Partner Visas aka Spouse Visas (Subclass 309/100 or 820/801)
Partner Visas (also known as “Spouse Visas”) for Australian Filipina couples who are married or in genuine de facto (common law or “live in”) relationships. Also for same-sex partners in de facto relationships (or in same-sex marriages). Partner Visas are for the Filipina wives and partners of Australians who wish to live together in Australia on a permanent basis.
They require sponsorship of the Filipina visa applicant by an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Eligible New Zealand Citizen. Initially a 2 year Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visa (or Subclass 820 Onshore Partner Visa) is granted, and allows the visa holder to come to Australia from Philippines (or to remain in Australia with an onshore visa application).
You must be committed to each other and to a shared-life together. This is not a try-before-you-buy visa. You may be either married, or in an existing genuine de facto relationship. If you are intending to marry, then you need to be legally free-to-marry (ie. never married, or already divorced). If you are in an existing de facto relationship, you may be still legally married as long as that relationship is well and truly over.
You may not apply for a partner visa so you can commence a de facto relationship. It must be existing, and you need to be able to prove this with solid evidence.
All Partner Visas, whether onshore or offshore:
- Provide access to applying for Medicare benefits
- Give full work rights, so the visa applicant may work in Australia
- Are multiple-entry, and allow free access in and out of Australia
- Allow the inclusion of dependent children as secondary applicants to the partner visa
Information contained in this page is of a general nature. Informative, yes, but not a formula for preparing visa applications and should not be relied on as such. The devil is in the detail, rest assured. Australian migration law is complicated and Departmental decisions are inflexible and often final. Readers and future visa applicants and sponsors are advised to rely on professionals to ensure a happy outcome.
Offshore application (ie. applied-for in Philippines)
This is the option when the Filipina visa applicant is in Philippines, and remains there during the processing of the visa.
- It may be lodged before the wedding, as long as the wedding takes place within the processing time.
- It’s the visa-of-choice for Australian Filipina couples who wish to marry in Philippines
- It’s also the visa-of-choice for the Australian sponsor and Filipina applicant who would prefer not to rush through the processing. It’s lower-pressure than an onshore application.
Onshore application (ie. applied-for in Australia)
An onshore partner visa application is lodged inside Australia when the Filipina visa applicant is also there inside Australia at the time of application.
- It must be lodged after the wedding takes place. It’s not possible to marry afterwards.
- It must be lodged before the visa that the applicant currently holds (often a tourist visa) runs out, so there is invariably a strict deadline
- If it’s lodged (a) after the wedding and (b) before the current visa runs out, the applicant is automatically issued a bridging visa
- It’s the visa-of-choice for in-a-hurry Australian Filipina couples who wish to be together in Australia during the processing time
- It’s not the visa of choice of those who can’t spare the time and who are not well-organised to meet a deadline
- And note that any dependent children to be included in an onshore application must also be onshore at the time of lodgement
After two years of a successful relationship, a Subclass 100 or Subclass 801 Permanent Partner Visa may be granted.
Permanent Partner Visa (two years after applying for the temporary partner visa)
You actually “applied” for the permanent partner visa when you applied for the temporary partner visa, ie it was an 820/801 application onshore, or a 309/100 application offshore. So you don’t apply again. But you do need to provide them with further documents and relationship evidence at this later stage to prove that your genuine relationship did exist and still exists. More information can be found here in this BLOG article about permanent partner visas.
Australian Offshore Partner Visas Pros and Cons
- Applicable to de facto couples
- Applicable to same-sex couples
- No follow-up temporary partner visa application needed
- May apply before actual wedding takes place
- Full work rights
- Multiple entry visa
- May apply for Medicare after application lodged
- May include dependent children
- No time-limit in which to apply in the first place (except must marry in a reasonable timeframe), ie. it’s a lower-pressure option than an onshore partner visa
- Must be outside Australia to apply and for the visa to be granted
- Not eligible for bridging visas
- Must remain offshore during processing (unless visiting on tourist visa)
- Wedding must take place before visa will be granted
- High cost
- Requires a lot of evidence of relationship and other documentation
- Will lead to a five year ban from re-applying if visa is granted and relationship ends
- Of no value to uncommitted couples
Australian Partner Visa from Philippines (Offshore) FAQ
Do I have to marry before I apply for an offshore Partner Visa?
Not necessarily. You must be married before they finalise the application, but you may apply before marrying as long as you fully intend to marry during the visa processing time.
Do we have to marry in Philippines? Ie can we marry in Australia?
You can marry anywhere you like, as long as it’s a legal marriage.
Can I get a bridging visa with an offshore Partner Visa?
No. Bridging visas are never issued to offshore visa applicants. They are for onshore applications only.
Can I get an offshore Partner Visa with a de facto relationship?
If it’s an established and genuine de facto relationship of 12 months or more, yes you can. That time period may be shorter if you have a Registered Relationship.
Can I get an offshore Partner Visa if still married/not divorced?
No, unless you are applying based on an established and genuine de facto relationship of 12 months or more. If you intend marrying and basing an offshore Partner Visa on that marriage, then no you need to be legally free to marry before applying.
Do we need to live together for 12 months first?
If you are applying based on a de facto relationship, yes. Otherwise, no.
Can she work on an offshore Partner Visa?
Yes, an offshore Partner Visa holder will have full and unrestricted work rights.
Can I include kids in an offshore Partner Visa?
Yes, you may include kids as secondary applicants on an offshore Partner Visa application. Note that this depends on you having a legal right to remove them from the country, ie. if another parent still has joint custody then you will need their permission for this to happen.
