What Are the Requirements for Applying for a Partner Visa?

Mar 20, 2023

Applying for a partner visa in Australia can be a complex procedure. It's time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Before applying for a partner visa, you should consider all the factors, starting with meeting the eligibility criteria. Here is a complete guide that will allow you to prepare better for partner visa applications.

If you're an Australian citizen, PR holder, or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may be able to sponsor your spouse or de facto partner for a partner visa that allows them to live and work in Australia. 

However, the partner visa application can be a lengthy and intricate process. So, it is essential to understand the requirements and key aspects before you begin applying. Currently, there are 3 categories of partner visas, which include the Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300), the Onshore Partner Visa (subclasses 820/801), and the Offshore Partner Visa (subclasses 309/100). Your preference will determine which type of visa to apply for.

In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for the application for a partner visa in Australia. From meeting the eligibility criteria to navigating the application process, we'll cover everything there’s need to know.

Eligibility Criteria for the Sponsor

Eligibility criteria for the sponsor

Meeting the requirement of being a citizen or resident in Australia is not just enough. There are some other aspects to meet specific requirements. For instance, the sponsor needs to have the traits of a good character and must not have any criminal convictions, that includes domestic violence as well. The sponsor had a criminal history may affect their ability to sponsor their partners for a partner visa.

Furthermore, to sponsor a partner for a partner visa in Australia, the sponsor must provide legitimate paperwork and evidence to prove their relationship. This evidence may include documents such as joint bank statements, utility bills, and rental agreements, as well as photos and other evidence of their relationship. 

Demonstrating the genuineness of the relationship is mandatory, as the Australian government wants to ensure that the visa isn't being misused for immigration purposes only.

Eligibility Criteria for the Applicant

Eligibility criteria for the applicant

For applicants' eligibility, they need to ensure that both partners are in a genuine relationship and have a mutual commitment to a shared life together. Relationships solely entered due to migration purposes only will reflect a negative result. Additionally, in the case of de facto relationships, the couple must show proof of living together for at least 12 months before applying for the visa.

The applicants must meet certain character requirements set by the Australian government and also need to be in good health condition. Same as the sponsor, the applicant must not be associated with any type of criminal conviction or pose a health risk to the Australian community. Also, you should consider having access to good health insurance, when you’re in Australia.

We recommended that applicants and sponsors seek help from professional partner visa & migration consultants before beginning the application process to ensure they are prepared and meet all the necessary criteria.

In addition, if applicants possess strong skills as a migrant, they may have the opportunity to provide a brighter future while residing in Australia.

Partner Visas Can Be Categorized into Four Types

It is essential to know the procedures for obtaining permanent residency in Australia. Before applying you must be familiar with the visa services and which visa meets your preferences or requirements.

Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300)

A Prospective Marriage Visa is for applicants who are engaged to an Australian citizen or PR holder or an eligible New Zealand citizen and they intend to marry their partner within the visa’s validity period, usually 9 months. To apply for the visa, the applicant must be living outside of Australia.

Onshore Partner Visa (subclasses 820/801)

Onshore Partner Visa is for applicants who are residents of Australia and are in a legitimate or continuing relationship with their partners who are a citizen or PR holders in Australia. This Subclass 820 is a temporary visa that permits the applicant to stay in Australia while their permanent Subclass 810 visa application is processed.

Offshore Partner Visa (subclasses 309/100)

Subclass Visa 109 is a temporary visa that allows the applicant to reside in Australia while their permanent subclass 100 visa application is processed. Once the visa is granted, the applicant can travel to and from Australia freely until their subclass 100 visa application has been granted.

Learn more about Onshore vs Offshore Partner Visa Applications here.

Factors Affecting the Assessment of Your Partner Visa Application

  • The relationship between you and your partner has to be genuine and long-term.

  • You live together, or you don't live apart on a permanent basis.

  • You should be married or in a de facto relationship with your partner for a minimum of 12 months.

  • You both must pass the health and character criteria.

  • You are not related to your family.


