Partner Visa 820 and 801 Covid Impact

Covid 19 is impacting the situation of everyone who is considering applying for a Partner Visa and those who have lodged and are waiting for a determination by the Department of Home Affairs.

In this article, we discuss how Covid-19 is changing the decision making of a Partner Visa, and how applicants should carefully consider their next steps.


The Three Scenarios of Partner Visa Applicants

If you are in a relationship and considering applying for a partner visa, you will be 99% of the time fall into one of these three scenarios.

Scenario 1: Applicant and Sponsor is onshore

In most instances the applicant is onshore with the sponsor who is Australian, but sometimes there might be situations where the sponsor is overseas, maybe working, or locked out because they went to travel and visit family and they cannot re-enter Australia.

But 99% of the time, it is scenario one, both applicant and sponsor is together and onshore. In this scenario we strongly recommend implementing the advice of strengthening the application by performing these three aspects: cohabiting together if possible, having joint finances, and getting collating evidence in preparation for an onshore application.

They are looking to apply for an onshore subclass 820, combined with the 801 – the combined application.

Scenario 2: Applicant and Sponsor are Offshore

In this scenario, both applicant and sponsor live overseas. A couple in this situation will either look to apply for the offshore visa options which will be the 309 or the prospective marriage visa (PMV). These are two available options, or they may consider trying to come onshore and apply for the onshore 820 visa, if possible.

In summary offshore and living together, the couple are able to accumulate good cohabitation documentation, joint finances, and have evidence of social living together evidence, but are simply not in Australia.

Scenario 3: Applicant and Sponsor is separated by Distance

In this scenario, the sponsor and applicant is separated by distance which most often means the Australian sponsor (citizen or PR) is living in Australia, whilst the visa applicant is overseas in their home country, or in another country where they may be working.

Normally a couple in this situation, will same have the same options as scenario 2 – they will either apply for the offshore visa options of the 309 or the prospective marriage visa, or they may also try to find a way to come onshore and apply for an onshore 820.


COVID has implications to ALL three scenarios

  • Australians must obtain permission to depart Australia
  • Migrants must obtain permission to enter Australia (separate to a Visa)
  • 820/309 visa holders exempt (but NOT PMV)
  • Completely discretionary decision
  • No legal precedent or transparency
  • Mixed reports of successful and unsuccessful applications
  • Unprecedented circumstances
  • Impacts to flight availability and global movement
  • Other countries have their own procedures/limitations in place
  • Quarantine requirements/expenses in Australia and overseas

Permission to depart and enter Australia

In general, the offshore based couples and in particular couples separated by distance are the most impacted. Currently, Australians must obtain permission to depart Australia. And on the flipside migrants, although with valid visas, must obtain permission to enter Australia. This is a separate requirement, which is not attached to obtaining a visa to enter.

Therefore, though you may have a visa that is valid, it does not mean you are entitled to travel because travel bans are in place. Therefore a separate application for permission to enter Australia, is required because there is a blanket travel ban.

820 and 309 visa holders exempt but NOT Prospective Marriage Visa holders

Subclass 820 and 309 visa holders are exempt from the travel ban but prospective marriage visa holders are not. Therefore, if you hold an 820 or a 309 or your partner holds an 820 or 309 visa, you can still enter Australia. But for PMV holders, you cannot enter Australia.

Granting Travel Exemption is a Discretionary Decision

But the decision to grant a travel exemption to override the travel ban is a completely discretionary decision. There is no legal precedence or transparency to this process. This has never happened in the past and certainly not in the 10 years that we have been in the migration industry. There has never been a period where migrants or partners of Australians need to separately apply for permission to travel, in addition to a visa application.

No legal precedent or transparency

The decisions that are being made to allow for overseas travel are not based on law. This is unlike decisions whereby definitions of a visa application are defined in law, such as a spouse and de facto relationships. These relationships are clearly outlined in the law as defined in sections of the Migration Act and Migration regulations.

However, there is not an equivalent law whereby border officials are making this determination of who is being granted permission and who is not.

