The Partner visas (Subclasses 820 and 801) were designed to allow the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident to live in Australia.

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) is granted first and lets you stay in Australia while the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801) is processed. Once granted you can live in Australia as a permanent resident and work towards gaining citizenship.

Partner visas require you to be in a relationship with an Australian citizen or resident. This does not have to be a citizen but can be an expat who has obtained Australian residency.

Total number of Partner Visa (820/801 and 309/100) applications received by DIBP in FY2016/2017, by subclass:

  • Subclass 309/100 = 17,961
  • Subclass 820/801 = 29,056

Total number of Partner Visa (820/801 and 309/100) granted in FY2016/2017, by subclass:

  • Subclass 309/100 = 17,961
  • Subclass 820/801 = 21,744

 *Information sourced from the freedom of information act released by the Department of Home Affairs


At Aurec we assist many couples with their partner visa application and here are the 5 most common questions we’re asked:

1 – Am I eligible for a partner visa?

If you are in a defacto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you can prove your relationship is genuine and continuing with the exclusion of others with evidence that is at least 12 months old by the time of application then yes you can consider the partner visa. We offer free assessments of your situation and will happily assist you in deciding if this is the right visa for you.

2 – How much does it cost?

Department fees for this visa are $7,000 making it one of the more expensive residency visas. On top of this there are professional agent fees to be considered, as well as health exam fees and police checks for anywhere you’ve lived for a year or more in the past 10 years.

Although it is costly, if you are investing $7,000 into this visa it’s worth paying the additional $2,000-$3,000 to be professionally represented to ensure the application has the strongest chance to get approved first time round- No one wants to fork out $7,000 twice!


Total number of Partner visa applications without a migration agent, that were refused in FY2016/2017 by subclass:  

  • Subclass 309/100 and Subclass 820/801 – 47.0%

*Information sourced from the freedom of information act released by the Department of Home Affairs


3 – How long does it take?

The current processing times as per the department’s website is 16-22 months for the first stage of the partner visa (Subclass 820) and 18-22 months for the second stage (Subclass 801). Supporting documents often have expiration dates and sometime can expire while the application is sat in the queue. Migration Agents are well-versed in this and can offer advice and support on when to provide this documentation to ensure all documents are correct and the application is decision ready when it comes time for the case officer to look at the application.

4 – I’m not sure if I can satisfy the 12-month requirement?

To satisfy the partner visa requirements, supporting evidence needs to demonstrate that the couple has lived together for at least 12 months prior to lodgment.  The 12-month requirement needs to show the following: Financial aspects of the relationship, the nature of the household, Social context and the couple’s commitment to each other showing that the relationship is genuine and continuing.

Satisfying the 12-month requirement can be done in many ways and some people get very creative. Some things that help satisfy the 12 month requirement are simple things that people generally skip over and think are not that important like text messages about what groceries are needed in the house and organizing plans for the weekend.

Messages, calls, cards and photos are great pieces of evidence to prove that the relationship is genuine. Joint assets such as car, house, bank accounts as well as bills in both names insurances etc. are all great ways of providing evidence.

5 – My partner and I have been together for years but never lived together, can we still apply?

We see a lot of people who have been together for years but for whatever reason have not lived together for 12 months (religious reasons, country’s customs & laws etc).

Something you can do if you are not able to meet this criteria is to register your relationship with the state. There is a fee for this that differs slightly depending on the state but once registered the couple is issued with a relationship statement that can be added to the evidence submitted to the department. It is best to do this as early as possible as the longer period of time on this statement the better.

If you have any questions or would like information about how to apply for a partner visa please call Aurec Migration on 02 9993 1032 or send an email to We offer a free initial assessment of your options and are happy to have a chat over the phone about how we can help. MARN 1386565.