Partner 820 & 801 Visa

Features of 820/801 partner visa – Temporary to permanent residency in Australia

The Partner visas (subclasses 820 and 801) allow the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia.

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) is granted first and lets you stay in Australia, after 24 months you may be eligible for a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).


You must be married or in a de facto relationship with:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen.
You could be granted an 820/801 visa if:
  • Your marriage must be valid under Australian law. This means you must have parental permission if you are 16 or 17 years of age.
  • You must have been in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months.
  • If you’re inside Australia at the time of application.
  • You already hold another visa type, e.g. student visa, visitor visa or working holiday visa.
  • You do not have an “8503 – No further stay” condition.
  • Meet health and character requirements.

To apply for a partner visa on de facto grounds you, you would generally need to show you have lived with your partner for 12 months. The 12-month cohabitation requirement also applies when including a spouse for the following types of visa:

However, you would be exempt from the 12 month requirement if you register your relationship in an Australian state or territory. You would need to show that you are living together but not necessarily for 12 months.

Registration provides legal recognition as a couple under the state law and as well as being beneficial for immigration purposes. Usual requirements include:

  • Both partners must be 18 years old or over
  • Must not be in a relationship as a couple with another person – in particular they must not be married, in a de facto relationship or in a registered relationship
  • Must not be related by family.
  • Same sex and different sex couples can register their relationship.

Long term relationship

If, at the time you apply, you have been in a long term relationship with your partner (3 years living together or have a child together and living together for 2 years), your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801) visa may be granted immediately after the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) visa.

If your current visa is about to end

You can stay in Australia on a Bridging visa if you have already lodged your application.


If you are married, usually you must be 18 or older when you apply. This is because usually, you must be 18 or older for your marriage to be valid under Australian law.

If you are a de facto partner, you must be 18 or older when you apply.

Your relationship

You must be the spouse (married) or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

You might still be eligible if your relationship breaks down after you lodge your application.


You must have a sponsor, who will be your partner, except if your partner is under 18 years of age.

Debts to the Australian government

You must have repaid, or have arranged to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian government.

Cancelled or refused visas

You might not be able to apply for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.

Eligibility criteria for the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801)

  • hold a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820)
  • continue to be in the spouse or de facto partner relationship unless your relationship has ended and there are special circumstances
  • have complied with all Australian laws whilst on your temporary visa.

What you can do

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) lets you stay in Australia until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).


AUD 8,850.

If you hold a Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) – from AUD 1,870.

You pay only one fee, which covers the permanent and the temporary visa, and you pay this when you lodge your application. In most cases, visa application fees can not be refunded, even if you withdraw your application, or your visa is refused.

Additional family members

There is a fee for any children applying for the visa with you.

Other costs

If you need to have them, you will have to pay other costs such as those for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.


From 25 November 2023, subclass 309820 and  801 can now be granted no matter the location of the applicant at the time of grant.

You must be in Australia when you lodge your application and when a decision is made on the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820).

You can be in or outside Australia when a decision is made on the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).

If you are outside Australia when you want to lodge your application, consider either:

More information is available about partner visa options.

How long the visas lasts

The Partner visa (subclass 820) is a temporary visa. It lasts from the date it is granted until a decision is made on your permanent Partner visa (subclass 801).

The Partner visa (subclass 801) is a permanent visa – it lasts indefinitely. It starts on the date it is granted.

Related: How long does it take to get 801 visa after 820


You can include your dependent children or stepchildren in your application.

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

Your obligations

You and your children must comply with Australian laws and your visa conditions. You can find your visa conditions in VEVO.


Limitations on sponsorship

You might not be able to be a sponsor if you hold or have held certain visas and certain circumstances apply to you.


How long the sponsorship lasts

Your sponsorship ends two years after your partner is granted their Partner visa (subclass 820).

This is the case even if the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801) is granted immediately after the temporary 820 visa is granted.

Partner visas and work rights

Visitor visa to Partner visa: If you hold an eligible visitor visa and lodge your 820 partner visa, you transition onto Bridging Visa A or a BVA when the visitor visa expires. You have full work rights on your BVA, during the partner visa processing time.

457/TSS 482 visa to Partner visa:  if you lodge a partner application whilst holding a 457 visa, you cannot stop working for the sponsor until your 820 visa is granted. Book a consultation for a detailed analysis of your situation and to advise if this might be an issue that concerns you.

Working Holiday 417 visa to Partner visa:  If you have a 417 visa and lodge a partner visa, we can help you apply for a work rights wavier, allowing you to remain working longer than the allowed six months, for one employer.

Related: Family Violence and Partner Visas

The new changes to Sponsored family visa’s, have not been implemented for Partner visasThe changes meant that Sponsorships must be lodged first and approved before Partner visas can be lodged. This change would have adversely impacted onshore Partner visa applicants wanting to lodge a visa application prior to their substantive visa expiring. The sponsorship application would have been assessed separately and would had to be approved before a valid Partner visa application could be lodged. 

If you are planning to apply for a Partner visa we recommend booking an appointment to discuss and understand how these changes may impact you.

Important update: English Test for Permanent Stage of Partner Visas & Partner visa changes ahead

Book a consultation today for a briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.