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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. 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 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.

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 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 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  
  • Outside Australia: lodge your paper application at any overseas post
  • Online: lodge your visa application online any time via 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 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.

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) (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.

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 can submit these forms through your 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 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.

Required information

Forms

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).
  • Two 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.

Character requirements

    • Police checks for everyone included in the visa application who is 16 years of age or older:
      • an Australian National Police Check for anyone who 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 anyone in your application has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in the past 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

    Provide the original certificates and keep a copy for yourself.

    • 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.

For further information on obtaining a National Police Certificate from the Australian Federal police and or applying for an overseas penal clearance

See: How to obtain a police certificate

The health requirement

When you apply for a visa, there are specific requirements for arranging your health examination.

For further information relating to arranging a health examination

See: Health examination

  • If you, or any other person included in the application, have undertaken a health examination before lodging your application, you should declare your HAP ID in the application form.

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.

Sponsorship requirements

  • 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 your sponsor is not an Australian citizen: evidence 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 your sponsor is not an Australian citizen: evidence 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 or a child you are including in the application is younger than 18 years of age:
    • 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.
  • 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 to find out which documents you need you to provide.

    If your partner is younger than 18 years of age and you are sponsored by their parent or guardian, then that sponsor’s partner must also provide character references.

    Recommended documentation

    Evidence that your relationship is genuine and continuing

    Applicants should provide supporting evidence to demonstrate that their relationship is genuine and continuing.

    The below are examples of information you may wish to provide:

    • Two Form 888 Statutory declaration by a supporting witness relating to a partner visa application (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 taken on 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 arrangement
      • 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 yourpartner 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 you have been in the relationship for at least 12 months before you apply for this visa
      • evidence of compelling and compassionate reasons for applying before the 12 months has passed
      • evidence you have registered your relationship in Australia with the relevant state or territory authority.

    If providing written statements or statutory declarations, please ensure that signed and dated by the authors in the presence of an authorised witness.

    For more information relating to authorised witnesses is available on the Who can witness statutory declarations? page.

    Note: Supporting evidence can be attached to your online application in ImmiAccount.

    Your children and other dependents

    • 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. Include any who are already in Australia and who are Australian permanent residents.
      • Evidence of financial dependency for all your family members aged 18 or older:
        • 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.
    • For a child younger than 18 years of age you will need to provide documentary evidence that the child can remain in Australia such as:
      • certified copies of official legal documents, such as a court-issued parental responsibility custody, access or guardianship order
      • a statutory declaration giving their permission (80 kB PDF)
      • Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (125 kB PDF).

        If you use Form 1229 or a statutory declaration, you will have to attach a certified copy of the other parent’s government-issued identification document (such as a passport or drivers licence) with their photograph and signature.

    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

    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 can submit these forms 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 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 application.

    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.

    Last reviewed Thursday 3 April 2014

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