Things To Know Before Applying For An Australian Partner Visa 820

A couple of weeks ago I pressed submit on what is probably one of the most significant applications I will make in my lifetime. Sounds dramatic but essentially whether I can continue to live and work (for myself) in Oz with my Aussie fiancé is now in the hands of the Department of Immigration. It’s taken months of paperwork to get this point and we’re by no means in the clear yet (estimated processing time is currently 12 to 18 months) but I thought I would share some of my insights into the application process in case there is anyone out there thinking of doing the same.

We didn’t hire an immigration lawyer as our situation is pretty clear cut but below are some of the things we wished we’d known before we started.

  • Start the process early. I mean really early. I first looked up the requirements for this visa about a year before we decided to apply for it so that I knew what was necessary way in advance. Even so, it took me about 3 months from the point of downloading the form to the point of submitting it to gather all the evidence and prepare the required paperwork. If you are applying from within Australia don’t leave it until you are nearing the end of your current visa – it will just cause unnecessary stress to get it in before the deadline.
  • The paper application form is different to the online version. Because I am a super-organised (anal) person I downloaded the paper version of the form and filled out my answers in draft. Then because it requires less photocopying and printing I decided to submit the actual form online and thought I could read off my draft sheet to write my answers in. That’s not quite the case! In some places the online form wanted more information than I had prepared so my pre-planning didn’t really speed things up. It would have been better to simply choose which version to apply with at the beginning and stuck to it.
  • Your personal details. You are going to need certified copies of your identification such as passport and birth certificate as well as those of your partner. If in Australia these documents can be certified free of charge by a Justice of the Peace – I popped into the Supreme Court in Sydney and saw someone within minutes.
  • Police check. You are required to have a police certificate for any country you have lived in for more than 12 months. If you are from the UK you will need to apply via post and pay £45 for the paperwork. It takes about 12 weeks for them to send the form back. If it doesn’t come back by the time you want to submit your application you can attach a copy of the request form in the meantime.
  • Your family details. One of the things I wasn’t expecting the form to ask was the full name and date of birth of all my siblings, parents, step parents and half siblings. We’re a big family so it took a while to double check these details. For any family members that are married you will also need to state their wedding date (online form only). You’ll also need to do the same for your partner’s family.
  • The 12 month requirement. For a de facto partner visa you need to be able to prove you have been in a committed relationship for more than 12 months. If you have lived together (like Justin and I) for a number of years than submitting rental agreements and utility bills will be sufficient. For couples who have lived with family or travelled during that time, supplying the evidence can be a little harder. Evidence that can be submitted include joint travel tickets, joint bills, joint bank accounts, communication, statutory declarations and photographs.
  • The social factor. You are also required to prove that you have a shared social life. Aside from years worth of joint travel arrangements, Justin and I found this a little hard to prove (I tend to throw old paperwork out!). Things that are considered are joint membership to clubs, joint invitations, joint mail – so start collecting these items as soon as you think about applying.
  • Domestic and financial arrangements. Be prepared to have to declare things like how the domestic duties are divided in your household and your financial arrangements.
  • Statutory Declarations. A minimum of 2 statutory declarations from Australian citizens who know you and your partner are required to show the legitimacy of your relationship. Witnesses will need to complete a Form 888 and have it certified along with their passport.
  • Bridging visas. If you apply within Australia you will be granted a bridging visa which gives you the right to remain whilst your application is considered. If you apply online the bridging visa comes through instantly. Most applicants are granted a Bridging Visa A which gives you the right to work but does not permit travel. If you want to leave Australia whilst your application is being processed then you will need to apply for Bridging Visa B at the time of travel, and fees will apply.
  • Applying online. Once you have completed the online form and paid the fee (ouch) you will be taken to a page where you can upload your supporting evidence. This page includes multiple categories of evidence you can upload but to find out what is required for this specific visa you need to consult a separate document checklist. The maximum file size is not stated but I discovered that pdfs with multiple images are too large so be aware that you may need to cut file sizes down or split them into separate documents.
  • Fees. The current fee for a de factor partner visa if applying within Australia is $6865 (if you apply outside of Australia it’s slightly less at $4630). If paying by card (which was the only option for online applications) there is a $75 transaction fee (ouch again).
  • Ask for help. I called the Department Of Immigration about 3 times before I even started my application form as I had questions over the bridging visas and when I should apply. (On that note: I was advised to apply as soon as possible as we already met the 12 month criteria and the sooner you apply the sooner you are processed. Bridging visas only come into effect when your current substantive visa expires. For me, this means I can continue to travel up to the point my Working Holiday Visa expires, after which the bridging visa takes effect and I’ll need to seek permission to travel for work.) Each time I called the department I was able to leave a message and someone called me back the same day. I found everyone I spoke to really helpful and thorough, when I was working myself into knots over an issue one lady I spoke to asked me to simply tell her what I was worried about and then she addressed each of those concerns.

Fingers crossed we’ve submitted everything we were supposed to or a case worker will ask us for more if not. Good luck to anyone about to embark on this process. I hope some of these insights will prove helpful.

Update: My temporary partner visa 820 was granted on 12th March 2016. Yay! Read more here!!

