apply for the subclass 801 visa to become a permanent resident of Australia.

How can the Subclass 820 Convert to Citizenship?

 

The Australia Partner Visa subclass 820 cannot directly convert to citizenship. However, holding a subclass 820 visa can be a pathway to Australian citizenship for the partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

 

In order to be eligible for Australian citizenship, the applicant must first become a permanent resident of Australia. The subclass 820 visa is not a permanent residency visa, but it is a pathway to permanent residency through the subclass 801 visa. Once the applicant has held the subclass 820 visa for two years they are eligible to apply for the subclass 801 visa, which is a permanent residency visa.

 

After becoming a permanent resident of Australia, the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements for Australian citizenship.

 

  • The applicant must have lived in Australia for at least four years, including at least one year as a permanent resident.
  • The applicant must have a good character and must not have any criminal convictions or outstanding debts to the Australian Government.
  • The applicant must be able to speak, read, and write in English.
  • The applicant must pass a test on Australian history, values, and government.
  • The applicant must make a pledge of allegiance to Australia and its people.

 

Once the applicant meets these requirements they can apply for Australian citizenship. The application process involves submitting evidence and documents to show that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements. The processing time for the citizenship application can be several months and the applicant must be in Australia when the application is processed.

Is the The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) for Married or Unmarried Couples?

 

The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) is available for both married and unmarried couples. The visa is designed to allow the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen to live and work in Australia with their partner.

 

How long does an applicant have to be on the 820 visa before converting to the 801?

 

In order to be eligible to apply for the conversion of the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) from the provisional subclass 820 visa to the permanent subclass 801 visa you must have been living in a genuine relationship with your partner for at least two years at the time of application.

 

The two year requirement applies to both married and de facto partners. If you are married then you must have been married for at least two years at the time of application. If you are in a de facto relationship then you must have been living together in a de facto relationship for at least two years at the time of application.

 

If you have been living in a de facto relationship for less than two years but have a dependent child together with your partner, you may still be eligible for the permanent subclass 801 visa.

 

Is the The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) Suitable for LGBT Couples?

 

Yes, the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) is suitable for LGBT couples. Australia recognizes same-sex relationships and offers Partner Visas for same-sex couples who are in a genuine and ongoing relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The eligibility requirements for the Partner Visa are the same for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

 

The Australian government recognizes same sex marriages, civil unions and de facto relationships for the purposes of the Partner Visa. Same sex couples who are married or in a civil union may be eligible for the Partner Visa if they meet the relevant criteria.

 

What happens if we break up when I’m on the The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801)?

 

If you are on the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) and you and your Australian partner break up then it can have implications on your visa status. The subclass 820/801 visa is granted based on the premise that the relationship between the visa holder and their Australian partner is genuine and ongoing. If the relationship breaks down then this can impact your visa status.

 

If you are still on a subclass 820 visa, and you break up with your partner before you are eligible to apply for the subclass 801 visa, you will need to notify the Department of Home Affairs as soon as possible. Your subclass 820 visa may be cancelled, and you may need to leave Australia.

 

If you have already applied for the subclass 801 visa, and you break up with your partner before the visa is granted, you will need to notify the Department of Home Affairs. The department will assess your case based on the evidence you provide and may require further information from you and your former partner. If the department is satisfied that your relationship was genuine and ongoing but has since ended due to reasons beyond your control thenyou may still be eligible for the subclass 801 visa.

 

If you are granted the subclass 801 visa and you break up with your partner after the visa is granted then your visa status will not be affected. However, you will need to notify the Department of Home Affairs of the change in your circumstances.

 

What about if I am the victim of domestic violence when on The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801). If I leave the person then my visa could be cancelled but does this mean I am trapped in a catch 22 situation?

 

If you are on the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) and you are a victim of domestic violence then you may be able to apply for a Domestic Violence (Subclass 820) visa. This visa is specifically designed to give support and protection to victims of domestic violence who are in a relationship with an Australian.

 

To be eligible for the Domestic Violence (Subclass 820) visa you must provide evidence of domestic violence, including police reports, medical reports or court orders. You must also provide evidence that you are still in a relationship with your Australian partner and that the relationship is ongoing. The Domestic Violence (Subclass 820) visa will allow you to stay in Australia for two years.

 

If you leave your Australian partner due to domestic violence and do not have a Domestic Violence (Subclass 820) visa then your subclass 820 visa may be cancelled. However, if you can provide evidence of domestic violence then you may be able to apply for a Bridging visa E (BVE) which will allow you to stay in Australia temporarily.

Cost to apply for the The Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801)

 

The cost of applying for the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) can vary depending on a range of factors, including your location, relationship status, and whether you are applying onshore or offshore. As of March 2023, the current fees for the subclass 820/801 visa are:

 

Partner (subclass 820/801) visa (onshore): AUD $7,715
Partner (subclass 820/801) visa (offshore): AUD $7,715

 

In addition to the visa application fee, there may be additional costs associated with the application process, such as health checks, police checks, and translations of documents.

 

It is also worth noting that there may be additional costs associated with living in Australia while on the subclass 820 visa, such as healthcare costs, rent, and other living expenses. It is important to plan ahead and ensure that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Australia.

Pros and Cons of the Australia Partner Visa (subclass 820/801)

 

Benefits of the Australia Partner Visa subclass 820/801

 

  • The visa allows the applicant to live and work in Australia for up to two years on the temporary visa, followed by permanent residency.

 

  • The visa holder is eligible for healthcare benefits and social security benefits in Australia.

 

  • The visa holder can access education in Australia, including schools and vocational training.

 

  • After fulfilling the residency requirements the visa holder can apply for Australian citizenship.

 

  • The visa holder can bring eligible family members to Australia.

 

Challenges of the Australia Partner Visa subclass 820/801

 

  • The visa requirements can be complex and require extensive documentation.
  • The processing time for the visa application can be lengthy and can take up to 20 months
  • The sponsor is required to provide financial support to the applicant
  • The applicant must meet the health and character requirements
  • If the relationship breaks down during the temporary visa period the applicant may not be eligible for the permanent residency visa.
  • The applicant may need to demonstrate English language proficiency.

 

Tips for a successful Australia Partner Visa application

 

  1. Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements and provide all the required documents and evidence.
  2. Be truthful in your application and provide accurate information.
  3. Seek professional advice and assistance to help you navigate the application process.
  4. Ensure that you maintain a genuine and ongoing relationship with your Australian partner.
  5. Prepare for the health and character assessments.
  6. Be patient and prepared for a lengthy processing time.
  7. Keep track of the visa application status and respond to any requests for additional information promptly.
Subject Matter Expert at Migration Made Simple | Website | + posts

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.