Partner Visa (Subclass 309)
The Subclass 309 visa, also known as the Partner (Provisional) visa, is an Australian visa designed for individuals who are in a genuine and committed spousal or de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. This visa allows the applicant to live in Australia temporarily while their permanent Partner visa application (Subclass 100) is being processed.
Key features of the Subclass 309 Partner (Provisional) visa:
- Temporary Residence: The primary purpose of the Subclass 309 visa is to allow the applicant to live in Australia with their partner on a temporary basis while their permanent Partner visa application is being assessed.
- Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for the Subclass 309 visa, the applicant must be in a genuine and continuing spousal or de facto relationship with their partner who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Offshore Application: The Subclass 309 visa is typically applied for outside of Australia, meaning the applicant must be outside the country when they apply and when the visa is granted.
- Two-Stage Process: The Subclass 309 visa is the first stage of a two-stage partner visa application process. After holding the Subclass 309 visa for a certain period and meeting the requirements, the applicant becomes eligible to apply for the Subclass 100 Partner visa, which provides permanent residency.
- Processing Time: The processing time for the Subclass 309 visa can vary and may take several months or years. During this time, the applicant is generally not allowed to enter Australia unless they have some other visa provision.
- Health and Character Requirements: Like all Australian visas, the Subclass 309 visa has health and character requirements that must be met by the applicant and any dependants.
- Evidence of Relationship: Applicants need to provide substantial evidence of their genuine and continuing relationship with their partner. This may include documentation such as joint financial commitments, shared household responsibilities, photographs, and statements from family and friends.
- Travel: Once the Subclass 309 visa is granted, the applicant can travel to and from Australia while the visa is valid. However, they should ensure they meet the visa’s travel and residency requirements to maintain their eligibility for the subsequent Subclass 100 visa.