Update 2: Please note that I cannot answer emails regarding your personal visa applications. I provided these insights as I know it is a confusing process but I am not qualified to answer questions related to the specific circumstances of your applications. I recommend you call the Immigration Department with any questions – they proved very helpful during our application process. As my inbox has been inundated with emails over the last few months I have no choice but to delete them going forward. Feel free to post any questions in the comments below as other readers may be able to help you. Thanks for your understanding.

Find more Australian partner visa related posts here and here.


  • Stacey says:

    Good luck with your application! I’ve had to apply for UK visas twice so I understand how anxious you must be feeling. Will definitely keep this post bookmarked in case I decide to move back to Australia with my partner. I’m actually shocked about how expensive the partner visa is, though!

    • Jeannette says:

      Hi all I I am from Denmark and I am with my husband that is from Australia… We apply for the partner visa, but In the form it say if I was married before I need to send the old married paper too what do I do when I don’t have them ?

  • Hi Jayne!

    I’ve written a post about the 820 partner visa too as my partner is also Aussie! I applied for mine last year and have included a video on how to apply if anyone is interested!

    Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  • I would give my left tit to have the opportunity you have. I spent 2+ years in Aus on a working holiday and then visitor visa and have been back in the UK since 2010 absolutely miserable. I cant even look at TV shows or photos of Australia, it absolutely stole my heart and it’s just too painful to look at what I can’t have. I’m self employed and have no skills that can get me into the UK, nor can I afford to study there. My chances are well and truly up of ever living there, unless, of course, if I met and married and Aussie, but as you’ve lovingly pointed out, it’s a hell of a thing to get the de facto visa. I’m utterly heartbroken that I dont live in Australia and feel like life isnt worth it some days. At times I wish I never went there so I would never know what I was missing. Im even getting tearful typing this. Thank your lucky lucky stars and I wish you all the best for the decision in your favour altho it sounds like you were extremely thorough and legit, so congratulations.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Wow I never thought of it like that before, thank so much for sharing your story. I agree it’s a wonderful place to live and we’re very happy here which is why going through all the paperwork will hopefully be worth it in the end. I’m sure you’ve probably considered all the options already but I have a lot of expat friends over here who have been sponsored to work in the digital/social media industry – there are lots of opportunities in that arena if you were interested. Then once you have been here a number of years (I don’t know the exact number) you can apply for Permanent Residency and go back to being self-employed. I imagine you have probably already looked into this but its just a thought as I know a few people doing the same.

  • Sorry, I meant get me into Aus, not the UK!

  • Lizzy says:

    This post came at the right time! We’re going to submit my application in the next couple of months and i’m already terrified (although I’ve been with my b.f for a couple of years and lived with him for over a year!). It’s such a lot of money, and I’m so shocked at how much it has gone up over the past couple of years. Can’t wait to have it all over and done with!

    Good luck with it 🙂

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Thanks, good luck to you too! We felt the exact same way. The price increased by 50% between us starting the process and getting the form in so we had to find more ways to fund it!

  • Danika says:

    Far out! I’m an Australian living in Spain with my Spanish partner, and have recently gone through the whole legal process to stay here. It literally cost 10 euros down at the foreigner’s office. But freaking $5,000! Sorry mum and dad, I think I’ll stay here a little longer…

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      WOW I thought it might have been a bit easier/cheaper to move my Aussie partner to Europe with me but that’s a substantial difference isn’t it! We feel like we have to stay here a while now to make the most of what we’ve paid :s

  • Tahlia says:

    Hi, it’s so good to read about your experience. I applied for the 820 de facto visa in January this year so it’s really nice to hear from people who applied about the same time. I did mine on paper though, and sent everything off. It’s was a pretty huge package by the end of it!
    I hope you’ll post updates when you hear anything from DIBP, it would be great to read 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      I can imagine how much paper that must have been. We kept copies of everything here and it fills a drawer! I will certainly keep you updated. I’m currently waiting to hear back about a Bridging Visa B I applied for in July in order to travel for work so perhaps I should blog about that one next. Good luck with your application. J

  • Katelyn says:

    Hi Jayne,

    I was just wondering if you have received your visa yet, if so, how long did it take to be finalized after you submitted all the documents.


    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Katelyn,

      As far as I can tell my application is yet to be assigned to a case officer. We’ve been told to expect it to take 18 months to 2 years to get processed and it’s only been 8 months so far – I’ve heard nothing from the department at all to date.



  • Tahlia says:

    How did you go with the BVB application? Ive just applied for my second BVB and I’m waiting to hear if that’s granted. My Partner and I hope to go back to England for Christmas, although I’m slightly nervous as its my second application, I really hope they say yes!

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Tahlia, I was just thinking about doing the same thing! I found the first BVB fairly pain-free although it was nerve-wracking waiting until 2 weeks beforehand to get the permission. I got 3 months approval but it ends just after Xmas so I’m thinking about applying for a 2nd so I can go home for new year. Have no idea if I’ll get it though. I think it depends on the process time for the original visa and as we both probably still have a long wait hopefully we’ll get approval?! Good luck.

      • Tahlia says:

        Hi again,

        I wanted to let you know my second BVB was approved a few days ago, I did take almost 6 weeks from when I applied, I was getting very nervous but I think that was due to the fact I don’t travel until the end of December. They were prioritising people who travel earlier than I do!

