Onshore Partner Visa (820)

You’re in Australia with your partner, and want to remain here on a permanent basis. The onshore partner visa (subclass 820) may be a perfect choice for your situation. But what is an onshore partner visa? Why do you need both the 820 and 801 visas? And what are the requirements? Find out in our guide below.

What is an onshore partner visa?

An onshore partner visa allows you to stay in Australia with your partner permanently. It’s actually made up of two different visas, the temporary 820 onshore partner visa, followed by the permanent 801 onshore partner visa.To apply, your partner must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, and agree to sponsor your visa.

The 820 visa allows you to stay in Australia with your partner while your visa is processed

The onshore partner visa requires you to submit your visa application from inside Australia. You must also be in Australia when the visa is granted. Most applications take between one and two years to process, during which you can remain in Australia with your partner on a temporary bridging visa. Our migration agents can help you apply for work and travel rights while your application is being processed.

If you are applying from outside Australia, consider the offshore partner visa instead.

What is the difference between the 820 and 801 onshore partner visa?

Obtaining the permanent onshore partner visa is a two stage process. When your initial visa application is successful, you will first be granted a temporary 820 onshore partner visa. After two years, you will be assessed for the permanent 801 partner visa. 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.

When you are granted the permanent 801 onshore partner visa, you will become an Australian permanent resident. This means you will have additional rights that you will not be able to access on the temporary partner visa, including studying in Australia with government support, sponsoring relatives for permanent residence, and of course applying for citizenship.

What are the requirements for an onshore partner visa?

The requirements for the temporary onshore partner visa, and permanent partner visa are slightly different.

To be eligible for the temporary onshore partner visa:

  • You must be in 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 defacto relationship. Usually, this relationship must be at least 12 months old.

If you and your partner are in a defacto relationship, you will also need to meet the Department’s defacto relationship requirements. Read more about defacto partner visas here.

To be eligible for the permanent onshore partner visa:

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

Unlike the temporary onshore partner visa, you do not need to be in Australia when the decision is made.

Can I add my children to my onshore partner visa?

You can include your dependent children or stepchildren in your onshore partner visa application. To avoid complications, you should include your children in your visa application before your temporary visa is granted. Otherwise, your children will have to come to Australia on a separate temporary visa, which they will stay on until your permanent visa is granted (and after your permanent visa is granted, you may need another permanent visa for them, such as a child visa).

Once you are granted your partner visa, your children will have the same rights and visa conditions as you.

How can a migration agent help with my onshore partner visa?

A migration agent can draft your application to give you the best chance of success, and make sure no departmental requirements are overlooked. They can also provide advice on how best to show you meet the visa criteria, and help you apply for work and travel rights while you wait for your visa to be granted. 

About us

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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