Subclass 309 Partner (Provisional) visaPartner (Provisional) visa

This visa lets the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen live in Australia temporarily. Getting this visa is the first step towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).

With this visa you can

  • stay in Australia until we decide your permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100) or the application is withdrawn
  • work in Australia
  • study in Australia (you will not receive government support)
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want
  • attend up to 510 hours of free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
  • enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare

How long you can stay

  • Stay on the visa until we decide your permanent visa (subclass 100) application or you withdraw the application.
  • For most applicants, this stay is from 15 to 24 months.

In some circumstances, including where you have been in a long term relationship before you apply, you might not stay on the 309 visa at all. Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) might grant you the permanent visa immediately after we grant the temporary 309 visa.

Include family members

You can include your members of the family unit in your application. You can:

  • include them when you lodge your visa application
  • add a dependent child after you lodge your application but before we decide on your temporary visa.

Family members who apply with you must:

  • meet Australian Government’s health requirement
  • meet Australian Government’s character requirement
  • be outside Australia
  • You can also add them after we grant the temporary visa.

Apply from

Usually, you must be outside Australia when you apply for this visa. You must be outside Australia when Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) decide your temporary visa application.

Processing times

Your application might take longer to process if:

  • you do not fill it in correctly
  • you don’t include all required documents or we need more information from you
  • it takes time to verify your information

Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) can’t process your application if you do not pay the correct visa application charge. We will notify you if this is the case.

Your obligations

You and your family members must meet all visa conditions and obey Australian laws.
See what conditions might be attached to this visa.
Note: You must enter Australia before the date specified in your grant letter. The first entry date is generally set at 12 months from the date of visa grant.

Travel

You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want.
Note: You must make your first entry to Australia as the holder of this visa before the date specified in your visa grant letter. The first entry date is generally set at 12 months from the date of visa grant.

Visa label

Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport

Eligibility

Meet relationship requirements
In most cases, you must be the spouse or de facto partner of an:

Australian citizen

Australian permanent resident or
eligible New Zealand citizen
Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different sex.

You might still be eligible for the visa if your relationship breaks down or your sponsor dies while Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) is considering your application.

Married applicants

To be a married applicant:
you and your spouse must both be committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others
your relationship with your spouse must be genuine and continuing
you must live with your spouse or do not live apart on a permanent basis
your marriage must be valid under Australian law
To find out if your marriage is valid under Australian law, contact the relevant state or territory agency for births, deaths and marriages.

De facto partners

To be a de facto partner, you must be in a de facto relationship.

you and your partner are in a de facto relationship if all these apply:

  • that you are not married to each other
  • you are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • you are not related by family

Usually your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa. Time spent dating or in an online relationship might not count as being in a de facto relationship.

The 12-month requirement will not apply if you can show us compelling and compassionate circumstances exist to grant the subclass 820 visa.

The 12-month requirement also will not apply if:

  • your partner holds or held a permanent humanitarian visa
  • your de facto relationship existed before we granted their visa
  • you de facto partner told us about the relationship before we granted their visa

It also will not apply if you:

  • are in a de facto relationship with a partner who is an applicant for a permanent humanitarian visa, or
  • you have registered your relationship with an Australian authority such as a registry of births, deaths and marriages
  • You might still be granted the temporary visa if your relationship has broken down or if your sponsor died.
  • Have a sponsor – You must have a sponsor when you lodge your application and when you are on this visa.

Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) must approve your sponsor. There are limitations on approval.

You can’t change your sponsor. The person who sponsors you when you apply for the visa must be same person who sponsors you for 2 years after we grant your temporary 309 Partner visa.

Be the right age

Married applicants must usually, be 18 or older when they apply. This is because usually, you must be 18 or older to be married under Australian law.

Applicants in de facto relationships must be 18 or older when they apply.

Meet Australian Government (Department of Home Affairs) health requirement
You, and any member of the family unit or dependent child who applies for the visa with you, must meet our health requirement. Family members who don’t accompany you to Australia might also need to meet our health requirement.

Meet our character requirement

You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement.

Pay your debts to the Australian Government

If you or any family members (including those who don’t apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.

Best interests of the child

We might not grant this visa if it is not in the best interests of an applicant under 18.

