Partner Visa Australia Checklist
Current partner visa legislation enables a visa applicant to apply for a temporary and a permanent partner visa in one hit – one initial application and one visa application charge. The subclass 309/100 visa application is the offshore version of the subclass 820/801 visa application. The 309 and 820 visas are the temporary partner visas. The 100 and 801 visas are the permanent partner visas. The government has flagged that partner visa applicants may soon be required to pay one fee at the temporary partner visa application stage and a second fee at the permanent partner visa assessment stage.
Holders of a 309 visa are usually assessed for the permanent partner visa two years after the date of the original application. However, a Department of Home Affairs decision maker may assess the permanent partner visa before those two years are up where the applicant and sponsor were in a qualifying relationship for at least two years at the time the 309/100 visa application was lodged and they have a child together OR where the couple can prove that they were in a qualifying relationship for at least three years when the 309/100 application was lodged.
In some circumstances, it is possible for a temporary partner visa applicant or a temporary partner visa holder to be granted a permanent partner visa even though their relationship with their sponsor has come to an end. This may include situations where the applicant has been subjected to domestic violence or where the applicant has an Australian child.
Applicants must be outside of Australia when they lodge their partner visa application as well as when a decision is made.
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Subclass 309 partner visa - am I eligible to apply for this visa?
In order to apply for this visa, you must be either in a “married” or a “de facto” relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Applicants in a “de facto” relationship are generally required to demonstrate they have lived with their sponsor for at least 12 months prior to the date upon which the application was lodged. The 12 months living together requirement may be waived for applicants who have registered their relationship. All States and Territories, except for Western Australia and the Northern Territory, currently have a Relationship Register.
What is the difference between a subclass 309 and 100 visa?
The 309 visa is the ‘temporary’ or ‘provisional’ offshore partner visa and is the visa that is granted after the first stage assessment. Holders of a 309 visa are able to apply for the 100 visa (permanent residence) two years after the date upon which they originally submitted their partner visa application.
What is the current processing time for a 309 visa?
The Department of Home Affairs publishes the average processing times for visa applicants on its website. See – https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times. Applicants who submit a top quality partner visa application will usually have their visa granted much faster than an applicant who provides insufficient documents and information. It’s important to give your partner visa application your very best shot if you want the visa granted as quickly as possible.
Once the subclass 309 partner visa has been granted, how long do I have to enter Australia?
The Department usually allows 309 visa holders up to 12 months from the date of visa grant to travel to Australia, but this can vary according to individual circumstances.
What are the health and character requirements for a 309 visa?
As part of your health assessment you will be required to attend a medical appointment which usually includes a general medical examination, a chest x-ray and blood tests. You may be asked to complete additional medical examinations depending on your medical history. As part of the Department’s character assessment, you will need to provide police clearance certificates from each country in which you have spent at least 12 months in the last 10 years. If you have any health issues or convictions, you may wish to consider obtaining professional advice from a registered migration agent. Health issues and/or convictions aren’t necessarily going to cause your partner visa application to be refused. It very much depends on the facts and how those facts are presented.
Can I include my family members in a 309 visa application?
Yes, you can include your dependent children (these can be children you have with your sponsor or from a previous relationship) as secondary applicants in your application. Generally, ‘dependent children’ must be under 18 years of age, but there are certain circumstances where children over 18 years can be included. If you do want to include your “adult” children in your partner visa application, you may wish to consider obtaining professional advice from a registered migration agent to find out whether your child can be included. The rules around “adult” children are often more complicated than they seem.
Are there any obligations for sponsors of a 309 visa?
As part of the sponsorship application, sponsors agree to support the holder of a 309 visa and their dependent children for the first two years after the 309 visa is granted – this includes accommodation and financial assistance. The sponsor also agrees to notify the Department if the relationship ends before the 309 visa is granted.
Can I visit my partner in Australia whilst the Subclass 309 visa is being processed?
