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Australia's Partner Visa Recent Changes

Partner visas are a vital component of Australia's immigration system, facilitating the reunion of couples and families by enabling the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to reside and work in the country. These visas are structured into temporary and permanent phases, offering a pathway for individuals in genuine relationships to secure long-term residency in Australia.


TEMPORARY PARTNER VISA (SUBCLASS 820) 


Serves as the initial stage towards securing permanent residency in Australia for spouses or de facto partners.


  • Eligibility: Applicants must demonstrate a genuine and ongoing relationship with their sponsor, who must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

 

  • Application Requirement: Applicants are required to be physically present in Australia at the time of lodging their application, alongside any accompanying family members.

 

  • Benefits: Successful applicants can reside, work, and pursue studies in Australia while their application for permanent residency is processed.

 

  • Additional Support: Holders are entitled to Medicare benefits and may qualify for free English language classes under specific circumstances.

 

PERMANENT PARTNER VISA (SUBCLASS 801)


Issued to individuals who previously held a Temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) and continue to satisfy the genuine relationship criteria with their sponsor, who must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.


  • Eligibility: Applicants must maintain a genuine and ongoing relationship with their sponsor.

 

  • Application Process: Typically, applicants apply for this visa concurrently with the Temporary Partner visa (subclass 820).

 

  • Benefits: Visa holders enjoy indefinite residency and work rights in Australia, can sponsor eligible family members for migration, and have the opportunity to apply for Australian citizenship.

 

  • Conditions: This visa pathway leads to permanent residency in Australia, ensuring stability and security for applicants and their families.

 


RECENT CHANGES TO PARTNER VISA REGULATIONS


Australia has recently implemented significant changes to its partner visa policies aimed at improving support and flexibility for applicants. These include:


  • Terminology Update: The terminology has shifted from "suffered" family violence to "experienced" family violence, acknowledging broader impacts beyond direct suffering.

 

  • Cessation Events Extension: Subclass 300 visa holders can now apply for a subclass 820/801 visa even if they have not married their sponsor, provided certain cessation events (such as the death of the sponsor, child of the relationship, or family violence) have occurred.

 

  • Visa Grant Locations: Subclass 300 visas (Prospective Marriage visas) can be granted either inside or outside Australia, although applicants must be outside Australia at the time of application.


For those considering applying for a partner visa or seeking to understand how recent changes may impact their application, consulting with a registered migration agent, such as Australian Portal Immigration, is advisable. Australia's commitment to supporting families and ensuring the safety of visa applicants is evident in these recent updates, reflecting ongoing efforts to streamline processes and provide equitable opportunities for all.

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