Partner (Provisional) visa
Subclass 309

This visa lets the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen live in Australia temporarily. Getting this visa is the first step towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).

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With this visa, you can

  • live, work and study in Australia while we process your permanent Partner (Migrant) visa
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want
  • attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
  • stay in Australia until we decide your permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100) or the application is withdrawn
  • work in Australia
  • study in Australia (you will not receive government support)
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want
  • attend up to 510 hours of free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
  • enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare

You must

  • be in a genuine relationship with your spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • usually, be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted

How long you can stay

Stay on the visa until we decide your permanent visa (subclass 100) application or you withdraw the application.

For most applicants, this stay is from 15 to 24 months.

In some circumstances, including where you have been in a long term relationship before you apply, you might not stay on the 309 visa at all. We might grant you the permanent visa immediately after we grant the temporary 309 visa.

Include family members

You can include your members of the family unit in your application. You can:

  • include them when you lodge your visa application
  • add a dependent child after you lodge your application but before we decide on your temporary visa.

Family members who apply with you must:

You can also add them after we grant the temporary visa.

Apply from

Usually, you must be outside Australia when you apply for this visa. You must be outside Australia when we decide your temporary visa application.

Processing times

Your application might take longer to process if:

  • you do not fill it incorrectly
  • you don't include all the required documents or we need more information from you
  • it takes time to verify your information

We can't process your application if you do not pay the correct visa application charge. We will notify you if this is the case.

Your obligations

You and your family members must meet all visa conditions and obey Australian laws.

See what conditions might be attached to this visa.

Adequate health insurance

We recommend you take out health insurance to cover any unforeseen medical treatment you might need in Australia. You are personally liable for all your healthcare costs while you are in Australia. Insurance can help limit your financial liability.

See what we consider adequate health insurance.

Learn more about  Overseas Visitor Health Cover.

Reciprocal healthcare agreements

Some countries have a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. If your country does, you are covered for essential healthcare services by our public health care scheme, Medicare. Depending on the agreement, you might be covered:

  • for different things
  • for a different period of time.

You are still responsible for any costs that aren't covered by Medicare. Consider getting OVHC to cover you for things Medicare doesn't. Travel insurance might be adequate for short stays.

Private health insurance

You can get Australian residents' private health insurance if you have:

  • an interim (blue) Medicare card
  • a full (green) Medicare card

Travel

You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want.

Visa label

We will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport

Meet relationship requirements

In most cases, you must be the spouse or de facto partner of an:

Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different sex.

You might still be eligible for the visa if your relationship breaks down or your sponsor dies while we are considering your application.

Married applicants

To be a married applicant:

  • you and your spouse must both be committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others
  • your relationship with your spouse must be genuine and continuing
  • you must live with your spouse or do not live apart on a permanent basis
  • your marriage must be valid under Australian law

To find out if your marriage is valid under Australian law, contact the relevant state or territory agency for births, deaths and marriages.

De facto partners

To be a de facto partner, you must be in a de facto relationship.

  • you and your partner are in a de facto relationship if all these apply:
  • you are not married to each other
  • you are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • you are not related by family

Usually, your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa. Time spent dating or in an online relationship might not count as being in a de facto relationship.

The 12-month requirement will not apply if you can show us compelling and compassionate circumstances exist to grant the subclass 820 visa.

The 12-month requirement also will not apply if:

  • your partner holds or held a permanent humanitarian visa
  • your de facto relationship existed before we granted their visa
  • you de facto partner told us about the relationship before we granted their visa

It also will not apply if you:

  • are in a de facto relationship with a partner who is an applicant for a permanent humanitarian visa, or
  • you have registered your relationship with an Australian authority such as a registry of births, deaths and marriages

You might still be granted the temporary visa if your relationship has broken down or if your sponsor died.


Have a sponsor

You must have a sponsor when you lodge your application and when you are on this visa.

We must approve of your sponsor. There are limitations on approval.

You can't change your sponsor. The person who sponsors you when you apply for the visa must be same person who sponsors you for 2 years after we grant your temporary 309 Partner visa.