Have An Offshore Partner Visa Question Not Answered Above?
Now, over to you the client (or potential client)! We value our clients opinions, and we believe in keeping all well-informed. What would YOU like to ask about offshore partner visas? What do YOU think needs a bit more explanation? Ask below, and Jeff Harvie RMA will answer your question for you and for others wondering the same thing.
Partner Visa Onshore? Or Partner Visa Offshore? Or Prospective Marriage Visa?
Get the pros and cons of each visa type so you can COMPARE, and make an informed decision based on expert advice!
Let us know where you wish to marry and when, and we can guide you with the best choice of visa to suit your needs! And also, use our free FREE VISA ASSESSMENT FORM to see if you do actually qualify for a visa
So, can Down Under Visa manage partner visa applications in Australia too?
Of course we can and do manage Spouse Visas lodged inside Australia when the Australian sponsor and Filipina applicant are both there, and in fact these make up about half of our applications these days. Since the 1 July 2015 Visa Application Charge changes which meant that a partner visa now costs the same lodged offshore in Philippines (or other countries) as they do lodged in Australia, we have had considerably more applicants wanting their applications lodged in Australia.
There is no difference in the way the applications are prepared. The difference is that you have a small window to lodge the visa, harder again if you plan to marry in Australia too.
We just want you to make an informed and educated choice, and not to find yourselves in Australia running out of time to lodge. The number one problem area is that you have a fixed time-limit to get everything finalised in. If you are aware of this and can cope with it? Then no problems, as far as we are concerned.
So please discuss this option with us, and we will be happy to help make your onshore partner visa application a success.
Want to read more about Australian Offshore Partner Visas from the Philippines? Check out some of our partner visa BLOG posts below.
Watch our introductory video
Read what some of our happy couples have had to say
“TO DOWN UNDER VISA
Thank you very much.I appreciate your effort and I must say you’ve done me a favor.You’ve all been very nice and accomodating to me since day 1. And I commend you all for that.I’m really glad it didnt took long ‘coz I though it would be long process and might take you nine months or more just like what I’ve heard of others applying for Australian Visa. Its a good decision on my part that I choose your agency. Finally me and Rod could spend to the rest of our lives together, and its all because of you guys.
To Mila and Jeff Harvie and the company, please accept my heartful thank to all of you. God bless!!!!”
“Working with Jeff Harvie (Down Under Visa) for my visa is really a big help to make this thing happen.He is always willing and ready to answer all our questions with patience and dedication. Damien and I are thankful for Jeff’s effort of giving us information, sharing us what he knows, and keep on posting us reminders from the beginning until the end of our transactions with him. Three months of having a visa granted is earlier than we expected it to be and it is because of Jeff’s dedication of helping us to prepare all the requirements needed for the visa. Prayer is granted and we are ready to leave on August 22. Thank you again Jeff and Mila in behalf of Down Under Visa Family. May you have more blessings to come and more happy to finally sure that we will be together without worries ahead of separating apart because of the visa.God bless you all and more power.”
Julie Ann and Damien
Partner Visas Articles From our BLOG page…
November 2017 changes in Australian partner visa processing
We (Down Under Visa) received a letter a few days ago from one of the senior officers in the Australian Embassy in Manila about the issue of partner visa applications, and what they will no longer accept. It covered the same issues that we announced in our recent BLOG article.
- Applications need to be “fully-loaded” when submitted, with all the supporting documentation included.
- That means all relationship evidence and other documents right there at the time of application
- And that means not thinking you can wait for the Department to send out endless reminder letters (known as Requests for Information, or RFI’s)
- And it means if the application is lodged “naked” (as the Department are calling it), they will not send an RFI letter.They will refuse the application immediately.
- And a refusal means you lose the Visa Application Charge, ie. the $7,000.00 you need to pay them.
We’ve long warned applicants not to assume they can slap together a last-minute partner visa application inside Australia, yet we still have enquirers who assume they can do just that. Sadly I can see a lot of refusals coming up very shortly if people try that one out.
I’m writing this article today because we had a client more than two years ago who was like Applicant B. They didn’t like what we kept asking them for, and got annoyed when we kept telling them that their documentation (ie. visa requirements) were insufficient or incorrect. Eventually they pulled the pin on their dealings with us, because they found a Migration Agent who was less schoolteacher-like and more “chilled” than Jeff Harvie. They lodged a partner visa application visa application in Manila. A year and a half later it was refused. I saw the refusal letter, and it was refused because of a lack of what we had been asking them.
I could sit back and say “I told you so”, but I take no pleasure in seeing a couple stuck apart. It’s tragic! I wish they had simply accepted the truth that I was prepared to tell them. Not everyone does. Sweet words and a nice pat on the back are much easier to deliver and they make a job easier, but sorry……not from Jeff Harvie and not from Down Under Visa. It won’t happen.
And I see emails every day from clients who think we’re asking too much, and sometimes they tell us of the mate who got a visa without submitting “all this rubbish”. Sometimes the “mate” is some hollow entity on a Facebook group or internet advice forum. Sometimes the visa grant happened 20 years ago. And sometimes the mate was just plain lucky. The ones who get refusals for poor applications are less keen to talk about their failures, so you are less likely to hear about them.
If we lowered standards and did more back-patting, we would probably have to give bad news about visa refusals to 1:5 of you. Sorry, but that’s too high. Listen to the cranky ol’ schoolteacher and you’re in very safe hands!