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Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100)

Features

This visa allows the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to travel to and live in Australia.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you are married to or in a de facto relationship with an:

  • Australian citizen
  • Australian permanent resident
  • eligible New Zealand citizen.

You must be outside Australia when you apply.

About this visa

The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) allows you to live in Australia if you are the spouse or de facto partner of:

The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100). You lodge only one application for your temporary and permanent visas and pay one application charge. Your application is processed in two stages, about two years apart.

You must be outside Australia when you apply and also when the Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is granted. You can be in or outside Australia when Partner visa (subclass 100) is granted.

More information

More information is available from the Partner Migration booklet.

What this visa lets you do

The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) lets you:

  • enter Australia and stay here until a decision is made about your permanent Partner visa
  • work in Australia
  • study in Australia, but with no access to government funding
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses.

If you are later granted a permanent visa, you can:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • receive some social security payments
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted – after that time you will need another visa to enter Australia.

Before you apply

Your passport

You need a valid passport or other travel document for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after you have lodged your application, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices. If you plan to lodge an online visa application, certified copies of original documents can be scanned and attached to your visa application through your ImmiAccount.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Partner visa (subclass 309/subclass 100).

Who could get this visa

You must be outside Australia and married or in a de facto relationship with:

You must be in a genuine and ongoing relationship. You must live with your partner or, if you do not, any separation must be only temporary. Both parties must freely consent to the relationship.

You can apply if you intend to marry your partner before a decision on your visa is made.

Married applicants

Your marriage must be valid under Australian law.  Underage, polygamous and same-sex marriages are not legal in Australia. The marriage could be valid under limited circumstances if one person is younger than 18 years of age. Same-sex couples can apply for this visa based on their de facto relationship.

De facto applicants

Your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for this visa. Time spent dating does not count towards the length of your de facto relationship.

You might be granted a visa without having been in a de facto relationship for 12 months if:

  • you can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances, such as having dependent children
  • your partner has been granted a permanent humanitarian visa and your de facto relationship existed before it was issued, and you told us about the relationship before the humanitarian visa was granted
  • your de facto relationship has been registered in Australia (this is not available in all states and territories).

You must be older than 18 years of age and not be related to your partner by family. This means you cannot be an ancestor or descendant of one another, or have a parent in common.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

This applies to all dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

This also applies to all dependent family members in the application who are 16 years of age or older.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

Provide biometrics

You might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.

Including family in your application

You can include the following people in your visa application:

  • your dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

If you add a dependent child to your application, that child must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. The application needs to include documentary evidence of the child's relationship to you.

Your dependent child must also be able to show that they meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Partner visa (subclass 309/subclass 100).

You and anyone included in your application must be outside Australia when the application is lodged and also when the visa is decided.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

If you cannot get some documents in time to include them with your application:

  • list the documents in your application
  • send them to us as soon as you get them
  • if you have lodged your application online attach them through your ImmiAccount.

Lodge your application online

Create or login to your ImmiAccount and complete the application form:

Your sponsor should also complete:

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply.

Lodge your application by post or in person

Complete the application form:

  • Form 47SP Application for migration to Australia by a partner (551 kB PDF).

Your sponsor should also complete:

  • Form 40SP Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia (287 kB PDF).

Lodge your application at one of the immigration offices outside Australia, which will tell you how you can pay. There is also further information available on the methods of payment accepted by our offices.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, such as certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

After you have lodged the your application and documents, we will let you know that we have received your information.

If you applied online, you can track and manage your online application using your ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

  • Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99 kB PDF).

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If you applied online, you can submit any additional information, including Form 1023, through your ImmiAccount.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.

You must also tell us if your relationship with your partner ends. Family violence provisions has more information if your relationship ends because of family violence.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include the number we gave you when you applied, if you know it – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist for applicants

You need to provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

Provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Police certificates should be original documents. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

If you applied online, certified copies of original documents can be scanned and attached to your visa application through your ImmiAccount.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Visa application requirements differ from country to country. If you are applying outside Australia, your nearest immigration office outside Australia will tell you exactly how to lodge your application and what documents to provide.

Forms

Applying online:

Applying by post or in person:
  • Form 47SP Application for migration to Australia by a partner (551 kB PDF)
  • Form 40SP Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia (287 kB PDF).
    • For anyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older and is not your partner:
      • Form 47a Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (238 kB PDF).
    • If you are bringing a child younger than 18 years of age with you to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in your application:
      • Form 1229 Consent to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (238 kB PDF).

Charges

If your sponsor has paid the visa application charge for you: provide the original receipt to show they have paid.

Note: If your sponsor has paid the visa application charge for you then you must lodge your application by post or in person.

Receiving assistance

If you applied online, you can submit these forms through your ImmiAccount.

