Visas

Australia Partner Visa 801: The Final Painful Stages!

It’s happening again. I’m crying at the keyboard and Justin is trying to comfort me. I cruelly shrug his support off and head out to the balcony to take deep breaths.

I’m in the final stages of applying for a Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 801) so that I can legally reside in Australia with my husband. Technically this bit should be easy. We’ve already passed the first part of the application (subclass 820) – a painful process that took 3 months to complete and involved medical checks, statutory declarations from friends and family, and listing everywhere I’ve lived and worked since coming out of the womb. Being approved for the first part gave me temporary residency in Australia but now, 2 years down the line, we need to prove that we are still in a committed relationship, sharing finances, housework, social lives etc etc etc since they last checked up on us in order for me to be granted permanent residency.

I had high hopes that this time I wouldn’t let it get on top of me. I knew what I was in for second time around and had saved invitations, bills and statements addressed to both of us in preparation for the application. I didn’t (as was my intention) keep a log of everywhere I travelled in a handy Excel sheet but I at least kept my paper diaries which had all the flights written out neatly.

Bloomin travel bloggers creating more paperwork

So I was feeling cool. I set aside one sunny Saturday to nail this application and tried not to begrudge it. I had printed out all my old paperwork to help answer the same questions we answered last time and I patiently logged into the system each of the 15 countries I’ve been to since being approved for the temporary visa. But guess what.

IT CRASHED!!

I reached page 14 of 21 and giddily started thinking I might knock the bulk of this off in one day. But when I’d being pressing ‘next’ at the bottom of each page the system hadn’t automatically been saving everything I’d input. I think that as I had spent so long on the travel page it just sort of timed out.

Everything I’d input – including my statutory declarations about our relationship which I’d painstakingly backed up with matching documentation – was gone.

I was back to square 1.

Hence the tears.

I carried on working into the night while some of the answers were still fresh. It was very tempting to answer questions like ‘How has your relationship developed since your last application?’ with ‘We got married. End of story.’ Sadly that doesn’t fly with the Department Of Immigration.

(To clarify: a lot of people have asked me whether the fact we’re married means I get to skip a few steps but sadly not. The process is the same whether you’re married or de facto. We can submit a certified copy of our marriage certificate as evidence though and I will send them a few pics to show it happened.)

Justin and I had a symbolic ceremony with friends and family in Thailand and a legal ceremony in Sydney, both in April 2016, as we wanted to make sure our paperwork was fully legit!

Second time around I hit save like a mad woman every 5 seconds and thankfully this time the answers stick.

Now my police check has just come back and our friends (the best men at the wedding!) are kindly filling out statutory declarations about the legitimacy of our relationship. I’ve got a million docs to scan and upload, which I know will be a separate form of torture as the system is picky about file sizes, but I’m getting there. At least there is nothing to pay for this bit. The almost $8000 (not a typo!) we paid for the temporary visa application covers the permanent visa application too. I just had to pay for a new police check this time around.

The things we do for love hey?

For anyone else going through this testing process here’s a handy PDF from the Department of Immigration about what is required for this part of the process.  I was sent these guidelines when I got the heads up that my Permanent Partner Visa Application would soon to be due for submission. They do give you a fair bit of warning to get all your ducks in a row – I received the email on Feb 27th saying I will be eligible to apply on April 12th (i.e. 2 years after the date of my very first application).

I’ve read that assessment of these applications is currently taking 12 to 18 months so it will be a while until we have an answer. Guess I best get back to filling out forms and let the Department of Immigration decide our future.

All the best to readers who are also applying for Australian Partner Visas. Remember to hit save on that online application 😉

Further reading:

My Permanent Australian Partner Visa 801 Is Granted!

Moving to Australia? Here’s how to get set up and settled quickly 

Applying and being granted Bridging Visa B while waiting for the Temporary Partner Visa

Applying for Temporary Partner Visa 820 

>> Please note: These are just some thoughts based on my personal experience. I am not a migration expert and this does not constitute legal advice. Please contact the Department of Immigration or an immigration lawyer directly for questions relating to your personal circumstances. Unfortunately I unable to answer any messages regarding your applications – you’ll find everything I know here already. <<

18 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren
    March 27, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Ohhhh noooo I can’t even imagine having the system cut out without saving!! Applying for the partner visa was like taking on a second job. I just submitted my Aussie citizenship application last week, and it is (mostly) easier, except for the part where they make you list EVERY TRIP you have taken since the age of 18. That was a pleasant surprise.