The only reference that one can make, is vaguely worded Government guidance regarding COVID-19. It generally states that de facto partners and spouse, of Australians or permanent residents and New Zealanders, should be exempt or will be exempt. But you still need to be able to prove your relationship with your spouse. And this decision is still discretionary.

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au

Mixed Successful and Unsuccessful Applications

Because of the high unpredictability, with mixed results of applicants being successful and unsuccessful. There are partners that are married and not being approved versus couples that are just de facto being approved. There are couples that are pregnant and defacto not being approved and there are couples that have long term relationships being approved. There has been mixed decisions because an event like Covid has never happened before.

Impacts to flight availability and global movement

There is impacts to the flight availability. Therefore, if you are granted permission to travel and you have a valid visa, then you then need to consider securing a flight, and then affordability is another issue.

Other countries have their own procedures/limitations in place

Also, understand that other countries have their own procedures and limitations in place.

Quarantine requirements/expenses in Australia and overseas

Lastly, consider once entering Australia you will need to pay for quarantine, which is in the thousands of dollars. These are the general implications that that exists at the moment due to COVID.


Covid 19 Impact to each scenario of Partner Visa holders

Let us now look specifically in terms of the types of scenarios, delve further in terms of what each couple needs to kind of consider depending on the situation they find themselves in.

Scenario 1 – Covid 19 Impact to Onshore applicants

  • Limits the options in terms of extending your stay to buy more time before applying for your Partner visa (i.e. departing on ETA).
  • Limits your ability to depart the country safely, after lodgement on a Bridging Visa B (Permission to Travel is still required).
  • If you do depart, you may find yourself stuck overseas with a pending onshore 820 which require you re-enter at some stage. BVB might expire while you are offshore.
  • We have to anticipate impact of processing/waiting times.

Scenario 1, where the applicant is onshore with their Australian sponsor, the COVID implications for applicants that onshore are minimal. The considerations are, if you apply for an onshore partner visa, do not rush and take time with preparing for the onshore application.

Make sure you have all the required information, you put into place cohabitation and sharing finances, in preparation for the lodgement.

The longer the length of time before applying, the better.

Pre COVID, there were situations where maybe someone was on a temporary visa that was expiring, and they met their Australian sponsor partner perhaps three to six months before the visa was due to expire. In this case, there were two options available. One option was to apply for the partner visa. But if there was insufficient evidence to meet a successful partner visa application, the latter option of the applicant departing the country would be implemented. The application for another visa to come back in, with a visitor visa or a student visa and would allow re-entry into Australia, thereby extending the legal stay time. In doing this, this would strengthen the application when lodging the partner visa.

But this option is no longer viable for many applicants. The travel ban has severely placed travel limitations for many people, not just for applicants but for the Australian community in general. Hence, you cannot leave the country and be able to re-enter easily.

Therefore, the strategy of departing Australia and coming back in is extremely high risk, and certainly not advisable in most scenarios.

The other option is that after you apply for the partner visa onshore. Before COVID, you could apply for a bridging visa, depart the country and return. That is what a BVB’s meant to allow you to do, to be able to go and come back.

The current problem is not necessarily about the BVB, but about you being able to return. Because although, you have BVB visa which is valid, you still need to apply for permission to travel, obtain the travel exemption.

And as mentioned, this is a discretionary and subjective decision. Understand that you can apply onshore, but the whole process of getting BVBs and being able to go back home and visit family and return, is completely affected by COVID and the travel ban.

If you do plan to depart Australia on a BVB, i.e. you have applied for a visa and organized for a BVB, you must take into consideration of the length of the BVB. Usually BVB’s (least prior to COVID) are granted for 12 months. This length of period is most common for people that applied for an onshore partner visa, then requested for a BVB to leave and return to Australia.

If you go on your BVB, there is a risk that you are unable to come into Australia before your BVB expires, i.e. it expires while you are overseas. That is not a good situation, because you do not have a visa re-enter, which is a separate issue to the travel ban.

Hypothetically, if the travel bans are removed, but you are offshore and the BVB is expires, then you need to find a way to come back in. Therefore, you need to apply for a visa to come back into Australia. There is no visa option to use that allows you to re-enter because you have a pending Partner Visa awaiting onshore. Probably, the only options are therefore to apply for a visitor visa or an ETA, or an E visitor depending on your passport.

