There are two types of Partner Visas depending on where you are applying from:
For onshore applicants: Temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) and Permanent Partner visa (subclass 801)
For offshore applicants: Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Permanent Partner visa (subclass 100)
The partner visas allow the spouse or de-facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia.
At the time of application, the applicant must be in Australia to apply for subclass 820 and 801.
And, applicants must be outside Australia to lodge an application under subclass 309.
While the Permanent visa(subclass 801 or 100) is being processed, you will be granted a temporary partner visa(subclass 820 or 309).
To be eligible for a permanent partner visa, you must be granted a provisional partner visa. That means you must apply for both temporary and permanent visas at the same time, but you will only need to pay a one time fee.
It usually takes about 24-29 months for your temporary visa to be fully assessed. After that you need to provide additional documents and your application will be assessed again.
For the permanent visa to be fully assessed and granted it can take anywhere between 13-21 months.
To apply for a partner visa through married couples, you and your partner must be lawfully married in Australia or be legally recognized in the country you married.
If marriage is not legally recognized, the visa application will not be considered under Australian Migration Law.
If a marriage is not recognized where it took place, the visa application will not be considered under Australian Migration Law.
De Facto Applicants
To apply for a partner visa as de facto applicants, you and your partner must have been in a de facto relationship for at least one year before the application. However, there are exceptions where the 12-month requirement does not apply.
To be eligible for this visa, you must:
- be the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
- have a sponsor(usually your partner) and the sponsor must be approved by the Australian government
- be 18 or older
- meet health and character requirements
With the temporary partner visa, you can:
- stay in Australia until you get the Permanent partner visa
- work and study in Australia
- travel to and from Australia
- enroll in Medicare
- attend up to 510 hours of free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
With the permanent partner visa you can:
- get all the benefits of the temporary partner visa, and,
- sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
- apply for Australian citizenship, if you are eligible