Visa Update: Temporary Australian Partner Visa 820 Granted!

I nearly gagged on my bacon and eggs on Saturday morning. Out of the blue an email popped into my inbox from the Department Of Immigration stating there was an update to my visa application. We’d had not a single call or email about our application so fearing the worst I opened the attachment and prayed it wasn’t a retraction of the Bridging Visa I’d just been granted that allows me to travel to Thailand for our wedding. This attachment was different than usual though. It was far longer then the usual paperwork and it stated Justin’s name at the top as my ‘sponsor’. I flicked through the introductory pages until I got to the visa grant page. A single tear of relied trickled down my cheek. This was it! My (temporary) partner visa 820 has been granted.

We applied for this visa on 12th April 2015 so it’s taken just 11 months to get approval – far shorter than the 12 to 18 months estimated when we applied. I was also expecting some phone calls asking for clarification or verification of some of the paperwork we sent but – bam! – there’s the visa in my inbox totally unexpected on a Saturday morning.

I have been busy fulfilling the final requirements over the last few weeks though. On 18th February 2016 I received notification that my application was ready to be processed but it was estimated I’d be approved by the 30th June – so we were approved much faster than even the department expected. For anyone going through the process here’s some tips on what we did to get this over the line:

Complete the Form 80

As I mentioned here I had a mini-meltdown when I received an email just before flying to Bali stating that this form was required. It’s a character assessment form which doesn’t (or didn’t when I read it) appear on the initial partner visa application but is required for final processing. I recommend you get a head start on this one as it requires a lot of personal details such as where you’ve lived and worked since birth and where you’ve travelled for the last 10 years (with no gaps).

With regards to travel, as my list is a little long I compiled a separate excel spreadsheet and uploaded it as an attachment. I used the format as below:

This spreadsheet has 232 additional rows!

This spreadsheet has 232 additional rows!

Medical Assessment

I left my medical a little late as I didn’t notice there was a referral letter already in my online application page. (It’s listed under the visa status section in your Immi account.) As I’m in Australia I went to the BUPA visa medical services centre in Sydney CBD and I have to say it was a very efficient process.

Channelling Scrubs for my BUPA visa medical assessment

Channelling Scrubs for my BUPA visa medical assessment

I recommend you wear trousers as you’ll be given a gown to wear on your top half. Also wear decent-ish underwear as you’ll be required to strip down to it for one of the assessments. You’ll need to do a urine sample so don’t pee beforehand, you also have to reschedule if you are on your period (I don’t know why). You can book your appointment online here although I found appointments only came up for the week ahead. The whole process takes approx 2 hours from start to finish.

Police Checks

When I first put in my partner visa application I hadn’t lived in Australia for more than 12 months. As I have now I needed to put in an Australian Federal Police Check before final approval. You can do that here.

The Total Cost Of The Partner Visa

Although this is only part 1 of the Partner Visa process (we’ll be assessed again in a year to make sure we are still in a genuine relationship) this should hopefully be the end of fees for us. (Your initial application fee covers the temporary 820 and permanent 801 partner visa fee.)

Here’s a tally of what we paid in total:

Partner Visa Application Fee: $6865

Credit Card Fee: $75

Bridging Visa B Fees: $140 x 3 = $420

UK Police Check: £45/$85

Australian Federal Police Check: $42

Medical Assessment: $342.29

Passport photos: $20

Grand total: $7849.29

There’s a few miscellaneous costs I haven’t included relating to printing, postage and getting documents verified but all in you’re looking at a figure of around $7850 (if applying within Australia – it’s slightly less if you apply outside Australia but you must remain outside the country until a decision is made). It may also be less if you don’t apply for the Bridging Visas that enable travel or substantially more if you hire a lawyer.

What’s Next?

Right now I’m dreaming up all the destinations I can visit now I have unrestricted travel rights! FREEEEEDOM!

Justin and I get married in just over 3 weeks time and it’s absolutely wonderful not to have any paperwork or potential calls from the department hanging over us. To be honest I grossly underestimated the strain this process would put on our relationship, finances, my travel movements and our future plans as a couple. It’s an incredible feeling to have some certainly about our future and I’m feeling positive now that our future will have less tears and meltdowns from me! (I’m usually a very positive and calm person – this process has not been a good look for me at all!)

As mentioned we’ll be assessed again in a year’s time so now I know the type of things the department require I’ll be saving any paperwork, images, bills etc that prove we are in a committed relationship. I’m also updating that excel spreadsheet each time I travel so I don’t have the nightmare of trying to recall details in a year’s time from now.

