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Permanent Partner Visa 801 in Australia – How to Apply

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Dreaming of building a life in Australia with your partner? Sharing your love story with the stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and relaxed lifestyle of the Land Down Under can be a reality with the Partner Visa 801. This visa allows the spouse or de facto partner (someone you’re in a committed relationship with but not married to) of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to permanently live, work, and study in Australia.

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However, before you pack your bags and head to the beach, there are some important steps to take. This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know about the Partner Visa 801 in 2024, including eligibility requirements, the application process, necessary documents, and processing times.

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Understanding Partner Visas in Australia

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There are two main types of partner visas in Australia:

  • Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820): This visa allows you to live in Australia temporarily with your partner. After two years, you may be eligible to apply for the permanent Partner Visa 801.
  • Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801): This visa grants you permanent residency in Australia, allowing you to live, work, and study there indefinitely. You can also sponsor qualified family members to visit Australia and eventually apply for permanent residency themselves. Additionally, holders of the Partner Visa 801 are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.

Who Can Apply for a Partner Visa 801?

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To be eligible for a Partner Visa 801, you must meet the following criteria:

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  • Hold a Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820): In most cases, you will need to have first applied for and received a temporary partner visa before applying for the permanent visa.
  • Be in a Relationship for Two Years: You must have been in a continuous relationship with your partner for at least two years at the time of applying for the 801 visa. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if you were already in a de facto relationship when your sponsor received their visa.
  • Meet the Relationship Requirements: Your relationship with your partner must be genuine and ongoing. You must be either legally married or in a de facto relationship. You must live together and intend to continue living together in the future.
  • Meet Health and Character Requirements: You and any dependents applying with you will need to pass health checks and character assessments.
  • Have No Debts to the Australian Government: You and any family members applying with you cannot have any outstanding debts to the Australian government.
  • Meet the Child Considerations (if applicable): If you have children under 18 who are included in the visa application, the Department of Home Affairs will consider their best interests when assessing your application.
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Important Note: The high denial rate for partner visas in 2016 (47%) highlights the importance of ensuring you meet all the criteria and providing strong evidence of your genuine relationship.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Partner Visa 801

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The application process for the Partner Visa 801 can seem daunting, but following these steps will help you navigate it smoothly:

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Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

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Before diving into the application process, ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements mentioned above. Review the information on the official Australian Government website (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/) to confirm your situation.

Step 2: Gather Your Documents

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Obtaining the necessary documents is crucial for a successful application. Here’s an overview of what you might need (the exact list may vary depending on your circumstances):

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Partner Visa 801 Checklist:
  • Visa application forms: This includes the application form itself (including your passport details and those of any dependents) and the visa award notification for your temporary partner visa (Subclass 820).
  • Statutory Declarations: These are sworn statements verifying the genuineness of your relationship. You’ll need statutory declarations from yourself, your partner, and at least two people who can confirm your relationship (not family or friends).
  • Personal Documents: These documents provide evidence of your shared life and relationship. Examples include:
  • Proof of shared accommodation: This could be a joint lease agreement, mortgage documents, utility bills, or documents proving joint ownership of property.
  • Proof of shared finances: Examples include joint bank accounts, combined insurance policies, joint bills, and other financial statements reflecting your shared life.
  • Proof of joint correspondence: This includes items addressed to both of you at the same address, such as bills, bank statements, and other.
  • Photographs: Include a variety of photos showcasing your relationship throughout the past two years.
  • Evidence of social connections: If you’ve participated in social events together, include photos or invitations as proof.

Step 3: Apply for the Partner Visa 801

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You can apply for the Partner Visa 801 online through your ImmiAccount. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the process:

  1. Log in to your ImmiAccount.
  2. Select “New Application” and then choose “Family” followed by “Stage 2: Permanent Partner Visa Assessment.”
  3. Carefully fill out the application form, ensuring all information is accurate and complete.
  4. Attach all required and supporting documents to your application.
  5. Pay the application fee (which is subject to change, so check the official website for current costs) and submit your application online.

Step 4: Wait for the Visa Outcome

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Once you submit your application, the waiting game begins. Processing times can vary, but typically, a decision on the Partner Visa 801 is made within 24 months of the approval of your temporary partner visa (Subclass 820). You can track the progress of your application through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

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The Outcome:

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The Department of Home Affairs will notify you of the outcome via mail.

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  • Visa Granted: If your application is successful, you’ll receive a letter with your visa grant number, expiry dates, and any specific conditions attached to your visa.
  • Visa Refused: Unfortunately, if your application is refused, the department will inform you of the reasons for the refusal and advise you on your appeal rights (if applicable).

Additional Tips for a Successful Application:

  • Seek Professional Help: Considering the complexities involved, consulting a registered migration agent experienced in partner visa applications can be highly beneficial. They can guide you through the process, ensure you meet all the requirements, and help prepare a strong application.
  • Be Prepared for Scrutiny: The Department of Home Affairs takes relationship genuineness very seriously. Ensure you provide strong and compelling evidence that demonstrates a genuine and ongoing relationship. This can involve documenting your shared history, social connections, and future plans together.
  • Stay Organized: Keep all your documents, photos, and other evidence well-organized throughout the process. This will save you time and ensure you have everything readily available when needed.
  • Be Patient: Processing times can be lengthy. Patience and staying organized are key during this waiting period.

Building Your Future in Australia

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Obtaining the Partner Visa 801 opens doors to a new life in Australia. It allows you to live, work, and study permanently alongside your partner, contribute to the vibrant Australian community, and explore the wonders of this magnificent country. Remember, thorough preparation, meeting all the requirements, and providing compelling evidence of your relationship are crucial for a successful application. With careful planning and dedication, you can turn your dream of building a life in Australia with your partner into a reality.

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