This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Spouse and Partner Visas

If your spouse or partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and you came here from overseas to be with them, it is important to know which visas you may be eligible for. There are many different subclasses of visas to consider, such as Partner, Spouse and Fiancé Visas. Some of these visas must be applied for while you are in Australia, and others can be applied for from overseas.

Partner Visa (subclasses 820 and 801)

The partner visa is a visa that comes with a pathway to Permanent Residency. The application for this visa must be lodged while you are in Australia.

The application for this visa is processed in two stages. The first stage is to apply for a temporary partner visa (subclass 820). If a person is granted a visa of this class, they may remain in Australia for two years. After two years, they will be assessed for a permanent partner visa (subclass 801). If this is granted, they will have the right to remain in Australia permanently. 

The temporary partner visa allows a person to stay in Australia until a decision is made on their permanent partner visa. A person can work and study on this Visa as well as obtaining a Medicare card. However, a person on this Visa cannot obtain any government funding for their study. Any dependent children the person has can also be included on their application. Once a permanent partner visa is granted, the person can stay in Australia indefinitely, apply for Australian citizenship, and receive social security benefits.

Partner (Provisional) Visa (subclass 309) and Partner (Migrant) Visa (subclass 100) 

A person must be outside of Australia to apply for the subclass 309 or the subclass 100 partner visa. A person will be eligible for this visa if they have been in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident for at least 12 months. 

The application for this visa is a two-stage process. A person who applies will first be granted a provisional visa. Their application will be assessed again after two years have elapsed. 

Once a person has obtained provisional partner visa they may enter Australia. They can work and study as well as obtaining a Medicare card. When a permanent partner visa is granted, the person will have the right to remain in Australia permanently, to apply for citizenship and to receive welfare benefits. 

Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300)

The Prospective Marriage Visa is often referred to as the fiancé visa, as it only applies to those who intend to marry a citizen or permanent resident within nine months of arriving in Australia. It is a criterion of this visa that it must be applied for while the applicant is outside of Australia.

There is no requirement for a person granted this visa to hold their wedding in Australia. People generally apply for this visa when they do not meet the criteria for the partner visa as they have not been in a de facto relationship for long enough. An applicant for this visa must, however, be able to prove that they have met their prospective spouse, as an adult, in person, and know them personally. 

In cases where a couple has met over the internet, they must show that they have also spent time together in person. 

A prospective marriage visa is only a temporary visa until the person is married. They will then need to apply for a Partner Visa (subclass 820 and 801) to be able to continue residing in Australia. 

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.


Have you been left out of a Will or treated unfairly? We offer a free assessment of your case and a no win no fee policy. We have a specialist team that deals only in Wills & Estates servicing NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT, SA & WA. The law relating to Wills and Estates can often be complex and confusing so we encourage you to make contact with our team.


Armstrong Legal
Social Rating
Based on 271 reviews
Legal Hotline.
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223