The Subclass 309 visa is a temporary partner visa that allows the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to enter and live in Australia. The visa is valid for two years and can be used as a stepping stone to obtaining permanent residency through the Subclass 100 visa.
Applying for an offshore partner visa Subclass 309
If you are in a marriage or de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and you are currently outside Australia, you may be eligible to apply for a Subclass 309 provisional partner visa. This visa serves as a pathway to permanent residency in Australia.
The application process involves two stages, starting with the submission of a combined application for both a temporary (Subclass 309) and a permanent (Subclass 100) visa. The assessment for the temporary visa will take place first, and if granted, it will allow you to enter and live in Australia while your permanent residency application is processed.
It’s important to note that the combined Subclass 309/100 application must be submitted from outside Australia, and you must also be outside the country at the time of grant for the temporary visa. However, for the grant of the Subclass 100 visa, you can either be inside or outside Australia.
After two years from the date of lodging the application, you will be assessed for the permanent Subclass 100 visa. If your application is approved, you will be granted permanent residency in Australia. Keep in mind that as part of the assessment for the Subclass 100 visa, immigration authorities will verify if you still meet the visa requirements, including if you are still in a genuine married or de facto relationship with your Australian partner.
Requirements for a Long-Term Relationship for an offshore partner visa subclass 309
If you have been in a long-term relationship with your Australian partner, the grant of a Subclass 100 visa will be granted in the first stage of the application process, streamlining the process into a single step.
A long-term relationship is defined as a relationship that has existed for at least:
- 3 years, or
- 2 years with a dependent child from the relationship.
Before applying for the combined Subclass 100 and Subclass 309 visa, it’s important to ensure that you meet the visa grant requirements at the time of lodgement.
Requirements for an offshore partner visa subclass 309
To be eligible for an offshore partner visa subclass 309, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be 18 years old or older (exceptions for married couples.
- You must be in a marriage or de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Your sponsor (your Australian partner) must also be 18 years old or older, with exceptions for married couples.
- You must be sponsored by your Australian partner, but if they are under 18, their parent or guardian must serve as your sponsor.
- Your sponsor must pass the character requirements and provide police clearance as evidence.
- Both you and your sponsor must meet the health and character requirements.
Additionally, your relationship with your Australian partner must align with the definition outlined in the Migration Act and its regulations.
Your relationship must be either a marriage or a de facto relationship with your Australian partner. It’s important to note that these terms are defined specifically in the migration context and may differ from common usage or definitions in other laws and countries.
For the offshore partner visa subclass 309: If you and your Australian partner are married, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Your marriage must be legally valid in Australia (if you were married overseas, you will need to confirm that the marriage is recognised in Australia)
- You and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life as a married couple to the exclusion of all others
- Your relationship is genuine and continuing; and
- You either live together, or you do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
For the offshore partner visa subclass 309: If you and your Australian partner are not legally married, the following requirements must be satisfied:
- You and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
- Your relationship is genuine and continuing; and
- You either live together, or you do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
- You are not related by family
- For a de-facto relationship, you will also need to demonstrate that it has been in existence for a minimum period of 12 months at the time of application lodgement.
Exceptions to 12-month relationship period requirement for the offshore partner visa subclass 309
- Compelling and compassionate circumstances may be considered for visa grant.
- Your sponsor holds, or previously held, a permanent humanitarian visa and declared your de facto relationship to Immigration before its grant.
- Your sponsor has applied for a permanent humanitarian visa.
- Your relationship is registered with an Australian state or territory government.
Relationship Assessment Criteria
The Department will evaluate the following aspects of your relationship to determine if it meets the definition of a marriage or de-facto relationship and complies with visa grant requirements:
The following is a list of basic and generic documentation that may be required:
- Birth certificate
- Police clearances
- Criminal record checks
Relationship evidence documents:
- Marriage Certificate or Relationship Registration Certificate
- At least two Form 888’s (statutory declarations from supporting witnesses attesting to the authenticity of the relationship)
- Written statement or Statutory Declaration from both partners about the history and development of their relationship
Financial aspects of the relationship:
- Joint bank statements
- Evidence of shared living expenses
- Proof of shared income
- Joint property ownership or lease agreements
Social aspects of the relationship:
- Evidence of social activities and events attended together
- Correspondence between partners (letters, emails, text messages, call logs)
- Affidavits from friends and family members confirming the authenticity of the relationship
Nature of household:
- Evidence of shared living arrangements (rental agreements, utility bills, etc.)
- Joint household items (furniture, appliances, etc.)
