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The laws on partner visas can be complex to navigate through alone, often with lengthy delays or disappointing outcomes. At Nevett Ford, our partner visa lawyers in Melbourne are committed to ensuring smooth processes without any complications or delays. Our partner visa migration agents and lawyers have over 20 years of expertise in assisting thousands of married, de facto, and engaged couples in obtaining Australian partner visas to reside permanently in the country.

We understand every partner visa application is unique and we work closely with our clients to provide expert advice tailored to their situations. Our partner visa lawyers in Melbourne are also committed to ensuring that the gay, lesbian and transgender communities have more transparent access to Australian migration law services. 

Our team of registered partner visa migration agents and lawyers are experienced at preparing you for a “decision ready” application and pointing out any other weaknesses that your case may have. We are also always open with our processes and fees as we understand your need for transparency. If you are applying for your partner visa, contact one of our registered partner visa migration agents and lawyers – we will be happy to assist you!

We Specialise In Obtaining The Following Partner Visas:

Subclass 820 and 801

Onshore Partner Visa

The 820 visa is a provisional onshore partner visa lodged within Australia allowing you to live with your spouse or de facto partner who is either an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Meanwhile, the 801 visa is a permanent partner visa lodged within Australia that allows you to continue living in Australia permanently with your partner if you hold the 820 Visa. Once granted you can live, study, and work in Australia permanently.

You must be in Australia when you apply for the 820 and 801 visas.

Subclass 300

Prospective Marriage Visa

This visa subclass is a provisional partner visa lodged outside of Australia and allows applicants to come to Australia, get married, and apply for a subclass 820/801 visa. You can only stay in Australia for a period of nine to 15 months from the date of grant of visa.

Subclass 309 and 100

Offshore Partner (Migrant) Visa

The 309 visa subclass is a provisional offshore visa that allows you to live, study, and work in Australia temporarily until your permanent partner visa decision is made. You must be outside Australia when you apply for the 309 visa and when a decision is made on the status of the visa.

On the other hand, the 100 visa is a permanent offshore partner visa that allows you to live, study, and work in Australia permanently. You must hold the 309 visa and continue to be in an ongoing relationship when applying for the 100 visa. You can be in Australia when applying for this permanent partner visa.

Subclass 461

NZ Citizen Family Relationship

This visa subclass is a provisional partner visa lodged outside of Australia and allows applicants to come to Australia, get married, and apply for a subclass 820/801 visa. You can only stay in Australia for a period of nine to 15 months from the date of grant of visa.

This 461 visa is a temporary visa for a person who is not a New Zealand citizen but is a family member of one. It allows you to live and work in Australia for five years. You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the visa is valid and reapply again for this visa.

If you are offshore, you can apply for the subclass 461 visa without needing to hold another type of visa first. However, if you are onshore, you need to hold a substantive visa when you lodge your application. If you do not, you will need to show you do not hold a visa because of factors beyond your control and there are compelling reasons to grant you a subclass 461.

Why Choose
Nevett Ford 

Decades of Experience

Our registered partner visa migration agents and lawyers are backed by leading expertise and years of experience in immigration matters, and strive to achieve successful visa results – even for those who have had their cases rejected by other lawyers.


Personalised Service

Our team of partner visa lawyers in Melbourne understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to partner visa applications. We will assist you step-by-step and provide you with migration advice tailored to your situation.

Standard of Care

Our registered partner visa migration agents and lawyers are committed to providing compassionate and streamlined assistance for our clients as we believe in building strong and meaningful long-term relationships.


Multilingual Lawyers

We recognise that there may be language barriers when it comes to migration issues; our Melbourne partner visa lawyers are able to provide written and oral advice in multiple languages including Mandarin, Malay, Arabic, Sinhalese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, Serbian and Cantonese to ensure a successful application.

Initial Fixed Cost Consultations

Our team of registered partner visa migration agents and lawyers are dedicated to providing transparent and affordable fees to ensure our clients are aware of what the process will look like ahead of time.


What is an Australian Partner Visa?

It is a permanent and temporary long-term visa for foreigners who are either married to, or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. It comprises offshore and onshore visas.

If you are applying for a partner visa on the basis of marriage, you must be legally married to your Australian partner. On the other hand, if you are applying before marriage, de facto partners must show proof they have been in a genuine and ongoing de facto relationship for 12 months prior to submitting their application, and that they live together and do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.

Who is eligible to sponsor a partner visa?

