Passing Part 1: Temporary Australian Partner Visa 820 Granted!

I nearly gagged on my bacon and eggs on Saturday morning. Out of the blue an email popped into my inbox from the Department Of Immigration stating there was an update to my Partner Visa application. We’d had not a single call or email about our application so fearing the worst I opened the attachment and prayed it wasn’t a retraction of the Bridging Visa I’d just been granted that allows me to travel to Thailand for our wedding.

This attachment was different than usual though. It was far longer then the usual paperwork and it stated Justin’s name at the top as my ‘sponsor’. I flicked through the introductory pages until I got to the visa grant page. A single tear of relief trickled down my cheek. This was it! My Temporary Partner Visa 820 has been granted.

We applied for this visa on 12th April 2015 so it’s taken just 11 months to get approval – far shorter than the 12 to 18 months estimated when we applied. I was also expecting some phone calls asking for clarification or verification of some of the paperwork we sent but – bam! – there’s the visa in my inbox totally unexpected on a Saturday morning.

I have been busy fulfilling the final requirements over the last few weeks though. On 18th February 2016 I received notification that my application was ready to be processed but it was estimated I wouldn’t be approved by the 30th June – so we were approved much faster than even the department expected.

For anyone going through the process here’s what we had to do to immediately prior to receiving approval.

>> Please note: These are just some thoughts based on my personal experience. I am not a migration expert and this does not constitute legal advice. Please contact the Department of Immigration or an immigration lawyer directly for questions relating to your personal circumstances. Unfortunately I unable to answer any messages regarding your applications – you’ll find everything I know here already.  <<

Complete the Form 80

As I mentioned here I had a mini-meltdown when I received an email just before flying to Bali stating that this form was required. It’s a character assessment form which doesn’t (or didn’t when I read it) appear on the initial partner visa application but is required for final processing. I recommend you get a head start on this one as it requires a lot of personal details such as where you’ve lived and worked since birth and where you’ve travelled for the last 10 years (with no gaps).

With regards to travel, as my list is a little long I compiled a separate excel spreadsheet and uploaded it as an attachment. I used the format as below:

This spreadsheet has 232 additional rows!
This spreadsheet has 232 additional rows!

Medical Assessment

I left my medical a little late as I didn’t notice there was a referral letter already in my online application page. (It’s listed under the visa status section in your Immi account.) As I’m in Australia I went to the BUPA visa medical services centre in Sydney CBD and I have to say it was a very efficient process.

BUPA visa medical assessment in Australia
Channelling Scrubs for my BUPA visa medical assessment

I recommend you wear trousers as you’ll be given a gown to wear on your top half. Also wear decent-ish underwear as you’ll be required to strip down to it for one of the assessments. You’ll need to do a urine sample so don’t pee beforehand, you also have to reschedule if you are on your period (I don’t know why). You can book your appointment online here although I found appointments only came up for the week ahead. The whole process takes approx 2 hours from start to finish.

Police Checks

When I first put in my partner visa application I hadn’t lived in Australia for more than 12 months. As I have now I needed to put in an Australian Federal Police Check before final approval. You can do that here.

The Total Cost Of The Partner Visa

Although this is only part 1 of the partner visa process (we’ll be assessed again in a year to make sure we are still in a genuine relationship) this should hopefully be the end of fees for us. (Your initial application fee covers the temporary 820 and permanent 801 partner visa fee.)

Here’s a tally of what we paid in total:

Partner Visa Application Fee: $6865

Credit Card Fee: $75

Bridging Visa B Fees: $140 x 3 = $420

UK Police Check: £45/$85

Australian Federal Police Check: $42

Medical Assessment: $342.29

Passport photos: $20

Grand total: $7849.29

There’s a few miscellaneous costs I haven’t included relating to printing, postage and getting documents verified but all in you’re looking at a figure of around $7850 (if applying within Australia – it’s slightly less if you apply outside Australia but you must remain outside the country until a decision is made). It may also be less if you don’t apply for the Bridging Visas that enable travel or substantially more if you hire a lawyer.

Update: fees for Partner Visas have now gone up. Find the latest prices here.

What’s Next?

