Offshore Partner Visa (309)

You and your partner are planning to live permanently in Australia in the long-term. But you’re not ready to move just yet. The offshore partner visa may be the best option for your situation. But what is an offshore partner visa? Why do you need both the 309 and 100 visas? And what are the requirements? Find out in our guide below.

What is an offshore partner visa?

An offshore partner visa allows you to stay in Australia with your partner permanently. However, you must be outside Australia both when you submit your application, and when the visa is granted. Most applications take between one and two years to process, which means you may be unable to settle permanently in Australia for some time. However, if you currently live overseas with your Australian partner, or if you have affairs to wrap up before you can move, it may be a good choice.

The 309 visa allows you to apply offshore, then move to Australia permanently once your visa is processed

The offshore partner visa is actually made up of two different visas, the temporary offshore partner visa (309), followed by the permanent partner visa (100). You will apply for your temporary visa offshore, however you may stay and work in Australia after your temporary visa is granted while you wait for your permanent visa.

If you do not wish to wait offshore until your temporary partner visa is processed, consider the onshore partner visa instead.

What is the difference between the 309 and 100 offshore partner visa?

Finalising an offshore partner visa is a two stage process. Once your initial application is processed, you will be granted a temporary offshore partner visa (309). You may then live and work in Australia until you become eligible to be assessed for your permanent partner visa (100). In most cases, this takes approximately two years.  You apply and pay for both visas at the same time, but may need to provide further documents for your permanent visa.

If you have been in a long term relationship before you lodge the application, you may be able to receive the permanent partner visa without the two year wait. Speak to our migration lawyers to find out if you are eligible.

What are the requirements for an offshore partner visa?

The requirements for a temporary offshore partner visa, and permanent partner visa are a little bit different.
To be eligible for the temporary offshore partner visa:

  • You must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted
  • Your partner must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • You and your partner must either be:
    • In a marriage that is valid under Australian law
    • In a de facto relationship. Usually, this relationship must be at least 12 months old.

If you and your partner are in a de facto relationship, you will also need to meet the Department’s de facto relationship requirements.
To be eligible for the permanent partner visa (subclass 100):

  • You must hold a temporary partner visa
  • You and your partner must continue to be married or in a de facto relationship, unless your relationship has ended and there are special circumstances
  • You must have complied with all Australian laws whilst on your temporary visa

If your temporary and permanent partner visas are assessed at different times, you will be asked to provide further documents for your permanent partner visa to prove you meet these requirements.

Can I add my children to my offshore partner visa?

You can include your dependent children or stepchildren in your offshore partner visa application.

To avoid complications, you should aim to include your children in your visa application before your temporary visa is granted. Once you are granted your partner visa, any children you include will have the same rights and visa conditions as you. They can then move with you to Australia.

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PocketLegal is a migration law firm available to handle all aspects of the Australian immigration process from beginning to end. If you need assistance with visa applications, sponsoring staff members, AAT Appeals, FCC hearings, or any other migration related issue contact our friendly team via the form on this page or by calling 1300 921 114.

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