What’s the difference between an Australian Spouse Visa, Partner Visa, De Facto Visa?

Spouse Visa, Partner Visa, De Facto Visa — they are all the same Partner Visa essentially!

There is no de facto visa, there is no spouse visa, there is no partner visa. They are all one visa. The difference is actually if you are applying for an offshore partner visa or an onshore partner visa.

If you are applying for a partner visa, you are applying on the basis of being in a de facto relationship means you have lived together for 12 months or you’re in a Married/Spousal relationship, so you’re husband and wife.

The terms can be confusing as different people call it different things. The Department of Immigration tend to use the term Partner Visa.

There is another visa class called a prospective marriage visa, but we will explain that in another video.

The main point to take away is, don’t get confused by the different terms! They are ultimately all the same visa. It’s a Partner Visa and it’s either applied for from outside of Australia (Offshore application which is a subclass 309 visa) or inside Australia (Onshore Application which is a subclass 820 visa).

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.

  • Liza c.penaloza says:

    Is bridging visa and de facto visa is the same?

  • ctw says:

    why would anyone apply under marriage visa if the partner visa is on step shorter?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Charlie, are you talking about the Prospective Marriage Visa?

      • Andre says:

        Hi Emma, may I ask if I would to apply for partner visa through the de-fecto method, can I still marry my partner later on? As currently there is no marriage ceremony being held in Victoria.

        • Emma Drynan says:

          Hi Andre, are you planning on getting married soon? We would love to learn more about your story so we can guide you further in your application. Please call our office at 07 3063 1200 or get in touch with us here https://www.freedommigration.com/contact-us

          • Rajpal singh says:

            Hi my wife is already in australia . I have applied for new visa by chnging her course and applied for new student visa with mine . How much time will it take.

          • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

            Sorry, we don’t deal with Student Visas.

  • Min says:

    Hi emma, I just want to ask if what will be the good option for me and my bf. He’s australian and i am on a student visa. We want to process partner visa but we don’t live together. Can we still process it or get married?

  • Thorn Taipari says:

    Hello Emma my mother has been married to her husband for over 20 years her husband is an Australian citizen but my mum is still a new Zealand citizen ,I’m wondering how long or what the process time and rights for her to claim permanent residency or Australian citizenship?

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Thorn, thanks for posting your enquiry on our page. However, this is a matter we feel best discussed in private as we will need more information about your parent’s marriage and relationship of 20 years. As for processing times, it varies from application to application and we still need to discuss the best path your mother can take. Please give us a call at 07 3063 1200 or book a consult with one of our Migration Agents as we’d love to help your parents move forward with their application.

      You can book here: https://www.freedommigration.com/how-to-book-a-visa-planning-session/

  • Irah Beam Yanson says:

    Hello Emma, need your help. I am in my bridging visa for now and waiting for my 820 subclass to be approved. We registered that visa as a defacto relationship. We are planning to get married soon, are we allowed to do that or it could have a risk on my visa application. Please answer. thank you

  • 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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