Which Partner Visa is Best For Me – Onshore or Offshore?
As a partner visa specialist in Melbourne, I have plenty of experience working with clients who are navigating the Partner visa process. Applying for any visa can be a complicated and daunting process that requires a significant financial investment. However, underpinning the Partner visa process is another type of significant investment – an investment into love, and into a committed relationship. Acknowledging and understanding that the process of applying for this visa comes with many emotions due to this love and commitment, is an important part of my job, alongside being able to professionally assist you in navigating the entire application process. That’s why this month we explore the benefits of each type of partner visa – onshore and offshore. Keep reading for my professional opinion on which type of partner visa is best, and to discover how to get help with your Partner visa application.
What is the Offshore Partner Visa?
The Offshore Partner Visa is known as the Partner Visa (subclass 309/100). This visa will allow your partner or spouse to live in Australia on a temporary basis, until you apply for the permanent partner visa.
To be eligible for this partner visa, you must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. The other key component to basic eligibility is that you must be in a genuine relationship with your spouse, or de facto partner.
The Partner Visa (subclass 309) is going to be your first step as it is a provisional visa. It will allow your partner to live with you in Australia temporarily, and is the pathway towards permanent migration. What you must remember about this visa is that your partner must be living outside of Australia when you apply.
If you are approved for the provisional partner visa (subclass 309), then you may apply for the Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100) after two years from the date of application of the 309 visa. This visa will allow your partner to live in Australia permanently.
What are the Benefits of the Offshore Partner Visa?
With the Offshore Partner visa (subclass 309), upon grant your partner will be able to stay, work and study in Australia, plus they will be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as they want. This allows them to begin to build their life here in Australia, while at the same time, being able to visit their friends and family in their home country. This visa also give eligible people access to free English language classes which are provided by the Adult Migrant English Program. What’s more, depending on eligibility, holder of this visa can apply for access to Medicare, our public healthcare system.
Another benefit of the Offshore partner visa is that as your partner needs to be in their home country during the application process, they will be able to sort things out, tie things up, and finalise packing and moving administrative tasks before their move to Australia.
What is the Onshore Partner Visa?
The Onshore Partner Visa is known as the Partner visa (subclasses 820/801). If you are granted this visa, it will allow your partner or spouse to live with you in Australia, initially on a temporary basis, and then permanently if granted by the permanent visa process (subclass 801).
In order to be eligible for this visa, you must either be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Once again, the other key here is that you are in a genuine relationship with your spouse or de facto partner.
The Partner Visa (subclass 820) will be your first step, as it is a temporary visa. It will ensure that your partner can temporarily live in Australia, and is a direct pathway to the permanent partner visa. It is important to note that to be granted the temporary visa, your partner must be living in Australia with you at the time that you apply.
Your final step will be to apply for the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801), which allows your partner to live in Australia on a permanent basis.
What are the Benefits of the Onshore Partner Visa?
The benefits of the Partner visa (subclass 820) are very similar to that of the offshore (subclass 309) meaning that if your partner is granted this visa, they will be able to:
- Stay, work, and study in Australia
- Travel to and from Australia as many times as they want
- Attend free English language classes if they are eligible
- Apply for access to Medicare
In addition, the Onshore Partner visa also carries with it another significant benefit which is that your partner can be living in Australia during the application process and subsequent processing time. That means that the two of you will be together, and you can continue to build your life in Australia together.
My Professional Opinion:
In my opinion and in my experience as a registered migration agent, I always encourage my clients to lodge the Partner visa onshore. This has many benefits, like the ones I have outlined above. However, the greatest advantage to this option is that you get to be with your partner, in Australia, while your application is being processed. You can strengthen your relationship by getting a jump-start on creating your life together, living, working, and even studying together in the same country. This is the optimal choice as it will also give you the opportunity to continue to grow your relationship evidence together, in preparation for applying for your partner’s permanent visa.
Do You Need a Partner Visa Specialist in Melbourne?
You don’t have to look any further than Australian Immigration & Visa Services – AIVS. As registered migration agents, our consultants have the knowledge, expertise and understanding to guide you through this challenging process. Whether you need help with a Partner visa, a Family visa, or another visa process, our team of experts is ready to help you.