Not had a visa cancelled or an application refused
You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.

You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.

Step 1

Before you apply
You might want to organise health examinations or get help with your application.

Get help with your application
You don’t have to use a migration agent to apply for any visa. But if you want to, see how to find a registered migration agent.

Anyone can help you fill out forms or give you general help with your application. But you must let us know if you want someone to:

receive your correspondence
provide immigration assistance and act for you

Step 2

Gather your documents
Provide accurate, authentic documents. See what happens if you provide false or misleading documents or information.

Identity documents
Provide a birth certificate showing the names of both parents.

If you can’t provide this, provide one of the following:

identification pages of a family book showing the names of both parents
identification pages of an identification document issued by the government
provide identification pages of a court-issued document that proves your identity
identification pages of a family census register
Also provide:

the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates
a national identity card, if you have one
proof of change of name, if applicable, such as:
a marriage or divorce certificate
change of name documents from an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or the relevant overseas authority
documents that show other names you have been known by

Your relationship with your partner
If you are married, provide your marriage certificate or other evidence that your marriage is valid in Australia. If you are a de facto partner, provide proof of your de facto relationship.

This proof should show that:

you have a mutual commitment with your spouse of de facto partner to the exclusion of all others
your relationship is genuine and continuing
you either live together or don’t live permanently apart
you are not related by family
Tell us in writing about:

how, when and where you first met
how the relationship developed
when you moved in together, got engaged or married
what you do together
time you spent apart
significant events in the relationship
your plans for the future
Finances

Show us how you and your partner share financial matters. You could give us:

joint mortgage or lease documents
joint loan documents for major assets like homes, cars or major appliances
bank joint account statements
household bills in both names
Your household

Show us how you and your partner share domestic matters. You could give us:

a statement about how you share housework
household bills in both names
mail or emails addressed to you both
documents that show joint responsibility for children
documents that prove your living arrangements
Social matters

Show us that others know about your relationship. You could give us:

joint invitations or evidence you go out together
proof you have friends in common
provide proof you have told government, public or commercial bodies about your relationship
proof you do joint sporting, cultural or social activities together
proof you travel together
statutory declarations from your partner’s parents, family members, relatives and friends about how they see your relationship. You can use Form 888 Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application (162KB PDF)
Commitment

Show us how you are committed to a long-term relationship with each other. You could give us:

proof you have knowledge of each other’s background, family situation or other personal details. You could tell us this at an interview
proof you have combined your personal matters
the terms of your wills
proof you stay in touch when apart

Additional proof of a de facto relationship
In addition to documents proving your relationship, show us you have been in your de facto relationship for at least 12 months before you applied for this visa.

If you haven’t been in the relationship for 12 months, tell us in writing why the 12-month requirement does not apply. For example:

provide evidence you have registered your relationship with an Australian births, deaths and marriages agency, or
explain any compelling and compassionate circumstances exist to grant the visa

Other relationships
If you have previously been married, widowed, divorced or permanently separated, provide divorce documents, death certificates, separation documents or statutory declarations.

Character documents
Provide an Australian police certificate if you have spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia in the last 10 years since you turned 16.

We only accept complete disclosure National Police Certificates issued by the Australian Federal Police. We do not accept standard disclosure certificates or national police certificates issued by Australian state or territory police.

Also provide:

an overseas police certificate from every country, including your home country, where you spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since you turned 16
military service records or discharge papers if you served in the armed forces of any country
Complete and provide Form 80 Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (554KB PDF)
Tell us you are getting help
To nominate someone to:

receive your correspondence, use Form 956a Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient (298KB PDF)
provide immigration advice, use Form 956 Advice by a migration agent/exempt person of providing immigration assistance (297KB PDF)
act for you but not provide immigration assistance, let us know in writing what they can do on your behalf (such as submit or withdraw an application for you). Upload your written notification in ImmiAccount
See more about getting help with your application.

