Australian Partner Visa Changes


Recently, the Australian Government proposed new immigration rules for partner visas that are to come into effect before the end of 2021. The nature of these changes is present in the 2020-2021 Federal budget. Consequently, this has raised apprehensions among immigrants intending to unite with their partners.


Some are worried that the changes to partnership visas will reduce their chances of immigrating. Is this concern a real one or a false alarm? In this article, we’ll be answering the various questions that have come up since the news of the partner visa changes spread.

We’ll take a look at partnership visas and the new immigration rules for partner visas we can expect to see at the end of 2021. 

What is the Australian Partner Visa?

The partnership visa (Subclass 820) allows the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to live in Australia temporarily. Getting this visa is the first step to take in trying to acquire a permanent partner visa (Subclass 801).

How Does the Australian Partner Visa Work?

The Australian Government created the partner visa to help Australian citizens or permanent residents unite and reside with their partners or spouses in Australia. However, the Australian Government does not sponsor this visa. Instead, the Australian citizen or the permanent resident does. 

With the partner visa, the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen or permanent resident can live, work and study while the Australian Government processes their permanent partner visa.

This visa allows the holder to travel in and out of the country as many times as possible. However, applying for the partner visa requires the couple to present some form of evidence to the government that they are in a genuine relationship. The relationship doesn’t have to be official.

Proposed Changes in the Australian Partner Visa Operate

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has taken steps to implement new immigration rules for partner visas. These changes will affect both the sponsors and the applicants. Primarily the changes to partnership visa involve:

  • Approval for sponsors. 
  • English language requirement.

Approval for Sponsors

Presently, the application process allows both the sponsor and their partner to lodge the visa application at the same time. However, before the end of the year, this will no longer be the case. The proposed policy will lead to partner visa sponsor changes. It will require the sponsor to get approval before the partner can apply for a visa.

This approval makes it possible for their partner to apply for the visa. The downside to the partner visa sponsor changes would be that partners onshore might be unable to renew their visas on time. This may be because of a delay in their sponsors’ approval.

English Language Requirement

Currently, the English language is not an essential aspect when applying for a partner visa, pending the time of processing a permanent partner visa. But, the new partner visa changes will require both the sponsor (permanent resident) and their partner to provide evidence of having a functional understanding of the English language.

These partner visa changes might mandate the sponsors and applicants to have completed the 500 hours of free English language classes under the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP).

Consequently, the 820 partner visa changes will help migrants be a functional part of society by engaging in productive activities. Also, it will encourage social cohesion between migrants and residents.

Meaning of Functional English

Having functional English requires proving that you have passed some language skills tests or acquired a certificate that requires English language efficiency. However, the English language requirement will not apply to people who hold a passport from countries such as:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland

Here are some of the means to prove you have a functional understanding of English:

  • You obtained a higher degree diploma e.t.c from an institution in or outside Australia where you had to complete a full-time study of at least 2 years using just English. 
  • Your language of instruction was in English during the time of your basic education.
  • Achieving a pass mark in the International English Language Testing System.
  • Getting the required score in the TOEFL Internet Based Test. 
  • Getting the required pass mark in the Pearson English International Certificate. 
  • Passing the Exam for Certificate in Advanced English.

There are several well recognised English proficiency tests. Passing at least one of the tests can help establish that you have a functional understanding of English. 

Furthermore, a good performance in any of these tests at the time when the government implements the partner visa changes in 2021 can help guarantee a successful application. Nonetheless, a person can apply earlier for a partner visa before the partner visa changes in 2021 if they do not wish to take any of the tests. 

Have the Changes in Partner Visas Taken Place?

The changes to the partner visa are yet to take place. However, the Government will certainly implement these changes before the end of this year. If you intend to apply for a partner visa, the best time to do that would be before the government implements these policies. 

And with the help of expert migration agents like JADE VISA, the application process can be less stressful and not as time-consuming.

Application Process for Partner Visa

There are various steps to follow when applying for both temporary and permanent partner visas. These steps are:

  • Check for Eligibility
    The first step in applying for this visa is determining if you are eligible, as there are some requirements a person needs to meet. Contact JADE VISA to determine what it will take to get a partner visa easily.
  • Apply for Both Temporary and Permanent Partner Visa
    The next line of action is applying for both temporary and permanent visas. The permanent partner visa takes a longer processing time than the temporary partner visa.  At immigrate, we can help you correctly apply for these visas.
  • Getting the Temporary Partner Visa
    After applying for the visas, the Government will issue a temporary partner visa pending the time when they will be processing the permanent visa.
  • Supplying Extra Documents
    During the period when the government will be processing the permanent partner visa, a person will need to provide extra documents. Providing these necessary documents upon request will make the process faster. Contact JADE VISA and let us help you get all the necessary documents ready for the application process.
  • Get Permanent Partner Visa
    After successfully applying for the visas, the government will issue a permanent partner visa.

The 2021 partner visa changes will result in the application processes becoming longer. For this reason, it will be beneficial for a person to apply before the partner visa changes in 2021.

Contact JADE VISA For Help With The New Immigration Rules For A Partner Visa

Applying for a partner visa correctly and at the right time can help increase your chances of obtaining the visa you want without stress. Also, because of the partner visa news circulating, migrants can register at the appropriate time when the processes are not so many.

At JADE VISA, we render services to people who are looking to apply for a visa of their choice, which can allow them to reside in Australia. 

With our years of experience as a migration agent/lawyer, we can help you maneuver through the obstacles to ensure that you get both your temporary and permanent partner visas. Contact us today and let us help you achieve your dreams.

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Jade Visa

Jade Visa

JADE VISA was established in 2008 recognising an industry need for an innovative approach underpinned by professionalism and highest level customer focus, which is results-oriented. With over 13 years’ industry experience, JADE VISA track record of delivering a unique tailored solution to its clients has earned it a reputation for transparency and excellence and made it an industry leader in the sector. The immigration laws are complex and ever-changing and all of the practitioners at JADE VISA constantly