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Experienced Partner Visa Lawyers In Melbourne

Nevett Ford has over 20 years of expertise assisting thousands of married, de facto, and engaged couples in obtaining Australian partner visas to reside permanently in the country. Our Melbourne partner visa lawyers are also committed to ensuring that the gay, lesbian and transgender communities have more transparent access to Australian migration law services.

Our team of partner visa immigration lawyers and registered migration agents are experienced at preparing you for a “decision ready” application and pointing out any other weaknesses that your case may have. If you are applying for your partner visa, contact one of our partner visa immigration lawyers and registered migration agents – we will be happy to assist you!

Types of Partner Visa

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 445 Dependent Child Visa

This visa allows a child to stay in Australia temporarily while their parents’ permanent partner visa application is completed. With this visa, the child can also travel to and fro, work, as well as study in Australia. The child must be a dependent of the visa-holding parent and be sponsored by the nominator or sponsor of the visa-holding parent.

Subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship

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.


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 fulfil the usual two-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.


As illustrated, the documentation and requirements for a partner visa application are extensive. Our partner visa immigration lawyers and registered migration agents can assist you and your partner throughout the complex process of applying for a partner visa. We will ensure that the application is properly prepared and managed so that your visa is granted as quickly as possible.

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.

De facto partners must also prove in their application that their relationship is genuine and continuing, and that they do not live separately and/or apart on a permanent basis.

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)


    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 the conditions of your previous visa, and
  • Able to meet the health or character requirements designated by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

You can discuss all other eligibility details with your partner visa 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.

Why work with

Nevett Ford Lawyers?

If you are looking for experienced partner visa lawyers in Melbourne, then Nevett Ford is your solution. Our lawyers, backed by over 150 years of experience in a wide range of service areas, strive to achieve successful visa results – even for those who have had their applications rejected by other lawyers. We are dedicated to providing transparent, streamlined, and affordable migration advice tailored to your personal needs. Reach out to our partner visa lawyers and agents today for immediate assistance on Australian partner visas.


“My partner and I worked with Ryan Curtis-Griffiths for our partner visa application and I couldn’t recommend his expertise more. Ryan and the entire Nevett Ford team were fantastic throughout this lengthy process and I couldn’t imagine going through this experience without his guidance and support. He assisted along every step of the way and really ensured that the application process was as seamless and straightforward as it could be. ”

– Leah

“We have Helen Zheng from Nevett Ford Lawyers for the Partner Visa and the experience was fantastic. She provided confidence to us in the beginning and explain clearly the process and documents which we need to arrange. She also advised us to be patient since this is a long wait process. She guided as well and was very helpful in answering all our questions. I would highly recommend their service. Thumbs up.”

– Sadiq

Who You’ll Work With

Ryan Curtis-Griffiths

David Stratton

Helen Zheng

Heather Dzviti

Melissa Vincenty

Jacqui Azouz

Chloe Wang

Lili Sibic

Shalini Kodikara

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