Subclass 820 Partner Visa Australia: Requirements; Processing time and Conditions

The subclass 820 Partner visa is an onshore visa for those who are the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident. It is a temporary visa that is valid until a decision is made on the subclass 801 visa, the permanent stage of the onshore partner visa. The 820 Partner Visa is therefore a two-step process, requiring you to first submit and receive the 820 visa before applying for the permanent 801 visa.


Benefits of 820 Partner visa Australia

There are many benefits to lodging an onshore 820 Partner Visa, many of them accessible before the visa is finalised. Once the 820 visa has been lodged, assuming that you were the holder of a substantive visa at the time of lodgement, you will receive a bridging visa A which is valid until the outcome of your partner visa. You will be eligible to enrol in Medicare on this bridging visa, requiring only your passport, the bridging visa A grant notice, and the acknowledgement of application received from the Department of Home Affairs.


The bridging visa will grant you full and unrestricted work and study rights which apply also to the partner visa. Subject to current travel restrictions, the partner visa allows you to travel and return to Australia without requiring a bridging visa B. Once granted the 820 visa, you are eligible to access up to 510 hours of free English language tuition through the Australian


Migration English Program. Importantly, the bridging visa A does not carry across any of the conditions from your previous visa, presenting a significant advantage for those applying from visas such as Student visas or Temporary Work visas.


How long does it take to get 801 visa after 820 : Second Stage 801 Partner Visa

The 820 Partner Visa provides a direct pathway to permanent residency through the subclass 801 visa, the permanent and final stage of the onshore partner visa. The 801 visa may be granted with the 820 visa simultaneously if, at the time of lodgement, you and your partner were in a relationship for at least 3 years, or if there is a dependent child of both you and your partner, at least 2 years. This is referred to as a “long-term relationship”.


The existence of a long-term relationship does not itself guarantee the immediate grant of the 801 visa as this is a “non-compellable discretion”, meaning the case officer may elect to grant the permanent visa on first instance, but is under no obligation to do so. This discretion cannot be enforced nor can the decision be appealed. In our experience, if you can sufficiently establish a long-term relationship with your spouse or de facto partner at the time of lodgement, the Department will generally grant the 801 visa immediately after the 820 visa.


820 Visa Granted What Next

Otherwise, once you are granted the temporary 820 Partner Visa, you will be eligible to apply for the 801 visa two years after the date you lodged the initial 820 visa. If you do not meet the definition of long-term relationship, there is no provision to lodge the 801 visa before this two year period has lapsed.


Partner Visa 820 Australia Requirements

The partner visa is one of the most comprehensive and heavily scrutinized visas under the Australian Migration Program. It requires an extraordinarily large volume of supporting documents to substantiate the entirety of your relationship, which must additionally account for certain aspects and elements of the relationship, some of which you may be unaware.


The Department will generally assess the following aspects of the relationship:

  • financial;
  • natural of the household;
  • social; and
  • nature of the commitment


The extent to which each aspect will be assessed is subjective and depends on the quality and quantity of evidence you are able to provide. Your application must be accompanied by a statutory declaration from at least two supporting witnesses who are familiar with the relationship and the visa applicant. There is no limit to what can be provided in support of your partner visa application but the evidence must demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and continuing.


You must generally be in a relationship for a minimum period of 12 months before you apply for the 820 visa, however, there are a few notable exceptions to this rule. For instance, registering your relationship as a civil partnership in your State or Territory may provide an exemption to the 12-month rule, provided that you meet all the other criteria for approval of the visa. Registering your relationship as a civil partnership provides legal recognition of your relationship, however, this is not available in every State and Territory in Australia.


The 820 Partner Visa is ideal for those who are the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident. It provides many benefits, even before the application is finalised, and provides a direct pathway to permanent residency through the 801 visa.


If you believe you may be eligible for the partner visa or would like more information, contact No Borders Law Group to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our migration lawyers.


Need help with getting Australian Visas?


Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000



We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry  or  book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].


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