Be the right age

Married applicants must usually, be 18 or older when they apply. This is because usually, you must be 18 or older to be married under Australian law.

Applicants in de facto relationships must be 18 or older when they apply.


Meet our health requirement

You, and any member of the family unit or dependent child who applies for the visa with you, must meet our health requirement. Family members who don't accompany you to Australia might also need to meet our health requirement.


Meet our character requirement

You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement.


Pay your debts to the Australian Government

If you or any family members (including those who don't apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.


Best interests of the child

We might not grant this visa if it is not in the best interests of an applicant under 18.


Not had a visa cancelled or an application refused

You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.

Step 1 - Before you apply

You might want to organise health examinations or get help with your application.

Get help with your application

You don’t have to use a migration agent to apply for any visa. But if you want to, see how to find a registered migration agent.

Anyone can help you fill out forms or give you general help with your application. But you must let us know if you want someone to:


Step 2 - Gather your documents

Provide accurate, authentic documents. See what happens if you provide false or misleading documents or information.

Identity documents

Provide a birth certificate showing the names of both parents.

If you can’t provide this, provide one of the following:

  • identification pages of a family book showing the names of both parents
  • identification pages of an identification document issued by the government
  • identification pages of a court-issued document that proves your identity
  • identification pages of a family census register

Also provide:

  • the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates
  • a national identity card, if you have one
  • proof of change of name, if applicable, such as:
    • a marriage or divorce certificate
    • change of name documents from an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or the relevant overseas authority
    • documents that show other names you have been known by

Your relationship with your partner

If you are married, provide your marriage certificate or other evidence that your marriage is valid in Australia. If you are a de facto partner, provide proof of your de facto relationship.

This proof should show that:

  • you have a mutual commitment with your spouse of de facto partner to the exclusion of all others
  • your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • you either live together or don't live permanently apart
  • you are not related by family

Tell us in writing about:

  • how, when and where you first met
  • how the relationship developed
  • when you moved in together, got engaged or married
  • what you do together
  • time you spent apart
  • significant events in the relationship
  • your plans for the future

Finances

Show us how you and your partner share financial matters. You could give us:

  • joint mortgage or lease documents
  • joint loan documents for major assets like homes, cars or major appliances
  • joint bank account statements
  • household bills in both names

Your household

Show us how you and your partner share domestic matters. You could give us:

  • a statement about how you share housework
  • household bills in both names
  • mail or emails addressed to you both
  • documents that show joint responsibility for children
  • documents that prove your living arrangements

Social matters

Show us that others know about your relationship. You could give us:

Commitment

Show us how you are committed to a long-term relationship with each other. You could give us:

  • proof you have knowledge of each other’s background, family situation or other personal details. You could tell us this at an interview
  • proof you have combined your personal matters
  • the terms of your wills
  • proof you stay in touch when apart

Additional proof of a de facto relationship

In addition to documents proving your relationship, show us you have been in your de facto relationship for at least 12 months before you applied for this visa.

If you haven't been in the relationship for 12 months, tell us in writing why the 12-month requirement does not apply. For example:

  • provide evidence you have registered your relationship with an Australian births, deaths and marriages agency, or
  • explain any compelling and compassionate circumstances exist to grant the visa

Other relationships

If you have previously been married, widowed, divorced or permanently separated, provide divorce documents, death certificates, separation documents or statutory declarations.

Character documents

Provide an Australian police certificate if you have spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia in the last 10 years since you turned 16.

We only accept complete disclosure National Police Certificates issued by the Australian Federal Police. We do not accept standard disclosure certificates or national police certificates issued by Australian state or territory police.

Also provide:

  • an overseas police certificate from every country, including your home country, where you spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since you turned 16
  • military service records or discharge papers if you served in the armed forces of any country

Complete and provide Form 80 Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (554KB PDF)

Tell us you are getting help

To nominate someone to:

See more about getting help with your application.

