Partner 820 & 309 visa – Comprehensive 12 step guide

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Prepare and lodge your onshore 820/801 or offshore 309/100 partner (spouse or de facto relationship) visa application in 12 steps from checking your visa eligibility to the Department’s decision:

 

Check that you and your sponsor are eligible

 

Check all the partner visa applicant and sponsor requirements, and relationship requirements that need to be satisfied for the approval of your sponsorship and visa application.

 

If you and your sponsor can apply on the basis of your de-facto or spouse relationship, then you need to check whether you have sufficient supporting evidence of your relationship to proceed with your application.

 

Check supporting documents required and start preparing

 

You need to organise the relevant supporting documents for your application, as well as statutory declarations for both yourself and your sponsor which will outline the history and circumstances of your relationship – and English translations if applicable.

 

For your online partner visa application, you just need to upload clear scanned copies for all supporting documents. You do not need to provide certified or notarised copies unless the case officer specifically asks for this which is generally rare.

 

You can only upload a total of 60 documents to your visa application after lodgement, and you can also upload a total of 60 documents to your sponsor’s application. With your visa application, we generally recommend uploading up to 40 documents after the lodgement of your visa application. This would give you space to upload at least another 20 further documents after lodgement to demonstrate your continuing relationship during the Department’s processing time, and also to provide further information and documents in case you receive any Department requests after lodgement for further information.

 

This does mean that you will need to compile multiple documents into a single PDF or Microsoft Word document. You can screenshot your computer or phone and save this as a single image for upload, or copy and paste and compile these into a Microsoft Word document.

 

You should be compiling and organising your relationship related documents and images into single file PDF or Word documents such as:

 

  • Social Invitations to wedding, birthdays etc.
  • Social Photos 2011-2014
  • Social Tickets or receipts
  • Social Holiday to USA
  • Household Gas bills 2017
  • Household Council rates 2017
  • Household Rent expenses 2017
  • Financial Joint account 2011-2013
  • Form 888 sponsor father

 

With your photos, you can use Paint in Windows or Paintbrush in Apples to add brief caption text to your photos to add some information and context to the photos which can help your case officer understand what you are trying to demonstrate, such as the below example:

 

Caption added

 

You don’t necessarily need to undertake compiling for all your documents, as it is appropriate to upload some documents just as single file documents such as:

 

  • ID documents such as passport
  • Police clearances
  • Marriage certificate

 

In relation to the documents that you should have ready at the time that you lodge your visa application, so that you can upload these to your visa application after lodgement, we provide the following recommendations:

 

  • You should upload as many documents as possible, and as you have available after lodgement
  • You don’t have to have all your supporting documents organised and uploaded to your visa application immediately after lodgement. You can log back into your Immiaccount at any time after lodgement and continue to upload further supporting documents
  • There is no strict deadline by which you need to upload your documents after you pay and lodge your visa application. Given the Department’s long processing times, your application will likely be sitting in the Department’s processing queue for a number of months before this is allocated to any case officer. However, we don’t recommend that you delay the uploading of your documents. You should upload as many documents as possible, as soon as possible
  • You can provide your police clearances after you lodge your visa application during the Department’s processing time. You don’t necessarily need to have all your police clearances at the time that you lodge your visa application

 

Please see our suggested documents checklist in relation to the supporting documents and relationship evidence that you can organise for your visa application.

 

Preparing your statutory declarations

 

Yourself and your sponsor both need to prepare detailed supporting declarations, which explain various aspects of your relationship such as the development, social aspect, financial aspect etc. of your relationship. Please see guide for preparing your declarations, and detailed statutory declaration example.

 

The following are common questions in relation to preparing your statutory declarations:

 

Question Answer
Can we prepare a joint declaration? No because a statutory declaration is sworn and signed by one person only
Do we need to prepare two separate and different declarations for the same relationship history? Yes
Can our declarations be the same or similar? Yes but you shouldn’t really be completely copying and pasting each other’s declarations. Overlap and similarities are acceptable since your writing about the same relationship and history, but you still need to prepare two separate declarations written from your individual perspectives
My partner’s English isn’t very good – should he or she write his or her declaration in his or her native language and translate this? This would be the most accurate way for the applicant or sponsor to provide the relevant information to the Department.