Right now I’m dreaming up all the destinations I can visit now I have unrestricted travel rights! FREEEEEDOM!

Justin and I get married in just over 3 weeks time and it’s absolutely wonderful not to have any paperwork or potential calls from the department hanging over us. To be honest I grossly underestimated the strain this process would put on our relationship, finances, my travel movements and our future plans as a couple. It’s an incredible feeling to have some certainty about our future and I’m feeling positive now that our future will have less tears and meltdowns from me! (I’m usually a very positive and calm person – this process has not been a good look for me at all!)

As mentioned we’ll be assessed again in a year’s time so now I know the type of things the department require I’ll be saving any paperwork, images, bills etc that prove we are in a committed relationship. I’m also updating that excel spreadsheet each time I travel so I don’t have the nightmare of trying to recall details in a year’s time from now.

Thanks to everyone who gave us support, advice and statutory declarations. If you’d like to know more about this process you can find my tips on applying for an Australia Partner Visa here – make sure you read the comments from other readers as there are lots of useful tips in them too!

Further reading:

Moving to Australia? Here’s how to get set up and settled quickly 

Applying and being granted Bridging Visa B while waiting for the Temporary Partner Visa

Applying for Permanent Partner Visa 801 

I’m In! My Permanent Partner Visa 820 Is Granted

About the author

I’m Jayne, a travel blogger, content creator and mum to a 4-year-old son. I’ve been blogging since 2010, travelled to 65 countries and share travel guides and tips to help you plan stylish, stress-free trips.

79 thoughts on “Passing Part 1: Temporary Australian Partner Visa 820 Granted!”

  1. OMG!! Congratulations!!!! I’m so excited for you! I applied in July 2015 so I’m presuming it’s going to be quite a while till I hear from immigration. I am going through a lawyer though so it’ll be longer considering immi will contact them and they’ll contact me.. Hopefully I’ll be one of the first after the end of financial year 🙂 It seems like they break it up into two blocks.

    Have a GREAT wedding!! see you on the other side of the waiting period for our 821 🙂 (apparently there’s currently a 12 month wait for that as well *cries*)

    • Thank you so much! It feels like I’ve passed some sort of exam where I didn’t quite know what the criteria was! You’re just a few months behind us so hopefully the start of the new financial year is your turn. Can’t believe there’s another waiting period for part 2. Let’s try not to think of that haha

  2. OMG!!! My Irish hubby and I are sitting here cheering for you and your soon to be hubby!
    No contact from them then sudden approval!
    Such a blessing in time for your wedding!
    All the very best for a beautiful ceremony and happiness for your lives ahead xxx

  3. YAYYYYY! Congratulations! Having done the same Visa stress game in Austria I can fully appreciate how relived and happy you must be feeling right now, and in perfect time for the wedding. So happy for you guys 🙂

    Thanks also for summarising the full costs and timelines for Partner application – my partner is Austrian and we’ve only ever vaguely considered applying for him to live in Australia, but looking down the barrel of those expenses it’s harder and harder to imagine being able to afford just applying, let alone moving there. But good to know what would be involved if we do! Thanks again and enjoy your wedding, as stress free as possible!

    • Thank you Carly. We slightly underestimated the cost (and stress) of the process which is why I thought it might be helpful to lay it all out for others thinking of doing the same. It certainly all feels worth it in the end though. 😉

  4. Yay, so excited for you girl! What a relief. Hope you have a great wedding now that this hairy chapter is finished. Thanks for all your updates, they’ve been so helpful.

  5. Congratulations! My husband and I submitted in December 14 and hadnt heard anything till i called yesterday and turns out we have a case worker and he can now go for his medical next week and AFP ordered are what was missing so hoping for a decision before our wedding on the 15th April!

    Did you have no contact from the immigration office at all and then you got an approval? Or did you have some sort of contact? We only just got an email in October saying it was transferred to WA and to do form 80 but seemed like a generic email!

    Your blog is so helpful!! Thank you!

