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Expertise

Offshore Partner
Visa

The Offshore Partner Visa (subclass 309 and 100 combined application) is a visa that allows the partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to come to live in Australia with their partner.

The application is made while you are offshore and outside of Australia, and also granted while you are offshore.

You will also need to meet the health and character requirements.

What are the requirements for a 309 partner visa?

The subclass 309 visa is the provisional partner visa that is first granted in the offshore partner visa process, which will allow you to travel to and live in Australia with your partner.

You must be outside of Australia at the time of lodging the application, and also outside Australia when the visa is being granted after processing. You can travel to Australia on a different visa if you have one while your offshore partner visa application is processing (e.g. on a visitor visa), but you will need to be out of Australia at the time the decision is made to be granted the visa.

To be eligible for a partner visa, you must show that you are married to (i.e. are a spouse) or are the de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Your partner will need to lodge a Sponsorship application as well to show that they are eligible to be your sponsor for the visa.

Married spouses must show:

  • Their marriage is valid under Australian law
  • They are mutually committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others
  • Their relationship is genuine and continuing
  • They are living together or if living apart, it is not on a permanent basis

De facto partners must show

  • They are not married to each other
  • They are mutually committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others
  • Their relationship is genuine and continuing
  • They are living together or if living apart, it is not on a permanent basis
  • Generally, that they have been living together for 12 months immediately before applying for the visa (exceptions may apply to this requirement)

You will also need to meet the health and character requirements.

What are the requirements for a 100 partner visa?

If you meet the criteria for a partner visa, you will firstly be granted the subclass 309 temporary partner visa so that you can travel to Australia to live with your partner. After approximately 2 years from the date you lodged the combined 309/100 visa application, you will become eligible to be granted the permanent residency subclass 100 visa. In some cases where you have been in a long-term relationship with your partner, you may be eligible for the grant of the permanent partner visa immediately after being granted the temporary visa.

To be granted the permanent residency, you will need to show that your relationship is ongoing, and you continue to be sponsored by your partner. In most cases, it will be a case of providing recent evidence to the Department of Home Affairs which shows your genuine and continuing relationship, mutual commitment to each other exclusively, that you live together or do not live apart on a permanent basis.

In certain circumstances, you can still be granted the permanent partner visa where your relationship has broken down before the permanent residency is granted, or if your partner has unfortunately passed away. This includes circumstances where there are children from the relationship, or where the relationship broke down due to family violence. This can be a difficult part of the law to navigate, and so we recommend that you obtain legal advice.

How do I apply for an offshore partner visa?

Applying for the offshore partner visa is generally done online through ImmiAccount. While applying through paper applications and posting the documents is possible, it is not recommended as applications and documents can get lost, and there can be challenges with keeping track of the application.

Evidence in support of your application that shows your relationship with your partner can also be lodged online electronically.

After you have lodged your visa application, your sponsor will then need to lodge their sponsorship application. The sponsorship application involves providing evidence that spouse or de facto partner is eligible to sponsor you. Evidence required for sponsorship and circumstances that may affect the sponsor’s eligibility includes:

  • Evidence of Australian citizenship, permanent residency, or of being and eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Age (over 18 years old)
  • Criminal records in Australia and overseas
  • Whether they have sponsored anyone else in the past for a partner visa
  • If they have held any Australian visas in the past and when they were granted, which may limit their ability to sponsor

To discuss your options for offshore partners visas, subclass 309 visa or subclass 100 visa, book a free 15 minute consultation online now with one of our expert partner visa lawyers.

An experienced migration lawyer can make all the difference when you need.

Related Resources

Concessions for Family Stream visa applicants affected by COVID-19

The Australian government has announced plans to grant certain family visa applications despite applicants being unable to travel offshore as normally required.