Partner (provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 100)

  1. What is the Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309) and Partner (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 100)?
  2. Application process
  3. Stages of application
  4. Eligibility
  5. Conditions
  6. Marriage defined
  7. Defacto defined
  8. Cost
  9. Processing time

Partner (provisional) visa (subclass 309)

A partner (Provisional) Visa (subclass 309) is an application for temporary stay on the grounds of an established defacto/marital relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Where the applicant remains offshore at time of lodgement and when the visa is assessed/granted. If granted a provisional subclass 309 visa allows you to live, work and study in Australia as well as travel to and from Australia (currently dependant on Australia’s covid-19 border restrictions) And attend free English classes provided by The Adult Migrant English Program. While the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) assesses the outcome of your Partner (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 100) which is lodged at the same time as your Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309) application.

Partner (permanent) Visa (Subclass 100)  

A Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 100) is a grant of permanent residency sponsored by your partner. If granted, you can live, work and study in Australia indefinitely and sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia. As well as if you are found eligible, apply for Australian citizenship.

Visitor Visa

Due to length of processing time and the requirement, that you must apply and reside offshore. You may be eligible to apply for a visitor visa. This allows a short stay (usually of 3 months), you will need to make a separate application for this and meet the according requirements. However, you must be located offshore when your Partner (provisional) visa (subclass 309) is granted.

Application Process

Due to the nature of this Visa and processing time it is important your application is done correctly for a successful outcome.

Most importantly when applying for Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309) you must remain outside Australia and submit your application as well as necessary evidence and documentation online, this allows for all correspondence between immigration in relation to your application, as well as uploading any additional evidence and for you to update the department on any changes to your circumstances in the same place, through the online portal. If you are using migration lawyer or agent to lodge your application on your behalf, they will manage this. For a consultation with an Aussie Immigration Services migration lawyer or agent contact +61 2 82032999

In your application you must include the following:– Substantial valid documents proving identity (e.g., passport, drivers’ licence and birth certificate)

  • Character and health assessment documents (police clearances)
  • Documents must be provided to address each relationship aspect to prove your relationship is genuine (see below).
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
What proves my relationship is genuine?

When determining a relationship is genuine the department of home affairs (DOHA) and immigration will assess validity via the following categories that must be shown throughout the entire relationship and not just at date of application:

Financial: Proof of joint assets (real-estate or other relevant assets) and joint regular financial responsibility to maintain shared life.

Social: Third party knowledge of the relationship can be demonstrated. This includes at least two Form 888’s (statutory declarations provided by witnesses attesting that your relationship is genuine)

Household: Recognised shared household responsibilities

Nature of commitment: You can show that there will be lifelong commitment to only each other and to the exclusion of all others

The department also requires written statements about your relationship by both yourself and your partner, covering detailed history and the development of your relationship.

  • How, when and where you first met
  • How the relationship developed
  • When you moved in together, engaged or married
  • What you do together
  • Any time you’ve spent apart
  • Significant events in the relationship
  • Your plans for the future

Disclosure: these documents should be updated for the DOHA throughout the processing time after lodgement of your application and while you await grant of permanent residency, to show your relationship is continuing and maintains requirements for visa status.

Stages of application

Stage 1:

Your application is first assessed on the grounds of the subclass 309 upon satisfying visa grant requirements, the applicant will temporarily be allowed to live, study, work and apply for Medicare onshore, whilst your application for permanent residency i.e., partner (subclass 100) visa is being processed.

Stage 2:

2 years after lodgement of the combined 309 and 100 application, immigration will assess your eligibility for the grant of the Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 100) visa, you will need to provide any requested documentation by the department to show your relationship is continuing to meet visa requirements. If your relationship with the sponsor is long term and you can provide sufficient evidence to the department then visa 309 and 100 are assessed and granted at the same time in stage one.

Long term is defined as:

  • 3 years
  • 2 years with a dependent child. Where the applicant and sponsor are the parents.

This will be validated with substantial evidence of the relationship.


  • Genuine relationship with your spouse or defacto partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. In some cases, an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Be outside Australia at the time of application and outcome of the Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309)
  • Be 18 years or older (certain exceptions for marriage with parental consent)
  • An Australian citizen/permanent resident must sponsor the applicant (If under 18, sponsor is the partners parent/guardian)
  • You must pass a specific health requirements and character checks
  • Your sponsor must meet relevant character requirements and provide police satisfaction clearance as evidence
  • Relationship meets requirements (see below)

Conditions of Partner (provisional) visa (subclass 309)

condition 8502 Not arrive before person specified in visa

  • You may not enter Australia until the specified person disclosed in the visa is onshore and settled in Australia, this in most circumstances is your sponsor (partner)
  • Settled is defined as, a person who has lived in Australia for a reasonable period which in most circumstances under DOHA policy is 2 years (exceptions apply)

Will my relationship qualify for the partner (provisional) visa (subclass 309)?

You must meet one of the two categories; married or defacto relationship. Under the Australian definition of the terms as other countries have different requirements for such relationships)

Marriage defined

Your marriage must satisfy the following:

  • You and your Partner hold an Australian legally recognised marriage
  • You and your partner are in a committed monogamist relationship (to the exclusion of all others) and a mutually shared life
  • Your relationship is authentic, genuine and continuing
  • You either live together or if you live separately, it is on a temporary basis

Defacto defined

If you are not legally married

  • You are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • You are committed to life with your partner (permanently and to the exclusion of all others)
  • You either live together or if separately, it is on a temporary basis
  • You are not related by family
  • You have been in this relationship for a minimum of 12 months (with evidence submitted showing commitment for the full time together)

Exceptions to minimum 12-month:

  • You can demonstrate that compelling and compassionate reasons exist
  • The sponsoring partner is/was a holder of a permanent humanitarian visa, where your relationship was disclosed in the grant of this visa
  • Your sponsor has applied for a humanitarian visa
  • Your relationship is registered with an Australian state/territory

Disclosure: these documents should be updated for the DOHA throughout the processing time after lodgement of your application and while you await grant of permanent residency, to show your relationship is continuing and maintains requirements for visa status.

Cost of application

The base fee for application from: $8,850(AUD)

This does not include cost of health and character checks, document translation.

Estimated processing time:

Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass309)
  • 25% of applications: 6 Months
  • 50% of applications: 10 Months
  • 75% of applications: 15 Months
  • 90% of applications: 29 Months
Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 100)
  • 25% of applications: 12 Months
  • 50% of applications: 17 Months
  • 75% of applications: 20 Months
  • 90% of applications: 29 Months
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