The Subclass 100 Visa is a permanent partner visa for Australia. It allows Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens to sponsor their partner to move to Australia. Since the applicant must be outside Australia when they apply for the partner visa, this is an offshore partner visa.
This page will tell you what you need to know about this category of permanent visa – and whether you’re eligible to apply.
Is Visa 100 permanent residency?
Yes, a visa subclass 100 does offer the visa holder permanent residency. When you’re granted this visa, you can:
- live in Australia permanently;
- work and study in Australia;
- enrol in Australia’s healthcare program – Medicare;
- travel to and from Australia for up to 5 years;
- sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia; and
- start the migration pathway to become an Australian citizen.
How do I get a 100 visa?
To get a 100 visa, you need to submit a partner visa application that is sponsored by your 100 partner. You must first hold a temporary partner visa (subclass 309) before you receive permanent residency. You submit your temporary visa application at the same time as you apply for your permanent partner visa.
Eligibility for a Subclass 100 visa
You may be eligible for a 309 temporary visa if you are:
- In a genuine relationship with your spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen;
- 18 years or older – though some exceptions apply for married applicants; and
- Outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when it is granted.
Once you have a temporary 309 visa, your permanent partner visa subclass 100 may be granted immediately or you may need to wait. This depends on how quickly your temporary partner visa is assessed – since you usually wait two years before you can receive the permanent visa.
If it is granted immediately, you don’t need to provide anything further and you can travel to Australia to live. If it isn’t granted immediately, but you receive a temporary partner visa, you can travel to Australia to live while you wait for your permanent visa. You must meet eligibility requirements while you wait. Here’s what you need to do:
- Continue to hold your temporary visa. Don’t breach the conditions of the visa or you risk having it cancelled. If your temporary partner visa subclass 309 is refused or cancelled, you won’t be eligible for the permanent partner visa.
- Continue to meet relationship requirements. You must continue to be the spouse or de facto partner of the person who sponsored you for the temporary 309 visa. There are some exceptions but, if you separate or stop living together permanently, you won’t be eligible for the permanent visa.
- Pay any debts to the Australian Government – if you, your family members, or you sponsor have any.
Process for Getting a 100 Visa
These are the steps for applying for a 100 visa:
Step 1: Apply for a temporary partner visa subclass 309 at the same time you submit your 100 partner visa application.
Step 2: Ensure the Department of Home Affairs has up-to-date copies of the documents they require to assess your visa. You should send these in so they arrive at the same time they will be assessed – two years after you applied for your visa subclass 309. These documents should detail your relationship with your partner, any changes to your situation, updated passport details, character documents, information about your dependants (if you have any), documents from your partner, and information about your migration agent.
Step 3: Attach the documents required via your ImmiAccount.
Step 4: The Immigration Department will let you know if they require any further information. You will need to let them know if your circumstances change or if you want to add any family members to your application.
Step 5: You will receive your visa outcome. They will let you know whether your visa application has ben successful or not. If it has, you will become an Australian permanent resident on the date your application is approved or on the date you enter Australia, depending on whether you are in Australia or overseas when your visa application is granted.
It can be helpful to consult with a migration expert when you submit your application. Proving your relationship and meeting all the requirements is a complex and lengthy process. A qualified migration expert is an invaluable resource during this process.
Exceptions to the 2-year time limit for long-term relationships
In some cases, the processing time for a subclass 100 visa is reduced. Applicants who have been in a long-term relationship with their eligible spouse or de facto partner may not need to wait 2 years before their permanent partner visa is granted. A genuine and continuing long-term relationship is a de facto relationship or marriage longer than 3 years or longer than 2 years where there is a dependent child from the relationship.
You and your spouse or de facto partner will need to show documents to prove your relationship and that you have a dependent child under the age of 18 years, if applicable.
The English Requirement
The Australian Government has announced increased English language requirements for both applicants and sponsors applying for this visa. It will not be a requirement for the subclass 309 visa, but applicants will need to show that they have functional English skills before they move from the temporary visa to the permanent visa.
The details have not yet been finalised, but the requirement is expected to start being enforced from late 2021. That said, there will likely be some exemptions for native English speaking applicants from Canada, the UK, the USA, New Zealand or Ireland. Sponsors who are Australian citizens will also likely be exempt.
Visa Subclass 100 Conditions
There are different conditions you will need to comply with before and after your permanent partner visa subclass 100 is granted.
