How can you get an Australian Onshore Visa?

Australia has long been a sought-after destination for those seeking a new life and better opportunities. If you’re considering a move to Australia for your career, it’s essential to understand the visa application process.

In the realm of Australian immigration, there’s a diverse array of visa options, and one such option is the partner visa, further categorized into onshore and offshore types.

Individuals in either a married or de facto relationship can apply for Australia’s partner visa, allowing them to live in the country temporarily or permanently. The partner must be in a relationship with an Australian permanent resident, an Australian citizen, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

This visa allows an Australian citizen’s spouse or de facto partner to live and work in Australia. The application process includes two visa applications: the Onshore Partner Visa application (subclass 820/801) and the Offshore Partner Visa application (subclass 309/100).

The offshore application is initiated from outside Australia, while the onshore visa application is made when the applicant is already within the country. Australia offers a range of visa options, and understanding onshore visa applications for partners is essential. Explore our blog for insights into this process.

discover how you can get an Australian Onshore Visa.

Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801)

The Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) is designed for partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. This visa allows them to remain in Australia while their visa application is being processed.

Applicants for this Australian onshore visa can stay in Australia throughout the processing period with the issuance of a bridging visa.

In contrast to offshore visas, which are applied for when outside Australia, onshore visas are for individuals already present in the country on a temporary visa. This option suits those who wish to extend their stay or pursue permanent residency.

On shored detection and processing

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Common Australian Onshore Visa Types

There are several common Australian onshore visa types, offering flexibility for individuals in different situations:

  • Visitor Visas to Other Visas:
  • If you initially come to Australia on a visitor visa, you can switch to different visas while in the country. This allows you to explore other paths, such as student or partner visas, without leaving Australia.
  • International students studying in Australia may have the opportunity to extend their stay by applying for additional student visas or exploring different visa options after completing their studies. This not only enables continued education but also allows for a more extended stay in Australia.
  1. Partner Visas:
  • Individuals in a serious relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident can apply for onshore partner visas. The application process can be initiated while already in Australia, making it more convenient for couples looking to build a life together.
  1. Work Visas:
  • Certain temporary work visas provide a pathway to transition from temporary to permanent residency. This benefits individuals who wish to continue working in Australia for an extended period based on their employment.

These visa options cater to diverse needs, offering onshore applicants various pathways to continue their stay or pursue permanent residency in Australia.

Requirements for Subclass 820 Visa

To be eligible for the provisional partner visa (subclass 820), applicants must meet specific criteria, marking the beginning of the onshore partner visa journey:

  1. Presence in Australia: Applicants must be physically present in Australia at the time of application and when the visa is granted
  2. Relationship Eligibility:The applicant must be married to (spouse) or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. For married spouses, this entails having a valid marriage under Australian law, a mutual commitment to a shared life, a genuine and continuing relationship, and either living together or maintaining a non-permanent separation. De facto partners must meet similar criteria, including mutual commitment, a genuine and continuing relationship, and generally having lived together for 12 months before the visa application (with exceptions).
  3. Health and Character Requirements: Applicants are required to undergo health examinations and provide evidence of good character.

Meeting these criteria is crucial for successfully initiating Australia’s onshore partner visa application process.

Requirements for Subclass 801 Visa:

  1. Ongoing Relationship: Applicants must prove that their relationship is ongoing and still sponsored by their partner.
  2. Timing of Application: The permanent visa (subclass 801) application is submitted two years after applying for the provisional partner visa. However, in some instances, authorities may consider immediate eligibility for the permanent partner visa.
  3. Circumstances for Permanent Residency: Even if the relationship breaks down before obtaining a PR visa or if the partner passes away, the applicant may still be eligible for the permanent partner visa under specific circumstances. This could include the presence of children or instances of family violence.

Meeting these requirements is essential for successfully applying for and approving the permanent residency visa (subclass 801), which follows the provisional partner visa stage which follows the provisional partner visa stage.

Application Process for Australian Onshore Visa

Unlocking the steps to apply for an Australian Onshore Visa!

Online Application: Apply for the partner visa online through ImmiAccount. While paper applications are an option, online submission offers efficiency and easy tracking. Lodge a complete and accurate visa application via the Department of Home Affairs website.

Evidence Submission: Electronic evidence can be utilized to support the relationship and demonstrate the genuine and ongoing nature of the partnership.

Sponsorship Application: The partner or spouse must submit a sponsorship application, providing evidence of eligibility. This evidence may include Australian citizenship, permanent residency, or eligibility as a New Zealand citizen.

Health and Character Checks: Applicants and sponsors must meet health and character requirements as part of the application process.

Professional Guidance: Given the complexity of the immigration process, seeking advice from immigration lawyers can be invaluable. A free 10-minute consultation can address specific queries and assist in the application process.

Benefits of an Australian Onshore Visa:

1. Access to Medicare:

With an Australian onshore partner visa, you can access Australia’s healthcare system, Medicare. This provides coverage for doctor visits, hospital services, and prescriptions, offering a health safety net while your visa is processed.

2. Work and Study Opportunities:

Bridging visas allows you to work and pursue educational opportunities while waiting for your visa. These visas act as a bridge, enabling you to earn a living and study while processing your primary visa and facilitating integration into the Australian community.

3. Flexibility in Travel:

You are not confined to Australia during the waiting period. Bridging visas provides flexibility, allowing you to travel without jeopardizing your visa progress. Whether for family visits or business abroad, you have the freedom to move.

