A partner visa is broken down into two stages: Subclass 820 (Temporary) and Subclass 801 (Permanent). Under the current regulation, an applicant applies for both temporary and permanent visa on the one combined application form. In most cases, applicants are ineligible to be granted the permanent visa until two years after their applications is made. That is, Subclass 820 visa holders usually have to wait two years before their Subclass 801 application is finalised.
The current processing time for:
- Subclass 820: 23 to 27 months
- Subclass 801: 11 to 22 months
As you can see, the processing time for Subclass 820 is around two years. In some cases, DoHA would also grant the Subclass 801 as you have already waited two years. However, if you are not granted Subclass 801 immediately after the grant of Subclass 820, you would have to send extra documents to DoHA to show genuineness and continuity of the relationship.
Therefore, the wait for a subclass 801 ranges from two to 3.5 years.
While regulations stipulate that applicants must wait two years between Subclass 820 and Subclass 801, this is not always the case. In limited circumstances, applicants can bypass the two-year waiting period.
- Subclass 801 can be granted if the applicant is in a long-term relationship with the sponsor. A long-term partner relationship is defined as:
- The applicant and the sponsor have a dependent child and they have been together for not less than two years, or
- In any other case, the partner and the sponsor have been together for at least three years.
- If the sponsor died after the grant of Subclass 820, the applicant may not have to wait two years for the grant of Subclass 801. DoHA will still consider genuineness of relationship before granting the visa.
- If the applicant is successful in their claims of family violence, the applicant is not required to wait out the two years.
- If the case involved issue of custody of the applicant and sponsor’s child, the applicant may not have to wait for two years.
In most cases, you will have to write to DoHA informing them your change of circumstances.
Above are the possible exceptions to the two years waiting period.
The new changes to Sponsored family visa’s, will be implemented for Partner visas by the end of 2021. The changes mean that Sponsorships must be lodged first and approved before Partner visas can be lodged. This change will adversely impact onshore Partner visa applicants wanting to lodge a visa application prior to their substantive visa expiring. The sponsorship application will be assessed separately and will need to be approved before a valid Partner visa application can be lodged.