Thanks to everyone who gave us support, advice and statutory declarations. If you’d like to know more about this process you can find my tips on applying for an Australia Partner Visa here – make sure you read the comments from other readers as there are lots of useful tips in them too!

66 Comments

  1. Reply

    Christine

    March 14, 2016

    OMG!! Congratulations!!!! I’m so excited for you! I applied in July 2015 so I’m presuming it’s going to be quite a while till I hear from immigration. I am going through a lawyer though so it’ll be longer considering immi will contact them and they’ll contact me.. Hopefully I’ll be one of the first after the end of financial year 🙂 It seems like they break it up into two blocks.

    Have a GREAT wedding!! see you on the other side of the waiting period for our 821 🙂 (apparently there’s currently a 12 month wait for that as well *cries*)

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 14, 2016

      Thank you so much! It feels like I’ve passed some sort of exam where I didn’t quite know what the criteria was! You’re just a few months behind us so hopefully the start of the new financial year is your turn. Can’t believe there’s another waiting period for part 2. Let’s try not to think of that haha

  2. Reply

    Nerissa

    March 14, 2016

    OMG!!! My Irish hubby and I are sitting here cheering for you and your soon to be hubby!
    Wow!
    No contact from them then sudden approval!
    Such a blessing in time for your wedding!
    All the very best for a beautiful ceremony and happiness for your lives ahead xxx

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 14, 2016

      Ah thanks so much. It was a lovely surprise. Justin and I spent all weekend going – is that really it?! So happy about the timing too. Crossing my fingers you hear back soon xx

      • Reply

        Nerissa

        March 14, 2016

        I’m still beaming for you both!

        • Reply

          Jayne Gorman

          March 15, 2016

          Aw thanks so much!!!

  3. Reply

    Stef

    March 14, 2016

    Congratulations!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 15, 2016

      Thanks Stef 😉

  4. Reply

    Carly

    March 14, 2016

    YAYYYYY! Congratulations! Having done the same Visa stress game in Austria I can fully appreciate how relived and happy you must be feeling right now, and in perfect time for the wedding. So happy for you guys 🙂

    Thanks also for summarising the full costs and timelines for Partner application – my partner is Austrian and we’ve only ever vaguely considered applying for him to live in Australia, but looking down the barrel of those expenses it’s harder and harder to imagine being able to afford just applying, let alone moving there. But good to know what would be involved if we do! Thanks again and enjoy your wedding, as stress free as possible!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 15, 2016

      Thank you Carly. We slightly underestimated the cost (and stress) of the process which is why I thought it might be helpful to lay it all out for others thinking of doing the same. It certainly all feels worth it in the end though. 😉

  5. Reply

    Lorna, literally.

    March 14, 2016

    Fantastic news, congratulations!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 15, 2016

      Thanks Lorna!

  6. Reply

    Erin

    March 15, 2016

    Yay, so excited for you girl! What a relief. Hope you have a great wedding now that this hairy chapter is finished. Thanks for all your updates, they’ve been so helpful.

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 15, 2016

      Haha thanks Erin. Hope this posts help in some way with others hairy experiences 😉

  7. Reply

    Miriam

    March 21, 2016

    Congratulations on your visa, it must be such a relief! But wow 11 months, that’s a long wait 🙂

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 21, 2016

      It is a long process but at least it wasn’t as long as the 12-18 months predicted 🙂

  8. Reply

    Victoria Philpott

    March 22, 2016

    Ah congratulations Jayne, that’s very exciting for you! Been a long old road. Now’s the time to look forward to the wedding! xx

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 22, 2016

      Thanks Vic! We’re chuffed it’s come through already. Now onto Thailand 😉 xx

  9. Reply

    sodi

    March 22, 2016

    Congratulations! My husband and I submitted in December 14 and hadnt heard anything till i called yesterday and turns out we have a case worker and he can now go for his medical next week and AFP ordered are what was missing so hoping for a decision before our wedding on the 15th April!

    Did you have no contact from the immigration office at all and then you got an approval? Or did you have some sort of contact? We only just got an email in October saying it was transferred to WA and to do form 80 but seemed like a generic email!