There is no guarantee that these tourist visas are necessarily will be approved. In this situation that you have increased the risk factor of a successful partner visa application. You need to be back onshore for that partner visa to be approved to. But because the application was made onshore for the partner visa, you must be onshore for the first stage to be approved. In summary, there are at huge risk if you depart Australia, especially if you cannot come back in within the validity of the BVB.

Another implication to your applications is, we must anticipate impacts to processing or waiting times. In these unprecedented times, it is only natural and logical to expect that the government internally will be delayed in processing visas. Already, we are aware of a steady increase of Victorian Covid 19 infection cases, while New South Wales cases, so far, is being managed well, but no one knows how long until Immigration offices start closing again.

Like any business that has staff, the Department of Home Affairs is impacted by COVID, and will have a flow on effect on their ability to perform work. The Department of Home Affairs is a business with many staff which requires case officers to process visas. Anticipate, that there are long term implications with the processing times, because we are still in the middle of a COVID pandemic.

Australia is in a second wave at the moment. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we are starting to see businesses slowly return to normal, but the impact to processing times remains to be seen. Exactly how significantly impacted, we are unsure, but we must expect that they are will be impacted in one way or another.

To summarise, for those applying onshore, the key points are to know bridging visas, your partner your partner visa, whilst you still have a substantive visa. You will get your Bridging Visa automatically issued to you.

  1. BVA automatic full work rights (unless case complexities).
  2. BVA not in effect instantly
  3. Entitlement to Medicare
  4. BVB travel – 12 months for onshore Partner Visa cases (however consider travel bans)
  5. Waiting times for both 1st and 2nd stage
  6. 1 stage – TV can still be granted even if after 24 months
  7. Must be onshore for Grant for 820 (but not for 801)
  8. 2nd stage – Not technically reapplying but submitting updated information/evidence (recent trends suggest quick processing (7 days for last example)

It has no conditions, which means it comes into effect once your current visa expires.

You can then go on to the BVA, and have full work rights from there.

You have entitlement to Medicare from the moment you apply for your partner visa, and can take the acknowledgement letter, go to Medicare and organize for a Medicare card.

You can also apply for Bridging Visa B, but again consider the travel bans. Remember there are waiting times for both the first and second stage applications. It is a combined application.

Usually, if it is less than 24 months before they might decide your case, you are most likely to be granted the temporary visa, which will be the 820 at that point. The department will then request the digital information and documentation for your application. It is not a new application, with no additional government fees, however an up to date with relationship evidence is requested.

The immigration department will request for statutory declarations from the sponsor to confirm that the relationship is still ongoing and there is still a commitment. Following which there is a waiting time for the permanent visa to be approved. Therefore, understand and factor in, more than one period of waiting, when aiming for Permanent Residency. The PR is the second stage and still needs to be approved.

If you or your partner are already on an 820 (assuming Covid is not a problem anymore), you could go overseas and have the 801 approved while offshore.

You do not have to be onshore for the 801 to be approved. Because it is the second stage of the partner visa, hence you are not technically reapplying. But, again, you have to provide an update with relationship documentation evidence. Generally speaking 23 months from when you made the combined application.

If the 820 was already approved to 24 months from the combined application date, you can expect an email or correspondence from the department that advises that you are now approaching the 24 month mark, which is when you become eligible.

You need to provide an update of relationship documentation and evidence and immigration will then assess you against the 801.


Typical Facts for Onshore Applicants

For scenario 1 – people that are applying onshore –  onshore applying for a partner visa, statistically speaking, they are of the following visa types.

ETA/Visitor/Tourist

  • 8503 No Further Stay
  • Must apply within visas validity period (3 months if on an ETA/eVisitor, or look to depart and re-enter (risks associated)
  • Cannot commence working until BVA is in effect

95% of temporary visas granted to come to Australia will be one of these – ETA or visitor visa or tourist visa. Must factor that sometimes these visas have “No Further Stay” condition risks. This depends on the visa being applied for, depending on the stream, there may be a risk of a “no further stay” being imposed. There is no provision in the law for, and a no further stay condition to be imposed on an ETA or an E visa specifically for subclass 600, people passports from low risk countries as a list of approved passports at any visitor visa types. If you can, that would always be the preferred visa to be applying for. They are usually either free or cheaper or faster, basically instantly.