Dependants under 18 documents
For every dependant under 18 years old who is applying with you provide:

identity documents
proof of your relationship with your dependant, like a birth or marriage certificate
character documents, if the dependant is 16 or 17 years of age
adoption papers or parental court orders, if applicable
proof of enrolment at school, college or university, if applicable
proof of sole custody, if applicable

Parental responsibility documents
You must get consent for any applicant under 18 years of age to migrate to Australia from anyone who:

has a legal right to decide where the child lives and
is not coming to Australia with the child
They must complete either:

Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (168KB PDF)
a statutory declaration giving their consent for the child to visit Australia on this visa
Alternatively, you can show us:

an Australian court order that allows your child to migrate to Australia, or
that the laws of your home country allow them to migrate
Include:

an identity document that shows the signature and photo of the person who completed the form or declaration, such as a passport or driver’s licence
adoption papers or other court documents if applicable

Dependants over 18 documents
For every dependant 18 years old or older who is applying with you provide:

identity documents
documents about their other relationships, if applicable
character documents, if applicable
adoption papers or parental court orders, if applicable
Proof of dependency
You need to prove that this person is dependent on you. Provide:

a completed Form 47a – Details of a child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (241KB PDF)
proof of your relationship with the dependant such as a birth certificate or adoption papers
You must also prove this person has been financially dependent on you for at least 12 months before you apply. You could provide:

proof they live with you
their tax records
proof they are currently studying

Prepare your documents
New step description
Translate
Have all non-English documents translated into English.

Translators in Australia must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

Translators outside Australia do not have to be accredited. But on each translation, they must include their:

full name
address and telephone number
qualifications and experience in the language they are translating
These details must be in English.

Note: You do not need to have any documents certified.

Scan or photograph
Scan or photograph all documents (English and non-English) in colour.

The scans and photos must be legible.

If a document is more than 1 page, save it all as 1 file.

Keep
Keep a copy of your completed application.

Step 3

Apply for the visa
You must apply:

online
outside Australia

Provide accurate information
See what happens if you can’t prove your identity or don’t provide true information.

Apply online
Complete your application in ImmiAccount. If you do not have an ImmiAccount login, you will be asked to create a new account.
Pay the visa application charge. We won’t process your application until you have paid the charge.
Also, submit your application and note the transaction reference number (TRN). Your sponsor will need the TRN to apply for sponsorship.
Attach supporting documents to your completed application.

Step 4

After you apply
See what to do after you apply.

Status updates
If it is within standard processing times do not call. We can’t provide any further updates on your application’s progress. You can see if we have asked for more information in your ImmiAccount

What will happen after you apply
We will confirm your application has been lodged.

Travel
Do not arrange to travel to Australia until we let you know, in writing, that we have granted you the subclass 309 visa.

You must be outside Australia when we decide on your application.

Biometrics
We might ask for biometrics. We will let you know if you need to provide them.

Health exams
You need to have health exams. We suggest you:

check how long it is taking us to process applications for this visa at this time
organise your exams 1 to 2 months before that time
Or, you can or wait for us to contact you about the exams.

Learn more about the health requirement.

Attach more information
If you did not attach all documents when you applied, attach them in ImmiAccount as soon as you can.

We might also ask you to provide more information.

If we learn anything about you that could affect your application, we will usually contact you.

Add family members
You can add a dependent child to your application before we decide on your visa.

Complete and attach Form 1436 – Adding an additional applicant after lodgement (392KB PDF) and attach it to your ImmiAccount.

Newborn Children
Find out what to do if your child is born after you apply.

Mistakes on your application
Let us know as soon as you can.

Complete Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answers (168KB PDF) and attach it to your ImmiAccount.

Tell us if things change
Tell us if things change after you lodge your application but before we’ve made a decision.

Things you need to let us know about include:

changes to your phone number, address or passport
changes to your marital or de facto status
the birth of a child
any other changes relevant to your application
a request to withdraw your application
See what to do if your situation changes.

If your relationship ends
Contact us as soon as possible using the Partner (permanent) processing centres enquiry form.

Step 5

Visa outcome
You must be outside Australia when we decide on your temporary visa application.

We will let you know our decision in writing.

If we grant your visa, we will tell you:

your visa grant number
the date your visa starts
your visa conditions, if applicable
Keep a copy of the decision.

If we refuse your visa, we will tell you:

why we refused the visa
whether you have a right to a review of the decision
We will not refund the application fee if we refuse your application.