 

We have had instances where the Department has accepted statutory declarations that were prepared in English for the visa applicant or sponsor, and this information was explained to the visa applicant or sponsor in their native language, before the visa applicant or sponsor arranged for swearing of the relevant statutory declaration.

 

We recommend having your statutory declarations ready at the time that you lodge your applications, so that yourself and your sponsor have a clear understanding of your relationship history and information that you have provided to the Department.

 

Prepare your online application form

 

You firstly need to create an Immiaccount with the Department’s website before you can access the online forms.

 

After you log into your account, use the following links:

 

  1. New application (top left)
  2. Family
  3. Stage 1 – Partner or Prospective Marriage Visa (300,309/100,820/801)
  4. With the sponsorship form (Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia (300,309/100,820/801)), you prepare and lodge this after you pay for and lodge your partner visa. You need to lodge a valid partner visa before you can proceed with the online sponsorship form, as you need the Transaction Reference Number (TRN) from your partner visa application when you prepare the sponsorship form

 

Online form

 

The following are common questions in relation to preparing your online application form:

 

Question Answer
Applicant’s Immediate Family Members section – I don’t have exact details for my parents and/or other family members such as dates of birth, or marriage date. Can I provide an approximate date based on best available information and recollection? Yes this is fine. The same applies for the section asking for the sponsor’s family’s details.
Date committed relationship began AND Date applicant and sponsor committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others: Your answers for these dates should be the same. You can both decide your own date for when this occurred based on your relationship history – this doesn’t necessarily need to be the date that you started living together/got married/got engaged etc.
Has the applicant lived separately and apart from the sponsor for any periods of time since committing to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others? You are allowed to be temporarily living apart, as long as you intend to live together on a permanent basis in the future.  If you are living apart, then you should provide the Department with an explanation in relation to why you are living apart on a temporary basis (e.g. due to visa issues, ability to work, temporary family/business obligations outside of Australia etc.), and when you will be living together on a permanent and long term basis.
Relationship details

In the following questions, details of the relationship between the applicant and sponsor must be provided and should form the basis of the applicant’s claim that their relationship with their sponsor is genuine and continuing.

Give details of the financial aspects of the relationship

Give details of the nature of the household

etc.

If you have both prepared separate statutory declarations for your application, then you can refer the Department to your declarations which address the same relationship details and considerations – such as by answering:

Please see attached statutory declaration

 

Test Partner Biljana

 

Check whether you can proceed with lodgement or you need more time/evidence

 

Before paying and lodging your partner visa application, you need to consider whether the timing is right for you to lodge your partner visa application, or if you need more time to accumulate evidence and organise your application:

 

If you are applying on the basis of your marriage spouse relationship, then you need to consider:

 

  1. Have we sufficiently explained how we met and the initial development of our relationship before marriage?
  2. Have we provided sufficient evidence to account for this initial period of our relationship before marriage? (less important if you have a long term relationship of 2-3 years of longer, and child or children from your relationship if applicable)
  3. Have we explained and demonstrated how we organise and arrange our household and domestic affairs and duties?
  4. Have we demonstrated our financial commitments together?
  5. Have we shown that our marriage is accepted and supported by our friends and/or family?
  6. Have we provided the Department with an outline of our post-visa lodgement plans as a family?
  7. Have we organised evidence of our Honeymoon, post marriage celebrations, religious or culture events attended after marriage ceremony etc.? (less important if you have a long term relationship of 2-3 years of longer, and child or children from your relationship if applicable)
  8. Do we have a clear plan for the further evidence that we will organise post-lodgement (particularly for offshore partner visas if you are separated during the Department’s processing time and it is difficult to organise time living together)?

 

If you are applying on the basis of your de facto relationship, then you need to consider:

 

  1. Have we provided clear evidence that our relationship has existed for at least the last 12 months before lodgement (unless an exemption applies)?
  2. Have we provided sufficient evidence and information to account for the initial development of our relationship before we committed into our exclusive and committed relationship?
  3. Can we provide the Department with clear evidence for when we started our committed into our exclusive and committed relationship such as: evidence of starting to live together, opening a joint account together, registering your relationship or applying for this etc.?
  4. Have we explained and demonstrated how we organise and arrange our household and domestic affairs and duties?
  5. Have we demonstrated our financial commitments together?
  6. Have we shown that our relationship is accepted and supported by our friends and/or family?
  7. Do we have a clear plan for the further evidence that we will organise post-lodgement (particularly for offshore partner visas if you are separated during the Department’s processing time and it is difficult to organise time living together)?