In this case, it may be manually assessed, and can still be refused. It is a guaranteed, more automated and streamlined process for people that do not come from low risk countries.

It is possible and that is where the subclass 600 visitor visa comes into consideration.

Simply, a manual visitor visa is where the application will be assessed by department case officer. They need to be convinced of no intention to stay, longer than the period of the visit, and there is an intention to return home.

There is a lot of subjective assessment in the approval of a visitor visa subclass 600. But mostly, 600s can have a notion of this a condition imposed.

If you are here on a visitor visa, with a no further stay, of a visitor visa approved that has an O no further stay, an attempt must be made to remove the no further stay condition.

Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, this is a discretionary subjective decision with no guarantee. If the no further stay is overturned, then move on to a student visa.

Student

  • Cannot cease studying simply because you have applied for a Partner Visa
  • Must abide by Student Visa conditions
  • BVA comes into effect once your visa expires naturally
  • Voluntary cancellation of Student visa an option, however leads to BVE
  • Then on a student visa it is far more common for international students to meet their spouse partners while studying in Australia.

After meeting an Australian and the partner visa has been applied for, the bridging visa will only come into effect once the student visa expires naturally. It is a common scenario that people meet early during their student visa, and they want to apply for the partner visa to get off the student visa to stop paying their school fees. They do not want to keep going to class and instead want to work full time. Unfortunately, the student visa still applies even after applying for the partner visa. Abiding by student visa conditions must continue. The bridging visa only comes into effect once the existing student visa expires. Therefore, if attendance to class is stopped, or if school fees are not paid, there is a breach of existing student visa conditions and the student visa can be cancelled. If cancelled, the bridging visa is also cancelled. If this occurs, this situation will lead to a bridging visa E, is the worst visa to land on. Because it does not have automatic workloads, and have to apply for work rights that is a discretionary decision, and need to be able to show financial hardship and compelling reasons.

That won’t necessarily impact your partner visa as long as that’s already been applied for, but that will impact the bridging visa you will stay lawfully in the country with, and like I said you have to consider this scenario where you might have no one rights and no travel rights, waiting for the 820, that may take two years, there’s a lot of things that need to be factored.

Working Holiday Visa (WHV)

  • Applying for Partner visa allows you to remove 6 month work limitation
  • You stay on the WHV until it expires naturally
  • Consider the time you have left and ToA criteria for the Partner Visa

If you are on a working holiday visa, factor in when applying for a partner visa, whilst you hold a working holiday visa. Once applied the six-month limitation of the Working Holiday is removed.

It is usually successful. We have never had any problems with people not successfully removing the six-month limitation. After applying for bridging visa, the same scenario as a student visa plays out. The applicant can stay on the working holiday visa until it expires naturally.  Following which the bridging visa comes into force upon expiry of the work holiday visa. When on a working holiday visa, there is full time work rights (apart from the six-month work limitation). There is also the opportunity to study, while working. Or the applicant can work part time and choose not to study.

Usually people on working holiday visas are in the best position. They can execute all the suggestions and advice that we strongly recommend in this article. They can use time that is left on the working holiday visa before applying to strengthen their partner visa application, apart from the six-month worth limitation with an employer.

Often there really is no other pressing reason to immediately apply for the partner visa. That is not to say, wait until the end of working holiday visa. Do not leave it to the last minute, but then again there is no need to rush.

It really is about understanding all factors.

Have you tipped the scales enough to safely be applying? Is it better to wait and apply towards the end of the working holiday visa that will always strengthen your partner visa? Considerations must be placed on priorities.

Sponsored 457 or TSS

  • Cannot cease work for your sponsor due to Partner visa being submitted
  • Must continue to abide by your visa conditions
  • Ceasing work will initiate cancellation process (60-90 days depending on your visa) will lead to BVE
  • May be able to apply for a Visitor visa first, and then a Partner visa, however risks associated

If here on a sponsored visa – a 457 or a TSS visa or one of the other variations of the temporary sponsor visas like the student visa – working for the sponsor cannot cease, because a partner visa has been applied. The conditions of the sponsored work visa must continue to be adhered. If ceased, and the employer notifies the department, the visa can be cancelled within 60 to 90 days.