    • Hi Sodi, We didn’t get any contact at all apart from a generic email saying we were going to be processed soon and to check we had completed all the documents of which the Form 80 was one. I thought we might get a phone call – or some of our family would – but we didn’t hear anything until the visa arrived in my inbox on a Saturday morning. It was a surprise but a pleasant one! Good luck getting your final documents done – it sounds like you are near the end now too! J

      • Thank you so much for these posts they’ve really helped with the stress for us! Our wedding is on April 15th and we just got an email for additional information – namely to do the national police check that we applied for last week thanks to your post so should receive it soon and to do the medical check…which also thanks to your post i booked last week to get completed this week and they asked for a better scanned copy of his international police clearance. SO fingers crossed it all gets submitted next week and then we can get some good news before our wedding too!

        After you completed your medical how long did it take to get the approval?

        Thanks again for your blog and posts they’ve really helped with the process and also the stress!

        • Hi Sodi, It makes me so happy to know these posts have helped a little! The medical check is very quick, they aim to update the department within 5 working days. Good luck getting the final paperwork done before your wedding and all the best for the big day. Jayne

  6. Congratulations for the update! It brings a spark to my day as my partner and I are planning to apply for the Partner Migration Visa and knowing that you were successful after traversing all the obstacles gives us cause to rejoice with you and proceed with hope for ours 🙂

    Two quick questions though: I’m intending to apply onshore, i.e. in Australia, for the Partner Visa. I read that I need to be on a substantive visa in order to lodge this Partner Visa application. Does my tourist visa (three months validity) applied via ETA count as a substantive visa? And when nearing the expiry of the 3-month period, does it mean that I need a Bridging Visa?

  7. Hi Jayne. Congrats on the visa and your upcoming wedding! I was wondering if you knew if people get the 7,000 AUD back for their visa application if it is denied. I cant seem to find that info anywhere… Id think considering the hefty cost, many people would be a bit worried about this..?

    • Thanks Danielle. When you apply it states that the fee is non refundable so you don’t get it back if you’re not approved.

  8. Hi Jayne! Thanks for your useful insights. We are applying for visa 820 de facto. We didnt get any update from any case officer up till now. But we do get an email saying I might be granted temporary partner visa by 30th of June as long as we submit all documents by 30th april.
    Currently I am waiting for my medical assestment and police check from my country. I might need your advise regarding : on the attachment, which document type or field that we can actually write down the nature of our relationship (in a story) and how or do we need to get it certified? This part literally make me frustrated. Thanks in advance!!

    • Hi Telly, for this section Justin and I each wrote and signed personal statements and then uploaded them as a word doc/pdf. We didn’t get these statements certified. I hope this helps, Jayne

  9. Wow thank you so much for posting all this info- very helpful! and congrats on getting your visa through in 11 months!

    I am currently sitting at my desk in London having a mini freak out at the costs of the visa as last time I looked it was much cheaper, like almost half the cost.

    My boyfriend needs to move back to Brisbane to look after his family business due to his father being ill and I just don’t know how we are going to afford the visa and everything that goes with it.

    Plus its the whole worry of not knowing anyone is Brisbane, I lived in Melbourne before and all my friends are there.

    Thanks so much for this post- its great to get some solid advice online!


    • Hi Clare,

      I completely understand how you feel. Sadly the prices went up by 50% about a month before we applied. It is slightly cheaper if you apply outside of Australia but still a massive investment. I have a lot of Brit expat friends out here and we’re the only ones who went down the partner route as I wanted to remain self employed. My friends found it much easier to get sponsored by an employer instead. Best of luck with whatever route you decide to take. Jayne

  10. awesome, and great to see this just after i read your application advice. Hoping we have a straight forward process…. must admit, 11 months still sounds like a LONG time 🙂

  11. Hi Jayne,
    A very informative post for people applying for a partner visa. I will be lodging my 820/801 next month so I’m preparing all the necessary documents since last year. I’ll do it online. My hubby is still under a 5 year wait which is till October 2017(he sponsored a girl on PMV but the relationship broke down). Since we are living together for more than 2 years now, we decided to give it a go this year and hopefully the case officer will waive the remaining year.

  12. Awww so happy for you darling.xx Awww so good and lil bit jealous now ☺☺Im am in the middle of process in defacto visa offshore but im am not sure if im am allowed nowSo many pages on internet saying Yes I can apply for defacto visa 820 offshore but official aussie page saying you must be inside Australia when you apply for this visa So confusing awww.Any suggestions ? Xxx thank you hun and have a lovely wedding

    • Thank you! When we applied there was the option to apply onshore or offshore. The offshore options was actually slightly cheaper and quicker than applying from within Australia.

