Partner Migration Overview

Partner visas can be granted to persons who are in a married or de facto relationship with an Australian Citizen or Australian permanent resident.

Long-term partner relationships – Direct to permanent residence

Long-term partners can be granted directly to Australian permanent residence where they have been in a relationship for at least 3 years (or 2 years where there are children of the relationship).

Short term partner relationships – Temporary residence to permanent residence

Short term partners will be assessed for a Provisional / Temporary visa permitting them to live with their partner in Australia, followed by a separate assessment of their permanent residence partner visa application after at least 2 years has passed.  Processing times for each stage of the application are substantial, currently at the date of writing temporary (309 visa – 11 to 15 months / 820 visa – 20 to 24 months), permanent (100 visa – 20 to 23 months / 801 visa – 18 to 23 months).  For current processing times see

Australian Government planning levels for Partner Visas mean that demand is greater than the number of Partner Visas planned for each year so expect long processing times and the non-refundable Visa Application Charge of $7000.00 is the highest in the visa program so it is vital to provide all of the supporting evidence to meet the criteria and keep the application up to date throughout processing.

Partner Migration Process

A person is the partner of an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent resident if they are legally married or in a defacto relationship (and have been so for at least 12 months prior unless the relationship is an approved registered relationship).

Partner migrants must also demonstrate the following:

  • the relationship is genuine and/or continuing
  • the persons have a mutual commitment to a shared life and
  • the parties are living together or not living apart on a permanent basis

Key factors to be taken into account in assessing the above matters will include the following:

  • financial aspects of the relationship
  • nature of the household
  • social aspects of the relationship and
  • nature of the persons’ commitment to each other.

Australian Citizen or permanent resident sponsors must also meet criteria to be approved as a sponsor.

Partner migrant applicants are also required to meet health and character criteria.