Work Visa for Partners and Family 2024: Absolutely & Exasperated

Immigration information is subject to change. Please contact a migration agent for your visa enquiries!

Table of Contents

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: January 5, 2024

    Updated: January 5, 2024

    14 min read

    Work Visa for Partners and Family

    If you’re dreaming of bringing your loved one to live with you in Australia or if the idea of working Down Under seems like a golden opportunity for your family, navigating the maze of visas and regulations can seem daunting.

    You’re not alone if you’ve been scratching your head trying to figure out which visa is right for your partner or how to reunite with family members on Australian soil.

    Did you know that a Partner visa (subclass 820 and 801) lets the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen or permanent resident call Australia home? In this blog post, we unpack everything from eligibility criteria to entitlements, making sense of work visas for partners and family members.

    We’ll guide you through each step so that you can feel confident about the process – without getting lost in legal jargon. Ready? Let’s dive into a world where love meets paperwork!

    Key Takeaways

    • You can bring your partner to live in Australia if they are married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
    • There are different visas for partners and family. The Partner visa (subclass 820) is temporary, and the Partner visa (subclass 801) is permanent. For children, there is the Child Visa. Skilled workers can get the Subclass 491 Visa for regional areas, and parents have the Parent Visa option.
    • When you apply for a visa as a partner or family member, you need certain papers like birth certificates and proof of your relationship. You might also need health checks and be ready to provide any extra information asked by the government.
    • Some student visa holders can work without limits when school is out from 1 July 2023. Temporary work visas allow people to stay up to two years at first but could be longer if renewed.
    • Changes that were going to happen in July 2021 to Partner visas have been moved back until April 2023. Keep an eye on these updates if you’re planning to apply soon!

    Understanding the Basics of Work Visa for Partners

    When it comes to work visa options for partners, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria, different visa types (temporary and permanent), as well as the application and approval process.

    Navigating through these aspects will help you gain a better understanding of the requirements and options available for your partner or family members.

    Eligibility Criteria

    You want to bring your partner to Australia, and you’re thinking about a work visa. Here’s what you need to know about who can apply.

    • You must be in a real relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or someone from New Zealand who is allowed to live in Australia.
    • Your relationship can be a marriage or a de facto partnership, which means you live together like you are married even if you aren’t.
    • If your partner is already in Australia, they can apply for the Partner Visa (subclass 820 and 801).
    • To get the Subclass 801 Partner Visa permanently, it’s important that you’re still with your partner after some time has passed.
    • Your partner needs to support your application and prove that they are willing to help you during your stay.
    • You will need certain papers like a birth certificate or passport that shows who you are.
    • It’s important to show that your relationship is strong. You might be asked for letters, photos, or messages between you two.
    • Follow the rules carefully – fill out forms accurately and give all the information they ask for.
    • Health checks and police checks are also part of the process. Make sure both of those things are done right.

    Visa Types: Temporary and Permanent Partner Visas

    There are two main kinds of partner visas in Australia: temporary and permanent. The subclass 820 visa is for those who want to stay in Australia with their partner for a while before they get a permanent visa.

    It’s like the first step for partners of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or New Zealand citizens who meet the rules.

    After you have had the subclass 820 visa for some time and you still meet all the rules, you might be able to move on to a subclass 801 visa. This is a permanent one that lets you stay in Australia with your partner forever.

    To apply for these visas, there are certain things you need to do; it’s not just about being together but proving your relationship is real and serious.

    Let’s look at how families can come together through different family visas as we move forward.

    Application and Approval Process

    Once you know about the different types of visas for partners, it’s time to look into how you apply and get approved. Here’s what you need to do:

    • Check if you meet all the eligibility criteria for a partner visa. This means being in a genuine relationship with a British citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
    • Gather all your proof. You will need things like identity documents, marriage certificates if you are married, and evidence of your relationship.
    • Fill out the right forms for the visa application process. Make sure every detail is correct and nothing is left blank.
    • Pay the visa application fee so that your application can be processed.
    • Apply online or by paper depending on what the instructions say for your specific visa type.
    • Wait after applying. Visa processing times can vary, but remember that a permanent Partner visa starts from 2 years after applying for subclass 820 and 801 visas.
    • Provide extra information if asked during the process. This might be health checks or police certificates.
    • Check your email and post! The government will contact you with their decision on your application using these ways.