        • Jayne Gorman says:

          That’s great news! Mine just came through yesterday too. Happy travels and Christmas in the UK to both of us 🙂

          • Tahlia says:

            How exciting! My Partner has never been to the UK, I cant wait to show him around. He’s ever seen snow either so we’ve booked a week stay in Iceland too, Very excited for that! Just gotta get through the next few week at work 🙂

  • Katy says:

    Hi, I am just about to start the process of completing the application I’m an Aussie with an English fiance.

    What was the time scale that they give you for the visa to be processed? I have been getting so many different answers improves, estimated times etc.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Katy, when I applied online in April the website had a note on the application page saying the standard processing is 12 to 18 months. It’s been 8 months so far and we’ve no contact with anyone yet. Hope this helps a little!

  • Katy says:

    Thank you! How did you get started in your application? Did you just do it online? And does it differentiate in price if you are offshore?

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Yes it costs more to apply within Australia. Plus if you apply within Australia you have to stay here until it is granted. Likewise if you apply outside Oz you have to wait for approval before coming over. I applied online in the end. Originally I was going to apply on paper but the paperwork and photocopying/printing started getting really expensive so I switched to online instead. However I found the online form is slightly different to the paper form so I would recommend picking 1 and sticking to it – I wasted time changing mine!

  • Katy says:

    Hey sorry for the thousand questions it’s just good to hear from someone whose applied. And the websites are just blagging my head.

    Do you have to pay for your visa before you start the application? & are you able to select then whether you are on or off shore?

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Katy, no problem. You pay for the visa once you’ve completed all the sections and want to submit the form. You can start applying and fill it in over a period of time. However, I believe you have to complete a different form depending on when you are on shore or off shore so you will need to have decided that from the start.

      Best, Jayne

  • Katy says:

    Thank you Jayne. One last question (sorry), did you use an agent before you paid and submitted?

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hiya, no we didn’t as our case is quite cut and dry. We have friends who used agents as they didn’t have rental agreements or joint finances to show as evidence so needed help proving some factors. This almost doubles the price but I guess you get peace of mind.

  • Katy says:

    That’s great to hear. Thanks for answering my questions. We’ve got a little boy together and due to get married next year so hopefully ours is easy too! All the best x

  • Lucy Frank says:

    Hi. Great post, I am about to apply for this visa with my boyfriend, he is Brazilian and I am Australian.

    Did you Australian partner also need to provide police checks for every country he has been in for 12 months?

    Thank you

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Lucy, we were unsure about that bit too! We haven’t at this stage but we may be asked for them when we get assigned a case officer.

      • Lucy Frank says:

        Hi Jayne. Okay great so as of the first stage I wont supply mine but he will supply his for every country he has lived in for over 12 months.?

        So since April they haven’t made any contact with you? Did they confirm receiving your application?

        I am so glad that I came across your blog! I am starting to get stressed about the application and cant decide if I should go for a lawyer or not. We have had a period of seperation because I was away on exchange and dont have a joint lease. Do you think this is an issue.

        Thank you

        • Jayne Gorman says:

          Hi Lucy,

          No problem – I completely understand how stressful it is 🙂

          When we applied I immediately got sent a bridging visa (as I was already in Oz) and a receipt/tracking number but I’ve heard nothing further since April.

          We supplied a police check for me from the UK as that’s the only place I’ve stayed for longer than 12 months. Justin’s lived there too for over 12 months but I wasn’t sure if it was needed for him so we haven’t done it as yet.

          The lawyer question is tough. Our friends had one who were good at explaining clearly what was and wasn’t required but it still came down to them to source and provide all the documents so it doesn’t necessarily make it easier. I guess it depends if you are confident you can provide evidence of your relationship whilst you were separated – photos, emails, travel tickets etc. It might also help to call the immigration office. They have a call back service and I’ve always found the team very helpful and friendly. They can help explain what you have to provide if you’re not sure.

  • Jordan Nathan says:

    Hey Jayne!

    I’m so glad that I stumbled across your blog! My partner and I just submitted our Partner Visa application and are in the process of uploading everything. I’m from the United States and my partner is Australian. I’m a bit organised and anal myself when it comes to things like this, so I had been gathering our documents for months before we submitted the application. I’m glad that I did, because it’s been less stressful not having to gather everything in a short amount of time. This has probably been one of the most stressful things I have every done, but I know it will all be worth it in the long run! I still have a lot more to do, but I actually called Immigration yesterday and they were very helpful with some questions I had and made my stress levels drop dramatically!

    I was hoping you could answer a few questions too!

    1. Did you have to fill out the 40SP form?
    2. What type of evidence did you include for nature of the household?
    3. What type of evidence did you include for commitment to each other?
    4. What type of evidence did you include for evidence of living together?

    I have evidence for all of these, but I was curious if I should add more or if I could get an idea of other things to add. And would you recommend giving as much evidence as possible or not over doing it?

    Thanks so much and I wish you and your partner the best of luck with this application!

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Jordan,

      Thanks so much. It sounds like you’ve had as much fun (read:stressful) a time as I have but it sounds like you’re well on your way to being sorted. Our friends who hired a lawyer were told to give as much as you could for each point. We didn’t include stacks and stacks of evidence, like some people do, but we tried to give at least 1 of everything we thought would be relevant – bills, photos, etc.