Conditions before your visa subclass 100 is granted
Before your visa subclass 100 is granted, you will need to comply with all the conditions outlined on your temporary partner visa subclass 309. These might be that you can’t arrive in Australia before your sponsor (your spouse or de facto partner) and you may not be able to get married or enter another relationship before you come to Australia either. You can find more information about the conditions here.
Conditions after your visa subclass 100 is granted
Comply with Australian Laws. You need to abide by Australian laws when you’re on the permanent partner visa subclass 100. Australian permanent residents can have their visas cancelled and be deported if they commit serious crimes – even if you are still married or living with your de facto partner. So, you and your family must comply with Australian law while you’re an Australian permanent resident. It is only when you are granted Australian citizenship that you no longer have conditions attached to your visa.
Resident Return Visa for Travel After 5 Years. You must apply for a resident return visa (RRV) if you want to travel after 5 years from the date your application is approved. You should lodge your application for your RRV online. An RRV lets permanent residents return to Australia after your travel validity period expires. The length of travel validity provided in your RRV will depend on your circumstances, since it is granted to people based on how long they have spent in Australia in the last 5 years.
When can I apply for partner visa subclass 100?
The Permanent partner visa subclass 100 is an offshore partner visa. This means you can submit your visa application when you are in a de facto relationship or married to an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and you are outside Australia.
You should usually wait until you are 18 years or older to apply. You must live with your spouse or de facto partner for 12 months before you apply. You cannot apply until your relationship is a de facto relationship, which means:
- You are committed to a shared life together.
- You have a genuine and continuing relationship.
- You are not related by family.
- You live together – and have lived together for 12 months (unless an exception applies).
- Time you spent dating, either in person or online, does not count as part of your de facto relationship. Your de facto relationship starts 12 months from when you start living together.
- You must be able to prove the date you moved in together. Most applicants provide copies of documents like a lease, home purchase, and joint utilities bills to prove this.
Timing Your Temporary and Permanent Partner Visa Applications
You must apply for the temporary and permanent partner visas at the same time. This means you must meet all of the eligibility requirements for the temporary partner visa before you submit your visa application. You only pay the application fee once when you submit both of your applications.
How long will it take for a decision to be made on your subclass 100 visa application?
The Department of Home Affairs processes most subclass 100 visa applications within 24 months. 75% of applications are determined within 18 months and 90% are assessed within 2 years. Your processing time may be longer than this if you don’t supply all the documents with your application or if you don’t provide all the information the Immigration Department needs about you relationship.
What happens once the 100 visa is granted?
You become a permanent resident on the day the visa application is granted. This permanent partner visa subclass 100 lets you:
- Stay in Australia indefinitely.
- Work and study in Australia.
- Sponsor your family members.
- Travel to and from Australia for 5 years.
- Attend free English language classes.
- Apply for Australian citizenship in due course.
- Enrol in Australia’s healthcare system – Medicare.
- Enter a new relationship if you and your visa partner separate or divorce.
Most newly-arrived residents will need to wait to access the social payments and benefits offered by the Australian Government. Depending on which visa you hold, you may wait up to 4 years before you can access most benefits, payments or services. You will must support yourself during this period.
What happens if the 100 visa is refused?
If your visa is refused, you will receive an explanation about why the visa has been refused and whether you have a right to a review of the decision. If your visa is refused, you should reach out to an immigration lawyer for assistance straight away. You must submit paperwork for your review very quickly – usually within 30 days. If you don’t do so, you will lose your right to review and appeal the decision.
Don’t lose hope if your visa application is refused. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has jurisdiction to review decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs, so you may be able to have the refusal overturned. Again, you should seek legal advice if this happens to you.
Your application fee will not be refunded if your visa application is refused.
Seek Help With Your Application From a Migration Agent
Your migration pathway to Australia is complicated. You must meet all the requirements, show that you are eligible to apply, and lodge your application in a certain way. Working with an experienced migration agent will make the process easier and less stressful.
Altria’s qualified migration agents will let you know which pathway works best for you, so you receive a visa you can stay in Australia on. We’ll help you gather the documents to prove your relationship with your partner is genuine and continuing and we’ll work with you until you receive your visa grant.
Finally, we’ll work with you to develop a migration pathway that gets your entire family sponsored – so you don’t need to spend time apart from your loved ones. If that sounds good to you, contact us for a free consultation with a migration expert.