Documents You Can Provide as Evidence of Identity and Marital Status

The Department of Home Affairs assesses the relationship based on four primary factors, also known as the four pillars of defining a relationship:

Financial Aspects of Relationship

The Department of Home Affairs likes to see your mutual assets and liabilities. To show evidence of your financial condition, you can present joint mortgage or lease documents, joint loan documents for major assets like homes, cars, or major appliances, statements of joint bank accounts, and household bills in both names, resources of daily expenses, and any other financial documents of your relationship that can serve as evidence.

The Nature of the Household

The Department of Home Affairs would like to know how you are living as a couple. If there are children, then how you are jointly taking their responsibilities? They also consider living arrangements in the household, which you can show through an email about how you share your housework.

Social Aspects of Relationships

Any evidence that shows that you are socially recognized as a couple is required. For example, you can present invitations you have received for prospective marriages, parties, and so on. You can also show them pictures of you with mutual friends, marriage certificates, proof that you indulge in sporting, cultural, or social activities as a couple, and evidence that you travel together.

The Nature of Person's Commitment to Each Other

To prove your commitment to each other, you are required to present proof that you have been living together for a long time and have detailed knowledge of each other's backgrounds and family situations. You can also show evidence that your matters are combined.

Cost of Applying for Partner Visa & Time Duration


Type of Visa

Application Fee (AUD)

Sponsor Fee (AUD)

Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300)



Onshore Partner Visa (subclasses 820/801)



Offshore Partner Visa (subclasses 309/100)



There are some additional costs that get included with these costs such as medical examinations, police checks, or translations of documents. 

The time duration for processing the partner visa varies greatly for applicants who are applying while in Australia (Subclass 820/801) and those who apply from outside Australia (Subclass 309/100).

Visa Type

Time Duration

Subclass 820

25-33 Months

Subclass 801

10-17 Months

Subclass 309

17-26 Months

Subclass 100

17-22 Months


Application Process

Application Process

Step- 1. Expression of Interest (EOI)

The first step is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect system. It’s an online form that provides information about the applicant and sponsor, such as personal details, relationship history, and purpose for living in Australia.

Step- 2. Formal Application

It's a lengthy process where you need to submit a formal application with supporting documents. It consists of documentation, such as photos, emails or messages, and statutory declarations from family and friends to prove the relationship between the application and the sponsor.

Step- 3. Assessment Process

Upon the assessment of the Department of Home Affairs, you may need to provide some additional paperwork or documents as per their request.

Step- 4. Health and Character Requirements

Undergoing medical examinations and providing police certificates are necessary to apply for a visa.


Migrating to a different country and applying for visas can be a challenging and overwhelming thing in our ordinary lives. However, in this blog, we have provided a complete overview of the different types of partner visas available, what stages should be followed, which documentation is needed, as well as the estimated costs for visa application.

While it's true that you may encounter unique challenges during the application process, seeking guidance from qualified migration consultants, such as PFEC Global, can ensure that you follow the correct procedures and have all the necessary documentation. When you know what's to come, the process can become more manageable and less daunting.

Please reach out to us at +610396201773 (Melbourne), +610283784282 (Sydney), +610870992258 (Adelaide) for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How long do you have to be in a relationship to apply for a partner visa?


Answer: To be granted a Partner visa as a de facto partner, you and your sponsor must demonstrate that you and your sponsor have been in a committed de facto relationship for the entire 12 months before your application.


Can a partner visa get rejected?


Answer: Navigating the partner visa application procedure from start to finish can be difficult, and many applications are refused each year. According to 2016 statistics, 47% of partner visa applications that were not evaluated by a migration professional were denied.


Can I apply for a partner visa without living together?


Answer: If you have never lived together, you can apply for a Partner Visa. If you are not married, you must produce documentation that your de facto relationship has lasted at least 12 months. You will also be required to produce proof of your relationship.


What is the reason for the partner visa rejection?


Answer: The most common reason for partner visa refusal is a lack of documentation to indicate a genuine and committed relationship. Applicants and their partner/spouse sponsor must present evidence in four areas: financial, social, household nature, and type of devotion to one another.


How long can you stay on a partner visa?


Answer: If you are granted the Subclass 801 visa since it’s a permanent visa and it lasts indefinitely.

Got a question?

If you have any queries, please drop us a message by filling out the form. We will connect you with an advisor as soon as possible!

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