    Your blog is so helpful!! Thank you!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      March 23, 2016

      Hi Sodi, We didn’t get any contact at all apart from a generic email saying we were going to be processed soon and to check we had completed all the documents of which the Form 80 was one. I thought we might get a phone call – or some of our family would – but we didn’t hear anything until the visa arrived in my inbox on a Saturday morning. It was a surprise but a pleasant one! Good luck getting your final documents done – it sounds like you are near the end now too! J

      • Reply

        Sodi

        March 29, 2016

        Thank you so much for these posts they’ve really helped with the stress for us! Our wedding is on April 15th and we just got an email for additional information – namely to do the national police check that we applied for last week thanks to your post so should receive it soon and to do the medical check…which also thanks to your post i booked last week to get completed this week and they asked for a better scanned copy of his international police clearance. SO fingers crossed it all gets submitted next week and then we can get some good news before our wedding too!

        After you completed your medical how long did it take to get the approval?

        Thanks again for your blog and posts they’ve really helped with the process and also the stress!

        • Reply

          Jayne Gorman

          March 29, 2016

          Hi Sodi, It makes me so happy to know these posts have helped a little! The medical check is very quick, they aim to update the department within 5 working days. Good luck getting the final paperwork done before your wedding and all the best for the big day. Jayne

  10. Reply

    Irene Lee

    March 29, 2016

    Congratulations for the update! It brings a spark to my day as my partner and I are planning to apply for the Partner Migration Visa and knowing that you were successful after traversing all the obstacles gives us cause to rejoice with you and proceed with hope for ours 🙂

    Two quick questions though: I’m intending to apply onshore, i.e. in Australia, for the Partner Visa. I read that I need to be on a substantive visa in order to lodge this Partner Visa application. Does my tourist visa (three months validity) applied via ETA count as a substantive visa? And when nearing the expiry of the 3-month period, does it mean that I need a Bridging Visa?

  11. Reply

    Danielle

    April 2, 2016

    Hi Jayne. Congrats on the visa and your upcoming wedding! I was wondering if you knew if people get the 7,000 AUD back for their visa application if it is denied. I cant seem to find that info anywhere… Id think considering the hefty cost, many people would be a bit worried about this..?

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      April 3, 2016

      Thanks Danielle. When you apply it states that the fee is non refundable so you don’t get it back if you’re not approved. It’s best to make sure you have a strong case before starting now the application.

  12. Reply

    Telly

    April 14, 2016

    Hi Jayne! Thanks for your useful insights. We are applying for visa 820 de facto. We didnt get any update from any case officer up till now. But we do get an email saying I might be granted temporary partner visa by 30th of June as long as we submit all documents by 30th april.
    Currently I am waiting for my medical assestment and police check from my country. I might need your advise regarding : on the attachment, which document type or field that we can actually write down the nature of our relationship (in a story) and how or do we need to get it certified? This part literally make me frustrated. Thanks in advance!!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      April 18, 2016

      Hi Telly, for this section Justin and I each wrote and signed personal statements and then uploaded them as a word doc/pdf. We didn’t get these statements certified. I hope this helps, Jayne

  13. Reply

    Clare Cummins

    April 27, 2016

    Wow thank you so much for posting all this info- very helpful! and congrats on getting your visa through in 11 months!

    I am currently sitting at my desk in London having a mini freak out at the costs of the visa as last time I looked it was much cheaper, like almost half the cost.

    My boyfriend needs to move back to Brisbane to look after his family business due to his father being ill and I just don’t know how we are going to afford the visa and everything that goes with it.

    Plus its the whole worry of not knowing anyone is Brisbane, I lived in Melbourne before and all my friends are there.

    Thanks so much for this post- its great to get some solid advice online!

    x

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      April 27, 2016

      Hi Clare,

      I completely understand how you feel. Sadly the prices went up by 50% about a month before we applied. It is slightly cheaper if you apply outside of Australia but still a massive investment. I have a lot of Brit expat friends out here and we’re the only ones who went down the partner route as I wanted to remain self employed. My friends found it much easier to get sponsored by an employer instead. Best of luck with whatever route you decide to take. Jayne

  14. Reply

    BelfastDad

    May 3, 2016

    awesome, and great to see this just after i read your application advice. Hoping we have a straight forward process…. must admit, 11 months still sounds like a LONG time 🙂

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      May 3, 2016

      It did feel quite long too but you get there in the end 🙂

  15. Reply

    Madeleine

    May 20, 2016

    Hi Jayne,
    Congrats!
    A very informative post for people applying for a partner visa. I will be lodging my 820/801 next month so I’m preparing all the necessary documents since last year. I’ll do it online. My hubby is still under a 5 year wait which is till October 2017(he sponsored a girl on PMV but the relationship broke down). Since we are living together for more than 2 years now, we decided to give it a go this year and hopefully the case officer will waive the remaining year.