      In answer to your questions:

      1. Yes. My other half completed this one I’d done my application. From memory he had to include a reference number from my application to tie his in.
      2. We have several years of tenancy agreements, joint bills and joint bank accounts which we provided for both nature of the household and evidence of living together. We also included signed statements from ourselves about how we split housekeeping, meals, shopping etc day to day.
      3. We included copies of travel itineraries from when we flew across the world to meet each others families or attend family weddings together as well as photos and stat decs from friends which backed this up.
      4. Aside from those in qu 2 we also included joint mail/invitations/cards etc that had been sent to our address.

      I hope this helps. I’m by no means an expert but agree it’s good to swap stories with others who are applying in case you get more ideas 😉

      Good luck!

  • lost and homeless says:

    I was sponsored by a company in Australia on a 457 visa. Things were going well… I met my current partner, was making a decent wage, sold my possessions back home in the USA, settling in to my new life in Australia, made friends and a home for myself in Aus. Then after about a year, the company stopped paying staff their regular wages due to financial troubles. Not just me, but also Aussie staff. But because my visa was dependent on the sponsorship of the employer, I held onto the promises that money would come through. Fast forward almost 3 years, and no such luck. In the end, they owed me nearly $100K. I didn’t want to be separated from my partner… but we were broke because of this and the cost of the Australian partner visa is just far too dear. I was then unemployed (no sponsorship to legally work) for a year in Australia waiting to sort things out legally with the employer, but they are now in liquidation so I’ll probably never see my money now. We couldn’t afford to wait so long to get the visa even if we could borrow the money. I have to work! We decided to apply for a NZ partner visa based on my partner’s Aussie citizenship. It cost soooo much less and I received my temporary visa within weeks. With my Australian visa expiring, I had to leave, and now we are forced to be living apart until we can raise the money for him to join me here in NZ. I never thought falling in love overseas would be this hard and heartbreaking. This whole experience has just ruined our lives and I wish Australian Immigration wasn’t so greedy. The fees increased tremendously year to year, the processing times got longer, and they kept changing the rules. I put in my time…nearly 5 years in Aus. If my employer wasn’t so dodgy I could have citizenship by now, but Immigration didn’t seem to care. I don’t understand why Australia’s immigration process is so much more expensive and takes so long compared to everywhere else. Anyway… good luck to you! 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this. What a terrible experience for you. It certainly puts our experience into perspective – as although lengthy and pricey it has at least been fairly straight forward up until now. Wishing you the best of luck for life in NZ – you certainly deserve a smoother run in 2016. Hope you and your partner are reunited soon. J x

  • N says:

    I applied for my visa in May and still haven’t heard anything. Just wonderd if you got your answer yet?

    To me they said 10-14 months maybe shorter maybe longer, this no contact at all is killing me. My partner and I brought our tickets with in mind I maybe have to stay longer in Sweden but he really have to go home to his family, not a super situation really :/

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi N, we haven’t heard from anyone directly yet but I can see online that our application is now being processed. Have you checked the status online? It should give an idea of whether your form has been opened or not yet.

  • Z says:

    Hi, currently we are in a dilemma of deciding on which visa to put in. we have been thinking of prospective marriage visa (we just got engaged recently) and planned to get married in Perth early next year. however we have been living in two different countries (me in Singapore, and my fiancé in Australia), so I’m not too sure if the evidence we have gathered is sufficient to get through. the thought of being denied is pretty stressful and I’m not too sure what’s the implication of being denied. now I’m thinking of applying for a student visa – apply for a post grad course (6 months) and get married next year and will apply for partner visa (onshore) once my student visa expires. hopefully by the time we would have sufficient evidence (joint bills, joint account, living together etc) to support our application. still uncertain about which visa to lodge :/

  • Dags says:

    My partner and I have been together 7 months we sont know what to apply for she’s on tourist visa and want to be together and later get married but don’t qualify for partner visa and I am thinking of applying for visa extension again to qualify then partner visa later could anyone help us

    • Sen says:

      Hello Dags,
      you can register your relationship in most of the states of Australia. My partner and I are living in VIC, and when we decided apply de facto visa. Later on we had to register our relationship, as we don’t live together for a year, but in a relationship longer that a year! Just we couldn’t moved in quickly.
      After register our relationship, we don’t have to live 12 months together. However, to be eligible for register, you and your partner need to live 12 months in VIC. I think it is different for different states. Just have a look! 🙂

  • Kirra says:

    we are about to lodge our application in paper and will be paying by bank cheque does this get sent in with your application? And can you drop your application off in person?
    Thank you

  • Erin says:

    Hi Jayne! Thanks to you and LondonerInSydney this whole partner visa process has been pretty straight-forward, as our Canadian/Australian case is pretty standard! I too am baffled at the price of the visa, so much so that I’ve thought of applying for the 189 visa (Un-nominated Skilled Visa) simply because it’s half the price!

    My toughest obstacle thus far has actually been sorting out the payment for the visa after we apply. I’ve explained to the Immigration agents that I have $7000 in my Canadian account, but my credit card limit is less than that, naturally, to make the payment in one go. Even though it says on the payment page that instalment arrangements can be made for extenuating circumstances, we were denied split payments by Immi, one agent even going so far as to deny that it was even an option! It’s a big feat at 25 years old to have saved up over seven thousand dollars on my own, but these Immi guys seem unfussed about being helpful to young people. I’ll be writing them a big letter when this is all done, but mostly to tell them their website needs to stop taking us in circles trying to find information! Good thing the internet exists…

    Hope you can keep us up to date on your experience with this visa, and thank you for your blog!