    Good luck with the permanent visa, hope the rest of the process goes smoothly for you!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      March 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Oh wow, I had something similar on the first application where they asked for every trip for the last ten years! I ended up creating an excel spreadsheet that was about 150 rows long and took yonks! Best of luck with the citizenship – I’m jealous you’re nearing the end of the forms haha

  • Reply
    Ronan
    April 18, 2017 at 3:51 am

    What a pain. I honestly believe the visa application process here is a money-making scheme.

    My experience was slightly different though – we had been married for two years and together for 10 when I applied. The initial application process was exactly as you described, but when it came to award we were granted PR straight away. So whilst the process is the same whether you are married or not, I have been told (and experienced) that if you have been together for long enough (as defined by them I guess..) you can be awarded PR without the 2 year temporary visa wait.

    Hopefully it goes through OK soon – it is a tremendous weight off your shoulders when it is granted!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      April 18, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      Oh that’s so interesting Ronan, I haven’t heard of that happening before so it must be a case by case basis. Congrats to you and the family and thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 2, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Oh my gosh I am just about to start right at the beginning of the partners visa process and scouring the net for any and all info. Your blog is awesome 🙂 Wish me luck!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      May 7, 2017 at 1:28 am

      Best of luck Sarah!

  • Reply
    Jossie
    September 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Hi Jayne, I’m lodging my application hopefully this week. I’ve been eating you blog since you lodge yours. Iva been reading people comment on processing times. They are all very different but I don’t know why. Do you know or anybody if when people has kids or have been togethe for many years it does take less time to process? Unfortunately for me I iba only been with my boyfriend for a year and we are applying so maybe it will take so long 🙁 I hope it doesn’t becuae it’s sad when all your plans to raise a family get delayed 🙁 but thanks for your blog! It is giving me hope and inspiring me! Thanks for people like you who share their experiences. Best wishes!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      September 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Jossie, my understanding is the length of your relationship had no bearing on the time taken to process. You are giving an estimated processing time when you apply and it’s simply based on how many people are in the queue in front of you. My partner and I have been together 6 years and are now married but I am still waiting to hear back about my permanent visa. I think we have another year to go before we are processed!

      • Reply
        Jo
        April 1, 2019 at 12:42 am

        Hi Jayne Thanks for your posts, very informative. Please may I ask if you submitted two Australian police checks in total for the application? Ie another one for 801 processing? Many thanks!

        • Reply
          Jayne Gorman
          April 1, 2019 at 7:06 am

          Hi Jo, I did end up having to submit 2 and If I remember correctly it was because over 12 months had passed since the last one when it came to apply for 801.

  • Reply
    Isaac
    August 2, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Hello Jayne I was wondering how long did it take for you to hear back from Oz immigration about getting your medical exam? I applied for the onshore partner visa in May 2017 now I’m currently on bridging visa A.

  • Reply
    Rose Gilbert
    August 28, 2018 at 4:24 am

    Hi,

    We just received an email that we are now able to apply for Stage 2. However, it doesnt give a deadline as to apply before what date. Do you have any idea if there is a deadline?

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      August 28, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Rose, I don’t remember there being a deadline.

  • Reply
    Charlie
    December 31, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Hi, I am currently on a 820 visa, which I have had for 2 years now. Do you have to wait for immigration to email you before you can apply for the 801? Thanks

  • Reply
    Kate
    March 20, 2019 at 12:58 am

    Thanks for posting! I am on Bridging visa at the moment waiting for my 801 and the wait time now is 21 to 28 months!!! It’s been 15 months now since my application and I have not heard from the Immi. Do you think it’s worth calling them and check up on where is your application?

  • Reply
    Melanie Hammond
    April 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Hi there,
    My husband and I are going through the same process and have been granted a Partner (subclass 820) visa. (The Relief – getting there!!)
    Am I correct in think that at the moment I do not have to be sending them anything? They haven’t asked for anything.
    Will they let me know when I have to begin the next step of paperwork – which I have kind of got slack with collecting, so will have a rummage through our paperwork and find supporting documents/invites/bills etc (the pro’s of not being organized or chucking anything!!)

    So glad your journey is coming to an end!!
    I have found your blog a delight to read and so much information to help settle into Australia and tackle this complicated visa system.

    Thank you

  • Reply
    Michael Murray
    June 11, 2019 at 4:28 am

    Hi, my wife and I are going through this now. She has been a temp resident for about 18 months and applied for permanent residency at the same time. 2 weeks ago we received a letter asking for several documents about the relationship to help process the application. The letter gave us 28 days to get everything in otherwise the visa may be decided without them. I’m hoping this means they are looking at it now and we should get it very soon. Any ideas how long it takes from this stage?

    Thanks Michael

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