4. Taking Care of Your Health:

With Medicare coverage, you have support for various medical needs, alleviating concerns about unexpected health issues. It serves as a reliable health companion throughout your Australian adventure.

5. Work and Study:

Bridging visas goes beyond mere formality; they enable you to work and pursue education, allowing you to engage in the Australian workforce and expand your knowledge actively.

6. Jet-Setting with Bridging Visas:

Bridging visas allows you to travel hassle-free while waiting for your visa. Whether for family visits or work trips, you can cross borders without worry, making international travel more accessible during the visa journey.

Embarking on the Australian onshore visa journey not only opens doors to a new life in Australia but also provides:

  • A pathway to accessing benefits
  • Exploring work and study opportunities
  • Enjoying international travel

Exploring More Visa Options:

Individuals planning to marry an Australian citizen can utilize the Prospective Marriage Visa in Australia. This visa facilitates their entry into Australia, allowing them to marry and live together as spouses. The visa is valid for approximately nine months, and the couple must marry to be eligible for a Spouse Visa later.

Prospective Marriage Visa:

  • This visa is designed for those engaged to an Australian citizen, providing a smooth pathway to move to Australia, marry, and live together as a married couple.

Key Features:

Duration and Validity:

  • The Prospective Marriage Visa is valid for nine months.
  • During this period, the engaged couple must marry in Australia.

Transition to Spousal Visa:

After marriage, the visa holder can apply for a Spouse Visa to remain in Australia as the spouse of an Australian citizen.

How to Apply:

Engagement Rule:

To be eligible, the applicant must be engaged to an Australian citizen.

Marriage within the Validity Period:

It’s crucial to marry within the nine-month validity period.

Transition to Spouse Visa:

After marriage, the visa holder can apply for a Spouse Visa to continue living in Australia.


The Prospective Marriage Visa is suitable for couples planning to marry soon, providing a seamless transition from engagement to marriage and cohabitation in Australia.

Bridging Visa:

In Australian immigration, a Bridging Visa becomes crucial when one visa expires before the next is approved. It acts as a temporary bridge, allowing the applicant to stay in Australia while authorities process their paperwork, avoiding legal issues.

Key Features:

Temporary Legal Presence:

  • A Bridging Visa permits the applicant to stay in Australia while waiting for the processing of the subsequent visa.
  • Different types of Bridging Visas come with specific rules, some allowing work while others may not.
  • Certain visas decide whether the holder can travel abroad.

Benefits for Offshore Applicants:

  • For those applying for an Australian offshore visa, a Bridging Visa can facilitate international travel to and from Australia.


Understanding Bridging Visas is essential due to the variety of types and associated benefits. It helps onshore applicants maintain their legal status and provides flexibility to offshore applicants in their travel plans.


In conclusion, gaining knowledge about additional visa options, such as the Prospective Marriage Visa and Bridging Visa, enhances understanding of Australia’s immigration system, with each visa type serving a specific purpose.

For onshore applicants, the Prospective Marriage Visa provides a beneficial pathway for those preparing to marry, while Bridging Visas play a crucial role in maintaining legal status during visa transitions. Offshore applicants may experience smoother processing and encounter less competition for visas.

Individuals applying for offshore visas might find more straightforward processing routes and less competition for visa quotas. Whether opting for an Australian onshore visa or an offshore visa application, seeking professional advice and guidance is vital to navigating the intricacies of the Australian visa system.

With a detailed understanding of these differences, prospective migrants can make informed decisions aligned with their objectives, ensuring a smoother and more successful journey through the visa application process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for VETASSESS Skills Assessment:

1. How do I apply for an Australian Onshore Visa?

You can apply for an Australian Onshore Visa, such as the Onshore Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801), by submitting an online application through ImmiAccount. Ensure accurate documentation, including electronic evidence supporting your relationship.

2. What are the key requirements for the provisional partner visa (subclass 820)?

To be eligible for the provisional partner visa, applicants must be physically present in Australia, demonstrate a genuine relationship with an Australian citizen or resident, and undergo health and character checks.

3. What are the requirements for the permanent residency visa (subclass 801)?

Applicants for the permanent residency visa must prove the ongoing nature of their relationship, submit the application two years after the provisional visa, and meet specific circumstances for permanent residency eligibility.

4. Are there different types of Australian Onshore Visas?

Yes, common types include Partner Visas, allowing spouses and de facto partners to apply while in Australia, Visitor Visas that can be switched to other visas, and Work Visas for those transitioning from temporary to permanent residency.

5. What benefits come with an Australian Onshore Visa?

Onshore visas provide access to Medicare, work and study opportunities, flexibility in travel, and healthcare benefits. Bridging visas offer additional advantages, allowing for international travel and maintaining legal status during visa changes.

6. Can engaged couples apply for an Australian visa?

Engaged couples can utilize the Prospective Marriage Visa, allowing them to come to Australia, marry within the validity period, and transition to a Spouse Visa after marriage. This facilitates a smooth pathway for couples planning to build a life together.

7. Why is understanding Bridging Visas important in the immigration process?

Bridging Visas are essential for maintaining legal presence during visa transitions, especially when the current visa expires before the next one is approved. Understanding the types and benefits of Bridging Visas ensures applicants can stay in Australia while their paperwork is being processed.

8. How can professional guidance assist in the Australian Onshore Visa application process?

Seeking advice from immigration lawyers can be invaluable due to the complexity of the immigration process. Professional guidance ensures a complete and accurate application, addressing specific queries, and enhancing the chances of a successful visa journey.