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At Down Under Visa, we are the Australian partner visa experts from Asia (ie Philippines, China, Thailand and Vietnam). We do almost nothing but Aussie partner visas for Australian Asian couples. And we’ve always done mostly offshore partner visas. Why? Because the applicant is generally offshore (ie. a Filipina lady in the Philippines). And the visa applicant also has plenty of documents to organise here in the Philippines, and this often mean spending considerable time organising these things. For most couples it just works out easier to do it this way. However, an onshore partner visa is certainly something you should consider.

Onshore and offshore partner visas used to have different fees. This changed a few years ago. What it means is that there is no longer several thousand dollars difference between applying onshore and applying offshore. Cost is now the same, making the onshore partner visa something worth considering.


Onshore and Offshore Partner Visas – Main differences?

Main issues revolve around time-limits!

Applying for an offshore visa, whether it’s a partner visa or a prospective marriage visa? You can organise it at your leisure, and you’ll get no pressure from us or from anybody. Some of you are great with paperwork and have time on your hands. Others are not so brilliant, or might be just extremely busy with work and family activities and don’t have all the time in the world to organise documents and relationship evidence. A FAST application takes a month to prepare. Slow applications? Wow, you really don’t want to know how long some of our applicants have taken to organise everything!

Even a partner visa (based on marriage) has no real rush to it. You need to marry before the partner visa is granted, however we may apply before the wedding. They won’t finalise it and grant the visa before the wedding, but they can and will process everything else. So there’s a good chance the marriage certificate may be the last thing they need to process.

And honestly, there’s a lot to be said for not being locked into a fixed timescale, because things don’t always go as planned. This is especially so in the the Philippines! Documents can take longer than you expect. Or there can be mistakes that need fixing. Or when you need somebody to do something urgently, they may be slower than you’re used to! For us? We want applications lodged when they are as close to perfect as they can be, and when there is no ticking clock then we can do this with ease.


Running out of time

This is the main risk with an onshore partner visa lodged in Australia. The visa applicant is usually there on a 3 month tourist visa, and if we don’t get to lodge before the tourist visa expiry date then the applicant needs to leave the country to avoid becoming unlawful. You really don’t want that to happen! Think of that most dreaded term of “illegal alien”, with visions of detention centres and forced deportations. Not part of the dream of most couples, is it?

What it means is that you need to:

  • Be married, and
  • Have your application lodged

And need to do all this before the tourist visa runs out. Of course it can be done, but the pressure is on.

Not trying to talk anybody in or out of anything. We prefer that clients make informed choices, so we spend a lot of time educating. If you want to lodge there inside Australia, yes we can make it work. It means we must have your utmost cooperation. If you waste time in the preparation, it will be to you detriment.

So, please talk to us! You certainly won’t be our first OR our last onshore partner visa application!

Another happy couple, Bryan and Angela with a partner visa
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  1. Wayne

    Jeff after we are married and we lodge the next visa (the onshore partner visa). How much is it? and would the cost be the same as lodging the fiancee visa if we we went through you again for the onshore one?

    • Jeff Harvie

      nowhere near as much, Wayne. It’s a simpler process. I’ll email you. This isn’t the right place to discuss it.


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