 

By this step, you should also check that your relationship and application are ready for lodgement:

 

  1. Does your spouse or de facto relationship satisfy the relevant requirements?
  2. Does the sponsor satisfy the sponsorship requirements?
  3. Does the visa applicant satisfy the health and character requirements?
  4. Have you prepared your application form?
  5. Have you organised sufficient, clear and understandable supporting evidence of your relationship?
  6. Have you prepared your detailed supporting declarations?
  7. Do you have your post lodgement documents organised and ready for upload?
  8. Do you have a clear plan for the further supporting documents and relationship evidence that you will organise after lodgement?

 

 

Test Partner Quyen

 

Asking someone you trust to help with review and feedback

 

You should take your organised application and supporting documents to some one that you trust, but does not know all the history and details of your partner and relationship, and ask them to review this and see if they understand your application. Your case officer would really be in a similar position when they first review your application.

 

Your friend or family just need to check your application and confirm that they understand your relationship circumstances and history based on your declarations and documents. They don’t have to have any technical understanding of the law, as they are just checking whether your application is easy to understand.

 

The assessment of a partner visa application is like most other forms of assessments and tests in life – if you are organised, clear and don’t give your case officer / assessor a hard time, then this can really help towards getting your visa approved.

 

Prepare visa application fees

 

The current government lodgement fee is very steep unfortunately – the government lodgement fee is AUD $7,000.00 for both onshore and offshore partner visa applications.

 

If you are including any child or children in your application, then the additional application fees are:

 

  • Child aged under 18: AUD $1,755.00
  • Child aged 18 and over: AUD $3,505

 

If you pay for your visa application charges, sponsorship or nomination fees by card or by an online payment, a surcharge may apply. The current surcharge rates are:

 

  • Visa and MasterCard* — 0.98%
  • American Express and JCB — 1.4%
  • Diners Club International — 1.99%
  • ChinaUnion Pay — 1.90%
  • PayPal — 1.00%

 

The surcharge will also apply to Debit Visa cards and Debit MasterCards when making payments online. In Australia, you can use your BPAY account to pay the government fees which does not have any associated transaction charge.

 

Lodge your visa application, upload your documents and book health exams

 

The Department’s online system requires you to pay for the application before you access the next webpage which is the checklist for uploading documents:

 

Uploading documents

 

From this ​page, you can upload your supporting documents to the relevant categories, and also access your HAP ID using the ‘view health assessment’ link. You can use your HAP ID to book and complete the required health examinations for your visa application. With your health examination results, these are considered to be valid for a period of 12 months. Given that the Department’s total processing time is now often longer than 12 months, you can consider delaying booking and completing your health examinations until 3-6 months after you lodge your visa application. This should help to ensure that your health examination results are valid at the time that the Department assesses and decides your visa application.

 

Tips in relation to uploading documents to your visa application, and sponsorship application (which creates a separate application that allows you to upload documents to this):

 

  • Not all categories are relevant for your application so you don’t necessarily need to upload documents for all categories
  • If you have supporting documents that don’t seem to fall into any of the suggested categories, you can use the ‘Other documents’ category
  • With some documents such as your passport and birth certificate, these will appear as options in multiple categories / drop down menus. You just need to upload these documents once to any appropriate category (i.e. don’t upload the same document multiple times under different categories)
  • In your Immiaccount, after you lodge your visa application and sponsorship application (see below step 8 instructions), you should see two applications in your Immiaccount. You can upload a total of up to 60 separate documents/files to your visa application, and your sponsorship application. As explained above, because of this document/file upload limit, you do need to plan, organise and compile your documents before you upload these
  • Documents which you upload to your visa application are not automatically transferred or uploaded to your sponsor’s sponsorship application (and vice versa). We suggest that you upload all your supporting documents and relationship evidence to your visa application only. You should only need to upload the following documents/files to your sponsor’s sponsorship application, and you will also need to upload these same documents to your visa application as these documents are not automatically transferred or uploaded your visa application:
    • Sponsor’s passport
    • Sponsor’s birth certificate
    • Sponsor’s other ID documents such as driver’s license, national ID card etc.
    • Sponsor’s police clearances
    • Sponsor’s Form 80 if applicable

 

Complete and submit your sponsorship form

 

With the sponsorship form (Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia (300,309/100,820/801)), you prepare and lodge this after you pay for and lodge your partner visa. You can use the same Immiaccount to prepare and lodge your sponsorship form – you don’t have to create a separate Immiaccount for this. You need to lodge a valid partner visa before you can proceed with the online sponsorship form, as you need the Transaction Reference Number (TRN) from your partner visa application when you prepare the sponsorship form.

