What are Partner Visa application stages?

I’m confused about the Partner Visa Stages 1 and 2?

First off, please don’t stress. Many people get confused about the different stages so we will explain them here.

When you apply for a Partner Visa, either the Subclass 309 (Offshore Partner Visa) or the Subclass 820 (Onshore Partner Visa), you will go through two ‘stepping stones’ on your journey to securing Permanent Residency. (Please note this advice EXCLUDES the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) process which involves an EXTRA stepping stone and we’ll address that in a separate video).

If you are going for the Subclass 309, your first step / stage 1 is to apply when you are OFFSHORE or OUTSIDE Australia. Alternatively, if you’re INSIDE Australia, you will be applying for the 820. In both case and unbeknownst to you, when you first apply for either the Offshore or Onshore Visa, you’re actually making a double application. What this means for you is that you’re in fact also asking Immigration to consider you for the second stepping stone, the Permanent Partner Visa Stage, which happens later down the track. There’s nothing extra you need to add to get the second stepping stone started. However, even though you may be unaware of this, keep in mind that you are indirectly applying for the Permanent Partner Visa at the same time.

So, I’m applying for both Visas at the same time?

Yes, that’s effectively how it works. Your first step is to apply for the temporary or provisional Partner Visa. To recap, you would go for the Subclass 309 Visa if you’re OUTSIDE Australia and the Subclass 820 Visa if you’re INSIDE Australia. These are both temporary / provisional Partner Visas.

And then, two years from your date of application for either one of these Visas, the Department of Home Affairs / Immigration should reach out and inform you it’s time for you to prepare for the Permanent Partner Visa. As mentioned, you’ve already applied for it two years prior, but they just haven’t asked for an update or evidence for it. So, please remember, that two years from the date you lodged the first stepping stone for either the ‘309’ or the ‘820’, Immigration will start to consider you for the Permanent Partner Visa.

If you lodged from OUTSIDE of Australia, your Permanent Partner Visa or second stepping stone / stage 2 will be the Subclass 100 Visa. If you were INSIDE Australia when you first applied, your Permanent Visa or second stepping stone / stage 2, is the Subclass 801 Visa.

Will Immigration contact me once the two years from the application date is up?

Unfortunately, there have been cases where the Department of Home Affairs / Immigration has not reached out at the two year qualification mark to advise that it’s time to provide the required evidence to support the full Permanent Partner Visa application.

And so we would strongly advise you to seriously keep in mind that two year anniversary date, the date two years ahead of your first Visa application. Mark it on your calendar, set a reminder to contact the Department or reach out to us at Freedom Migration and we’ll advise you on what to do next.

We hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to comment, we love getting your feedback and will reply to any questions you may have.

IMPORTANT: Please note, this does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law is constantly changing. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.

  • Lopha Yubia says:

    I am applying for a partner visa from outside of Australia (309) do I need to wait till the second stage after two years before I can live in Australia or can I move there after stage one is approved?

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi Lopha, thanks for your question. If you were granted the 309 Visa then you could move to Australia immediately. When are you planning on applying for the 309?

  • Lyn says:

    My Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) will be expiring by Feb 2019, my partner and I got married this Dec. 2018 which visa should I be filing next? is it the 820?

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi Lyn, thanks for your question.
      Subject to you meeting all the other criteria the Subclass 820 would be the next step.

  • kris says:

    Hi there ,

    Do i have to apply for Stage 1 and 2 visa in the beginning ? say, if i apply for Stage 1 visa for now , i can go back to immi account to apply for stage visa in a 2 year time frame , is that right ?

  • Josephine says:

    Hi, normaly how long does it take to get a partner visa granted, once you have received a notification from the department stating that you should exit the country since the visa was applied offshore?
    thank you.

  • Diego says:

    Thank you so much by explaining super accurate the law, Very useful!

  • Upasana says:

    Hi, I have applied for my partner visa 309 and its been 8 months now and I still have not received any update from the Immigration team. Can you please suggest how long this would take?

  • Jamie says:

    Do we need to apply for Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia(300,309/100,820/801) after submitting stage 1 application.

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Jamie, what visa are you applying for? The 3 subclasses you have mentioned above are very different.

  • Q says:

    I applied for the 309 visa in July 2019 and received an interview call from the Australian embassy here in my country on the 25th of February 2020. I was not requested for any further documents on call or by mail. How long will I have to wait for the decision on my visa now ?

  • Shamila says:

    Hi. My name is shamila. I have lodged my partner 309 visa application on april of 2019. He did his biometric and medical examination on april 2019. It’s almost a year since i lodged his application and still no news from the department. Can u advice how long more it will take? Thanks

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Shamila, it sounds like that they are working on your case. In the meantime, you can view the advertised processing time from the Department here.

  • Barrie says:

    My wife applied and was granted a partner visa subclass 309. She activated it by arriving in Australia for a holiday however we are still living in the UK. We applied in April 2016 so the 2 years would have been April 2018.

    Is it 2 years from application even if you are not yet living in Australia?

    Her immi account still says that her visa subclass is 309 and we have received no correspondence.

  • Riyam raoof says:

    Hi I applied for my husband in 11/3/2020 he lived in syria and because COVID-19 he can’t make the health examination so what can we do about that because the imo in syria not reopen yet and how can i see my processing time on the imgration website?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Riyam, I’m sorry about your husband’s situation. Did you use an agent with your application?

  • Riyam raoof says:

    Does the current situation delay the study of visa applications, admiration of studying them only, without traveling only, studying and processing the application?

  • Erin says:

    My partner and I applied for 820 in December 2018, the temporary visa has been granted and now we have received an email telling us to log-in and start a new application under family > stage 2. It’s 21 pages long and is asking alot of the same questions from the original application.. I am confused as I thought I submitted 1 & 2 in 2018? Am I supposed to start a “new application” for stage 2? Warmest Regards.

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Erin, best to give us a call at 07 3063 1200 so we can talk you through the process.

  • S. Sridevi says:

    How much time does it take to get a provisional visa. I have applied in the month of sept 2020

  • S. Sridevi says:

    I have a three year old son and my husband has been staying in australia since 2017. Does having a child expediates the process and were there any such cases. I am anxious as due to different situations , we couldn’t apply before and I am a working professional as well with 13 years experience

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Sridevi, we feel that this matter is best discussed in private. Please give our office a call at 07 3063 1200 as we’d love to help!

  • Aidan says:

    So my partner and children have completed all medical exams police clearances etc. On my immiaccount it says stage 1 complete further assessment. What exactly happens next?

  • Eduard says:

    Hi, I applied for the partner visa stage to inside Australia 2 and a half toward ago, just recently i got an email from the department saying “ Your partner visa stage 2 ( subclass 100) has been granted” Is this the right visa ?

  • Asela says:

    We applied for our subclass 820 in 2017 and haven’t received any decision yet☹️

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Asela, we are so sorry to hear that. Please give us a call at 07 3063 1200. We’d like to assist you and help you move forward with your application.

  • Nadz says:

    this is the best explanation out there! Thanks so much

  • About the Author Emma Drynan MARN0960361

    Emma is the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. She is extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because she's a product of a partner visa family.

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