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      O Erin, I completely understand your frustration. I had a similar experience where it took me days to work out how to even make the payment. I wasn’t sure if you’re applying online how the payment gets made. In the end we used a credit card that had just enough balance available but you would think it would be perfectly reasonable (and easy) to pay with different cards. I hope you got everything sorted in the end. Best of luck with your application!

  • Erin says:

    Yes, all paid!!! I went into an immigration office to change the terms of my bridging visa (Form 1005) as I’d like to start working ASAP (which is not possible when you’re on a tourist visa!). Excited to just get this all done. Could write a book…cheers for your help 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Gosh I didn’t even know that was an option! Glad you worked that out 🙂

    • Jess says:

      Hi Erin / Jayne and everyone

      I hope you can help! This is such a great site 🙂 I am from London been here 2 years went from working holiday to 457.

      Currently on a 457, hate my job, thinking of heading down the defacto route, been with aussie bf for 2 years and lived together for 1 now, registered relationship and have lots of evidence (enough I hope). A very expensive route to take this de facto isn’t it 🙁

      I understand if I leave my current 457 job to go onto de facto, one option is I would have to leave the country and come back on a tourist visa which from what I understand you can’t work on (for 3 months while it expires and bridging kicks in??) I might have read your post wrong but I see from what you have written it is possible to work while on tourist if you get a bridging visa? Or I am reading this wrong and this is because you let your current visa run out?

      Also I know that another option- moving straight from a 457 to defacto would mean I would have to either stay at employer until processed as you cant go onto a bridging from a 457 or find a new 457 sponsor but been so hard finding new job to transfer 457!!

      Anyone know any possible solutions, any tips much appropriated! I really need to work while de facto is processed and not at my current job.
      Sorry if i worded this wrong, confusing all this visa stuff !! thank you so much.:) xx

      • Jayne Gorman says:

        Hi Jess,

        Have you applied for a working holiday visa for Australia before? I only ask as this is the route I did it. When the working holiday ran out I transferred to a bridging visa that had work rights. I’m not sure what the situation is with a tourist visa but I think that as the substantive visa you are on must expire before the bridging kicks in this would mean you couldn’t work whilst on the 3 months tourist visa. Hopefully someone else in the comments has some suggestions for you…



  • Tahlia says:

    Hi Jayne, so I’ve been meaning to let you know, my visa was granted this week! It’s been a little over 13 months and I haven’t heard anything from them, aside from Bridging visa B grant notices, and they emailed me out of the blue and granted it! Fingers crossed yours is soon too! Good luck 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      O yay that’s so exciting, thanks so much for letting me know. I’m just at the stage where they’ve asked for the Form 80 and a medical check (fun!) So glad you’re all sorted though.

  • Nerissa says:

    Hello Jayne, wonder if you’ve been assigned a case worker yet? Was there much time between when you noticed it was being processed to receiving comms from case worker?
    We applied 820 on shore early May 2015… Still waiting and hoping it’s not long till we hear something.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Nerissa, we applied in April and haven’t been assigned a case worker yet but I did get an email last week saying they are ready to process my application and asking for a few more forms. I’ve been asked to fill out a Form 80 on personal character and also do an Aussie police check as I’ve now lived there for more than 12 consecutive months. I expect you’ll hear shortly if you applied early May.

  • Nerissa says:

    Very excited for you Jayne!
    Hubby has just applied for his national police check this week in prep for it. We must be close as you say. Good luck with the remainder of your paperwork. I’ll keep checking here to see how you’re going 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    Hi, I just found your blog and really found this post helpful. I read through many comments and responses. I was wondering when you were granted your bridging visa after you applied did that automatically allow you to work?

    Any info helps. Thanks

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Shelly, My bridging visa came through the minute after I applied online. Mine allows me to work and live in Australia and I think this is the standard Bridging visa that is issues. I read somewhere that if the visa you are currently on allows you to work then the Bridging visa will mirror those conditions. I was on a working holiday visa when I applied. Hope this helps! J

      • Celine says:

        I was on a tourist visa when I applied and has been granted a Bridging A and the right to work (after my tourist visa has expired). Not sure it depends on your current visa when you apply.

  • Erin says:

    Hey Shelly, you will be given a bridging visa automatically but unless you are already on a working visa (for example, a working holiday) you will have to wait until your current visa has run its course. I most likely will have to wait out my ETA visitor visa, which means no work, until the visa has expired. It’s unfortunate that the government website doesn’t advertise this, but it could be a good period to submit as many visa documents as possible and to perhaps do some pre research on working or perhaps volunteering. Wishing you the best!