  16. Reply

    Marketa

    May 25, 2016

    Awww so happy for you darling.xx Awww so good and lil bit jealous now ☺☺Im am in the middle of process in defacto visa offshore but im am not sure if im am allowed nowSo many pages on internet saying Yes I can apply for defacto visa 820 offshore but official aussie page saying you must be inside Australia when you apply for this visa So confusing awww.Any suggestions ? Xxx thank you hun and have a lovely wedding

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      May 25, 2016

      Thank you! When we applied there was the option to apply onshore or offshore. The offshore options was actually slightly cheaper and quicker than applying from within Australia.

  17. Reply

    Carly

    June 22, 2016

    Great news! But one thing to note… I am offshore in Canada and applied for the 309 de facto. The cost was no different than applying in Australia. Ours came to just under 7K with the Visa processing fee.

  18. Reply

    Rakshita

    July 18, 2016

    Congrats ! Same side here too , I applied in April 2016 and still waiting. Hopefully we get it by feb 2017 since our main big day is for scheduled that time. !

  19. Reply

    Dia

    August 28, 2016

    Congratulations 🙂 We applied in February 2016 and were ask for the health examination and police checks which we submitted a week ago. I was told by a friend that this means it is pretty close to the decision to be made and that it’ll be less than a month until they contact you with the decision. Was this the case for you?

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      August 28, 2016

      Yes it was very quick from that point for us too – I think less than a month from when I did the medical to getting the approval email. Good luck!

  20. Reply

    Tony

    October 3, 2016

    I had my medical clearance, and police checks all sorted 8 weeks ago (on a partner visa). We got an email at the time to say “no further info required”….. “it’s in the bag” we thought. Friends told us it would likely be 2 or 3 weeks till we hear….. 8 weeks later…. still the silence. Teh endless silence. It is driving us nuts

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      October 3, 2016

      Gah the not-knowing is stressful. I do remember getting an email towards the end with an estimated process date. Have you not had that?

      • Reply

        Tony

        October 4, 2016

        yeah we got one with the stock line of “10 to 14 months”…. hopefully not that long given how quickly we progressed early on

  21. Reply

    Dia

    October 3, 2016

    We submitted the medical and police checks early August, still waiting. Hope it’ll be granted soon! I’m hoping he’ll be here for our son’s first birthday in November

    • Reply

      Tony

      October 18, 2016

      That’s exactly the same time as us, so will be interesting to see how we line up.

  22. Reply

    Dia

    October 4, 2016

    I haven’t got that email 🙁

  23. Reply

    Christine

    October 10, 2016

    Forgot to let you know Jayne, that I got my Temporary Partner Visa on 7/7/16!! My lodgement date was 15/7/15 so just a little short of the year mark. New financial year for the win! Now to continue collecting information for next year’s additional information lodgement. From what I’ve gathered from different forums so far, it’s another possible 12-15 month wait from eligibility of more information for PR to be given! Some have even gotten phone interviews! *Gasp* Good luck Jayne, I’m totally hoping we both get through smoothly!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      October 10, 2016

      Congrats Christine that’s awesome!! Thanks so much for coming back and telling me. Like you I’ve started researching what will be required at the next stage and to be honest I’ve got a little freaked as I didn’t realise it would be that intense. Hopefully now that we’ve made it past stage 1 though gathering the evidence for stage 2 will be a little easier!

      • Reply

        Christine

        October 11, 2016

        Thanks Jayne 🙂 I’m actually finding stage 2 evidence slightly harder due to both me and my partner being more introverts (I.e. We don’t go out or hang out much with people) as we deal with the general public in our jobs every hour of the day. So proof with friends is hard (also have to think of the form 888 as well). Super happy to have updated you on my own visa progress since we both are only a few months apart in applying! (And also your blog did help me some too!)

    • Reply

      Tony

      October 11, 2016

      Congratulations! Do you mind me asking how long it was after your medical and police clearances were all successfully done?

      • Reply

        Christine

        October 11, 2016

        Thanks Tony! I got asked for more info (Medicals and police check as I was advised by my lawyer to only supply them when requested due to the long processing times) on the 1st of April, handed all in (and more update on relationship stuff as well) around the 26th of April I think. Got approved in July.

        Mind you though, I’ve got a friend who handed in a “decision ready” file (all documents completed at start of application) and it took them 18 months to get their 820 approved.