Dependants under 18 documents

For every dependant under 18 years old who is applying with you provide:

  • identity documents
  • proof of your relationship with your dependant, like a birth or marriage certificate
  • character documents, if the dependant is 16 or 17 years of age
  • adoption papers or parental court orders, if applicable
  • proof of enrolment at school, college or university, if applicable
  • proof of sole custody, if applicable

Parental responsibility documents

You must get consent for any applicant under 18 years of age to migrate to Australia from anyone who:

  • has a legal right to decide where the child lives and
  • is not coming to Australia with the child

They must complete either:

Alternatively, you can show us:

  • an Australian court order that allows your child to migrate to Australia, or
  • that the laws of your home country allow them to migrate

Include:

  • an identity document that shows the signature and photo of the person who completed the form or declaration, such as a passport or driver’s licence
  • adoption papers or other court documents if applicable

Dependants over 18 documents

For every dependant 18 years old or older who is applying with you provide:

  • identity documents
  • documents about their other relationships, if applicable
  • character documents, if applicable
  • adoption papers or parental court orders, if applicable

Proof of dependency

You need to prove that this person is dependent on you. Provide:

You must also prove this person has been financially dependent on you for at least 12 months before you apply. You could provide:

  • proof they live with you
  • their tax records
  • proof they are currently studying

Prepare your documents

New step description

Scan or photograph

Scan or photograph all documents (English and non-English) in colour.

The scans and photos must be legible.

If a document is more than 1 page, save it all as 1 file.

Keep

Keep a copy of your completed application.


Step 3 - Apply for the visa

You must apply:

  • online
  • outside Australia

Provide accurate information


Step 4 - After you apply

See what to do after you apply

Status updates

If it is within standard processing times do not call. We can't provide any further updates on your application's progress. You can see if we have asked for more information in your ImmiAccount

What will happen after you apply

We will confirm your application has been lodged.

Travel

Do not arrange to travel to Australia until we let you know, in writing, that we have granted you the subclass 309 visa.

You must be outside Australia when we decide on your application.

Biometrics

We might ask for biometrics. We will let you know if you need to provide them.

Health exams

You need to have health exams. We suggest you:

  • check how long it is taking us to process applications for this visa at this time
  • organise your exams 1 to 2 months before that time

Or, you can or wait for us to contact you about the exams.

Learn more about the health requirement.

Attach more information

If you did not attach all documents when you applied, attach them in ImmiAccount as soon as you can.

We might also ask you to provide more information.

If we learn anything about you that could affect your application, we will usually contact you.

Add family members

You can add a dependent child to your application before we decide on your visa.

Complete and attach Form 1436 - Adding an additional applicant after lodgement (392KB PDF) and attach it to your ImmiAccount.

Newborn Children

Find out what to do if your child is born after you apply.

Mistakes on your application

Let us know as soon as you can.

Complete Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answers (168KB PDF) and attach it to your ImmiAccount.

Tell us if things change

Tell us if things change after you lodge your application but before we've made a decision.

Things you need to let us know about include:

  • changes to your phone number, address or passport
  • changes to your marital or de facto status
  • the birth of a child
  • any other changes relevant to your application
  • a request to withdraw your application

See what to do if your situation changes.

If your relationship ends

Contact us as soon as possible using the Partner (permanent) processing centres enquiry form.


Step 5 - Visa outcome

You must be outside Australia when we decide on your temporary visa application.

We will let you know our decision in writing.

If we grant your visa, we will tell you:

  • your visa grant number
  • the date your visa starts
  • your visa conditions, if applicable

Keep a copy of the decision.

If we refuse your visa, we will tell you:

  • why we refused the visa
  • whether you have a right to a review of the decision

We will not refund the application fee if we refuse your application.

What you can do on this visa

  • work and stay in Australia until we decide your permanent Partner visa (subclass 100)
  • study in Australia
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want
  • attend up to 510 hours of free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
  • enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare

How long you can stay

You can stay until we make a decision about your permanent Partner visa (subclass 100) or you withdraw that application.