Your identity

  • Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder's photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
  • Four recent passport-sized photographs (45 mm x 35 mm) of each person included in the application.
    • These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background.
    • Print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names. If you do not have a birth certificate and are unable to get one, you must provide a certified copy of the identification pages of at least one of the following documents:
    • family book showing both parents’ names
    • identification document issued by the government
    • court-issued documents that verify your identity.
    If you are unable to provide any of these documents, you must provide other acceptable evidence that you are who you claim to be.
  • If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.

Your relationships

  • Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you and anyone else included in your application, even if they are not joining you in Australia.
  • If you or anyone included in the application has been widowed, divorced or permanently separated: a certified copy of the death certificate, divorce documents, or statutory declaration separation documents.

Evidence that your relationship is genuine and continuing

You must provide documents to prove that your relationship is genuine and continuing. If statements are provided, they can be written statements or statutory declarations. They must be signed and dated by the authors. A statutory declaration must also be signed by two witnesses. You can attach supporting documents to your online application in ImmiAccount.

  • Form 888Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or a Prospective Marriage visa applicant (to be completed by two Australian citizens or permanent residents who have personal knowledge of your partner relationship).
  • History of your relationship: Statements from you and your partner about:
    • how, when and where you first met
    • how your relationship developed
    • when you decided to marry or to start a de facto relationship
    • your domestic arrangements (how you support each other financially, physically and emotionally and when this level of commitment began)
    • any periods of separation (when and why the separation occurred, for how long and how you maintained your relationship during the period of separation)
    • your future plans.
  • Financial evidence of your relationship: Documents to show that you and your partner share financial commitments and responsibilities, such as:
    • evidence of any joint ownership of real estate or other major assets (for example, cars, appliances) and any joint liabilities (for example, loans, insurance)
    • sharing of finances
    • legal commitments that you and your partner have undertaken as a couple
    • evidence that you and your partner have operated joint bank accounts for a reasonable period of time
    • sharing of household bills and expenses.
  • The nature of the household: Documents to show that you and your partner share responsibilities in your household, such as:
    • your living arrangements
    • a statement about the way housework is distributed
    • joint ownership or joint rental of the house in which you live
    • joint utilities accounts (electricity, gas, telephone)
    • joint responsibility for bills for day-to-day living expenses
    • joint responsibility for children
    • correspondence addressed to both you and your partner at the same address.
  • Social context of the relationship: Documents to show how your relationship with your partner is seen by your friends and family will be considered, such as:
    • evidence that you and your partner are usually accepted as a couple socially (for example, joint invitations, going out together, friends and acquaintances in common)
    • statutory declarations from your partner’s parents, family members, relatives and other friends about their assessment of the nature of your relationship
    • evidence that you and your partner have declared your relationship to government bodies, commercial or public institutions or authorities, joint membership of organisations or groups
    • evidence of joint participation in sporting, cultural or social activities
    • joint travel.
  • The nature of your commitment to each other: Documents to show your commitment to each other:
    • knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances (for example, background and family situation, which could be established at interview)
    • intention that your relationship will be long-term (for example, the extent to which you have combined your affairs)
    • the terms of your wills
    • correspondence and itemised phone accounts to show that contact was maintained during any period of separation.
  • If you are living in a de facto relationship, provide one of the following:
    • evidence that you have been in the relationship for at least 12 months before you apply for this visa
    • evidence that of compelling and compassionate reasons for applying before the 12 month period has passed
    • evidence that you have registered your relationship in Australia with the relevant state or territory authority.

Your children and other dependants

  • Certified copies of birth certificates or the family book showing the names of both parents for all your dependent children, even if they are not joining you in Australia. Also include any children who are already in Australia, who are Australian permanent residents or citizens.
  • Evidence of financial dependency for all your family members aged 18 or older who are included in your application:
    • a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
    • proof that they live in your household
    • proof that they have been financially dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
  • If you want to bring a child younger than 18 years of age with you to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in the application: documentary evidence that you have the legal right to bring that child to Australia, such as:

Character requirement

  • If anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of their military service record or discharge papers.

Your sponsor

  • Evidence that the sponsor is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. Evidence can include a certified copy of:
    • a birth certificate
    • an Australian passport or foreign passport containing evidence of permanent residence
    • an Australian citizenship certificate
    • for New Zealand citizens, evidence of length of residence in Australia and of continuing links with Australia.

If you are married and your spouse is younger than 18 years of age, they cannot be your sponsor. In that case, your sponsor's parent or guardian might be able to sponsor you. If this affects you, contact the nearest Australian Immigration office outside Australia to find out which documents we need.

  • If your sponsor is not an Australian citizen: evidence to show your sponsor usually lives in Australia, such as:
    • evidence of ownership or rental of the house in which your sponsor lives
    • utility accounts (electricity, gas, telephone)
    • other bills for day-to-day living expenses.
  • If you are including a child younger than 18 years of age in your application:
    • an AFP National Police Check for your sponsor, if the sponsor has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age
    • police certificates from each country in which the sponsor has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

Provide the original certificates. Your sponsor can keep a copy for their own records.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309). It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

Your Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is valid until:

  • a decision is made about your permanent visa
  • you are granted another type of visa
  • your provisional Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is cancelled
  • you withdraw your application for a Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100).