  13. Great news! But one thing to note… I am offshore in Canada and applied for the 309 de facto. The cost was no different than applying in Australia. Ours came to just under 7K with the Visa processing fee.

  14. Congrats ! Same side here too , I applied in April 2016 and still waiting. Hopefully we get it by feb 2017 since our main big day is for scheduled that time. !

  15. Congratulations 🙂 We applied in February 2016 and were ask for the health examination and police checks which we submitted a week ago. I was told by a friend that this means it is pretty close to the decision to be made and that it’ll be less than a month until they contact you with the decision. Was this the case for you?

    • Yes it was very quick from that point for us too – I think less than a month from when I did the medical to getting the approval email. Good luck!

  16. I had my medical clearance, and police checks all sorted 8 weeks ago (on a partner visa). We got an email at the time to say “no further info required”….. “it’s in the bag” we thought. Friends told us it would likely be 2 or 3 weeks till we hear….. 8 weeks later…. still the silence. Teh endless silence. It is driving us nuts

    • Gah the not-knowing is stressful. I do remember getting an email towards the end with an estimated process date. Have you not had that?

      • yeah we got one with the stock line of “10 to 14 months”…. hopefully not that long given how quickly we progressed early on

  17. We submitted the medical and police checks early August, still waiting. Hope it’ll be granted soon! I’m hoping he’ll be here for our son’s first birthday in November

  18. Forgot to let you know Jayne, that I got my Temporary Partner Visa on 7/7/16!! My lodgement date was 15/7/15 so just a little short of the year mark. New financial year for the win! Now to continue collecting information for next year’s additional information lodgement. From what I’ve gathered from different forums so far, it’s another possible 12-15 month wait from eligibility of more information for PR to be given! Some have even gotten phone interviews! *Gasp* Good luck Jayne, I’m totally hoping we both get through smoothly!

    • Congrats Christine that’s awesome!! Thanks so much for coming back and telling me. Like you I’ve started researching what will be required at the next stage and to be honest I’ve got a little freaked as I didn’t realise it would be that intense. Hopefully now that we’ve made it past stage 1 though gathering the evidence for stage 2 will be a little easier!

      • Thanks Jayne 🙂 I’m actually finding stage 2 evidence slightly harder due to both me and my partner being more introverts (I.e. We don’t go out or hang out much with people) as we deal with the general public in our jobs every hour of the day. So proof with friends is hard (also have to think of the form 888 as well). Super happy to have updated you on my own visa progress since we both are only a few months apart in applying! (And also your blog did help me some too!)

    • Congratulations! Do you mind me asking how long it was after your medical and police clearances were all successfully done?

      • Thanks Tony! I got asked for more info (Medicals and police check as I was advised by my lawyer to only supply them when requested due to the long processing times) on the 1st of April, handed all in (and more update on relationship stuff as well) around the 26th of April I think. Got approved in July.

        Mind you though, I’ve got a friend who handed in a “decision ready” file (all documents completed at start of application) and it took them 18 months to get their 820 approved.

  19. Woo hoo! I got my visa…. submitted on 29th May, and granted on 27th October…. so super quick when compared with some others. No for the reality of it all 🙂

  20. Hi , I am from New York,US, currently living in Brisbane on a WHV.

    We got married overseas in December 2016, then came back to Brisbane in January 2016 . Loded the application on 1st August 2016 and attached all the basic documents including police checks, FORM 80 , Wedding Pics , Our Joint Bank Account , gifts , travelling together to Sydney and other stuff.

    Wondering, when will I get the email in my inbox :(.


    • Hi Sarah, I’m not sure what the current waiting time is but when I applied the wait for visas applied for in Oz was 12 to 18 months. We got our first communication from immigration approx 10 months after applying saying it was time to do the medical assessments. Once I’d done the medical we were approved within 11 months. Best, Jayne

  21. Hi Sarah. From what I’ve experienced recently (applied in 2015) and forums that I’ve been following, the wait is still 12-18 months with no distinctions between low risk and high risk country. I know of a person from the UK who waited 18 months for his 820 (first stage) visa. For the 801 the wait times has been blown out to 12-15 months for most (lucky ones have gotten their PR at an average of 8 months)

  22. Hi Jayne!

    First of all, Congratulations!