What you must do on this visa

You and your family members must meet all visa conditions and obey Australian laws.

To see what conditions you have, use VEVO.

Travel on your visa

You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want.

Prove you have a visa

To prove you have a visa and show your conditions to someone, use VEVO

To prove you have been to Australia, request your international movement records by completing Form 1359 - Request for international movement records (195KB PDF).

Working

You are protected by Australian workplace law. See your workplace rights and entitlements.

Bring a family member

Add family members to your application

You can't add family members to your temporary visa application after we grant the Partner (Provisional) visa subclass 309.

To include a dependent child in your permanent visa application after we have granted you a subclass 309 visa, apply for a Dependent Child visa (subclass 445).

Once your child holds a Dependent child visa, you can then add them to your permanent partner visa application.

Newborn children

Find out what to do if you have a child while you hold this visa.

Tell us if things change

Things you need to let us know about include:

  • changes to your contact details or passport
  • changes to your marital or de facto status
  • the birth of a child
  • any other changes relevant to your application

See what to do if there is a change in your situation.

If your relationship ends or your partner dies

You might still be eligible for the permanent visa if your relationship ends or your partner dies. See what to do when there is a change in your situation.

Do not get another visa

To get the permanent Partner visa (subclass 100), you must hold this subclass 309 visa. If you are granted any other visa, the new visa will replace your subclass 309 visa. This means you can't be granted a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).

Gather documents for the permanent Partner visa

So we can assess you for the permanent visa, you will need to show that, since you were granted your temporary Partner visa, you and your sponsor have continued to:

  • be married or de facto partners
  • have a genuine and continuing relationship
  • live together or not live separately and apart on a permanent basis, and
  • be committed to a shared life excluding other partners

We suggest you keep documents that can show us these things.

Find out more about the permanent Partner visa (subclass 100).

Stay

Temporarily, until we decide your permanent Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100) application or the application is withdrawn

Processing times

  • 75% of applications: 15 months
  • 90% of applications: 20 months

With this visa you can

You must

  • be in a genuine relationship with your spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • usually, be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted

Apply

Scope

Your sponsorship covers your spouse or partner and any of their family members who are granted the visa.

Cost for the sponsor

AUD Nil

How long sponsorship lasts

Your sponsorship ends 2 years after your spouse or partner is granted this temporary Partner visa.

This is the case even if they are granted their permanent Partner visa (subclass 100) immediately after they are granted the temporary Partner visa.

Location

You can be in or outside Australia when you lodge your sponsorship documents.

Sponsor obligations

You must help your partner and any family members who hold the visa by providing:

  • accommodation
  • financial assistance, including English language courses, if needed
  • other support such as child care, if needed

Be suitable to sponsor

You must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor your partner for this visa, your partner might be eligible for a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461).

You must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.


Be the right age

You must be 18 years old or older.

If you are under 18 and you are married to the applicant, your parent or guardian might be able to sponsor your partner.


Provide information on relevant offences

To help keep visa applicants safe, you must provide us with Australian or foreign police certificates.

You must also consent to us disclosing your convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant, if you have any. We will refuse the visa application if you don't give us consent to do this.

We might also refuse the application if you don't provide the police certificates within a reasonable time.

See more about sponsor requirements related to relevant offences.


Limitations on sponsorship

Current and former visa holders

We might not let you be a sponsor if you held one of the following visas, in certain circumstances.

Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) or Partner visa holders

Usually, you can't sponsor someone for this visa if:

  • you were sponsored for, and granted, a Partner visa or Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) that you applied for less than 5 years ago, or
  • you have sponsored more than 1 other person for a Partner visa or Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) that they applied for less than 5 years ago

You might still be able to sponsor someone for this visa if there are compelling circumstances - for example, if:

  • your previous partner died or left the relationship and you have young children
  • you have been with the applicant for more than 2 years
  • you (or the applicant) have dependent children

Contributory parent visa holders

You can’t usually sponsor someone for this visa if you:

