May 24, 2024

Switching from Tourist to a Partner Visa in Australia 

Tourist visa to a Partner visa australia

Applying for a Partner visa while you’re in Australia on a Tourist visa? It’s an exhilarating yet daunting journey. Achieving the ability to live together in Australia is a huge milestone for any couple, marking an exciting chapter in your lives. Yet, the path to securing that visa, Switching from a tourist visa to partner visa in Australian, is loaded with paperwork, risk and processes that might feel overwhelming.

Fear not, you’re not navigating this alone. The complexities of visa applications often trip people up, leading to unnecessary stress and sometimes, unsuccessful applications. That’s where Longton Migration steps in—to streamline your journey with a clear, straightforward approach that maximises your chances of a smooth approval.

Step 1: Understanding Partner Visa Types and Assessing Your Eligibility


Visitor visas are typically short-term, expiring after either three or twelve months, depending on the specifics of your case. Opting to apply for a Partner visa while you’re still in Australia on a Visitor visa can be hugely beneficial.

Why? Because it means you can stay onshore, close to your partner, as you work your way through the application process. Once you submit a subclass 820/801 Partner visa, you’ll likely receive a Bridging visa, allowing you to remain in Australia until a decision is reached by the Department of Home Affairs.

However, eligibility for the Onshore Partner visa (subclass 820/801) hinges on several key factors:

  • You must be in a genuine, ongoing relationship with, or be legally married to, an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Your Australian partner must sponsor your application.
  • You must meet specific health and character requirements.

Assessments are then made using the following ‘four pillars’ principle:

  1. The Nature of the Household – How you manage your domestic living arrangements.
  2. Financial Aspects of the Relationship – How you support each other financially.
  3. The Nature of the Commitment – Your commitment to each other in the long term.
  4. Social Aspects of the Relationship – How you are perceived as a couple in society.

What if your partner is currently abroad? In such cases, it might be prudent to explore other visa options, such as the Prospective Marriage visa or an Offshore Partner visa, which are tailored to different relationship circumstances. This transition from tourist visa to partner visa Australia requires careful planning and a thorough understanding of the legal and policy requirements involved.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, this is quite common. Each couple’s situation is unique, which is why at Longton Migration, we recommend contacting us for a personalised consultation. We’re here to help clarify your specific eligibility criteria and ensure you’re on the right path to applying for the right Partner visa for your situation.

Step 2: Check Your Visitor Visa Conditions

Are you in Australia on a Visitor visa? It’s crucial to check the specific conditions attached to your visa before planning to apply for a Partner visa. Notably, if your Visitor visa includes a “No Further Stay” condition, typically marked as Condition 8503, this could complicate your plans. Under this condition, you are generally not allowed to apply for another visa without leaving Australia, except under very limited exceptions.

If you find yourself facing this stipulation, you might need to consider applying for an Offshore Partner visa (subclass 309 or 300) once you’re outside the country.

If you have not yet submitted an application for an Australian visitor visa, it is HIGHLY recommended that you seek professional assistance to minimise the chance of any discretionary No Further Stay condition being applied to your visa.

Step 3: Gathering Documents for Your Partner Visa Application


Getting your documents in order is a crucial step in your application for a Partner visa. It’s wise to start compiling the necessary paperwork as early as possible. At Longton Migration, we suggest putting together a comprehensive file that includes evidence of your authentic relationship.

This typically involves photos, shared financial responsibilities, a record of your communications, and personal references through statutory declarations from your acquaintances and relatives. It’s less about happy snaps, and more about shared assets and liabilities. Remember, you will also likely need to repeat this process at the two year mark where you will typically be able to convert your provisional (subclass 820) visa into a (subclass 801) permanent residence visa.

As you begin your own ‘partnership’ with us, we’ll equip you with a detailed checklist. This list will guide you through each type of document you’ll need to gather, simplifying the process and ensuring you have the best possible preparation for your application. Gathering these documents well in advance can significantly streamline your visa application process.

Step 4: Apply Electronically with Longton Migration’s Assistance


Once your documents are prepared, the next step is the online application. Longton Migration will manage the submission process for you, ensuring that all your evidence is accurately collated and presented to the Australian Department of Home Affairs. This approach is designed to alleviate the pressure from you, making the process as stress-free as possible.

We act as your primary liaison with the Department of Home Affairs. Should they require additional documents or further information, we coordinate closely with you to respond promptly and effectively. This direct communication streamlines the process, helping to avoid delays and increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.

Step 5: Biometrics and Health Examination Process


As part of your Partner visa application, you might be required to complete a biometrics capture and a comprehensive health examination. These steps are crucial to ensure you meet the health standards mandated by Australian immigration laws.

We guide you through what these appointments will entail and how to prepare for them. Whether it’s arranging your biometrics session at an approved centre or navigating the health check process, we’re here to make sure you know exactly what to expect and how to proceed. This thorough preparation helps to streamline your application process, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

Step 6: Bridging Visa Compliance and Processing Wait Times


Once you’ve applied for your onshore Partner visa from a tourist visa, you’ll be entitled to a Bridging visa. This visa allows you to legally stay in Australia while your application is processed. It’s critical to understand and adhere to the conditions of your Bridging visa because any breaches could jeopardise your application.

At Longton Migration, we emphasise the importance of compliance. We’ll help you understand the specific conditions attached to your Bridging visa, ensuring you remain within legal boundaries during your wait.

Remember, the processing time for a Partner visa can vary and can be as much as 1- 4 years (at the time of writing). Factors that influence the duration include the complexity of your individual case and the current volume of applications the Department of Home Affairs is handling. We keep you informed at every step, so you have a clear understanding of the timeline and what to expect when transitioning from a tourist visa to a partner visa in Australia.

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