  24. Reply

    Tony

    October 28, 2016

    Woo hoo! I got my visa…. submitted on 29th May, and granted on 27th October…. so super quick when compared with some others. No for the reality of it all 🙂

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      October 29, 2016

      Oh congrats – that’s awesome! Hope you have a wee celebration this weekend 🙂

    • Reply

      Dia

      November 15, 2016

      Congratulations! We’re still waiting 🙁 May I ask, did you apply in Oz or offshore?

  25. Reply

    Sarah

    November 13, 2016

    Hi , I am from New York,US, currently living in Brisbane on a WHV.

    We got married overseas in December 2016, then came back to Brisbane in January 2016 . Loded the application on 1st August 2016 and attached all the basic documents including police checks, FORM 80 , Wedding Pics , Our Joint Bank Account , gifts , travelling together to Sydney and other stuff.

    Wondering, when will I get the email in my inbox :(.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      November 14, 2016

      Hi Sarah, I’m not sure what the current waiting time is but when I applied the wait for visas applied for in Oz was 12 to 18 months. We got our first communication from immigration approx 10 months after applying saying it was time to do the medical assessments. Once I’d done the medical we were approved within 11 months. Best, Jayne

  26. Reply

    Christine

    November 14, 2016

    Hi Sarah. From what I’ve experienced recently (applied in 2015) and forums that I’ve been following, the wait is still 12-18 months with no distinctions between low risk and high risk country. I know of a person from the UK who waited 18 months for his 820 (first stage) visa. For the 801 the wait times has been blown out to 12-15 months for most (lucky ones have gotten their PR at an average of 8 months)

  27. Reply

    Daphne

    November 16, 2016

    Hi Jayne!

    First of all, Congratulations!

    I would just like to ask whether after lodging my application, do I have to wait for the immigration officer to contact me for a medical exam? Or should I go for medical exam right after my application lodgement.

    Thanks!!

    Cheers!

    • Reply

      Jayne Gorman

      November 16, 2016

      Thanks Daphne! I waited but I think you can go as soon as you get the referral letter. If you lodged online it’s tucked away somewhere within the immi system – it took me a while to spot it!

  28. Reply

    Dia

    November 22, 2016

    Woo hoo! Just received an email informing us that my husband’s visa has been granted We lodged it 24/02/16, so ours took 9 months.

  29. Reply

    Stephanie

    December 14, 2016

    Wow there is no way I would be able to remember where I have been the last 10 years. I used to travel every week for meetings…

  30. Reply

    Windy

    January 4, 2017

    Hi Jayne, thanks for the inspiring post! I’m currently still waiting for my temporary visa 820 to be approved (lodged my application in November 2015) its been 13 months! Lucky you! do you mind sharing how long is the wait from temporary visa to permanent visa (subs 801)? Thanks so much!

  31. Reply

    Senem

    January 12, 2017

    Congrats to all! I can only imagine how it feels like 🙂

    We applied in March 2016 and heard nothing from the immigration since then. Fingers are cross! Maybe soon they would request for my medicals, as I left it last.

    All the best! 🙂

  32. Reply

    Malcolm

    February 22, 2017

    Hello Windy,

    Have you heard from Immigration since you wrote this post? I submitted my application slightly more than 13 months ago, and just like you, I haven’t received a single notification from them.

    Best,

    Malcolm.

  33. Reply

    Dj Brown

    March 13, 2017

    Hello and congrats to all who had their temporary visa/permanent visa granted. My husband arrived in Sydney in November, 2015 (on E class tourist visa after knowing each other for 6 years. We got married in March 2016 and applied for 820/801 Partner Visa in April 2016. We got an automated email from immi that our application has progressed in the queue. So that makes it 10 months since we first lodged our application. Since it’s under 15 months, we don’t have a conclusive date on when our 820 visa application process will be finalised. Nearly 3 weeks since the email and patiently waiting impatiently. Praying hard that ours will be granted.

  34. Reply

    Roy

    March 30, 2017

    Hi all of you i also did 820/801 in sep 2015 but still waiting for temporary visa and haven’t heard anything back .i called immigration and ask they said waiting time is up to 20 months now very frustrating don’t know wht to do.

    • Reply

      Senem

      March 30, 2017

      Yeah, they have changed the waiting time! But you have applied back in 2015 🙁 I was hoping new waiting times applies from 2017 application! Not for everyone!

      Good luck to all of us!

  35. Reply

    obada rabbata

    April 12, 2017

    Dear all,

    1-Can i ask after how many months can the person apply for a defacto visa 820?
    2- if the couple got married, will they still apply for the de facto visa for one of them?

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