The Partner Visa 820 is a temporary visa, allowing you to live and work in Australia for a period of two years until your application for permanent residency is processed. It is called an “Onshore” Partner Visa because you can apply for it when you are already in Australia.

The Partner Visa (Subclass 820) is the first visa in a two-step process. Two years after receiving it, you become eligible for permanent residency (the Partner Visa 801) and you can settle in Australia long-term.

Eligibility for the Partner Visa 820

To receive the Partner Visa 820, you and your partner have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You have to be married or in a de-facto relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • You must both be over the age of 18.
  • If you are in a de facto relationship, you must have lived together for at least 12 months. The time you were not in a de facto relationship (ie. distance relationship, dating) may not count.
  • You must meet the health requirements. This means you may have to get a medical examination by an approved doctor.
  • You must not have a criminal background and meet the character requirements.
  • Your partner (sponsor) must not have sponsored someone else in the last five years. If they did sponsor someone else, it cannot have been in more than two occasions.
  • Your partner must not have been sponsored by another partner in the last five years.

Partner Visa 820 Documents Checklist

The documents you will have to submit when you apply for your Partner Visa 820 are:

  • Your passport. You should attach scanned electronic copies of the passport pages showing your photo, personal details, and the issue and expiry dates.
  • Your birth certificate, stating the names of both your parents. In case you cannot provide a birth certificate, you may also submit:
    • Identification pages from a family book or family census register, or
    • Document of identification that was issued by a government body or court.
  • Marriage certificate, if you are married.
  • If you are in a de facto relationship:
    • Proof that you and your partner are exclusively committed to each other.
    • Proof that you are in a genuine and continuing relationship.
    • Proof that you live together.
    • Proof that you are not related to each other.
  • A written statement, with the following information:
    • How, where, and when you have met.
    • How your relationship has developed over time.
    • The date when you got married, engaged, or moved in together, as relevant.
    • Any notable moments in your relationship.
    • What you do together and description of any times you have been apart.
    • What your plans for the future are.
  • Proof of how you manage your joint finances, such as:
    • Documents of a mortgage or lease you share.
    • Proof of loan for a house, apartment, car, or any other major assets.
    • Statements from a joint bank account.
    • Utility bills.
  • Proof of how you manage your household and domestic life, such as:
    • A letter about how you share your household chores.
    • Household bills in both of your names.
    • Mail or emails, which are addressed to both of you.
    • Proof of your living arrangements.
    • Proof of having joint custody of your children (if relevant).
  • Proof that other people know of your relationship, such as:
    • Proof you have gone out together with other people.
    • Proof you have friends in common.
    • Proof you have done cultural, sporting, or other social activities together.
    • Proof you have traveled together.
    • Proof you have told public, commercial, or government bodies about your relationship.
  • Proof that you are in a committed relationship with each other, such as:
    • Evidence of having joint personal belongings.
    • Proof that you check in with each other and stay in touch even when you are apart.
    • The conditions of your wills.
  • Proof of any previous relationship, such as divorce papers.
  • Police certificates from any country you have lived in for longer than a year within the last 10 years.
  • A completed Form 80 – “Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment”.
  • Documents for your dependents:
    • Identity documents.
    • Proof of your relationship to them, such as a birth certificate.
    • Under 18: Consent from a parent or legal guardian of the child, who has custody over them and is not travelling along with them.
    • Over 18: Proof of their dependence on you.

All the documents you submit have to be certified and translated into English.

How to Apply for the 820 Visa?

You have to apply for the 820 Visa online when you are already in Australia, which means you first have to enter the country with some type of temporary Visitor Visa. You can also apply for the 820 Visa if you currently have a Prospective Marriage Visa. The step-by-step application process is:

  1. Gather the required documents.
  2. Login to your ImmiAccount and start the application.
  3. Pay the Visa Application Fee. If you have already applied for a Prospective Marriage Visa, the fee is reduced.
  4. Submit the completed application.
  5. Write down the transaction reference number (TRN) and application ID and give them to your partner. They need it when they apply for Sponsorship.
  6. Attach electronic copies of the required documents.
  7. Your partner logs in to their own ImmiAccount and submits an application for “Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia (300, 309/100, 820/801)”. They can also use your ImmiAccount to do so.
  8. Your partner submits their ID, proof of legal stay in Australia, as well as police certificates.
  9. You wait for your visa to be processed. In the meantime, you will receive a Bridging Visa so you can stay in Australia legally.

After the application, you may also have to enter an interview, in which you will have to prove the genuineness of your relationship. The officers will ask you questions about each other’s families and backgrounds, and questions about your relationship.

Can My Children Apply With Me?

Yes, you can add your children to the 820 Visa application and take them to Australia with you. To do so, your children have to be under the age of 18, unmarried, and under your custody. However, you can also bring your adult children with you, if:

  • They are between the ages of 18 and 23 and financially dependent on you.
  • They are over the age of 23, but they are dependent on you due to physical or mental limitations.

You can submit the application on your children’s behalf through your ImmiAccount. You must add additional documentation for them, as requested.

How Long Does the 820 Visa Take to Process?

It takes about two years for the Subclass 820 Visa to fully process. During this time, you can stay in Australia. Most applications are resolved within 22 months, but if your documents are not in order or if the Department of Home Affairs needs further information from you, it could take longer than that.

How Long Is the Partner Visa 820 Valid?

The Subclass 820 Visa is temporary. In most cases, you have to live in Australia with your partner for two years to become eligible for permanent residency. After two years, you have to submit additional documents to the Department of Home Affairs so they can determine if you are eligible for the 801 Visa (which is permanent).

However, if you and your partner have a child together or have been in a long-term relationship of over three years before you got the 820 Visa, you will immediately get the permanent residency visa as well. You do not need to further prove your eligibility or wait for two years.

Benefits of the Partner Visa 820

Once you have the 820 Visa, you will be able to do the following:

  • Work and study in Australia. However, for studying you are not entitled to government support, like Australian citizens or permanent residents are.
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you wish.
  • Enrol on public healthcare in Australia (Medicare).
  • If you need help with your English, you can take free English language classes provided by the Australian Adult Migrant English Program. You are entitled to 510 hours of classes.
  • Live in Australia with your partner until you become eligible for the permanent 801 Visa. During this time, you can also bring your children with you, if you have any. Then, once you get the permanent visa, you will also become eligible for Australian citizenship.

Partner Visa 820 Cost

The cost of the 820 Visa is AUD 7,850 for the main applicant. If your dependent children are applying with you, you also have to pay:

  • AUD 3,930 for each dependent child over the age of 18.
  • AUD 1,965 for each dependent child under the age of 18.

However, if you have already applied for and received the Prospective Marriage Visa (300), you have to pay the following discounted fees:

  • AUD 1,310 for the main applicant.
  • AUD 660 for each dependent child over the age of 18.
  • AUD 660 for each dependent child under the age of 18.