Partner Visa and Spouse-Defacto-Fiancé-Same Sex Subclass 820/801 309/100 300 Visas
Spouse and Partner Visas in Australia
At Modern Migration Australia, our registered migration agents provide regular updates and information on evolving laws that affect Partner Visas in Australia and Partner Visa applications. Here’s the latest on legislation and requirements.
Australian Partner/Spouse Visa Subclass 820/801, 309/100 and Prospective Marriage (Fiancé) 300 Visa Pathways
The Australian visa system currently offers couples – both heterosexual and same sex – three visa options with one having two streams for keeping in or bringing your loved one to Australia. However, all Partner/Spouse and Fiancé visa options share one core requirement: the visa applicant and sponsor must be able to prove they have a genuine relationship – even when married.
Fortunately, under the now revised Australian Marriage Act, same sex couples can now be engaged and legally married. This opens up two more visa options for same sex couples.
Registered relationships are also possible in more states and territories than not, but registering a relationship does not diminish the need to provide proof of a genuine ongoing spousal or de facto relationship.
The Relationship – Subclass 820/801 Subclass 309/100 Subclass 300
The Relationship diagram above sets out the overarching criteria upon which all relationship-based visa applications, whether for the Subclass 820/801, 309/100 or 300 Visa, are measured and assessed.
Under each criterion you’re required to provide evidence to prove that you and your partner, spouse or fiancé have a genuine, ongoing and exclusive relationship. The Department of Home Affairs has set out various types of evidence that can be used to prove a relationship between you and your loved one. What this evidence doesn’t account for is that every relationship is unique and lived under different circumstances. In some cases, your relationship may be bound by some form of restriction – be it political, legal or cultural. This is when you need to know what your best options are and how to provide feasible alternative evidence of your genuine relationship.
Finally, all Australian relationship visas require the sponsor and the applicant to have physically met.
Spouse and Partner Visa Applications (Subclass 820/801)
The Subclass 820/801 Visa is for married or de facto couples – one of which must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident – who are in an established relationship and who reside in Australia. The Subclass 820/801 Visa is an Onshore Visa, meaning that you must be in Australia at the time of application and finalisation (grant of the visa).
The visa sponsor must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident and must meet Character Requirements. Past criminal convictions may deem an individual ineligible to sponsor a partner, spouse or fiancé. It is essential that sponsors check their eligibility prior to lodging a Partner Visa application.
What Do the Numbers 820/801 and 309/100 Mean?
The numbers associated with the Subclass 820/801 Visa represent the dual visas that you are applying for. The Subclass 820 is a two-year Provisional Visa and the 801 is your Permanent Visa. The provisional Subclass 820 visa represents the qualifying period a couple – married or de facto – must pass through before the visa applicant qualifies for the Permanent Visa Subclass 801.
The subclass 309/100 is similar to the 820/801 Visa except that it is used when the applicant is offshore – outside of Australia.
The numbers only represent the location of the applicant – 820/801 is in Australia and 309/100 for those outside Australia. In both cases, the sponsor can be either in or out of Australia.
For couples lodging a Subclass 820/801 or 309/100 Partner Visa application as a de facto couple, there is a legislative requirement that you have been in a de facto relationship for 12 months at the time of application. While not a legislative requirement, there does have to be a reasonable period of cohabitation within the 12 month de facto relationship. This is often a critical area for visa applicants.
If you are married and apply for a subclass 820/801, there is no specified time of relationship requirement. However, the genuine relationship requirement must be met and your evidence against the relationship criteria must be provided.
Long Term De Facto Relationships and Married Relationships with Children
If you and your partner have been in a long-term de facto relationship of over three years at the time of application, you may be able to qualify for a Subclass 801 Permanent Visa as you have already demonstrated a long-term relationship. Likewise, couples who are married and have children to that relationship may also qualify for the Permanent Visa Subclass 801 if the duration of the spousal relationship is more than two years at the time of application.
Subclass 309/100 Visa – Intention to Marry – Offshore
The Subclass 309/100 Visa has an extra stream unavailable under the Subclass 820/801 visa. With the Subclass 309/100 Visa, individuals can apply for a visa as an engaged couple intending to marry. The marriage must occur offshore and must be recognised under Australian Law – consistent with the requirements and set out in the Marriage Act.
The Prospective Marriage (Fiancé) Subclass 300 Visa
The Prospective Marriage Subclass 300 Visa is a viable option for many couples, now including same sex couples following changes to the Australian Marriage Act. This visa is useful where the level of relationship evidence is limited, such as not being able to meet cohabitation requirements for a de facto relationship or where a marriage is not possible while outside of Australia.
For Partner Visas and Spouse Visas (Subclass 820/801 and 309/100) as well as Fiancé Visas (Subclass 300) age requirements apply. The sponsor and applicant must be of a legal age to marry. This age is specified as 18 years old unless a Federal Court order has been obtained that deems an individual under 18 years to be in a legally married or de facto relationship.
What is equally important to note is that there is no an age limit to any of the Partner Visas and Spouse Visas. Couples in their 60, 70s and 80s have applied for and been granted visas.
Subclass 820/801 and 309/100 Visa Flow Charts
Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage (Fiancé) Visa Flow Chart
Sound Advice on Partner Visas in Australia
Looking to live with your spouse, fiancé or partner in Australia? At Modern Migration Australia, our registered Perth migration agents provide personalised advice and support on Partner Visa applications and requirements.
Find out more about the Partner Visa application process and how you can strengthen your application. Contact us on (08) 6555 7718.