If cancelled, then a bridging visa E is required to be applied for, which is the end will lead to failure of obtaining a partner visa. Factor that in and understand that there are sometimes other ways to get off the visa you are on, such as potentially applying for a visitor visa to get off the sponsored visa.

It is the same with a student visa. It might be better applying for a visitor visa requesting a short-term visitor visa, and being completely transparent with the intention to apply for a partner visa after the visitor visa being approved. With an explanation that working for the sponsor has ceased.

I have three years left on this 457, or TSS, or student visa. I’m in a relationship with my friend partner, they are pregnant let’s say you are pregnant which, that will be a compelling fact, I’m just after a short term visitor visa that I can stop having to study and pay school fees or stop having to work for my employer. Then after the visit of this I tend to apply for a partner visa. I am not going to go and look for things I am going to apply for the final visa before my visa expires. I am not going to work. During the period I am on the visitor visa I’m going to wait until the bridging visa is issued that’s going to have new conditions, and I’m going to stay in the country lawfully and support my partner. That is all theoretically possible, Oz Visa Central has executed that strategy for many clients in the past. I am not saying that is applicable in all scenarios and someone who has a student visa where someone has a sponsored visa, just understand that that is a possible option.

Graduate

  • May have initially been aiming for GSM application/very competitive
  • May have a pending EOI – does not impact the partner visa
  • Stay on the 485 until it expires naturally
  • Consider the time you have left and ToA criteria for the Partner Visa

Lastly, you may be here on a graduate visa. You have entered Australia and have studied for 18 months to three years, and now on a graduate visa. It might be valid for 18 months or two years or three years depending on what you have studied. Usually people that are here on a graduate visa are planning to apply for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa. But they then realise how competitive and difficult it is to qualify. Now, if you have a pending EOI, let’s say you’ve submitted for 189 or 190, you can still apply for PR, there’s nothing that stops you from applying for a partner visa just because you had started the process of going down the GSM route.

Equally, even if you have applied for a 189 or 190, you can still apply another visa, there is no issue, having two pending applications, they are not contradictory. But you would have to be careful to make sure that you are declaring relationship details across the two applications and there is no inconsistencies, but technically speaking, there’s no problems having two pending applications.

And then you go on to the bridging visa for the partner visa that you have applied for, like the working holiday visa holders, consider the time you have left on your graduate visa. Should you just wait and use the time that you have now to strengthen your facts before applying, or do you just want to get it in. Do you feel that your facts are strong enough, how do you tip the scales already enough and you just want to get in. Therefore, consider all this if you are on a graduate visa.

Scenario 2 – Covid 19 Impact to Offshore applicants

  • Travel Bans = Limits ability to come onshore and apply for 820
  • Travel Bans = Limits ability to travel to Australia during processing and visit

In summary, both partners are offshore. The applicant and sponsor is offshore, they are not in Australia but are overseas.

Specific covid implications to couples that offshore are travel bans. There are limit this, the travel bans limit your ability to come on shore and apply for an 820,  that there’s will be scenarios where couples that are overseas, have the intention or the desire to come to Australia quickly. They want to come in and want to fly in from offshore, I want to apply for an offshore partner visa and kind of wait it out overseas because I want to come in quickly, and before COVID, depending on the country passport of the visa applicant. That was often a solution. We would get the applicant in on me type of temporary visa and then look to apply for the partner visa at me point during their period on short on that temporary visa.

The problem with the travel bans is that if you are not granted a temporary visa if you are not granted permission to enter. You cannot do that, you cannot apply on shore.  just factor that in, and the travel bans limit the ability to travel to Australia during processing and visiting.

If you have applied for an offshore partner visa, and this is both the 309 in the end the prospective marriage visa. If you apply for one of those visas, the ability to come to Australia and visit family, whilst you are waiting for the offshore application to be processed and you need to be offshore at me point that’s to be approved to you, is impacted due to the implications of Covid implications. Because again, you cannot enter easily if you need time to obtain visa and you need to obtain permission to travel.

