The partner visa subclass 801 for Australia is a permanent partner visa designed to help people in a long term relationship stay together. This is an onshore partner visa, which means that you must be in Australia when you submit your visa application. Once you apply, you can get a bridging visa that lets you stay in Australia while you wait for the outcome of your application.
Is a Partner Visa 801 permanent residency?
Yes, the 801 visa is a permanent visa. It’s the permanent visa you receive after you’ve been granted the temporary visa 820. Once you receive the subclass 801 partner visa you will be granted permanent residency in Australia. You will be entitled to:
- Live in Australia indefinitely (permanent residence).
- Work and study in Australia.
- Access Australia’s public healthcare program – Medicare.
- Sponsor your family to live in Australia permanently.
- Travel to and from Australia for 5 years. After five years, you’ll need to apply for a Return Resident Visa to travel.
- Start the clock on the residency requirements for Australian citizenship.
Am I eligible to apply for the visa subclass 801?
To be eligible for this permanent partner visa, you must meet these conditions:
- Be 18 years old or older (note that there are exceptions if you are under 18 years and married).
- Hold a temporary partner visa subclass 820;
- Pass an English test (this is a new requirement to be introduced in late 2021);
- Meet health and character requirements; and
- Meet the relationship and sponsor requirements.
Relationship Requirements for an 801 Partner Visa
To meet the relationship requirements, you must be in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Your partner will need to agree to sponsor you and they must be approved as a sponsor.
To meet the relationship requirement, you need to be married or de facto with your sponsor. A de facto relationship is a relationship where you have lived together for at least 12 months. To prove your marriage relationship you must provide a marriage certificate in a form that is legally recognised in Australia.
Whether you are married or have a de facto partner, your relationship needs to be genuine and continuing, you must not be related by family, and you must live together or not live apart permanently.
To demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and continuing, you will need to provide documents to the Immigration Department. These documents need to show that the applicant and your sponsor have shared financial commitments, know each others friends and/or family, share household responsibilities (like bills), and that evidence your commitment to one another.
You usually need to stay together with your de facto partner or spouse while your subclass 801 partner visa is being assessed.
Sponsor Requirements for an Onshore Partner Visa
Your sponsor must:
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Disclose any criminal record to the Department of Home Affairs and provide police certificates as evidence.
- Meet English requirements, if they are not an Australian citizen.
- Agree that certain offences will be disclosed to the applicant – this forms part of an effort to decrease domestic violence in Australia and to protect vulnerable migrants.
- Work in Australia – or otherwise meet the financial requirements for Australian sponsors.
You and your sponsor must also pay your debts to the Australian Government and the visa application must be in the best interests of your children, if you have any.
How can I apply for a partner visa subclass 801?
You must meet the requirements for and hold a temporary partner visa subclass 820 before you’re eligible to receive the permanent visa. But you should apply for the temporary and permanent partner visas at the same time. You will only pay one application fee for both visas. Here’s what the process looks like for the permanent partner visa subclass 801:
Step 1: Receive and hold your partner visa subclass 820. This is a temporary visa that lets you stay in Australia while you wait for your permanent residence application to be assessed. You will submit your 820 partner visa and your 801 partner visa at the same time but may be granted them at different times.
Step 2: Gather your documents. You’ll need to show that you are still in a relationship with your sponsor, provide details of any changes to your situation, upload your passport and updated character documents, include the details of your dependent children who are already on a subclass 820 visa, and submit your eligible partner’s documents too.
Step 3: Submit your documents via your ImmiAccount 2 years after you first submitted your visa application. You can supply documents up to one month before the 2 years date, but not any earlier than this. You should also supply information about your registered migration agent, if you’re using one. Ask your contact at Altria Law if you need help with this.
Step 4: You can add further information and add family members – dependent children who are already in Australia – to your permanent partner visa subclass 801 at this point.
Step 5: Receive your onshore partner visa outcome from the Australian Government. If your permanent visa is approved, you will find out what date your visa starts and any visa conditions. You will be able to stay in Australia indefinitely as a permanent resident after it is granted. If your visa is refused, you will find out why it was refused and whether you can have the decision reviewed.
Any decision review for a visa refusal has really strict deadlines – usually 30 days. You should seek help from Altria’s migration lawyers or a migration agent immediately if either your 820 partner visa or your partner visa 801 is refused.
How long does it take to get 801 visa after 820?
This depends on a few things. Generally speaking, you need to wait at least two years from when you submit both your subclass 820 visa and your 801 visa application before your permanent partner visa will be granted. In practice, this means that your 820 visa and your 801 visa may be granted at the same time if it has been more than two years since you submitted your visa application.
At the moment, 75% of applicants receive their temporary partner visa within 23 months and 90% of applications are processed within 28 months. So, while it’s not unusual for them to be granted at the same time, it is more likely that they won’t be. If they aren’t assessed at the same time, the processing time for the permanent visa application will likely be another 12 – 21 months.
There is an exception to the 2 year time limit for an application where you and your spouse/partner have been married or in a de facto relationship for a long time. The Australian Government considers long-term relationships to be relationships where you have been married or in a de facto relationship (living together) for more than three years or more than 2 years and you have a child together.
Time you spend dating or in an online relationship does not count towards you meeting the long-term relationship requirements for your application.
Can a visa 801 be cancelled?
Yes, permanent partner visas, including a subclass 801 visa, can be cancelled for a number of reasons. It might be cancelled if you provided incorrect information or false documents in your application or if you don’t comply with any conditions of your subclass 801 visa after your visa is granted.
It might also be cancelled if you failed to meet all the conditions of your subclass 820 visa. You can also have your permanent resident status in Australia cancelled in certain circumstances. You may have your permanent residency cancelled and be deported if you commit a serious crime or if you are considered to be a threat to the security of Australia.
Speak With An Experienced Migration Lawyer Before You Apply for Your Permanent Partner Visa
Seeking help from a qualified migration agent can make your partner visa application much less stressful. The experienced migration agents at Altria Law are here to help you with your permanent partner visa application.
We’ve managed these applications in the past and we know what the Department of Home Affairs wants to see in your visa application.
We’ll advise on your best options for migration to Australia, while ensuring the process runs smoothly. Get in touch to find out more or book your free consultation.