Partner Visa: Onshore vs. Offshore

Partner Visa: Onshore vs. Offshore

Partner Visa in Australia allows the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian permanent resident, citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia. The average processing time for the visa is 12 to 15 months. However, when it comes to applying for Partner Visa in Australia, people often face the dilemma of choosing from Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820 and 801) and Offshore Partner Visa (Subclass 309 and 101).

Discussed here are the differences between onshore and offshore partner visa that may help you take this important decision.

Currently, there are 3 types of Partner Visas available in Australia

  • Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) - The visa allows the prospective marriage partner of an Australian permanent resident, citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen to come temporarily in Australia, and live with their partner for up to 9 months before the marriage is to take place. The visa must be applied outside Australia, and the applicant must be outside Australia at the time of visa approval.
  • Partner Visa Offshore (Subclasses 309 and 100) - One may be eligible for Partner Visa even if he or she resides outside of Australia and is married to, or in a de facto relationship with an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or an eligible New Zealand citizen. However, one must be located outside of Australia in order to apply for and be approved for the offshore 309 Visa.
  • Partner Visa Onshore (Subclass 820/801) - This visa allows the spouse and de facto partner of an Australian permanent resident, citizen and eligible New Zealand citizen to permanently live in Australia. Unlike, offshore partner visa, one must be inside of Australia to apply for and be granted the onshore 820 and 801 visa.

Now, let’s discuss both onshore and offshore partner visas in details.

What is Onshore Partner Visa?

Applying for and to be granted Onshore Partner Visa Subclasses 820 and 801 is a two-stage process: first, applying for Partner Temporary Visa (Subclass 820) and once it is granted, then applying for Partner Permanent Visa (Subclass 801). The temporary visa, once granted, will give you 2 years to live with your partner in Australia. During that period, one can apply for Partner Permanent Visa (Subclass 801), which when granted, allows the individual to live permanently in Australia if the marriage is ongoing.

In both the cases, i.e. when you apply for Partner Temporary Visa and Partner Permanent Visa and during the visa approval process, you must be located inside Australia.

What is Offshore Partner Visa?

Both onshore and offshore partner (Subclasses 309 and 101) visas are similar, including same rights if the applicant is granted the visas. However, unlike onshore visa, to apply for and be granted Offshore Partner Visa, i.e. Partner (Provisional) Visa Subclass 309 and Partner (Migrant) Visa Subclass 100, one must be located outside Australia.

However, if you have applied and granted a Subclass 309 Visa, and is eligible for the corresponding Subclass 100 Permanent Visa, you can be inside or outside of Australia at the time of application and visa approval process. But if you apply for offshore permanent visa directly, you must be outside of Australia to apply for and be granted the visa.

What is the Validity of Temporary Partner Visa?

Generally, temporary partner visa allows you to stay in Australia with your partner for 2 years.

Is it Important to Live Together to Apply for Partner Visa?

If one is applying for De Facto Partner Visa, he or she has to be in a relationship living together with their partner for at least 12 months prior to applying for the visa.

Whilst on temporary partner visa, one can work or study in Australia (without government funding), and is also entitled for certain medical benefits. All partner visas require a sponsor who will be fully responsible for accommodation, financial obligations, and needs of their partner. Both the temporary and permanent visa can be applied for at the same time, and in one application.

For detailed information and consulting on Partner Visa, contact XL Migration & Education on 08 9325 9632 or 0414 894 421 today.


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