Keep your visa valid

You must have a valid Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) to be considered for a permanent visa.

If you are granted any other visa before you receive your permanent Partner visa (subclass 100), your temporary Partner visa might no longer be valid. This means your application for your permanent visa will be refused.

If you have a New Zealand passport

If you have a New Zealand passport you might automatically get a Special Category visa (subclass 444) when you arrive in Australia. Your temporary Partner visa will then no longer be valid. You can avoid this by telling the immigration officer at the border that you have a temporary Partner visa.

What this visa lets you do

The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) lets you:

  • enter Australia and stay here until a decision is made about your permanent Partner visa
  • work in Australia
  • study in Australia, but with no access to government funding
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses.

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Enter Australia

We will tell you the date by which you must enter Australia. If you do not enter Australia by this date, your visa could be cancelled. Contact us if you cannot arrive by this date.

Any family members who come with you to Australia might have conditions on their visas, including:

  • they cannot enter Australia before you
  • they cannot marry or be in a de facto relationship before they enter Australia.

We will tell you if this is the case.

Your Permanent Partner visa

You can expect the following:

  • About two years after you lodge your application for this visa, you will be assessed for the permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).
  • About three months before you are assessed, we will send you a letter asking you to provide more information. 
  • Whether you applied for your temporary partner visa using a paper form or online, you can provide this information online at Partner visa application - information for permanent stage processing.

Contact our nearest Australian office if two years have passed since you lodged your visa application and you have not yet received this letter.

A permanent Partner visa can be granted earlier if either:

  • when you apply, you have been in a relationship with your partner for more than three years, or more than two years if there is a dependent child of your relationship
  • your spouse or de facto partner dies, the relationship would have continued if they had not died, and you have developed close business, cultural or personal ties in Australia
  • the relationship breaks down and there is a child of the relationship for whom you share responsibility
  • the relationship breaks down due to family violence
  • your partner has been granted a permanent humanitarian visa, and before it was granted:
    • you were married to them or in a de facto relationship with them and;
    • you told us about the relationship.

Contact the Partner Processing Centre in Australia if you are in any of these circumstances. We will tell you what you need to do about your visa application.

Report changes in circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

If you applied online, these forms can be submitted to the department through your ImmiAccount.

You must also tell us if your relationship with your partner ends. Family violence provisions has more information if your relationship ends because of family violence.

Permanent Partner visa calculator

You can use this calculator to help you determine whether you are eligible for Partner (Permanent) visa processing.

Sponsors

This information explains what you need to do to sponsor your partner for a Partner visa (subclass 309/subclass 100).

Who can be a sponsor

To be a sponsor you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be married, be in a de facto relationship with your partner, or intend to marry before the visa is decided
  • be older than 18 years of age.

If you are married and younger than 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must be the sponsor. That parent or guardian must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens are expected to be living in Australia. Eligible New Zealand citizens might need to have a health examination or character check. We will tell you if you need these checks.

If you have been granted a Woman at Risk (subclass 204) visa in the last five years, you cannot sponsor:

  • someone who was your partner when you were granted a Woman at Risk visa (subclass 204)
  • a previous partner that you did not tell us about when you were granted your Woman at Risk visa (subclass 204).

Limitations on sponsorship

You cannot be a sponsor if you:

  • were sponsored for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the last five years
  • have successfully sponsored two people for migration to Australia on a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa
  • have successfully sponsored another person for migration to Australia on a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the last five years.

Your sponsorship could still be approved in compelling circumstances, such as:

  • your previous partner has died or abandoned the relationship, leaving you with young children
  • your relationship with your current partner has been longer than two years
  • you and your current partner have dependent children from your relationship.

Contributory parent visa holders

If you were granted a Contributory Parent visa after 30 June 2009, you cannot sponsor your partner for five years from the date your visa was granted if you were in relationship with that person before the Contributory Parent visa was granted.

There are some exceptions to this limitation. Contact our nearest Australian office to discuss your situation.

Best interests of the child

This visa will not be granted if it is against the best interests of a child younger than 18 years of age.  There is more information in measures for the protection of children.

Character requirements

You might need to meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

How to apply to be a sponsor

This information explains what you need to do to apply to sponsor someone for a Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309/subclass 100).

To apply to be a sponsor, complete:

Your partner will lodge this form with their application.

Sponsor obligations

As a sponsor you must provide accommodation and financial support for your partner and their family for up to two years following visa grant or first entry into Australia including any period they take English language courses (if needed).

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us immediately if your relationship with your partner breaks down, or if you withdraw your support for your partner before their application is finalised.

Estimate the cost of your visa

* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.

Last reviewed Thursday 3 April 2014

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