Options for Offshore Applicants

Those are the main implications for couples that are overseas, in my opinion. If you are in that situation there are a couple of options.

Option A is to come to Australia and apply onshore, in short, which would in effect, convert you to Scenario 1 where you are both onshore. So to convert to Scenario 1 you need certain elements that have in place for this to be an option

You need a valid visa

If you do not already have a valid visa, you need to apply for one. We are not hearing of too many temporary visas being granted at this point in time, the ones that we are hearing being granted are the tourist visas with a subclass 600. It is important to be aware, if you are intending to apply for a subclass 600 visitor visa, when it comes to coming to the country with the intention of staying, DO NOT apply under the family sponsored stream.

If you apply under the family sponsored stream, that will have a mandatory no further stay condition, which means that you cannot apply for the 820 and the whole process of having applied for the visitor visa is moot. It contradicts the initial intention. If you apply for a subclass 600, you can apply under the general tourist stream.

In certain situations if you are just looking come in for a short stay, there’s benefits to the family sponsored stream. There is arguably a higher chance of that being approved because you are fully being sponsored by an Australian. Sometimes the government requests a financial bond.

But if your intention is to come, onshore and apply for the 820, the family stream is not going to serve you. You need to apply under the general tourist stream, or the business stream (if you have valid reasons to apply for a business stream) and hope that a further no stay is not imposed, because under the general tourist stream, it is discretionary. There is no way to know if they are going to impose it or not. All you can do is really try.

Up until recently, we weren’t hearing of any visitor visa applications being granted during this period. Recently, through industry news and keeping track of how the colleagues and agencies are kind of going, we are hearing e visitors, and majority of tourist visas being declined.

Following have a valid visa or one of them get approved, you then need to separately obtain a travel exemption. Earlier this week, the government changed the process of applying for a travel exemption.

It requires that you create a portal, and submit your application through that portal. Just a few things to understand.

Evidence of your relationship of de facto or spouse needs to be provided. As previously mentioned, it is not like trying to show de facto spouse for partner visa criteria where defined in law. This is not defined in law, but you follow the same process that you would if you are applying for a partner visa and show the same documentation and the same evidence.

The key limitation though the key difference is that through this portal. You are only allowed five attachments. And each attachment can be no more than 15 megabytes. They kind of asking you to show the same level of evidence to prove your de facto spouse, but they are giving you much less opportunity in terms of the documentation, you can provide that gives them the in the image systems, because on the immi portal you can provide 100 documents. And yes, they can be five megabytes but that is a lot more than, that is, let us say 500 megabytes of data, versus five attachments at 15, which is 75, someone goes lives.

You will get a lot less data to work with. The government does not tell you that after until after you start attaching documents. We hope you take note of this, because many couples start the process of self-preparing, they attach a couple of documents, they attach one colour photo, another colour photo, another colour photo, because they don’t know to kind of merge the documentation optimizer document, they find out that they cannot load any further documents.

They reach the five attachment limit, and they are not allowed to attach anymore and you can’t remove attachments. Once you have attached it, you cannot go back, it is such a flawed system.

Of course, the government is attempting to rectify this. Even before this portal process was created, it was even less organized. To a degree, this is an improvement, but still it helps to know the limitations to avoid problems for you. Remember the  file attachment are limited to 15 megabytes.

Now let’s assume you get the travel exemption have a valid visa. You then need flights, and then start to kind of dive into the realm of what flights are even available. How much are they going to cost.

Even if you get a valid visa travel exemption and flights. You then must factor in the budget to quarantine requirements. when you enter Australia. Now, the quarantine requirements are administered by the state depending on your port of entry if you are entering into Sydney, you must adhere by the New south Wales quarantine requirements. The exact process and the costs and what is involved for each state varies and currently there are a few thousand dollars’ worth of costs associated with quarantining for a 14 day period, at your expense. That gets added to the bottom line have applied for a partner visa.

Option A is best suited in situations where the applicant already holds a valid temporary visa, they already have a visa that has already been approved to them. If you already have an ETA, that is fine. Or maybe you have a visitor visa that was approved before COVID happened. But even if you do not, you can still apply for it. As mentioned previously, visitors and tourist visas.

