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Australian Visas for Couples

If you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you may be eligible for a Partner visa.

If your partner is a New Zealand citizen who has been living in Australia, a partner visa may not be an option for you. Instead, you may be eligible for a temporary visa – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa. (Please refer to Other visas)

The different types of Partner visas are known as ‘subclasses’. Each Partner visa subclass has its own set of criteria that must be satisfied in order for the visa to be granted.

The different types of visas you can apply for as the partner of an Australian are;

Read on for information on each type of visa that might be available for your relationship!

  • Married applicants:
    If you are already married before you apply for your partner visa, your marriage must be legal under Australian law. If you were married outside of Australia and your marriage is valid in the country you were married, generally your marriage will be recognised under Australian law. However, Australian law does not accept same-sex, underage or polygamous marriages. Same-sex couples will not be eligible to apply for any partner visa on the basis of their marriage, but can apply as a de facto couple – see the information below for more.
    If you are looking at getting married before lodging your partner visa application, you need to give 28 days’ notice of your intent to marry before you can marry, so make sure you see us at least 5 weeks before your current Australian visa expires. Our migration lawyers can help you arrange a celebrant, and run through the entire process with you.
    Our experienced lawyers can also assist in preparing a divorce application from your previous partner if required, so that you can sponsor your new partner.
  • De-facto Couples:
    Generally, you and your partner must have been in a de-facto relationship for at least 12 months prior to lodging partner visa application. The term “de-facto” means all relationships between two adults who live together as a couple, are not married and are not part of the same immediate family. Same sex couples can apply for either a subclass 309/100 visa or a subclass 820/801partner visa on the basis of their de facto relationship. An Immigration FAQ we often receive is in relation to different type of couples applying for the same subclass of partner visa. It is important to note that the criteria for a de facto couple and married couple are the same – the most important thing to prove is that your relationship is genuine and continuing in either case. As migration lawyers, we can advise you in relation to marriage and relationships in Australia from a legal perspective, unlike the average registered migration agent.
    You can be granted a visa without having been in a de facto relationship for 12 months if:
    1) You can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances, (e.g. you and partner have children)
    2) Your partner has been granted a permanent humanitarian visa and your de facto relationship existed before it was granted and your relationship is known to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“DIBP”) before the visa was granted
    3) Your de facto relationship has been registered in Australia (this is not available in all states and territories)
  • Engaged Couples (Fiancé):
    Partner visa applicants who want to come to Australia to marry their prospective spouse can apply for a subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa. This must be lodged offshore, and once granted, allows you nine months to get married. Once you are married, you can apply for a subclass 820/801 Partner visa. If the relationship between you and your fiancé ends before the marriage takes place, there are no provisions that enable the applicant to stay in Australia unless they are eligible to apply for a different visa.
    There is a common misconception that you need to marry in order to apply for a partner visa. In fact, a de-facto relationship is enough.
    You and your partner must show a mutual commitment to a shared life as a de-facto couple or husband and wife to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must be living together, and if you have ever lived apart, the separation must have only been temporary. You must also have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.
    If family violence or death of the sponsoring spouse occurs after the marriage, then you as an applicant may still be eligible for the grant of the Partner visa. However, you must prove that the relationship was genuine at the time the change in circumstances occurred. If family violence, the death of your sponsor or other extenuating circumstance disrupts your Partner visa application, contact our migration lawyers or registered migration agents for urgent advice.
  • Same sex Couples: are recognised and you simply need to detail evidence of the genuineness of your relationship.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection fees:

Prospective Marriage (Stage 1) Onshore
Primary Applicant
Primary Applicant
Adult Dependant Child
Subclass 300 visa n/a $6,865.00 $3,435.00 $1,720.00
Prospective Marriage (Stage 2)
Subclass 820/801 visa
$1,145.00 n/a $575.00 $285.00
Partner Visa
Subclass 309/100 visa
Subclass 820/801 visa
$6,865.00 $6,865.00 $3,435.00 $1,720.00

Awards Won

  • Finance Monthly – Law Awards 2017: Migration Law Firm of the Year – Australia
  • Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016: Migration Lawyer of the Year
  • AI M&A Award 2015: Most Innovative Migration Firm Australia

Contact The Migration Place

For all matters concerning Australian Visas for Couples, contact the team at The Migration Place today.


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"Hi Gabriella, just a quick note to say thank you very much. I really appreciate all the effort you put into my case. It's a great relief to finally get it all sorted. Yours very gratefully, John C."

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