Partner Visa De Facto Visa Australia

Partner Visa De Facto Visa Australia

The new sponsored family visa and approval of family sponsor changes commence on 17 April 2019. We have been notified that these changes will NOT affect Partner visas on 17 April 2019 and that current arrangements will continue to operate.

At this stage, there is no time-frame for expansion of the new sponsorship framework to other family visas and therefore the current arrangements for existing visas, including partner visas, will continue to operate from 17 April 2019.

At this stage the new changes to Sponsored family visa’s, scheduled to commence on 17 April 2019 will only be implemented for the new Sponsored Parent (Temporary) 870 visa.

Once the above changes roll out to Partner visas it would mean that Sponsorships must be lodged first and approved before Partner visas can be lodged. If you are planning to apply for a Partner visa we recommend booking an appointment to discuss and understand how these changes may impact you.

Thinking about applying for a partner visa? then you are in the right place. Here we have put together a guide for those of you who are thinking of applying for a Partner/ Spouse /DeFacto visa. To qualify and apply for a Partner Visa Australia, you have to be either;

  • Married to


  • In a de facto relationship unless exempt

with Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen at the time of applying.

If you lodge a Partner visa whilst onshore (in Australia) you will get a Bridging visa associated to it. Note that there could be limitations on being able to work or Study. This will be dependent on the previous visa you held and if you had work or study rights on that visa. If you are lucky to have had those entitlements then when your previous visa expires, the same conditions would continue on the Bridging visa associated with your partner visa. During your wait for a Permanent partner visa (subclass 100 or 801) you would not be able to receive fee assistance such as HECS or Newstart or other government subsidies.Partner Visa Eligibility Tool

If you’d like to lodge you Partner visa on your own be aware it is not as simple as it seems. To start you need to:

  • create an ImmiAccount
  • Fill out the form Form 47SP Application for migration to Australia by a partner
  • Once the main applicant fills out their form, the sponsor uses the TRN to submit their own 40SP Sponsorship Form for a Partner to Migrate to Australia
  • fill out the form
  • Pay the Partner visa Application fee
  • Review and press Submit to lodge the application
  • Attach all documents

There is an option to lodge the application by post but we do not recommend this as it is hard to track and attach documents to the application in the future.

If you meet the criteria you will initially be granted a Temporary Partner visa (Subclass 820 for onshore or Subclass 309 for offshore). You will be on your Temporary Visa until the you get the permanent partner visa (subclass 801 or 100). You will usually be eligible to apply for a Permanent Partner visa after 2 years being on the Temporary.

As discussed there are 2 eligibility paths to a Partner visa. You either have to be in a Married relationship or be in a De Facto Relationship.

If you are in Australia and want to apply through the marriage pathway it means you have to be legally married to your partner. If you are outside of Australia (offshore) then you need to be either:

  • Legally married in your country of residence or another country
  • intend to get married in the near future (before a decision is made on your Temporary Partner visa)

For a list of recognized marriages for the Partner visa please refer to this link

In short however these are not accepted from overseas:

  • certain polygamous marriages
  • marriages of persons within a prohibited degree of relationship
    •       a person and an ancestor or descendent of the person (that is, parent and child or grandparent and grandchild) or
    •       siblings (whether full blood or half blood).
  • certain underage marriages

Apart from the above the case office will expect your relationship to meet the following:

  • he couple have a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others and
  • the relationship is genuine and continuing and
  • the couple live together, or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
  • Meet Certain Health and Character requreiments

Upcoming Migration Changes in 2020

What is a de facto relationship?

You and your partner are in a de facto partner relationship if all of the following applies:

  • you are not legally married to each other
  • you are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • you are not related by family.

Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different sex.

Length of relationship

Usually, your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa.

Time spent dating or in an online relationship does not count as being in a de facto relationship.

If your de facto relationship has existed for less than 12 months, you might still be eligible for the visa. Find out if you do not need to meet (are exempt from) the one year relationship requirement.Is there a way around the 12 month requirement for De Facto Relationship?