 

You should prepare and lodge your sponsorship form either shortly after you lodge your visa application, or within 2-4 weeks of lodging your visa application. You shouldn’t delay too long with preparing and lodging your online sponsorship form, which shouldn’t take too long since a lot of the questions are the same as the visa application form.

 

Department’s processing time and gathering further evidence

 

The Department’s processing time for both onshore and offshore partner visa applications are unfortunately very lengthy at the moment. The Department’s current processing times are approximately:

 

Onshore 820 temporary partner visa: 16 – 24 months or potentially longer depending on the complexity of your application

Offshore 309 temporary partner visa:  16 – 20 months or potentially longer depending on the complexity of your application

Permanent residency 801 or 100 partner visa: 16 – 20 months or potentially longer depending on the complexity of your application

 

Please note that the above information is only providing estimated processing time information based on our recent experience, and actual processing times will vary for each individual application. Generally speaking, more complicated applications which may have issues satisfying the relevant legal requirements may take the Department longer to assess and decide.

 

Please also see the Department’s website in relation to current processing time information for onshore partner visa and offshore partner visa:

 

Stream 75 per cent of applications processed 90 per cent of applications processed
​820 – Temporary visa 17 months ​25 months
801 – Permanent visa ​​15 months ​​22 months

 

Stream 75 per cent of applications processed 90 per cent of applications processed
​309 – Provisional visa ​13 months 18 months
​​100 – Permanent visa 18 months 24 months

 

Last updated 19 June 2018 (for month ending 31 May 2018)

 

Given the Department’s very long processing times for all partner visa applications, it has now become increasingly important to continue to accumulate and organise documents of your on-going relationship and upload these to your visa application during the Department’s processing time.

 

Tips in relation to organising and uploading further documents of your relationship during the Department’s processing time:

 

  • The amount of documents and further evidence that you need to organise and upload after lodgement does depend on the circumstances of your relationship, application and how much supporting evidence that you were able to provide at the time of lodgement
  • If you only recently met your partner and got married shortly before lodging your visa application, then you and your sponsor would need to spend more time and make more of an effort post lodgement to ensure that you are continuing to accumulate strong and further evidence of your relationship, to remove/address any potential doubt about the genuineness of your marriage and relationship. The Department does seem to place a strong emphasis on long term joint financial commitments, so we suggest that you ensure that you arrange your financial affairs and accounts so that you can demonstrate this. Your supporting evidence may include:
    • Maintain joint account where your salaries are paid directly into this account, and you both regularly use this account for your general living expenses
    • Maintain a joint savings account, where you both regularly contribute to this savings account for your future use such as purchasing a property together. You don’t have to contribute equal amounts, as it is more important to show that you have both contributed regularly to this account over a reasonable period of time
    • Arrange for regular international fund transfers to your partner’s account overseas if you are separated during the Department’s processing time. We suggest that you arrange for these regular transfers to show your on-going financial support to each other during your time apart. We recommend these transfers even if your partner that is receiving these funds does not need these funds, as it is just important to accumulate the on-going financial evidence. You can just save these funds overseas and bring these back to Australia after visa approval
  • If you and your sponsor have clear and strong evidence of your long term relationship (e.g. a relationship of 2-3 years or longer, and child or children from your relationship if applicable), then you should have plenty of evidence of your long term relationship at the time of lodgement. You should still continue to accumulate evidence of your relationship during the Department’s processing time and upload these to your application, but such evidence should be less critical in the Department’s assessment and decision for your application. We suggest that for such long term relationships, you just need to accumulate further evidence of your:
    • Joint financial ties and arrangements
    • Household expenses and bills
    • Education and expenses for your child or children if applicable
    • Social invitations and photos of significant events such as weddings, Christmas, birthdays etc.
  • If you lodged an offshore 309/100 partner visa application, then we suggest that you should organise trips to see each other during the Department’s processing time. Ideally, you should try and spend as much time as possible living together during the Department’s processing time. This may mean a visitor visa application, or if the visa applicant is not eligible for a visitor visa due to prior migration compliance issues and/or a current bar which prevents the grant of a visitor visa, then the sponsor should travel overseas and spend some time with the visa applicant

 

Responding to Department requests (if applicable)

 

If you have followed the steps in this guide, then generally speaking, the Department should have most of the information and documents that is needed to assess and decide your application.