  • Nerissa says:

    Hello Shelly,
    My partner was on a tourist visa (valid for 3 months each entry – which did not allow for working rites) however, we found out with the codes assigned to it, that should he apply for a bridging visa there wouldn’t be any ‘restrictions’.
    When we applied for the partner visa. This was automatically granted as a bridging visa but sat in the background (behind the scenes) until the ‘tourist visa’ ran out (after 3 months) then the moment that ‘ran out’ the bridging kicked in. With the bridging visa my partner had full work rites in Aus and could join medicare etc. It does depend on what type of holiday visa you have too and if it has any restrictions on it. I suggest you give immigration a call (have handy the details of any current visa’s as they can confirm with codes associated with it what a bridging visa may entail). They were always so helpful over the phone. I did ring a few migration agents too to confirm my understanding.
    Once he was in Aus we registered our relationship at the Melbourne Town Hall and subsequently were able to lodge our partner visa. We then married 6 months after that.
    Thanks to people like Jayne it’s been an easier journey.
    Ten months into our application we are close to being assigned to a case worker 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Hi Jayne,
    I didn’t exactly read all of the comments above but was wondering when exactly did you apply for the 820? I stumbled across your blog recently while randomly looking up anything that would put my anxious mind at ease that there are others waiting with me. I applied for my partner visa on the 15th of July 2015. I know it’s at least a 12-15 month wait but I haven’t really met/found anyone who applied around the same time and every month or so i get super anxious as to why my lawyer (I applied through an immigration lawyer) hasn’t told me that he has contact from immigration yet.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Christine,

      I applied in April 2015 and the first communication I had from the department was this month – i.e 11 months later. I received an email to say they are about to start processing my application and it included a list of documents that I should double-check I had submitted. There was a new document on the list that I had not previously heard of (a Form80) that takes a while to fill out. I also had to have a medical assessment and complete an Australian police check as I have now lived here for more than 12 months. If the processing time remains the same I expect you may hear something around June time. We’ve since been told that if I submit all the extra requirements by April 30 they estimate I’ll be approved by June 30.

      We didn’t use a lawyer and as I applied in Australia we don’t have a case worker. The communication comes straight from a department email address.

      I hope this helps!!


  • Mel says:

    This article is really helpful! I’m an Aussie blogger living in the UK and my UK bf and I have just started delving into the minefield that is an aussie partner visa for him. I found this really helpful, so thanks! And good luck with your application 🙂

  • Ella says:

    Hello Jayne!
    Me and my partner are applying for the visa 820 in August 2016. By then we would have been together for 2 years and 1 month. my partner came to england for 5months in which we lived with my parents.. Do you know if we can use that if we had mail going to that address? We then came back to australia and lived together for 6 months and can prove this.. Just last week signed a rental lease in melbourne so in total by the time we apply we will have lived together for 16 months and we can prove the other months that we wernt living together that we were still in a relationship.. Also we have a relationship certificate from nsw and cant believe that we cannot apply for the victoria one as we have not lived there in the past 12 months but my partner was there 6 years before that! Thanks so much for you blog.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Ella, Yes, as far as I’m aware, as long as you can prove you both resided at that address (which it sounds like you can) then that totally counts as evidence of the length of relationship. Good luck!

  • Jayne Gorman says:

    Hi All, I received a surprise in my inbox this weekend – my temporary partner visa has been granted! You can find out more about the final parts of the process here >

  • Celine says:

    I’m so happy for you !
    Thanks for your article. I applied in January, from Australia, and was anxious to see that my immigration status is still the same. My husband is very confident because we are married for 15 years and have had 3 children together but…
    Read your experience is a relief. Thanks again.

  • Sodi says:

    Hello again!
    We just got a letter asking for additional information as we completed a Victorian Police Check not Federal.

    Is it just the Australian Federal Police Check that you complete online or does it require finger prints? We have 28 days to complete so wanting to make sure we select the right one. Your help is much appreciated!

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Sodi, I got an email saying I needed to do an AFP check but fingerprints were not needed. It might be different in each state though so I would recommend you check with immigration. I found in NSW that they reply to emails pretty quickly. Best, Jayne

  • Cris says:

    Hi Jayne, 1st thank you for share your experience with everyone it makes really helpful your blog and the information that you provided. 2nd congratulations on the visa that is great news! I Will be applying for the visa 820 in a few weeks and I would like to know if I can start my aplication online without applying yet I meant filling out things and saving it and then apply when everything is ready? Thank you for your time.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Cris, sure thing. You can start filling it out and save as you go. You can also upload more documents after you’ve submitted the main form. Best, Jayne

  • Cris says:

    Thank you for your reply. You meant main form 47 and submit more documents after apply?
    Thanks again I won’t bother with more questions.

  • CRIS says:

    Hi everyone! is there anyone who has apply online? is a requirement to fill out the form 80 and 1221? they seem so similar. thanks
    I will appreciate any information about it.

  • BelfastDad says:

    Thanks for this post…. found it really useful

  • Mandy says:

    This post/comment forum has been super helpful as I am currently gathering all documentation needed cause I am too organised (anal) haha.

    I just had a quick question on where could I get my hands on a copy of the online form/s? As I was thinking the same thing when with filling in paper form and just using it as a draft on my online application.

  • Christine says:

    Hi Mandy,
    I don’t think the paper form is similar to the online form, but this is the link to all the immigration departmental forms. You just need to search for the ones you need so you can download and print them out

  • rakib says:

    Can anyone help me how can I change my lawyer middle of the visa process? My lawyer isn’t helpful and made mistakes that caused our visa processing difficult. I want to hire another lawyer so what I need to do?
    Pls help

  • Sean says:

    My girlfriend is in Vietnam, with our 4year old, we are applying for a prospective marriage visa, it has been the worst experience of my life. I got a visa agent to help, who has caused delay after delay, has lied, caused me and my girlfriend so much stress and anxiety, he has no been fired, $1800 wasted, now we are paying an immigration lawyer $400 an hour to sort out the agents mess.
    My girlfriend has been forced to leave her child with a teacher at her school because she has no family or friends that can help, while she goes to China to get police papers and then again back to the village she was born in North Vietnam to again get police papers there that we already got at the start of the application because all papers have to be current when and if the visa is finally granted.
    This has all up cost me about $30000 and completely destroyed me financially