    Overview of Family Visa

    Family visas in Australia cater to a wide range of eligible family members, including student dependents, children, and parents. These visas are designed to reunite immediate and extended family members with their eligible Australian relatives and spouses.

    For Student Dependents

    Students in Australia can bring their loved ones along! If you have a Subclass 500 Student visa, your partner and young kids can join you. They’ll get to live, learn, and even work up to 48 hours every fortnight.

    And if you’re hitting the books for a masters or doctorate degree, good news—your family members won’t have any limits on how much they can work.

    Adding your spouse or de facto partner is easy too. Just pop them onto your current student visa as secondary applicants. It’s a great way for them to be right there with you during your study adventure in Australia.

    Plus, keeping the family together means more support while you chase those academic goals.

    Benefits of Australia Child Visa

    Having the right visa makes all the difference for student dependents, and it’s just as important for children. The Australia Child Visa is a fantastic option because it lets kids join their parents in Australia.

    It can be permanent or temporary, depending on what the family needs.

    Kids with this visa get to live, play, and go to school in Australia while their parents work or study. They can enjoy life down under with beach visits, park outings, and all that great Aussie BBQ food! Having your whole family together in one place means more fun moments shared and memories made every day.

    Subclass 491 Visa

    Moving from the benefits of visas for children, let’s explore the Subclass 491 Visa. This visa is great for skilled workers who dream of living and working in regional Australia. It lasts for 5 years and opens a door to permanent residence later on.

    If you’re keen on moving to a place with fewer people and more nature, this could be your chance.

    Your family can come too if they are part of your application or join you later as subsequent entrants. Picture yourself embracing life in a friendly Australian community, while also taking that next step in your career.

    The Subclass 491 Visa focuses on helping small towns by bringing talents like yours to areas needing specific skills.

    Australia Parent Visa

    You want your parents to live with you in Australia? Good news! The Australia Parent Visa is the key. If you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen settled in Australia, this visa helps your mum or dad join you.

    They can stay for good if more of their children live in Australia than anywhere else.

    This special visa comes as both temporary and permanent options. Your parents need to pass the balance of family test. It checks if they have at least half of their children living down under or more kids living there than any other country.

    So bring your parents closer and let them enjoy life with you in Australia!

    Duration and Renewal of Work Visas for Partners and Family

    Partners and family members holding temporary work visas typically have the option to renew their visas based on reassessed eligibility. For instance, short-term sponsorship visas allow an initial stay of up to 2 years, with potential renewal based on meeting the criteria.

    As for medium-term sponsorship visas, they offer longer initial stays and possible renewals depending on ongoing eligibility. Additionally, permanent Partner visas often involve a processing time of approximately 2 years from the initial application before reaching a decision point.

    The Subclass 461 Visa for New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship also offers flexibility as it enables living and working in Australia for up to five years, subject to specific visa conditions and duration.

    The Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa in New Zealand generally allows for a stay of 1-2 years; while the Partner of a Worker Work Visa in New Zealand can be obtained if the partner holds a work visa for over six months and supports the application.

    Special Visas

    – Spouse Visas (Subclass 820/801 & 309/100) and Prospective Marriage/Fiance Visas (Subclass 300) are tailored to specific relationship statuses, ensuring that partners and fiancés have a pathway to join their loved ones in Australia.

    Additionally, the Contributory Parent Visa & Parent Visa provide opportunities for parents to reunite with their children who are permanent residents or citizens of Australia.

    Spouse Visas (Subclass 820/801 & 309/100)

    If you’re in a relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, the Spouse Visas (Subclass 820/801 & 309/100) might be relevant for you.

    The Partner visa (subclass 820/801) is for onshore applicants, while the subclass 309/100 needs to be applied for overseas. This visa category enables partners or spouses of Australian citizens or residents to live in Australia and offers a pathway from temporary to permanent residency.

    Applying for Subclass 820/801 involves two steps – first obtaining temporary residency under subclass 820 and then moving towards permanent residency through subclass 801. It’s essential to meet specific eligibility requirements based on your relationship status and provide necessary documentation during the application process.

    Understanding the intricacies of these visas can help facilitate a smooth immigration process for couples seeking to build a life together in Australia.

