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Changes to Australian Partner Visas: Can my 309 visa be granted onshore?

Big news for couples applying for partner visas in Australia! As of November 24, 2023, partner visa applicants don't need to be in a specific location for the purpose of granting the visa.

For context, there are two types of partner visa applications:

  • Onshore(820/801) partner visa - for applicants who are in Australia at the time the application is lodged. These applicants had to be in Australia for the visa is granted

  • Offshore(309/100) partner visa - for applicants who are outside Australia at the time the application is lodged. These applicants had to be outside Australia for the visa to be granted.

  1. All Applicants(onshore and offshore) can be granted a partner visa inside or outside Australia The new amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994 that have been implemented allow all Partner visa applicants to be granted a visa regardless of whether they are inside or outside Australia at the time of decision. This change applies to all visas granted on or after November 24, 2023, including those lodged prior to the changes being made.

  2. Benefits for offshore partner visa applicants Offshore partner visa can be granted onshore This is especially good news for those applying for offshore partner visas (subclass 309). Before, you had to stay outside Australia until your visa was granted. But now, your offshore (309) application can officially be granted onshore now. Primary applicant's right to appeal directly. Another important change is that offshore partner visa applicants now have the right to appeal directly if their visa is refused. Before, they had to rely solely on their Australian sponsor to initiate review proceedings on their behalf.

  3. Why have these changes made? These changes came about because of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated border closures. The government's concession to waive the requirement for offshore Partner visa applicants to be outside Australia at the time of decision during the pandemic highlighted the need for permanent reforms to accommodate changing circumstances. Now, everyone applying for a partner visa gets a fairer deal, no matter where they are. Furthermore, these amendments address the unique challenges faced by subclass 309 visa applicants, particularly concerning relationship cessation provisions and access to review rights. By extending these provisions to offshore applicants and granting them direct appeal rights, vulnerable applicants are afforded greater protection and support. the challenges it created for visa applicants.

  4. Practical considerations for offshore partner visa applicants These changes also mean that you can do some Bridging visa trickery if you can come in on another visa like a Visitor visa despite applying for the 309 visa offshore. It also means you can consider lodging the 309 visa first, THEN trying the 600 visa so that you don't waste time in waiting for the 600 visa only to have it refused and you still need to lodge the 309 visa anyway. However, there are practical considerations to be mindful of. Applicants awaiting a decision outside Australia, particularly those from 'high-risk' countries, may encounter challenges related to tourist/visitor visa applications and bridging visa entitlements. If you're affected by these changes and need help understanding what they mean for you, our team at Skylark Migration is here to assist. Whether you're wondering about visa rights, appeals, or application strategies, we're ready to guide you through the process.

For unparalleled service and affordable rates in Australian migration assistance, choose Skylark Migration. We're here to support you on your journey to making your Australian migration dreams a reality!


Why Choose Skylark Migration?

At Skylark Migration, we specialize in simplifying complex immigration pathways. Our team's expertise in handling partner visas means we can provide personalised advice, ensuring your application is comprehensive and meets all criteria. Our free partner visa consultation will ensure you're on the right path for your visa journey!

Former-Department of Immigration  With a former Immigration officer on our team, we have unique insight into what a strong application looks like and red flags you should avoid.

100% Success Rate* Yes, we maintain a 100% success rate across a large range of visas.* 

100% Money-back guarantee Which is why we are confident enough to offer you 100% Money Back Guarantee - We get your visa, or you get your money back*​ 

Competitive, all-inclusive fees We are transparent with our pricing and are fiercely against charging exorbitant fees.

100s of 5-star reviews Nothing beats hearing it from our customers. See what our customers have said 👇


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