  • Amii amz says:

    I’m Australian citizen currently living in Egypt with my husband I have completed the application form and soon will lodge it in person but I’m afraid that I don’t have all the necessary checklist for me and him I need to know do I also have to provide police check and medical check and do I need to fill out any application form for this also do I also provide character test or what ever they call I just need to understand what checklist he needs to provide and what I need to provide and my main concern is I’m living with his parents and I don’t have anything with our name except the travel document to Egypt and some dinner receipts I’m afraid of lodging the form I’m too confused on what I need to do also for statuory declaration I have one Australian who did it and 3 or 4 local Egyptians who did it in Arabic and will be translated to English and also just say after.lodging the forms I found out I was pregnant what’s happens next Please some one help me

  • trixie says:

    Good day. Planning to click the submit button and pay the offshore partner visa this end of October I’m in the Philippines now but mg husband is in Australia and one thing is missing. We don’t have a joint bank account. Do u think is it possible not to pass a joint bank account wen I apply for a partner visa? Anyone help thanks

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Trixie, My partner and I didn’t have a joint bank account when we applied but we opened a joint savings account to save for our wedding and show a joint financial commitment.

  • trixie says:

    So does it means u didn’t submit a joint bank account wen u apply before?
    Oh that’s a relieve thanks a lot

    • Christine says:

      Trixie, I believe you don’t have to have a joint bank account but still be able to show that you are sharing the financial responsibility (e.g. show transactions on your individual accounts) of paying bills, groceries, rent etc. You can also back this up by outlining in your statutory declaration that you both have an agreement where one pays the bills, the other buys groceries etc etc (depending on how your own financial responsibilities are outlined of course).

  • trixie says:

    Yes we all have those things u mention thank you so much.

  • Rob says:

    Hi just wondering if i can lodge the 47a in my immi account too?just done my 47sp just thinking about the statutory and 47a if i need to upload ,thanks

  • Joana says:

    Hello. I just to know if you guys know about the processing time of dependent visa under student visa(subclass500). Tnx a lot.

  • Hannah Jackson says:

    Fantatsic blog, so brilliant to hear your experiences and get prepared. I’ve booked my one way ticket (end of July 2017) and will be coming on a visitor visa then applying for the defacto/partner visa while out in sydney.
    Few questions:
    Can I apply for the police check now or do I need to wait?
    I can’t decide whether to do online or paper? Do you scan everything in online?
    If we miss anything on our application does the immigration office ask us to supply it? Trying to do it without an immigration officer and keen to not mess it up.
    Any advice on what to start getting done now in terms of paper work- 7 months before we head out.
    Thanks in advance! Congratulations to all of you guys who have completed the process!

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Hannah,

      We applied online as the paper file was getting too bulky! You do have to scan everything and then upload individually – there are separate categories for each piece of evidence. It takes a long time but at least you know everything is received successfully.

      Your police check won’t be up to date if you do it now so I would wait until submitting your application – I think it takes about 10 days in total. You do have to do one for anywhere you’ve lived for more 12 months though so if you’ve lived overseas previously you can do that one first.

      We applied without a lawyer and weren’t asked for further evidence – we had friends who were asked for more evidence/details though and they did have a lawyer!

      Hope this helps,


      • Hannah Jackson says:

        Jayne! Thank you for answering all my questions. Yes I agree about online as you can see everything that’s been uploaded and seems a bit more secure plus you can start it and keep going back to it. You also can’t spill coffee all over it and ruin it.
        As I can’t do it until I’m out in Aus I’m a little worried I won’t have all the evidence and paper work I need with me. I’ve started a folder with bills, tickets, rental agreement, photos etc…
        It’s comforting to know that they will contact us for more information rather than reject us on the basis we haven’t provided enough information or the correct information. I will hold off on the police and medical check.
        I think for now I will just continue gathering evidence.
        Please let me know if there is anything else I can be doing to prepare.
        Also a little concerned as I have only bought a one way but will show I have funds to buy a return ticket.

        Again thank you for sharing your experience and helping me on my journey.

        Happy new year!

  • Herman says:

    This blog is a savior. Thank you Jayne for sharing your journey, and answering all the questions posted. I’m preparing to submit an application. My partner and I have been together for over 2 years. While we have never shared a same residing address, we live approximately 20 metres away and spend 90‰ of the time and every waking moment at mine. We didn’t see the need to have a place together as our own as we didn’t want to break our leases. I hope this doesn’t disqualify us as being in a defacto relationship.

  • Nerissa says:

    Hello Herman,
    My husband (then partner) and I went and registered our relationship with Melbourne City Council. We lived in different countries for 18 months! When you register your relationship with your city council you put in the dates you’ve been an exclusive couple. It takes a few weeks… then you go to a mini ceremony (really you meet a nominated council representative) and you’re issued with a ‘relationship certificate’ that has the date you’ve lived as a monogamous couple. This then legally negates having to live together for 12 months. It gave us the rite to then apply for a partner visa (which took 17 months to finally be processed) in the meantime we married. But you can do that if you’re worried. It’ll help.
    Good luck
    It’s a lengthy process

  • Alex says:

    Hi All,

    Thank you for this amazing blog!
    Quick query around booking a one way ticket… has anyone been questioned about this?
    Someone recently said it is advisable to book a return as they can question your intentions.