Applicant document Checklist for a Partner visa

Identity documents

Documents to prove your identity:

One of the following:

  • a birth certificate showing the names of both parents:
  • identification pages of a family book showing the names of both parents
  • identification pages of an identification document issued by the government
  • identification pages of a court-issued document that proves your identity
  • identification pages of a family census register.

The page of your current passport showing your photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates.

Two recent passport photographs (45 mm x 35 mm):

  • the photograph should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background
  • the applicants name must be printed on the back of the photograph

A national identity card, if you have one.

Proof of change of name, if applicable.

Documents about your relationship with your partner

  • Two of Form 888 – Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or a Prospective Marriage visa application (84KB PDF).
  • Proof that your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • If you are married, your marriage certificate.
  • If you are in a de facto relationship, documents that prove this relationship

Documents to Show you are in a De Facto relationship

Documents about other relationships

If you have previously been married, widowed, divorced or permanently separated, provide divorce documents, death certificates, separation documents or statutory declarations.

Health documents

You do not need to provide any documents to show you meet our health requirement. Your doctor will send them to us.

Character documents

  • Completed Form 80 – Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (PDF 554KB ).
  • Police certificates
  • If you served in the armed forces of any country, military service records or discharge papers.

Sponsor document Checklist for a Partner Visa


You can lodge your sponsorship form online after your partner has lodged their visa application and given you their Transaction Reference Number (TRN) or application ID.

Identity documents

  • Proof that your sponsor is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • If your sponsor is an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, proof they usually live in Australia

Character documents

  • Police certificates
  • If you served in the armed forces of any country, military service records or discharge papers.

If you are sponsoring on behalf of your child


  • A court document allowing the marriage between your child and the visa applicant
  • Proof that you are the parent or guardian of your child.

Both applicant and Sponsor to provide:

Proof that your relationship is genuine and continuing

As many of the following documents as possible:

  • Factor 1 – Financial aspects of the relationship a statement about your relationship that describes:
    • how, when and where you first met
    • how the relationship developed
    • when you became engaged or married, if applicable
    • joint activities
    • periods of separation
    • significant events in the relationship
    • your future plans together.
  • Factor 2 – The nature of the household documents that show you and your partner share financial responsibilities, for example:
    • mortgage or lease documents showing joint ownership or rental of property
    • loan documents of major assets such as homes, cars or major appliances in both names
    • joint bank accounts
    • household bills in both names
  • Factor 3 – Social aspects of the relationship documents that show that you and your partner share household responsibilities, for example:
    • a statement about the way housework is distributed
    • household bills in both names
    • mail or emails addressed to both of you
    • joint responsibility for children
    • your living arrangements
  • Factor 4 – The nature of the commitment documents that show your relationship is known by others, for example:
    • joint invitations, going out together, friends and acquaintances in common
    • proof that you and your partner have declared your relationship to government bodies, commercial or public institutions
    • proof of joint sporting, cultural or social activities
    • proof of joint travel.
  • documents to show you are committed to each other your long term relationship, for example:
    • knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances such as background and family situation. You could tell us this at an interview.
    • documents that show you have combined your personal matters
    • the terms of your wills
    • letters and phone bills that show you have been in contact when apart.

“In considering a partner visa application, the Tribunal is required by reg.1.15A of the
Regulations to consider all of the circumstances of the relationship, not only the
matters listed in the Regulations.”

If your current visa expires

If your current visa ends before you are granted the temporary partner visa, you can stay in Australia on a Bridging visa A (BVA). You do not have to apply for a BVA; it is automatically granted when you apply for your partner visa. The BVA starts when your temporary visa ends.

The BVA does not let you travel out of Australia and return. If you want to travel out of Australia and return, apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB).

BVAs and BVBs that are granted to applicants for this visa allow you to:

  • work in Australia
  • study in Australia (no government support)
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s health care scheme.

More information is available about bridging visas.

If you cancel a current visa

If you cancel your current visa you will become an unlawful non-citizen. This means you will not be eligible for a Bridging visa A, B, or C and will generally only be considered for a Bridging visa E. You will not automatically be granted a bridging visa in this situation, and will need to lodge an application for a Bridging visa E.

Book a Consultation

Partner visas are complex. Book a Migration consultation to get expert advice.