 

You may still receive a Department request for further information and documents, for a number of different reasons, such as:

 

  • If you need to complete your health examinations and/or upload your police clearances, or if your sponsor needs to provide his or her police clearances. If you receive such a request, then you shouldn’t really be concerned. You just need to complete the items requested by the Department and then follow the below instructions in relation to responding to your request via your Immiaccount.

 

  • If the Department just wants updated and current information in relation to your relationship before deciding your application, then generally speaking, the Department will send you the following generic request information which can look rather daunting when you first look at this as the Department seems to be asking you to provide some of the same information that you previously provided already:

 

Department request

  • If you receive such a request, then you should note: 
    • Receiving such a request doesn’t necessarily mean that your Department case officer has any issues with your application, as these requests are very common now days even if you have submitted comprehensive evidence of your relationship already
    • You can upload recent relevant evidence of your relationship and organise this in response to the Department’s request, such as your recent joint account statements, household bills and expenses etc.
    • We generally suggest preparing another statutory declaration to accompany the new information and documents that you upload, in which you should provide your case officer with an update in relation to the current and recent circumstances of your relationship and household, including the financial, social etc. aspects of your relationship and household (your declaration can be much briefer than your earlier declaration as you are just providing the Department with an update in relation to your current circumstances). You can also explain to your case officer how this is demonstrated by the new additional information and documents that you are uploading. This should help your case officer understand how and why your relationship satisfy the relevant legal requirements, rather than just leaving it to the case officer to assess and interpret your documents and information 

 

  • If the Department has particular concerns about your visa application, your sponsor and/or your relationship which you need to address, then these items will generally be stated under a heading called ‘Other requirements’. For example, the Department may ask you to provide:
    • Evidence of contacts between you and sponsor while you are apart (if you lodged an offshore partner visa and if you are separated during the Department’s processing time)

 

The Department’s correspondence will confirm the deadline by which you need to respond. If you are in Australia, then generally speaking, you are given 28 days to provide the requested information and/or documents.

 

Please have particular attention to the date by which you need to respond to any Department request. If you need more time to collect the requested information and/or documents, then you should send a request asking for this extension at least 3-4 working days before the deadline by which you need to respond. Your case officer should grant this extension, however, whether you are granted an extension is still at the discretion of your case officer, who can deny your request.

 

Once you have collected all the relevant information and documents required in response to the Department’s request checklist, you can upload your new information and documents to your application via your Immiaccount. You can then use the ‘I confirm I have provided information as requested’ link to inform the Department that you have responded to their request. Once you have used this link in your Immiaccount, you do not need to take any further action, send emails or call to inform the Department.

 

Once you have responded to the Department’s request, we find that it may still be some time before your visa application is finalised and decided. Generally speaking, the Department may take another 2-6 months to decide and finalise your visa application, once you have responded to an earlier Department request.

 

The Department may also send further requests for information and documents if the Department believes that this is necessary before a decision can be made.

 

Department’s decision

 

If the Department approves your application, then congratulations!

 

You will receive either a temporary visa (while you complete a wait period before you can lodge your permanent partner visa application, which is approximately two years after the date of lodgement of your initial application), or you can be granted a permanent residency partner visa directly (with 5 years of international travel facility) if your relationship satisfies the long-standing relationship requirements.

 

If the Department unfortunately refuses your visa partner application, then we may be able to assist with appealing to the Tribunal and/or preparing and lodging a new application with the Department, with updated and new additional documents and information which was previously not provided to the Department.

 

Other useful online resources

 

 

External links:

 


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Ruchit Patel

Hii

my name is Ruchit
my visa was refused bcz of finance reason. i have applied for the AAT
CAN I APPLY PARTNER VISA?