Australian Partner Visa: Facts You Need to Know Before Lodging an Offshore Visa Application

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Facts You Need to Know Before Lodging an Offshore Partner Visa Application

Long-distance relationships can be exhilarating and fun. But this setup can also be complicated and a tad inconvenient, especially when one half of the couple needs to navigate the complexities of obtaining an Australian partner visa.  Acquiring an Australian partner visa can be challenging, but not entirely impossible.

If you wish to be reunited with a partner as soon as possible while avoiding the usual hassles and pitfalls during the process, it’s best to arm yourself with knowledge even before lodging an application.

Below is a helpful introduction on what you need to know about successfully acquiring an offshore Australian Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309/100) while minimizing the hassles during the process.

My partner is an Australian citizen. Can I visit them in Australia?

This is one of the most common Partner Visa misconceptions when partners think they can’t see each other until they apply for and are granted a Partner Visa.   Applying for a visitor visa before applying for a partner visa is a great idea for couples who have not had the opportunity to spend time together or live together.  Quite often, couples will apply for a visitor visa for the non-Australian partner to come into Australia for a holiday and spend time with their Australian partner

Alternatively, if you have applied for an offshore partner visa, then you can apply for a Visitor Visa during the processing period.

Can my Australian partner sponsor me even if we are not yet married?

Yes.  The Australian government allows Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and eligible citizens of New Zealand sponsor their partner, even if you are not yet legally married. The government, does however, require that you and your partner be involved in a de facto relationship which means that

  1. a) you and your partner (of different or same gender) are involved in a genuine and exclusive relationship  
  2. b) you and your partner are living together
  3. c) this relationship must have existed for at least 12 months before you lodge an application for a visa.

Meeting these requirements can be difficult, when you and your partner are living in different countries.  So before making an application, make sure that you can provide proof of the requirements for de facto relationships and that you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent to ensure your eligibility.    

I am applying for a Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309), but cannot include my child at this stage. Can I now bring my dependent child later to Australia, once my visa is granted? If so, what are our visa options?

If you hold an Australian Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309) and your child was not included in that application, you can apply for a Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445) for him or her. Importantly, your child’s subclass 445 visa application is directly linked to your provisional partner visa, so you cannot apply for your permanent partner visa until after a decision is made on their visa application.  Your child can then be included in your application for the Partner (Migrant) Visa (Subclass 100).

How much will the whole application process cost and how long will it take?

Be ready to shell out more than AUD 7160 (the visa application charge), when applying for either a partner visa or a prospective marriage visa.  On top of this you have additional costs for medical examinations, police clearances, translations (if required) and migration agent professional fees.   

Processing and the finalisation of offshore provisional partner visas can also take anywhere between 21 months to 26 months. If you are applying for a permanent visa (Subclass 100), be prepared to wait a little bit longer as the process can take anywhere between 23 months and 32 months.


Applying for an Australian partner visa is a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive process. It can be doubly difficult if you or your partner are unaware of the basics of the visa application process or you have issues that may delay your approval or worse, result in a refusal.  Never leave anything to chance! Let Western Migration guide you through the complicated process of applying for an Australian partner visa.

Contact Jenelle Barraclough, of Migrate With Us, at 043 183 2490 or send her an email at for a visa planning session