Any citizen of Australia, permanent resident of Australia, or any eligible citizen of New Zealand. Your partner must sponsor you for a period of two years – after which you may be eligible for permanent residency if the relationship is still genuine and ongoing.

What is the process to apply for a partner visa?

Applying for a partner visa is a two-stage process. You can apply for both a temporary and permanent visa in one application at the same time.

1. Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820 or 390)

If you submit your partner visa application when you are outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the temporary visa is granted and vice versa.

Once the temporary visa is granted, you will have permission to travel to and from Australia until a decision is made on your permanent visa application and you are able to work in Australia.

2. Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801 or 100)

Your relationship will be reassessed after a prescribed period and you will be granted a permanent partner visa if you continue to meet all legal requirements as well as provide the necessary documents.

If you submit your partner visa application when you are outside Australia, you may be either in or outside Australia when the permanent visa is granted. If you submit your application when you are in Australia, you must be in Australia when this visa is granted.

In most cases, permanent residence cannot be granted less than two years from when you lodge your application. However, you may be granted a permanent visa without having to fulfill the usual 2-year waiting period if at the time you apply you meet certain criteria such as:

  • You have been in a relationship with your partner for five years or more (as a married or de facto partner), or
  • You and your partner have been in a married or de facto relationship for two years and have children.
Can I apply for a partner visa before marriage?

Yes, you can. Under the de facto criteria, you need to have lived together with your partner for at least 12 months. However, keep in mind that the 12-month living together requirement could be waived in some cases.

What could be the possible causes for my partner's visa to be denied?
  • Insufficient evidence was submitted to the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
  • Failure to upload the correct witness declarations.
  • Failure to respond to additional DHA inquiries in a professional manner.
  • The sponsor was not eligible, has a history of domestic violence, and/or has a criminal record.
What documents are needed for my partner visa?
  • Essential application forms
  • Identification documents
  • Relationship history documents (marriage certificate, proof of genuine relationship through financial, social, photos, etc., and statements of partners)
  • Health and character check (Australian national police certificates)

However, the documents vary depending on the circumstances. Reach out to Nevett Ford’s partner visa lawyers in Melbourne to assess your situation and get advice on the right documents to prepare for your visa application.

What are the requirements for an Australian partner visa?
  • 18 years old or older,
  • Married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen,
  • Do not have any previous visa cancellations and have complied with conditions of your previous visa, and
  • Able to meet the health or character requirements.

You can discuss all other eligibility details with your partner visa migration agent and lawyer during a consultation.

Can I stay in Australia while waiting for a partner visa?

Yes, if you apply for a partner or marriage visa in Australia rather than an offshore partner visa. You will usually be given a bridging visa while your application is being processed, allowing you to stay in Australia until a decision on your application status is reached.

If you are still unsure about your partner visa status and are worried about having to leave the country, please do not hesitate to reach out to our partner visa lawyers in Melbourne and we will guide you through the process.

Who You’ll Work With

Ryan Curtis-Griffiths


David Stratton

Managing Director

Helen Zheng

Special Counsel

Heather Dzviti

Senior Lawyer

Rebecca Henzel

Senior Lawyer

Melissa Vincenty

Senior Lawyer

Jacqui Azouz


Lili Sibic


Shalini Kodikara


Chloe Wang

Legal Assistant

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Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value

“Ryan Curtis-Griffiths and Jacqui Azouz provided excellent legal work.  I am a lawyer in the United States so I expect a lot.  And I got it from Ryan and Jacqui.  They are knowledgeable, efficient and very easy to work with. I will use them whenever I have an opportunity. “

Professionalism, Responsiveness, Value

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Excellent services and advice

“Ryan has been my migration lawyer of a number of years now and has been successful in obtaining PR and Australian Citizenship for me. His advice is clear, straight forward and tailored to an individual’s needs. He puts in the effort and time and always cares for his clients. Overall, I received a first-class service from him, and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for migration advice.”

The best immigration service provider in Mel

“In all respect to achieve your PR and the pathway for citizenship was done very professionally ! Special thanks to Rayan ( MD) who helped me in all the way throughout to achieve goal.”

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“Ryan Curtis-Griffiths knowledge of immigration law, a skills in preparing all documents, excellent communication skills, rapid response to my inquiries, thoughtful and good listener.”