    I am planning on going on a visitor visa and applying for a partner/defacto visa when out there but I don’t think I can say this if immigration question me.
    Any thoughts on this?

    Thank you in advance,

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Alex, I’m not sure what the rules are around visitor visas but I came on a working holiday visa and as I didn’t have a return ticket I needed to show I had enough funds to buy one. When travelling in and out of Oz I’m often asked by the airline to show a return ticket at check in and was recently told off by Qantas for not having a print out of my booking (I only had it on my phone). Based on my experience I would say booking a flexible return ticket is best.

  • Alisha says:

    Hi Jayne,

    I’m a Canadian citizen who has just come back to Sydney on a WHV after meeting my Aussie partner last year on a Student Visa. My initial plan was to try and get a 457 sponsorship, however I’ve learned that it is very difficult. We are thinking of the de facto route but wondering when to apply. My WHV doesn’t expire until December 2017. When I am granted Bridging Visa A, do I still have to work up to 6 months with 1 employer (like the conditions of the WHV)? Or am I free to work as long as I want? I would like to be able to work with an employer longer than the 6 months which is why I want to get my de facto visa as soon as possible to avoid having this rule apply to me while I’m waiting on the Bridge Visa A.

    Appreciate the help.



  • Hannah says:

    Hi Alisha,
    From what I understand once you apply for the partner/defacto visa in Australia you go onto a bridging visa, but you can only go onto a bridging visa after you’ve finished your current visa e.g. if you are on a 3 month visitor visa and apply for the partner/defacto visa in the 1st month of your visitor visa you wouldn’t go onto the bridging visa until the end of the 3rd month after your visitor visa has expired. I hope that makes sense! It is very confusing- please ask me to clarify if you are unsure.
    You are entitled to the working rights of an Australian citizen when you are on the bridging visa waiting for your application to be processed/ assessed. This means you can work for an employer longer than 6 months- however you will need to complete the end of your current visa before moving onto the bridging visa even if you apply for the partner/defacto visa half way through your current visa. It has taken a long time for me to grasp all this so please ask more questions if you are unsure.
    Best of luck!!

  • Kerilyn says:

    I have applied for my de facto partner visa by paper and received the confirmation email that they had received my application on Monday. How long from when you receive the confirmation for your application does it usually take to receive notice of your Bridging Visa?

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Kerilyn,

      I applied online and the bridging visa came through instantly after they received my application. I’m not sure how long it takes for paper applications but I assume you’ll receive notice of the bridging visa in the mail soon.



  • Nerissa says:

    Congrats Kerilyn!
    Just wanted to let you know ours took 17 months. We weren’t asked for any additional information… our application was complete… it just took a long time then after 17 months an email advising of approval. Good luck!

  • Kerilyn says:

    Thanks Nerida for the reply. Just so confused! Did you receive the Bridging Visa after 17 months? Or Temporary Residency? A couple people I’ve talked to said they received the Bridging Visa only a couple days after they applied and then the Temporary Residency however many months later.

  • Nerissa says:

    Ohhh sorry!
    My partner was here on a visitor visa may 2015 when we applied online for 820-801. The bridging visa was granted instantly in late May 2015 (but sat behind the scenes until the day his tourist visa finished – then the bridging visa kicked in) end of August.
    He was then on the bridging visa for 17 months until Sep 2016 when we were granted the 820. Because it took so long we’ll be submitting our application for the 801 perm residency in the next few months. We’ve been told now the 801 visas are now taking 12-18 months to approve as well. It’s crazy how long it takes.

  • Herman says:

    I’ve put an application in on Monday and have been uploading may documents to the portal. I’ve yet to receive any bridging visa myself, and have like 20 days before my current one (student visa) expires.

  • Jordan says:

    Hi Jayne!

    I wrote to you ages ago to ask some questions about the partner visa and you were so helpful that I thought you might be able to help me again! After waiting 15 months, my partner and I finally got an email from immigration to go ahead and get my medical exam! I also need to fill out the Form 80 and get another AFP check (my original has expired after all this time).
    I was wondering how you handed in your Form 80 after being told to fill it out. Did you submit it on your immiaccount and then notify your case worker via email? The email I received was a bit confusing about how I need to let them know I have completed everything. I’ve tried calling the immigration office, but of course the queue is so long. Hopefully you might be able to explain it a bit better and make it less confusing!
    Thank you so much!
    Jordan 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Hi Jordan, I was never assigned a case worker so I just uploaded the Form80 to my immiaccount when they emailed to say it was now due. The results of your medical assessment get automatically sent to the immi system so there’s nothing you have to do there apart from go for the tests. If I remember rightly the email re Form 80 came in about 2-3 months before we were assessed so this means you are nearing the front of the queue!

  • Danielle says:

    Hi! Thanks for this blog, so helpful. I have not sent in my application, but am organising paperwork. Regarding Form 80, am I meant to wait to receive an email requesting this form? Or do/can I send it straight in with online application as some sort of supporting document?

    Does the medical exam follow the same steps as Form 80? (wait for them to contact me?)

    You wrote about needing to provide family details. Is that just for Form 80 or have I missed a required document? Thank you!!

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