    Prospective Marriage/Fiance Visas (Subclass 300)

    If you intend to marry an Australian citizen or permanent resident, the Subclass 300 visa is designed for you. This temporary visa grants you 9 months to enter Australia and marry your partner.

    Once married, you can then apply for a Partner visa to stay in Australia with your spouse. The application process may include an interview and specific requirements, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

    Now let’s move on to understanding the overview of family visas in Australia.

    Contributory Parent Visa & Parent Visa

    If you’re settled in Australia and want to bring your parents to live with you permanently, the Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143) might be an option. It allows a parent of a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to move to Australia permanently.

    However, keep in mind that this visa requires a significant financial contribution during the application process compared to other parent visas available. Another option is the Parent Visa which enables individuals to sponsor their parents for temporary or permanent residence in Australia.

    This can be a valuable option if you’re looking for ways to reunite with your family.

    The Subclass 173/143 Contributory Parent visa could also be considered as it’s a temporary visa allowing parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents visit and remain in Australia for up to 3 or 5 years.

    Entitlements and Obligations of Visa Holders

    As a visa holder, you are entitled to work and study in Australia, access Australian government benefits, and have certain travel restrictions. Your obligations include obeying all Australian laws and visa conditions while you reside in the country.

    To learn more about the specific entitlements and obligations of work visas for partners and family, continue reading the full article.

    Working and Studying rights

    As a work visa or family visa holder in Australia, you have the right to work and study. If your partner is studying a master’s by research or a doctoral degree, you are entitled to full-time work rights.

    It’s important to check your visa details and conditions for any restrictions on working and studying. As of 1 July 2023, student visa holders can work without any restrictions when their course of study is not in session.

    Remember that as a partner or family visa holder, it’s crucial to comply with your visa obligations regarding working and studying rights. For instance, if you’re the partner of a master’s or doctoral degree student, you have unlimited work rights so long as they meet specific criteria outlined by the Australian government.

    Access to Australian Government benefits

    As a visa holder, you and your family may be able to access Australian Government benefits. Some temporary visa holders can get social security help like family assistance and the low income Health Care Card.

    Subclass 820 and Subclass 309 Partner visas allow you to access these benefits too. However, most times, you need to be an Australian resident or have specific visa types to receive Centrelink payments or concession cards.

    Visa holders and migrant workers in Australia enjoy the same workplace rights as everyone else. Refugees living in Australia also have similar entitlements as permanent residents. This means that regardless of your migration status, you’re entitled to workplace protections and certain government support once residing in Australia.

    Traveling restrictions

    If you are in Australia on a work visa, keep in mind that your visa may come with limitations on travel. Visa holders with work restrictions should be aware of the travel conditions attached to their visas.

    For example, some visas might have restrictions that prevent leaving and re-entering the country without applying for a new visa. This can impact vacation plans or visiting family members in other countries.

    Another point to note is that if your partner holds a visa with condition 8104 — which limits work for spouses of certain visa holders — they need to adhere to this restriction while traveling outside Australia.

    It’s crucial to thoroughly understand these travel limitations and ensure compliance with the specified conditions during any trip outside Australia.

    Changes and Updates to Partner Visa Program

    The changes to Australia’s Partner visa programme, set initially for July 2021, have been postponed until April 2023. The subclass 820 Partner visa is the first step towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801), offering de facto partners or spouses of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens the opportunity to live in Australia.

    VisaEnvoy provides expert insights for navigating alterations in the partner visa application process with updates available through relevant authorities. These proposed and introduced changes continue to be anticipated.


    In summary, obtaining a work visa for partners and family members is possible in Australia. It offers the opportunity to reunite with eligible Australian relatives or partners. Whether it’s a temporary or permanent partner visa, it provides full work rights in Australia.

    Understanding the basics of eligibility criteria and application processes is essential for a successful application. With the right information and guidance, navigating through this process can lead to a fulfilling life in Australia with your loved ones by your side.

    For detailed information on the duration and renewal process of work visas for partners and families, please visit our comprehensive guide.


    CJMigration is a well-respected Sydney migration agency with over 30 years of experience in the industry. We can help guide you through the process and achieve your immigration goals.

    5/5 – from 75+ Google ratings