Detail Question Of The Week

Can I apply for visa 820 & 801 while I reside in Australia and will I be able to work in Australia during the processing of the application?

Category:No Category

Question asked

Dear Migration Agent,

My name is L., I am Latvian and I have an Australian partner. We have been in de facto relationship for nearly 3 years and living together in UK for over a year. We are considering moving to Australia in near future and I have been looking at my visa options and information available on the internet, however the process of applying for partner visa while located in Australia (subclasses 820 and 801) is currently unclear to me.

My partner is looking for work opportunities back in Australia, so he might need to move on short notice and I would like to move with him, therefore applying for partner visa from Australia would be our ideal solution.

Can I apply for visa 820 & 801 while I reside in Australia on Tourist visa (Visitor visa, subclass 600)? If Tourist visa is not acceptable when applying for visa 820, are there any other options that would allow me to be in Australia during the processing of my application? Lastly, if I successfully lodge my application for 820 and 801, will I be able to work in Australia during the processing of the application? Just to clarify, I am interested in the time while the application is processed, between submitting the application and receiving 820 visa.


Answer provided by our agents

Dear L.,

Thank you for your inquiry in regard to your partner visa application.

If you have an Australian partner and believe you can meet the legal requirements for this type of visa, and have the evidence to support your claims, you can lodge an 820/801 partner visa application while you are onshore.

You can be in Australia for example, on a Subclass 600 visitor visa, or alternatively if it suits you, you can also have a look at the eVisitor visa (subclass 651), which is a much more streamlined application:

You can lodge a partner visa application in Australia while you are on any of the visitor visas mentioned above, unless you have a condition on your visitor visa which is called “no further stay” (usually condition 8503).

After being granted your visitor’s visa, you can confirm in the visa grant notice which conditions, if any, apply to your visa. If you do not have a “no further stay” condition (which reads that you cannot apply for another visa while you are in Australia), then you will be able to apply for a partner visa in Australia (if you can meet all the other validity requirements).

Regarding your second question, after lodging a valid partner visa application in Australia, you will be granted a Bridging Visa A (if you hold another valid visa at the time you lodge your partner visa application). This BVA will only become active after the visitor’s visa you hold expires. Once your BVA becomes active you will have no work restrictions, and you will therefore be entitled to work while you are on the BVA waiting for your partner visa application to be decided. Once you partner visa is granted, you will then continue to have full work rights.

When will your visitor visa expire and when will the BVA become active allowing you to work?

Option 1: you enter Australia on a Subclass 600 visitor visa, or on a subclass 651 eVisitor visa.

These visas are usually granted for a total period of 12 months, allowing you to remain in Australia for a period of only 3 months from each entry. Once you enter Australia either you lodge your partner visa application before the 3 month period expires or you depart the country (and eventually return for another period of 3 months).
If you lodge your partner visa application within the 3 month period of entering Australia, the visitor/eVisitor visa will expire at the end of the 3 month period (unless you depart Australia in the meantime). The next day your BVA becomes active and you will have full work rights.

Option 2: you enter Australia on a Subclass 600 visitor visa which allows you to stay in Australia for a consecutive period of 6 or 12 months.
In this case scenario, if you lodge your partner visa application after arriving in Australia and are granted a BVA, you will need to wait for the 6 or the 12 month consecutive stay on your subclass 600 visitor visa to expire, so that the BVA can become active the next day and give you full work rights. If you leave Australia after lodging your partner visa but before the consecutive 6 or 12 month period expires, once you re-enter the country the consecutive period will start again, which means you would need to wait until it expires to allow the BVA to become active.

I hope the above answers your questions.

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Kind regards,
Migration Agent.