Partner Visa Australia: What's Changed With the Federal Budget 2020-21?

The Australian Federal Budget 2020-21 has brought some cheer for Partner Visa applicants. The Budget has increased the number of places under Partner Visa -- to a total of 72,300 (from 47,000) in 2020-21. Further, the Budget has indicated that priority processing will go to applicants who are onshore. Also, authorities will assign priority processing to those applicants whose sponsor currently lives in any of Australia’s designated areas.

But, there’s some not-so-great news as well. Another change in Partner Visa as per the Budget is with regards to the English Language requirement. Late 2021 onwards, new applicants for Partner Visas and their Permanent Resident sponsors as well will have to demonstrate a functional level of English. Alternatively, they will have to prove that they tried reasonably well to learn English. 

How do they accomplish this? One way is to complete 500 hours of free English Language classes under the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP). Recently, the Australian government removed limitations on access to free English classes by migrations under AMEP– making it possible for them to attend classes for as many hours as required to attain vocational English.

By when do Partner visa Australia applicants need to meet the English requirements?

The government expects applicants to meet these requirements before they are granted a permanent visa. Usually, provisional partner visas have a period of two years before the final assessment. Applicants can brush up their English skills during this time.

The government encourages applicants to work on their English language skills to improve their participation in the economy, and jobs, and also to reduce their vulnerability to domestic violence, workplace abuse. 

With the latest updates out of the way, let’s now discuss in greater detail about the types of 

Spouse Visa Australia Pathways: Onshore, Offshore & Prospective Marriage Visa

Onshore

If you’re onshore and married to, or in a de facto relationship with an Aussie citizen, Australian Permanent Resident, or eligible NZ citizen, you’re eligible to apply for Subclass 820. 

This is the initial stage, and after two years from the date of application, the visa authorities will seek further proof of your continuing relationship.

If all the proofs are in place, and the authorities deem your relationship as genuine, then you will be granted Subclass 801, which is the permanent Partner Visa. 

Offshore

Subclass 309 is a provisional partner visa meant for offshore applicants who are married to (or in a de facto relationship) with an Australian PR or citizen, or an eligible NZ citizen. The grant of the 309 visa lets the spouse/de facto partner live in Australia. 

 
The stay is temporary and till the grant of the Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 100).

Like the onshore process, here too, after two years, the applicant will need to provide supporting documents. If the application is approved, then they will be granted the Permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100). 

Prospective Marriage Visa

The fiance visa Australia pathway is for offshore applicants who are engaged to marry an Aussie citizen, PR or an eligible NZ citizen. 

Upon the grant of this visa, the subclass 309 allows applicants to enter the country and marry the partner within a stipulated period of nine months. After this period ends, applicants can apply for Onshore Partner Visa (as above).

Need help with Australia Partner Visa? Try us!

Being in a relationship with an Australia citizen, PR, or an eligible NZ citizen is not enough to get you a Partner Visa grant. You need to be able to prove it to the authorities with robust and irrefutable evidence. Applicants need to be able to create a logical, coherent, and genuine timeline of their relationship, highlighting key life events. Documents, bills, bank statements etc. assume importance as official proof. Further, since a relationship is ongoing, the documents should keep updating till the time Visa is granted. 

Need help?

We can help. Our Australia Immigration Agents offer easy-to-follow, step-by-step guidance, help you fulfil the documents checklist, and guide you till a positive outcome is obtained.

Get in touch with us now to know more!
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