- Evidence of shared household responsibilities
Nature of commitment:
- Evidence of shared future plans and aspirations
- Proof of shared responsibilities and obligations
- Evidence of mutual support and commitment (e.g. declarations of love and commitment)
Important: The above list is not exhaustive, as not all relationships present the same facts. The truth is every relationship is different. Additional documents and supporting evidence may be required for your specific matter. Failing to provide the correct information or documents may result in a visa refusal.
Documentation during the processing of an offshore partner visa subclass 309
During processing, continue to provide documents that show your relationship continues to meet visa grant requirements. This will make it easier for you to prepare for permanent residency re-assessment and may streamline the process.
It’s important to ensure that all of the required documents are accurate and up-to-date. A good registered migration agent will have templates to assist with many of the above documents to ensure your supporting evidence meets the legal requirements. They will also know exactly what is required for your specific case.
How to apply for an offshore partner visa subclass 309
The process of applying for the subclass 309 visa requires careful attention to detail and strict compliance with visa lodgement requirements. This is imperative to ensure that your application is deemed valid and accepted by the Department.
To begin the process, you must be outside of Australia and ready to submit your 309 visa application form and accompanying documents online. This online platform will also be used for all future communications between you and the Department, so it’s essential that you provide accurate and up-to-date information. If you choose to work with a migration agent or immigration lawyer, they will handle this aspect of the application process for you.
In addition to your application, your Australian partner must also complete a sponsorship form and provide the necessary documents through the same online portal.
It is crucial to provide complete and comprehensive evidence to support your application, as the Department will use this information to assess the validity of your relationship and determine whether it meets the criteria for visa grant.
What are the costs associated with an offshore partner visa subclass 309?
The costs associated with an offshore partner visa subclass 309 include:
Visa application fee: The current fee for an offshore partner visa subclass 309 is AUD 8,085 plus an online payment surcharge.
Health examinations: A medical examination and/or chest x-ray as part of the visa application process. The cost of these examinations will vary depending on the country you are located in.
Police clearances: You may need to obtain police clearances from your home country and/or any other countries where you have lived for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. The cost of obtaining police clearances will vary depending on the country.
Translation services: If you need to provide any documents that are not in English, you may need to pay for translation services.
Legal fees: If you choose to engage the services of a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer to help you prepare and lodge your visa application, you will need to pay their fees. The cost of these services will vary. These will be confirmed to you before you agree to proceed with their services.
Other costs: Depending on your individual circumstances, you may incur other costs such as postage and courier fees for sending documents to the Department of Home Affairs, or costs for obtaining and providing evidence of your relationship.
It’s important to note that the costs associated with an offshore partner visa subclass 309 are substantial, and are typically around AUD 8,500. Additionally, the fees are non-refundable, even if your visa application is refused.
What is the processing time for an offshore partner visa subclass 309 application?
The processing time for a subclass 309 visa application can vary greatly and can take anywhere from 5 to 32 months to receive a decision, based on the processing time of 25-90% of applications received by the Department of Home Affairs. It’s important to note that this is just an estimate and processing times may change due to various factors such as individual circumstances, the volume of applications received, and the availability of resources.
It’s crucial to ensure that you provide all of the required documentation in a timely manner, to help avoid any delays in the processing of your application. A good migration agent or lawyer can ensure that your application is decision ready which may streamline the decision making process of your application. If any issues arise during the processing of your application, the Department of Home Affairs may conduct further investigations, which can also add time to the processing of your subclass 309 visa application.
2 years since the lodgement of the offshore partner visa 309 application
After 2 years have passed since the submission of your combined subclass 309/100 visa application, the immigration authorities will evaluate your eligibility for permanent residence through the subclass 100 visa. It is important to note that to be considered for this permanent visa, you must still meet all of the visa grant requirements for the subclass 100 visa which include being in a genuine and continuing relationship.
In order to fulfill this requirement, you will need to submit the requested documents to the Department, which will confirm your continued eligibility for the visa. It is advisable to start gathering and organising these documents ahead of time.
It is important to only send in your documents no earlier than one month before the 2-year period has passed to ensure that all requirements are met in a timely manner.
What happens if the offshore partner visa subclass 309 is granted?
Upon grant of the subclass 309 visa, you will be authorised to enter and reside in Australia temporarily. You must, however, be located outside of Australia at the time of visa grant. With the subclass 309 visa, you will have the privilege of being able to work, study, and travel within Australia without any restrictions or limitations.
This is due to the fact that the subclass 309 visa will have no visa conditions imposed upon it. This will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy your time in Australia whilst your subclass 100 visa application is being processed.