But this will be best suited to couples who already have one of those visas in place because they do not need to go through the visa process. It is best suited to couples that want to enter Australia as quickly as possible. But understand it is going to require a visa application to he approved and travel exemption application.

The benefit of this process is that you can build Australian relationship evidence if this all works. You can come in and you can start living together as the de facto spouse. Australian documentation will always be better regarded than overseas documentation because of the lower risk that documents may be fraud. Australian documentation is arguably is better than overseas documentation.

You also get to enjoy the benefits of scenario 1, which is that you are onshore with your partner, have work rights, and will have access to Medicare. And you can start your lives in Australia, which is ultimately why you applied for a partner visa, in the first place. The benefit is that you speed up the visa process, because you can start living, whilst you are waiting for the partner visa.

To use an analogy, a cricket analogy, have a go and just bowl at the stumps. It means, just give it a go. If you are refused a visa or if you refuse to travel exemption, then you have lost nothing. It won’t impact on your ability to apply for a partner visa and you then simply move on to option B which we’ll cover next.

It is worth an attempt, but of course you have to factor in the financial implications. Having said that, the pros generally outweigh the cons for most couples. It is arguably worth it. I have had many conversations with couples, especially in the past couple of months. And I always explain that it is worth trying. Although we cannot guarantee, due to the many variables and unpredictability. But if it works, the upside is huge. We get you in and you are here, and you are then you can proceed with accumulating collateral for the onshore partner visa. If not successful that you can always revert to option B.

Option B is that you apply for offshore because you have not been granted permission to enter. You are not granted a visa, or your partner is not planning to come to Australia in the near future, so there is no real need to apply onshore. Then the decision is to apply offshore with the PMV as the best option for couples that are not intending to enter Australia anytime soon.

If you have work obligations, family obligations or just wanting to start the process with the long term plan of eventually going to Australia but not within the next one to two years, then apply for the offshore visa. It is the better option at this point.

Option B is best for couples that cannot obtain a visa to come in, and cannot achieve Option A to land with scenario 1. Option B for scenario two couples that offshore. You have two options to choose from, when we start to really simplify this. You either apply for the subclass 100, which is a direct application for permanent visa permanent residency to combine application.

It is a usually a two-step process in that it will usually go out the temporary visa first which would be the 309. Eventually, are you eligible for the approval of the 100. This 309/100 will be best suited for couples that gravitate overseas. There is no immediate plans to relocate to Australia, also traditionally suitable for culturally arranged marriages.

But the four aspects will be assessed strictly. This is where the four aspects are relevant. It is relevant to the criteria the definition of spouse and the factor must be satisfied for the 309/100.

If you are both overseas, both offshore, which is what scenario 2 is, and you are apply for the 309/100, the full aspects are relevant. You have to weigh out the processing times. Processing times is currently 16 to 24 months .

75% of cases will be decided that is the first stage within 16 months, 90% within 22 months. Then you have to consider the 309/100 versus the PMV.

The PMV positive, is that there is a lower evidence burden. Yes, the full aspects,to reiterate are relevant, but it’s not as strictly assessed as it is for the 309/100.

There is always a faster processing time globally when you have a look at the averages. And it is usually best suited for couples who are unable to gravitate or reside in the same country. They are both residing overseas, but they like to apply for the prospective marriage visa. That might be the scenario where if a couples living overseas together. They elect to apply for the 309. Weigh out the pros and cons.

This is a three step process because it is the PMV first. Once the PMV is approved, enter Australia, and apply. Which is probably a two-step process. That is why it is 300/100 or the PMV, and then potentially two for the 821

Scenario 3 Separated by Distance

Scenario 3 Option A is the same as Scenario 2 Option A.

Convert to onshore. Come onshore. Give it a go. Have try and come into the country and apply onshore.

Key difference, the travel exemption more difficult to prove your relationship, because you physically aren’t not together. But it will be more difficult because you are not together.

Option B

Tried to come, but refused. You tried a few times. Have heard of success.

If unable to secure an exemption. Then the only option is to apply offshore. 309/100.