Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801)

Features

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

Requirements

To get this visa, you must be married to or in a de facto relationship with an:

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

You must be in Australia when you apply.​

​Average processing time for this visa is 12 to 15 months.​

About this visa

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) allows you to live in Australia if you are the spouse or de facto partner of:

In some circumstances the visa can be granted where your partner relationship has ended.

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801). You must be in Australia when you apply and also when this visa is decided.

You lodge one application form for your temporary and permanent visas and pay one application charge. Your application is processed in two stages, about two years apart.

More information

More information is available from the Partner Migration booklet.

What this visa lets you do

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) lets you:

  • stay in Australia 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.

You can include your dependent children in your application, but not other dependent relatives (unless you hold or held a Prospective Marriage visa). Dependent applicants must be in Australia when they apply.

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.

You might be able to update your passport details using 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 820/801).

Who could get this visa

You must be 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 might be able to be granted this visa if:

  • your relationship breaks down and there is a child of the relationship
  • your partner dies and you can show that your relationship would have continued if your partner had lived and you have close business, cultural or personal ties in Australia
  • your relationship breaks down and you or members of your family unit have suffered family violence.

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

Usually 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 a de facto relationship.

You can 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 granted, and you told us about the relationship before the visa was granted
  • your de facto relationship has been registered in Australia (this is not available in all states and territories).

You must also 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.

Expansion of partner visa eligibility in Australia

If you do not hold a substantive visa (a visa that is not a Bridging visa or a Criminal Justice visa) and have had a visa refused or cancelled since your last entry to Australia, you will be subject to section 48 of the Migration Act 1958 (the 'Act'). This section bars you from applying for another visa while in Australia, except for certain prescribed visa classes, for example a Protection visa or a Bridging visa. However, from 14 September 2009 you may be eligible to apply for a Partner visa in Australia if you meet certain criteria.

Additional criteria that must be met by affected applicants in order to make a valid application in Australia

If you have had a visa cancelled or refused since you last entered Australia, there are four criteria that you will need to meet to be able to lodge a valid Partner visa application in Australia. These are:

  1. You must not have had a partner visa refused since you last entered Australia.
  2. You must not have had a visa refused or cancelled on character grounds under section 501 of the Act.
  3. You must provide with your application a form 40SP Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia completed and signed by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who declares that they are your spouse or de facto partner.
  4. You must provide with your application two statutory declarations from Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens (other than your partner) supporting the existence of your relationship with your partner. These declarations must be made not more than six weeks before the day the Partner visa application was made.

Note: Meeting the criteria will simply enable you to lodge a valid application. You will also still be subject to all other eligibility requirements for the Partner visa. Once you have made a valid application, you will be assessed against the legislative requirements in the same way as all Partner visa applicants who apply in Australia. Information about applying for a Partner visa in Australia is available.
See: Partner Category Visa Options

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months. This applies to you and any dependent family members included in your application.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

You might not need to have a health examination if you hold a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must 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.

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

You might not need to provide police certificates if you hold a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).

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 your dependent children in your visa application:

You can include your other dependent relatives in your application only if you hold, or held, a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).

They can also apply separately and lodge their own visa application form if:

  • they are in Australia when they apply
  • you have already lodged your application but it has not yet been decided.

If they want to apply separately, they need to do so before a decision is made on your permanent (subclass 801) visa application.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

Your family members must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a combined Partner visa (subclass 820/801).

You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the application is lodged and also to be granted the subclass 820 visa.

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 using 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 completes:

  • Form 40SP Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia (255 kB PDF).

The best place to lodge your paper application and all relevant documents is at your nearest Partner Processing Centre in Australia:

Applicant's location

Where to send your application

New South Wales

Sydney office in New South Wales

Victoria Melbourne office in Victoria
Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania Brisbane office in Queensland
Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory

Perth office in Western Australia


Location at time of lodgement

  • In Australia: lodge your paper application at any of our offices  
  • Online: lodge your visa application online any time using ImmiAccount.

You can pay by credit card, debit card, bank cheque or money order made payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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 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 application using 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.

When you apply for this visa, you might get a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed.

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) (99KB 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 provide additional information, including Form 1023, using 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.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

If you applied online, you might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

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).
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist for applicants

You must provide documents to support your application for this visa.

Use the Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801) document checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Partner visa (subclass 820). 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 visa (subclass 820) is valid until:

  • a decision is made about your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801)
  • you are granted another type of visa
  • your provisional Partner visa (subclass 820) is cancelled
  • you withdraw your application for a Partner visa (subclass 801).

Keep your visa valid

You must have a valid temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) to be considered for a permanent visa.

If you are granted any other visa before you receive your permanent Partner visa, 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 visa (subclass 820) lets you:

  • stay in Australia 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 permanent Partner visa

You can expect the following:

  • About two years after you lodged your application for this visa, you will be assessed for a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).
  • 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 information online at  Partner visa application - information for permanent stage processing.

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

A permanent visa can be granted earlier if either:

  • when you apply, you have been in a relationship with your partner for not less than three years, or not less than two years if there is a dependent child of your relationship
  • your sponsor 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
  • the relationship breaks down due to family violence.

If any of these circumstances occur, you should contact the processing centre, which will advise you about further processing requirements.

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.

Report changes in circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

If you applied online, you might be able to update your address and passport details using 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 temporary and permanent Partner visa (subclass 820/ 801).

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

Who can be a sponsor

To be a sponsor you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be in a married or de facto relationship with your partner
  • 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 visa (subclass 204) in the last five years, you cannot sponsor:

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

Limitations on sponsorship

Your sponsorship might not be approved if you:

  • were sponsored for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the past 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 past 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 partner have dependent children from your relationship.

Contributory parent visa holders

If you were granted a Contributory Parent category 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 visa was granted. There are some exceptions to this limitation. Contact your nearest Australian office of the department 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 combined Partner visa (subclass 820/801).

To apply to be a sponsor you must complete:

Your partner will submit this form with their visa application. If you apply online, your partner will need to lodge their visa application and get a TRN (Transaction Reference Number) before you can lodge your sponsorship form (Form 40SP). You will need your partner’s TRN in order to complete the sponsorship form.

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.

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.

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).

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.