How Do Onshore And Offshore Partner Visas Differ?

How Do Onshore And Offshore Partner Visas Differ?

A partner visa is a visa in Australia that allows a partner, whether in a husband/wife relationship or a de facto relationship, to stay in Australia temporarily or permanently, as the case may be. The relationship the partner must be with is a person who is a permanent resident of Australia, a citizen of Australia, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand.

A partner visa can be an onshore or an offshore partner visa. These onshore and offshore partner visas are temporary as well as permanent.

There are three types of partner visas-

  1. Partner visa onshore – partner visa subclass 820, subclass 801 
  2. Partner visa offshore – partner visa subclass 309, subclass 100
  3. Prospective marriage visa subclass 300

A prospective marriage visa subclass 300 is a fiance(e) visa. It is for an applicant willing to visit Australia to marry his future partner, and then he can apply for his respective partner visa. The explanation of onshore and offshore partner visas is mentioned below.

A partner visa permits the applicant to stay, work or study in Australia. He can also travel from and to Australia with a partner visa. 

Onshore partner visa subclass(820/801)

In an onshore partner visa, the applicant can apply from within Australia. It has two stages of application. The first stage is to apply for a temporary partner visa subclass 820.

This temporary visa is valid for two years, and the second stage of applying for a permanent partner visa subclass 801 will begin. 

The applicant must prove that the relationship is continuing to apply for a permanent partner visa 801. While applying for the visa subclass 801, the applicant can be in or outside Australia.  

The processing time of an onshore temporary visa changes from time to time. But generally, this period is 21 months. 

A visa subclass 820 allows a person to stay/work/study in Australia and attend classes from Adult migrant English programs. The onshore partner visa provides access to medicare while the application is processing. While visa 801 allows one to apply for Australian citizenship, sponsor a relative or family member to visit Australia, and travel to a foreign country for five years.

Offshore partner visa subclass(309/100)

A partner visa in which the applicant must be outside Australia while applying is an offshore partner visa. Offshore partner visa subclass 309 is a visa of temporary nature. However, partner visa 100 is a permanent visa of related visa 309.

A person can apply for a permanent partner visa with the temporary one. If the applicant is applying for visa subclass 100 directly, then he should be outside Australia. But when the applicant first applies for a temporary partner visa, he can be in or outside Australia at the time of application for a permanent partner visa. 

The rights carried by an onshore partner are similarly applicable to an offshore partner visa.

Requirement for getting a partner visa in Australia

The primary eligibility requirement for both onshore and offshore partner visas are as follows- 

  • The applicant must be a spouse or a de facto partner of an Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen.
  • His age must be below 18 years.
  • He must satisfy the health and character requirements of the DHA or immigration department.
  • He must owe any money from the Australian government.
  • He must prove his relationship is genuine and continuing, such as through family gatherings, marriage certificates, or joint accounts.
  • If the applicant is in a de facto relationship, he must have evidence that his relationship is going on for more than one year.

The applicant can apply for a partner visa only after satisfying the eligibility requirements and accepting the visa conditions attached to the partner visa. 


A partner visa is for an individual who is a spouse, fiance(e), or de facto partner of a permanent resident of Australia. For a fiance(e) who wishes to marry his prospective partner in Australia, a prospective marriage visa subclass 300 is applicable. 

But for a spouse or de facto partners, onshore or offshore partner visas are available. Partner visa subclass 820 and visa subclass 801 are onshore, and partner visa subclass 309 and visa subclass 100 are offshore partner visas. 

An immigration agent in Perth can briefly explain these onshore and offshore partner visas to the applicant. However, both these visas carry similar rights and eligibility requirements. The difference between the two is for an onshore partner visa, the applicant must be in Australia, and for an offshore partner visa, the application must be outside Australia at the time of application. 

The application procedure for a partner visa is complex, so a migration agent in Perth can assist in the best possible manner to minimise the processing time by avoiding mistakes in applying.


about the author

Migration Agent Perth specialist in Spouse, work and family visas as well as Visa Refusal and cancellation. Get quality assistance with their visa and migration issues with us.


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