Professional Service with Attention to Detail

“We engaged Nevett Ford Lawyers to prepare our 186 Business Nomination and Visa Application. Ryan provided outstanding service by assisting us with all his experience in the industry. It was the best decision to work with Ryan as he always listened to our instructions and assisted with timely advise. I would definitely recommend Ryan and his team to anyone looking for a Immigration lawyer.”

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“Ryan and his team made sure the process of 186 Business Nomination and Visa application were as seamless as possible. We always received prompt response and correct advise regarding the matter. I would happily recommend Ryan and Nevett Ford to anyone who wants assistance with 186 visas.”

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“Looked after me. Always made sure I knew what was going on and why, but also made sure my mental health was top priority.”

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“Great professional team, best communicating with the customer.”

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“Nevett Ford Lawyers, including paralegals and administrative staff, displayed professional and reliable services. All staff with whom I interacted responded promptly to my queries and requests. Their polite and friendly manner was appreciated and reassuring.”

Professional, Efficient & Supportive

“A Positive outcome of Permanent Residency from a Ministerial Intervention is what we achieved through Nevett Ford Lawyers. David Stratton and his Team have been highly efficient and professional along the entire journey through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and Ministerial Intervention. The Team managed our file with great care and patience while supporting us through the entire process during the past four years. We would highly recommend Nevett Ford Lawyers for their Professionalism and Task Accomplishments.”

Ryan and Shalini worked extremely hard for us

“Ryan and Shalini’s communication skills were what really stood out to us. They replied to emails most of the time within minutes and did a good job on helping us stay realistic about expectations as our case was extremely difficult and had a high chance of failure, they did a brilliant job of getting the visa through for my partner.”

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Navigating a tricky workplace case

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Mlam Camou (MlCam)
Mlam Camou (MlCam)
I will recommend definitely this services to anyone who wants a clear and positive outcome for his immigration case. Professionalism and experience are also 2 very important points to consider when you decide Nevett ford to represent you. I am satisfy with their work to be honest.Thank you Nevett Ford Lawyers for your excellent work.
Lisa-Marie Hinton
Lisa-Marie Hinton
My visa application was the most challenging time of my life. It was so much pressure, lots of tears and emotions. Ryan and the wonderful Team guided our family and secured my husband and children Citizenship and my PR. I think Ryan has a beautiful heart and is very kind. He listened to me when I was at my wits-end and could only cry on the phone. I would choose Ryan again. It has been a difficult journey but he never gave up on helping my family in the fight of staying together. Forever grateful. The Hintons xxx
Vivien Karabinas
Vivien Karabinas
The expertise and service received by lawyer Sophie Stickland was efficient, caring and reasonably priced. I would highly recommend her. Thank you.
Jervin Paul Dhas
Jervin Paul Dhas
Had the pleasure of working with Lili for my PR application and I had a very good experience. She was very responsive and guided me and provided updates in every step and the entire process was smooth and quick. Highly recommend their services and one of the best. Thanks again Team
Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson
During the period between 2020 - 2023 i was applying for a permanent partner visa and hired Ryan to assist me.I had spoke to 7 other immigration lawyers prior to Ryan, and the general feedback i would get back was negative (installing doubt into my mind about the likelihood of obtaining a visa in my circumstance). Ryan was the only lawyer who had a positive attitude and was optimistic about my situation and gave me a lot of free advice about what i could do even before i hired him, this was a major green flag to me so i made the decision to hire him.I couldn't of asked for a better lawyer, i would highly recommended his services to anyone. Good communication, fast responses, never hesitant to answer any queries, pleasant to speak to and most importantly a good lawyer that gets the job done.I recently obtained my PR after a 3 year process and I cannot thank Ryan (and the team) enough for their service.
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Lili Sibic was ery professional and helpful. Highly recommended ????
Jessica Liu
Jessica Liu
Awesome and extremely professional and patient. Highly recommended!!!
Experienced, organised and friendly, Ryan is always helpful and reassuring during the entire visa application process. The entire duration has made him more than just a lawyer but a friend.
Hiro Kamisugi
Hiro Kamisugi
Nathan and Jean as team helped me for my first home purchase. Even though I knew nothing of this matter, they made my whole journey nice and comfortable. Everyone around myself tells me that purchasing home is a very stressful journey, but I was totally fine with their help. Don’t think I can ever ask anyone else for my next home in the future!

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    *If you are overseas, please call our office on +61 3 9614 7111.

    Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

    ABN: 80 144 697 790

    Level 16, South Tower, Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street
    Melbourne, VIC 3000