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All You Need to Know About Australia’s Onshore Partner Visa 820

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Are you dreaming of building a life in Australia with your partner? The Onshore Partner Visa (subclass 820) might be the key to making that dream a reality. This visa allows the partner or de facto spouse of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to temporarily live, work, and study in Australia. It’s the first step on the path towards permanent residency through the Partner Visa (subclass 801).

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This guide is here to break down everything you need to know about the Onshore Partner Visa 820 in 2024, from eligibility requirements to the application process and beyond.

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Understanding the Two-Stage Process: Temporary to Permanent Residency

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The Australian Partner Visa is a two-stage process. First, you’ll apply for the Onshore Partner Visa 820. After living in Australia for two years on this visa and meeting specific requirements, you can then apply for the Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801). This allows you to permanently reside and work in Australia with your partner.

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Having the 820 visa gives you valuable time to settle into life in Australia, gather evidence of your genuine and continuing relationship with your partner, and prepare for the permanent residency application.

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Who Can Apply for the Onshore Partner Visa 820?

  • Be in a Relationship: You must be in a committed relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. This can be a marriage, a de facto relationship (living together as a couple), or a same-sex relationship.
  • Age Requirement: Both you and your partner must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Genuine and Continuing Relationship: You must be in a genuine and continuing relationship with your sponsor (your partner). This means your relationship is legitimate and has a history. Evidence to prove this will be required during the application process.
  • Living Together Requirement: If you’re in a de facto relationship, you must have been living together with your partner for a minimum of 12 months before applying.
  • Health and Character Requirements: You must meet health requirements and pass a character test conducted by the Australian government. This involves providing police certificates from countries where you’ve resided for extended periods.
  • No Sponsorship History: Your sponsor should not have sponsored anyone else for a partner visa in the past five years (with some exceptions).
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Important Note: It’s crucial to be physically present in Australia when you lodge your application for the Onshore Partner Visa 820.

The Onshore Partner Visa 820 Application Process

  1. Check Your Eligibility: Before diving into the application process, double-check that you meet all the eligibility requirements mentioned earlier.
  2. Gather Your Documents: One of the most crucial steps involves collecting all the necessary documents. This includes personal documents like certified copies of your passport, birth certificate, and national ID card. You’ll also need evidence of your relationship with your partner. This could include joint bank statements, bills with shared addresses, photos together, and statutory declarations from people who can vouch for your relationship’s authenticity. Additionally, you’ll need proof of health insurance and police clearances.
  3. Apply Online: The application is completed electronically through the ImmiAccount website, the Australian Department of Home Affairs online portal. Here, you’ll choose “New application” followed by “Family” and then select “Stage 1: Partner Visa or Prospective Marriage Visa.” The application form needs to be downloaded and completed thoroughly.
  4. Attach Required Documents: Once the application form is filled out, attach all your supporting documents electronically.
  5. Pay the Visa Application Fee: The current combined application fee for the Partner Visa (subclass 820/801) is A$8,085 (Australian Dollars). There are additional fees for any dependents you may have included in your application. Remember, these fees are subject to change, so check the official website for the latest figures.
  6. Submitting Your Application: After you’ve completed the form, attached all necessary documents, and paid the fees, submit your application electronically through ImmiAccount.
  7. Wait for the Visa Outcome: After submitting your application, the Department of Home Affairs will process it and contact you regarding the outcome. Processing times can vary depending on individual circumstances, but currently, it can take anywhere between 23 and 26 months.
  8. Possible Application Outcomes: There are three possible outcomes to your Onshore Partner Visa 820 application:
    • Grant: If your application is successful, you’ll receive a notification with details about your visa grant number, start and end dates, and any specific conditions attached to your visa. This allows you to live temporarily in Australia, work and study, and access Medicare, the national health insurance scheme.
    • Request for Further Information: Sometimes, the Department of Home Affairs might request additional information or clarification on aspects of your application. This doesn’t necessarily mean your application is rejected. Carefully review the request and provide the necessary documents promptly to avoid delays.
    • Refusal: If your application is refused, you’ll receive a notification outlining the reasons for the refusal and your appeal rights, if any. Understanding the reasons for refusal will be crucial if you decide to reapply or seek legal advice.

What Happens After Getting the 820 Visa?

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Once you receive your Onshore Partner Visa 820, you can finally start building your life in Australia with your partner. Here’s what you can expect:

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  • Work and Study Rights: You’ll have the right to work and study in Australia. This allows you to contribute to the economy and pursue further education or training.
  • Medicare Access: You’ll be eligible for Medicare, granting you access to the Australian public healthcare system.
  • Travel: You can travel freely within and outside of Australia, although there might be limitations depending on your visa conditions.
  • Preparing for Permanent Residency: The 820 visa gives you two valuable years to solidify your life in Australia and gather evidence to support your application for the permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801). This evidence will showcase your ongoing and genuine relationship with your partner.

Conclusion:

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The Onshore Partner Visa 820 can be a gateway to building a life with your loved one in Australia. By carefully understanding the eligibility criteria, the application process, and what to expect after receiving the visa, you can embark on this exciting journey with confidence. Remember, thorough preparation, complete documentation, and potentially seeking professional guidance from migration agents can significantly increase your chances of a successful application. So, take the first step towards your Australian dream, and good luck!

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