Partner Visas

Many Australians meet partners from other countries and develop serious, committed relationships. It is often not until a couple decides that they want to live together in Australia, that they become aware of the bewildering list of requirements that need to be met. This is often a very emotionally charged time, especially in new relationships.

Regardless if this is a new or long-standing relationship, the process can be very stressful, costly and frustrating, if not handled correctly. Every visa has different requirements that need to be met in terms of establishing the relationship and the supporting documentation. Certain visas can be applied for onshore, while others must be applied for offshore. See more details further down this page.

Personal Experience

Dealing successfully with partner visas requires a tactful and compassionate approach, as well as cultural sensitivity. It requires a practical and rational attitude to ensure that all the correct evidence and supporting documentation is provided.

I have personally experienced this type of situation and I have a great deal of empathy with couples who are going through the process. I have the practical skills and emotional detachment to ensure that your application has the best possible chance of being successful.

Refusals are expensive, stressful and can be avoided by expert advice. Please contact us for an overview of current requirements and to work out the best strategy for a successful application.

Partner Visa Application

You may be eligible for a partner visa if you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

  • The key to making a successful application for migrating to Australia is to make sure that you will satisfy all the requirements for the visa class you are applying for. It is also vitally important that all documentation you include to support your application is complete and acceptable to the Department of Immigration.
  • A Registered Migration Agent will make sure that your application is well presented, professionally prepared and meets all requirements. The agent will assist with the completion of all necessary forms, collating of documents, preparation of submissions and the lodgement of your application. They will monitor the progress of your application and provide ongoing advice and liaise with the Department of Immigration on your behalf.
Partner Visa Application

If you want to apply for a partner visa in Australia we can assist you ...

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Sponsor Requirements - Onshore Application

There will be additional requirements for sponsors which will include a separate sponsorship assessment. The sponsor will need to be approved as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications can be made.

Onshore Application-Partner sc. 820/801

  • sc. 820 partner visa is a 2-year temporary visa, which can be applied for in Australia by people who are in a married, de-facto relationship or registered relationship.
  • sc. 801 partner visa is a permanent partner visa. When you apply for the temporary visa, you also apply for the permanent visa.
  • In some instances, you can be granted a permanent visa without having to wait 2 years first.

Sponsor Requirements - Offshore Application

Offshore Application-Prospective Marriage sc. 300

  • sc.300 prospective marriage visa is a temporary visa that allows you to travel to Australia and marry your partner within 9 months of the grant of the visa. After you have married your partner, you can apply onshore for the sc. 820 visa.

Offshore Application-Partner sc. 309/100

  • sc. 309 partner visa is a 2-year temporary visa which can be applied for outside Australia by people who are in a married or de-facto relationship.
  • sc. 100 partner visa is a permanent visa. When you apply for the temporary partner visa, you also apply for the permanent visa.
  • In some instances, you can be granted a permanent visa without having to wait 2 years first.


Dear Nick, A. and I would like to thank you for all the work and effort that you had put into our application. We are beyond happy and no words could ever express how grateful we are. We can now finally be together. Thank you once again and God bless you.


Hi Nick, Thank you very much for all of the effort you have put into this. This was emotionally charged from our end and you helped take that out. We were expecting this to take at least 12 months but thanks to you this has happened in 4-5 months. Feel free to put me forward as a reference to any prospective clients that come your way. I will be spreading the word around too.


Thank you. Now I am happy. Thank you for all your help, huge stress is now gone.


Faq's - Partner Visas - Relationship Requirements

The "genuine relationship" requirement

  • In all instances, the applicant and sponsor must provide solid evidence that the relationship is genuine and on-going.

The "12 month relationship" requirement

  • De-facto applicants must provide evidence that they have been in a de-facto relationship for at least 12 months, before the application is lodged.
  • This requirement may be waived where there are compelling or compassionate circumstances or when the relationship has been registered.

Relationship Evidence

Every relationship is different and there is no fast rule on what sort of evidence can be provided. People’s circumstances vary enormously and it is good practice to have an outsider look at the evidence you have in an objective manner. A migration agent can help you collate relevant material and assist with statements where evidence may not be readily available. Some of the factors that will be considered are:

  • knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances
  • financial aspects of the relationship, joint financial commitments such as real estate or other assets and sharing day-to-day household expenses
  • the nature of the household, including living arrangements and joint care and responsibility for any children of the relationship
  • the social aspects of the relationship, provided in statements (statutory declarations) by friends and acquaintances
  • the nature of the commitment, including duration of the relationship, how long the couple has been living together and whether they see the relationship as a long-term one

Bridging Visas

  • When making a valid application onshore you will be granted a bridging visa.
  • Bridging visas normally have the same conditions as your last substantive visa.
  • It is possible to apply for work rights while on a bridging visa with a “No Work” condition.

No further stay (8503)

If you are in Australia and you have a visa with condition 8503, then you will not be able to apply for a partner visa onshore, unless a waiver of the condition can be obtained first.

Unlawful applicants

If you are in Australia without a valid visa, there may be some instances where you can apply for a partner visa (see also Schedule 3 criteria below)

Schedule 3 criteria

Schedule 3 requirements apply to people who, at the time they apply for a sc. 820 visa, are either unlawful or hold a bridging visa. If that is the case, the applicant must satisfy Schedule 3 criteria 3001, 3003 and 3004, unless the Minister is satisfied there are compelling reasons for not applying those criteria. “Compelling reasons” is not defined in the Migration Regulations and this means that the meaning of this open to interpretation by case officers.

Previously many applicants managed to get a waiver from schedule 3 criteria relatively easily. However, the DIBP have now changed their interpretation of ‘compelling reasons” and in most cases, it is much harder (if not impossible) to get the schedule 3 criteria waived. Note also that the new interpretation is applied retrospectively.

If you are affected by schedule 3 criteria seriously consider if it is likely that you will qualify for a waiver and if it is worth to lodge an onshore application, as refusals are very expensive and immensely stressful.

If you have already applied for an onshore partner visa and you get a request to submit information regarding any compelling reasons to waiver Schedule 3, make sure you properly address the request.

Relationship Breakdown

If the relationship breaks down during the application process, there can be all sort of unintended consequences for both the sponsor and the visa applicant. For most people, it is incredibly stressful to have to deal with visa issues on top of the emotional turmoil of the relationship coming to an end, especially if there are children involved or there are family violence issues. We provide quick and discreet phone or email consultations so you can discuss your options and obligations.

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