  • were granted a Contributory Parent visa after 30 June 2009 and
  • the applicant was your spouse or de facto partner before we granted you that visa, and
  • it has been less than 5 years since we granted you that visa

Woman at Risk visa holders

You can’t sponsor an applicant for this visa if you were granted a subclass 204 visa in the 5 years before they applied and:

  • they were your spouse or de facto partner when you were granted that visa, but you are now divorced or permanently separated, or
  • they were your spouse or de facto when you were granted that visa but you did not tell us about them at the time

Measures for the protection of children

We might not approve of you as a sponsor if:

  • you have convictions or charges for specific offences relating to children, or
  • you refuse to provide us with a police check

See more about measures for the protection of children.

Step 1 - Before you apply

Before you apply for sponsorship, make sure:


Step 2 - Gather your documents

Identity documents

Provide:

  • proof that you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • proof that you usually live in Australia if you are an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen

If you are sponsoring on behalf of your child

If you are sponsoring the applicant on behalf of your child who is married to the applicant but under 18, provide:

  • a court document allowing the marriage between your child and the visa applicant
  • proof that you are the parent or guardian of your child

Information on relevant offences

Provide:

  • an Australian police certificate. We only accept complete disclosure National Police Certificates issued byt the Australian Federal Police. We don't accept standard disclosure certificates or national police certificates issued by Australian state or territory police
  • a police certificate from every country where you spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since you turned 16

Police certificates are valid for 12 months for immigration purposes.

You must also provide written consent for us to disclose any convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant.


Step 3 - Apply

Apply after the applicant has applied for the visa and given you their:

  • Transaction Reference Number (TRN) or
  • application ID

You can use:

  • your partner’s ImmiAccount or
  • your own ImmiAccount. You can create your own ImmiAccount if you don't have one

When you are in ImmiAccount select Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia (300, 309/100, 820/801).


Step 4 - After you apply

We will confirm your application has been lodged.

Find out how to send more information and what to do if your situation changes.

Attach more information

If you did not include all documents when you applied, attach them as soon as you can via ImmiAccount.

We might also ask you to provide more information.

If we learn anything about you that could affect your application, we will usually contact you.

Tell us if things change

Tell us if things change after you lodge your form but before we've made a decision on the visa application.

Things you need to let us know about include:

  • changes to your contact details
  • changes to your marital or de facto status
  • if your relationship ends
  • if you want to withdraw your sponsorship application

If your relationship ends

Let us know as soon as possible.

Your partner may not be granted a visa as a result of your information about the ending of your relationship however the Department will not correspond with you about your ex-partner’s visa application. You can also withdraw your sponsorship application any time before we decide on the visa application.

Withdraw your sponsor application

You can withdraw your sponsorship application any time before we decide on the permanent Partner visa (subclass 100) application.


Step 5 - Sponsor application outcome

We will let you know our decision about your sponsor application by email.

How long your sponsorship lasts

You must comply with your sponsorship obligations for 2 years after we grant your spouse or partner this temporary visa.

Your obligations

You must help your partner and their children who have the visa for 2 years after we grant this visa by providing:

  • accommodation
  • financial assistance

You can't withdraw as a sponsor after we grant the visa. But if you don't comply with your sponsorship obligations, we might cancel the visa.

Tell us if things change

Things you need to let us know about include:

  • changes to your contact details
  • if your relationship ends
  • if you want to withdraw your sponsorship

You can withdraw your sponsorship any time before we decide on the permanent Partner visa (subclass 100) visa application. The applicant may still be eligible for the permanent partner visa.

See what to do if your situation changes.

Stay

Until we make a decision on the applicant's permanent visa application.

Cost

AUD Nil

Processing times

  • 75% of applications in 15 months
  • 90% of applications in 20 months

With this visa, the applicant can

  • live, work and study in Australia while we process their permanent Partner visa
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as they want
  • attend free English language classes

Things to note..

You must help your partner and their children who hold the visa by providing:

  • accommodation
  • financial assistance, including English language courses, if needed
  • other support such as child care, if needed

Apply


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