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Navigating the Journey to Permanent Residency: Understanding the Partner Visa 820

The Partner Visa 820 is a crucial pathway for individuals seeking to reside in Australia with their Australian partner. This temporary visa serves as the first step towards obtaining permanent residency through the Partner Visa 801, allowing the applicant to live in Australia while their permanent Partner Visa application is processed. Given its significance, understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, and benefits of the Partner Visa 820 is essential for couples hoping to build their lives together in Australia.

To be eligible for the partner Visa 820, the applicant must be in a genuine relationship with either an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The relationship can be a marriage or a de facto partnership, where the couple has lived together for at least 12 months unless there are exceptional circumstances. This visa category also includes same-sex couples, reflecting Australia’s commitment to equality.

Key elements considered by the Department of Home Affairs in determining the authenticity of a relationship include financial aspects (joint bank accounts, shared financial responsibilities), social acknowledgment (statements from friends and family, social media presence), nature of the household (shared living arrangements), and the commitment to a shared life (length of the relationship, future plans). Both parties must also meet health and character requirements, and the Australian partner must be willing to sponsor the applicant for two years.

The application for the Partner Visa 820 must be filed within Australia and the applicant must be in Australia when the visa is granted. The process begins with submitting an online application which includes detailed documentation to prove the legitimacy of the relationship. This documentation comprises personal statements about the relationship, financial records, cohabitation evidence, and testimonies from friends and family.

Applicants are also required to provide biometric data, undergo health examinations, and provide police checks from every country they have lived in for 12 months or more over the last ten years. The Australian sponsor must apply to become an approved sponsor, ensuring they meet the sponsorship obligations.The processing time for the Partner Visa 820 can vary significantly, often taking anywhere from 12 to 24 months, depending on the completeness of the application and the volume of applications being processed. It’s recommended that applicants ensure their application is thorough, with clear and comprehensive documentation to avoid any delays.

While on a Partner Visa 820, the applicant has the right to live, study, and work in Australia. They also have access to Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare system, which is a significant benefit for those moving from countries without universal healthcare. Furthermore, the visa allows for multiple entries and exits from Australia, giving couples flexibility in travel, which can be particularly beneficial for personal and professional reasons.

After holding the Partner Visa 820 for approximately two years, applicants are eligible to apply for the permanent Partner Visa 801, provided that their relationship is ongoing and they continue to meet all other necessary conditions. The transition from the temporary to the permanent partner visa marks a significant milestone as it secures the applicant’s long-term future in Australia and further cements their familial and social ties.

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