This is certainly possible. You are able to apply for a visitor visa to enter Australia to spend time with your Australian partner whilst you are waiting for your application to be processed. A Department of Home Affairs decision maker will decide whether to grant you a visitor visa. The Department is currently granting visitor visas and COVID-19 travel exemptions to some partner visa applicants. It is important to understand that the Department may refuse your visitor visa application.
Some of my documents are not in English, how do I go about adding these to my application?
The Department of Home Affairs requires you to provide copies of your original documents (that are written in a language other than English) PLUS the NAATI or accredited English translations.
Do all my documents need to be certified?
Certified copy documents are no longer required. The Department of Home Affairs now accepts quality scanned colour copies (or quality mobile phone photographs) of your original documents.
What if my circumstances change?
If there are any material changes to your circumstances (change of address, change of passport, change of phone number etc.) after you have lodged your partner visa application, you are obliged to notify the Department as soon as possible. You can either complete a Form 1022 Notification of Changes Circumstances and send it to the Department or you can simply update your details in ImmiAccount. Form 1022 can be downloaded here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/1022.pdf.
Our Partner Visa questionnaire can help you find out if you could be eligible to apply for a Subclass 309 visa
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Partner visa eligibility test
This Subclass 309 Partner Visa checklist is provided as a general guide only and must not be used as migration advice. Each partner visa application is unique. If you seek personalised advice, we recommend that you book a consultation with one of our experienced registered migration consultants.
Subclass 309 Partner Visa Checklist:
- Form 80 – Character Assessment of Applicant (also required for accompanying dependent children aged 16 years and over)
- At least 2 Statutory Declarations by third parties supporting your relationship (Form 888). We recommend providing 4 to 6 Form 888s.
- Passport biodata page for the Applicant
- Passport Photo x2 of the Applicant
- Full Birth Certificate of the Applicant (“Full” means – showing the names of both parents)
- Marriage Certificate (where relevant)
- Change of name evidence, such as:
- Deed poll (where relevant)
- Statutory Declaration (where relevant)
- Marriage Certificate (where relevant)
- Evidence of Shared Accommodation, such as:
- Joint lease agreement
- Bond payment
- Mortgage documents
- Joint property ownership documents
- Utility bills
- Evidence of Correspondence Addressed Jointly, such as:
- Receipts, invoices, deliveries, bills
- Letters, cards or invitations sent by mail to you both at your home address
- Letters from your bank, including bank statements, that show your joint address
- Evidence of Joint Financial Commitments, such as:
- Joint bank account(s)
- Joint financial documents
- Joint insurances
- Joint bills and other financial liabilities
- Evidence of Joint Memberships of Organisations of Groups, such as:
- Joint gym memberships
- Joint golf/tennis club memberships
- Statutory Declaration from you and/or your Partner attesting the relationship is genuine and continuing
- Passports and birth certificates for any dependent children included in your application. Additional documents will also be required.
- PLEASE NOTE – The Department of Home Affairs website also provides a really useful Partner Visa Checklist.
Additional Documents for Dependent Children
- Parental responsibility documents permitting children under 18 years of age to migrate to Australia (where relevant)
- Adoption papers for children (where relevant)
- Where your child is aged 18 years over, make sure they can be included in your application! Special rules apply.
- Form 80 for dependent children aged 16 years and over.
- Australian Federal Police Clearance for dependent children aged 16 years and over
- Offshore Police Clearances for dependent children aged 16 years and over
Sponsors Personal Documents
- Passport biodata page for the Sponsor
- Passport Photo x2 of the Sponsoring Partner
- Evidence of Sponsors employment during the past 2 years
- Evidence that the Sponsor is an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen
- Form 80 – Character Assessment of Sponsor
- Australian Federal Police Clearance
- Offshore Police Clearances (where applicable)
Health and Character
- Australian Federal Police Clearances (where applicable)
- Offshore Police Clearances
- Visa medicals
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