What happens if the offshore partner visa subclass 309 is refused?
If your subclass 309 visa application is refused, it means that the Department of Home Affairs has determined that you do not meet the criteria for the visa, or there is insufficient evidence to support your application. The specific reason for refusal will be outlined in the decision letter that you receive from the Department.
You have the right to request a review of the refusal decision through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), if you believe that the decision was made in error or that there has been a misunderstanding of your circumstances.
It’s important to keep in mind that requesting a review or making a new application does not guarantee a different outcome, and that you must meet the relevant criteria for the visa at the time of lodgement and decision.
The outcome of a merits review can either be affirmed or remitted back to the Department. It’s important to note that there are strict time limits for lodging an appeal, so it’s crucial to act quickly if you find yourself in this situation.
it is important to keep in mind that the fees for the offshore partner visa are over $8,000 and are not refundable, regardless of the outcome of your application. We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to get it right the first time!
A visa refusal can have a negative impact on a person’s life, causing stress, emotional turmoil, and financial burden. The process of appealing a refused visa can also be time-consuming, complex and require a significant investment of time and resources.
It’s crucial to carefully consider the potential consequences of a visa refusal and to seek professional guidance from a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer to understand your options and develop a plan for moving forward.
Do you need assistance with preparing & lodging an offshore 309 partner visa?
The truth is, every relationship is different. Some couples have been married for many years, have children, own joint property and major assets together and have been pooling their finances in a long-term committed and exclusive relationship for many years…
Other couples’ relationship timelines and supporting evidence may not present the same facts. Many clients of ours have been in a relationship for less than 3 years and may not have the evidence mentioned above. Perhaps they don’t have children, assets, or evidence of joint financials, or maybe they have not been living together for many years. In these cases, they are more likely to require assistance preparing the correct evidence that meets the legal requirements for the offshore partner visa.
In most cases, the answer is yes. You will likely need assistance preparing and lodging an offshore partner visa, particularly if you have limited knowledge of the visa requirements, the Australian immigration laws and regulations, and the complex application process. A registered migration agent or immigration lawyer can help you understand the eligibility criteria, gather the necessary documents, and complete the application forms accurately. This can increase your chances of a successful outcome and save you time and stress in the long run.
A registered migration agent is a professional who is authorised by the Australian government to provide immigration advice and assistance to individuals seeking to migrate to Australia. Migration agents are experienced and knowledgeable about the Australian immigration system and are trained to help you navigate the complexities of the visa application process.
Using a registered migration agent has several benefits, including:
Expert knowledge: Migration agents have extensive knowledge of the visa application process and are trained to stay up-to-date with changes to immigration laws and regulations. They can help you understand the requirements for a subclass 309 visa and ensure that your application meets all necessary standards.
Saving time: A migration agent can help you avoid mistakes and delays in the application process. They can review your application and provide you with guidance on what documents are required, ensuring that your application is complete and accurate.
Improving chances of success: Migration agents are experienced in preparing successful visa applications and have a good understanding of what immigration authorities are looking for. They can provide you with advice on how to present your application in the best light, increasing your chances of success.
However, it’s important to choose a registered migration agent carefully. Some migration agents may not have the knowledge or experience necessary to assist with a subclass 309 visa application, and they may not provide accurate or up-to-date advice. In addition, some migration agents may charge excessive fees, which can make the visa application process more expensive.
When selecting a migration agent, it’s important to consider the following factors:
Registration: Ensure that the migration agent is registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). You can check this by visiting the OMARA website and searching for the migration agent’s name.
Reputation: Look for a migration agent who has a good reputation in the industry. You can ask for references from other clients who have used their services or check online reviews such a Google reviews to see what others have said about their experiences.
Experience: Look for a migration agent who has experience in preparing subclass 309 visa applications. An experienced migration agent will have a good understanding of the application process and be able to provide you with guidance and advice to increase your chances of success.
Fees: Make sure you understand the fees charged by the migration agent and that they are reasonable. Some migration agents may charge excessive fees, which can make the visa application process more expensive.
In conclusion, engaging a registered migration agent can help you navigate the complexities of the subclass 309 visa application process, increase your chances of success, and save you time and money. Just be sure to choose a migration agent who is registered, experienced, and has a good reputation.
At Migration Unity we offer a 100% money-back guarantee on partner visas. We will only take you on as a client if we are confident that there is a high chance of success. You can schedule a partner visa video consultation with one of our Registered Migration Agents who specialises in partner visas here: Partner Visa Consultation