Top 5 Reasons to Lodge an Australian Partner Visa Offshore Right Now

Top 5 Reasons to Lodge an Australian Partner Visa Offshore Right Now

Despite the national border closures and the uncertainty of international travel due to Covid-19, an offshore partner may still serve as the most suitable option for many visa applicants seeking to migrate into Australia. The offshore partner visa (subclass 309 and 100) is a two-stage process that ultimately allows the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident to reside permanently in Australia. The significant distinction between the offshore partner (309) visa and the onshore partner (820) visa is the location of the visa applicant at the time of application and at the time of decision, the offshore visa obviously requiring the visa applicant to be outside of Australia at the time of application and decision. 


Why You Should Lodge an Offshore Partner Visa


Partner (Provisional) Visa Benefits

This visa lets the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen live in Australia temporarily. Getting this visa is the first step towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).
  • It leads directly to the permanent Partner visa


Once you’ve applied for an offshore partner visa you still travel on a temporary visa, such as a visitor visa, whilst your application is being processed.  The upside to applying for an offshore Partner is that you will likely experience shorter visa processing times for stage 1.


No Travel Waiver Required

As the holder of a subclass 309 visa, you may enter Australia without the need to request a travel exemption from the Australian Border Force. 309 visa holders therefore need not prove their relationship with an Australian or establish any compassionate and compelling circumstances to justify their entry into Australia as merely holding the 309 visa is sufficient in its own right to enter the country. Once granted the 309, the visa holder will not be subject to Australia’s travel ban and will need only quarantine upon arrival, instructions for which are supplied with the visa grant notice from the Department of Home Affairs.


Same Benefits

Once this visa is granted, you will then have access to benefits 


Why you should Apply for Australian Partner Visa now

The 2020-21 federal government budget announced English requirement on partner visa: applicants and sponsors will be required to pass the English language requirement. Those applying for a permanent partner visa will be required to prove their English proficiency. This requirement is expected to be implemented from mid-2021. Further details will follow.


Avoid English Language Requirement

The government have announced new requirements for partner visa applicants to either demonstrate functional level English, or that they have made ‘reasonable efforts to learn English’, which may be established by demonstrating the completion of 500 hours of English language classes through the Adult Migration English Program. The amendments are intended to come into effect by late 2021 and to avoid this requirement, those intending to lodge a partner visa application should consider doing so before this change is in force.


Desirable option with Offshore Partner Visa Petition

There is currently a petition with the Australian House of Representatives to reform the policy underpinning the offshore partner visa program. The petition seeks to enact the following reformations:

  • distribute all partner visa applications equitably and chronologically across the network of processing centres
  • make available the applicant’s position in the ‘queue’ with live processing times
  • ensure “Requests for Information” (RFIs) do not unfairly delay applications once the requested information has been provided
  • allow offshore applicants to be onshore at the time of decision to avoid the unnecessary logistical, financial and heath risks posed by Covid-19
  • allow offshore partner visa applicants to be issued a bridging visa with the same rights as onshore applicants when the offshore applicant is in Australia
  • remove the partner visa caps and prioritise the processing of the partner visa backlog currently exceeding 90,000 applications.


The petition has been presented to the House of Representatives and is awaiting a response from the Minister for the above matters raised in the petition request. The requested reformations would certainly render the offshore partner visa a more desirable option than before, particularly as it seeks to reduce the backlog of applications and create a more efficient process for visas lodged under this stream.


Lodge Now, Reunite with Family soon

With Australia showing promise in reopening its international borders to temporary visa holders, visa applicants can be confident in the new initiatives of the Federal Government to slowly welcome international travel and revive the national migration program. If you do obtain your offshore partner (subclass 309) visa before the borders reopen, then you are exempt from requiring a travel waiver to enter Australia and must simply make the travel arrangements to do so. Increasing pressure to prioritise the backlog of partner visa applications should further encourage prospective visa applicants to consider lodging an offshore partner visa application sooner rather than later, particularly if you would prefer to avoid the impending English language requirement.


Reuniting Migrant Partners Of Australian Citizens And Permanent Residents

It may seem futile to lodge an offshore partner at this time given the situation with the borders and the ambiguity caused by the pandemic, however, Australia is slowly showing signs of promise in terms of reopening its international borders to temporary visa holders. Acting Immigration Minister, Alan Tudge, indicated a progressive reopening of the country’s borders in a multicultural press conference held on 06 November 2020.

To initiate the reopening of the borders, the Federal Government are discussing the enactment of safe travel arrangements, i.e. a travel bubble, with ‘low risk’ countries such as Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. Australia is determined to revive its economy through a cautious reopening of its borders to channel visitors from countries considered to be low risk with low rates of community transmission. As economic recovery increases in priority, Australia will “slowly but steadily” reopen its international borders, according to the acting Minister for Immigration.


How do I apply for my partner visa even I am not in Australia?



Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000

We will help you exploring visa options and securing application. No Borders Migration is experienced in the migration and partner visa application, and our lawyers have extensive knowledge in the  legal requirements, eligibility criteria, and the supporting documents required. Simply dial 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected] and let us help you start wtih your way towards obtaining partner visas.



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