Partner 820 & 801 Visa

Temporary to Permanent Residence with the 820 and 801 Partner Visa

The subclass 820 and subclass 801 Partner visas give an individual the right to reside in Australia if they are the spouse or partner of a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand.

The subclass 820 visa is issued first as a temporary visa. It is valid while holders have their application for a permanent subclass 801 visa considered.


To apply, an individual must be either married or in a de facto romantic relationship with either:

  • a citizen of Australia
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • an eligible citizen of New Zealand

You may be able to get an 820/801 visa providing that:

  • You are legally married in a manner which is recognised as valid in Australian law. If you were aged 16 or 17 when you got married, you must have acquired permission from your parents to do so even if this was not required in the jurisdiction where your marriage took place.
  • Your relationship must have been ongoing for a minimum of 12 months
  • You are physically located in Australia when you apply
  • You already have a valid visa which permits you to be in Australia
  • You have not been issued with a ‘8503 – No further stay‘ decision.
  • You meet Australia’s standard good health and character requirements for visa applications

In order to submit sufficient evidence for an application for a partner visa on the grounds of a de facto rather than legal relationship, you will usually need to prove that you have been living together with your partner for at least one full year. This is also required when seeking to include a spouse on an application for the following visas:

It is possible to circumvent the one year requirement providing that you register your relationship in an Australian state or territory. When doing this you will be required to prove that you and your partner are cohabiting, but you will not need to show proof that you have been doing so for a full year.

By registering your relationship, you will receive formal recognition under state law, which is granted appropriate weight by immigration caseworkers who will consider your visa application.

To register your relationship, you will usually be required to:

  • Be 18 or over (both partners)
  • Declare (or possibly prove) that you are not in another relationship, particularly a marriage or other legally-recognised civil partnership
  • Not be related (other than through a marriage or other legally-recognised civil partnership)

Same-sex and opposite-sex couples are both eligible to register their relationship in Australia.

Long-term relationships

If you have been in a long-term relationship and living together with your partner for at least three years (two years if you have a child together), then you may be eligible for immediate conversion to a permanent subclass 801 visa when your temporary subclass 820 visa expires.

Remaining in Australia between visas

If your temporary Partner visa has expired, you can apply for a Bridging Visa in order to stay in Australia while your application for a permanent Partner visa is considered.

Age limits

Married individuals and those in de facto relationships must in most circumstances be aged at least 18 when they apply for a Partner visa.​

Relationship Status

When applying, you must be in a legal or de facto relationship with either a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand.

If your relationship breaks down after the point at which you submit your application, you may still be eligible for a Partner visa nonetheless.


Applications for this visa require a sponsor. In this case, your partner will act as your sponsor providing that they are at least 18 years old.​

Outstanding debts to Australia

You will not be granted a Partner visa if you have any outstanding debts to the Australian government which are not covered by a current repayment plan.​

Previously refused visas

Your application may not be successful if you have previously had an Australian visa cancelled or an application for one refused.​

Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801) – Eligibility Criteria

  • you must already have been granted a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820)
  • you must still be the spouse or de facto partner of your original sponsor, unless there are special circumstances
  • you must not have broken any laws in Australia while resident there on your subclass 820 visa

Application Fees

AUD 8,850

There is a reduced fee if you already hold a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300), starting  from AUD 1,870.

When applying for the temporary Partner visa, your fee covers both the initial visa and also the potential conversion to a permanent (subclass 801) visa. This fee is usually non-refundable.

There are additional fees levied if you wish to include any children in your Partner visa application.

Supplementary Costs

Any health checks, criminal records checks and similar prerequisites for submitting an application must be paid for by the applicant.​

Location when applying

Applicants for a temporary Partner visa must be physically located in Australia at the point they submit their application, as well as when they receive a decision.

Applicants for the permanent Partner visa can be located either inside or outside of Australia when they receive the decision on the conversion of their temporary Partner visa to a permanent one.

If you instead want to be able to submit an application from outside of Australia, you may instead wish to consider:

How long is a Partner visa valid for?

The initial temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) lasts until you receive a decision on conversion to a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).

Once you are granted a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801), it will last indefinitely.

Family members

It is permitted to add dependent children (or stepchildren) to your Partner visa application. If granted, the visa will confer the same rights and conditions upon these children as will apply to you.

Conditions and Obligations

Individuals granted this visa will have to abide by the visa conditions specified in VEVO, as well as federal, state and local laws in Australia.

​​Sponsor limitations

Some individuals may be restricted from acting as a sponsor for a Partner visa if they hold or have previously held certain other visas, or in some other circumstances.

Length of sponsorship

Sponsorship for a Partner visa is required only up to two years after the sponsored partner receives their temporary Partner visa (subclass 820).

Right to Work

Visitor visa to Partner visa: In the event that an applicant has an existing visitor visa when they submit their subclass 820 Partner visa application, they will be able to transition to a Bridging Visa A upon the expiry of that visitor visa. While the Bridging Visa is active, they will have full right to work in Australia.

457/TSS 482 visa to Partner visa:  If applying for a Partner visa while in possession of a subclass 457 or 482 visa, the applicant will not be permitted to stop working for their primary sponsor until they receive a decision on their subclass 820 Partner visa. If this situation applies to you, we strongly recommend booking a consultation to discuss your specific circumstances and to identify the best way forward for your situation.

Working Holiday 417 visa to Partner visa: Partner visa applicants who are currently in Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa may be eligible for a work rights waver which allows them to work for longer than the originally permitted six months. Contact a member of our team for more details on how to go about this.

Book your no-obligation consultation today with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne, and find out the right visa options for your unique circumstances.