    I would just like to ask whether after lodging my application, do I have to wait for the immigration officer to contact me for a medical exam? Or should I go for medical exam right after my application lodgement.



    • Thanks Daphne! I waited but I think you can go as soon as you get the referral letter. If you lodged online it’s tucked away somewhere within the immi system – it took me a while to spot it!

  23. Woo hoo! Just received an email informing us that my husband’s visa has been granted We lodged it 24/02/16, so ours took 9 months.

  24. Wow there is no way I would be able to remember where I have been the last 10 years. I used to travel every week for meetings…

  25. Hi Jayne, thanks for the inspiring post! I’m currently still waiting for my temporary visa 820 to be approved (lodged my application in November 2015) its been 13 months! Lucky you! do you mind sharing how long is the wait from temporary visa to permanent visa (subs 801)? Thanks so much!

  26. Congrats to all! I can only imagine how it feels like 🙂

    We applied in March 2016 and heard nothing from the immigration since then. Fingers are cross! Maybe soon they would request for my medicals, as I left it last.

    All the best! 🙂

  27. Hello Windy,

    Have you heard from Immigration since you wrote this post? I submitted my application slightly more than 13 months ago, and just like you, I haven’t received a single notification from them.



  28. Hello and congrats to all who had their temporary visa/permanent visa granted. My husband arrived in Sydney in November, 2015 (on E class tourist visa after knowing each other for 6 years. We got married in March 2016 and applied for 820/801 Partner Visa in April 2016. We got an automated email from immi that our application has progressed in the queue. So that makes it 10 months since we first lodged our application. Since it’s under 15 months, we don’t have a conclusive date on when our 820 visa application process will be finalised. Nearly 3 weeks since the email and patiently waiting impatiently. Praying hard that ours will be granted.

  29. Hi all of you i also did 820/801 in sep 2015 but still waiting for temporary visa and haven’t heard anything back .i called immigration and ask they said waiting time is up to 20 months now very frustrating don’t know wht to do.

    • Yeah, they have changed the waiting time! But you have applied back in 2015 🙁 I was hoping new waiting times applies from 2017 application! Not for everyone!

      Good luck to all of us!

  30. Dear all,

    1-Can i ask after how many months can the person apply for a defacto visa 820?
    2- if the couple got married, will they still apply for the de facto visa for one of them?

  31. Congratulations. Ive got mine in just 10 months and 8 days. I have everything passed except the form 80 bec im so confused to fill it up. Anyways i submit it already after thet grant my TR. I think its bec I applied for a bridging visa to attend to my daugthers unuversity graduation so the Immig was able to look to my application. Kudos to them.

  32. Hi all,


    Has anyone gone through the second stage (temporary visa to permanent visa – subs 801) process, if so can you help answer a few questions please.

    Has anything changes for us subclass 820 holders with the changes to immigration law imposed on us this year since 1st July 2017?

    Does it happen exactly 2 years after lodgement of the initial partner visa application, or are there delays in them contacting applicants regarding this – I feel like I need more time to gather evidence and just wondered?

    Also what type of evidence should I be gathering – is it similar to evidence for the first application, or would there be anything additional?

    Do i need a lawyer for this part of the process as well – or dose anyone have experience of completing it themselves.

    Thanks so much in advance

  33. Hi Ella!
    I haven’t go trough that stage yet. sorry I can’t help :/ I just applied for the 1st stage a couple of months ago.

    I wonder if JAYNE still waiting for the 2nd stage answer

  34. Thank you so much for this post & everyone’s comments. It’s wonderful knowing there’s a lot of us going through the same thing right now & I’m not the only one having some emotional breakdowns here & there!
    I wanted to share mine & my husbands case/process thus far as it may just help someone else out there too.
    We applied early March 2018 however our application came back invalid as we didn’t upload the 40sp form & 2 stat decs (form 888) within a couple of days of the application so with no warning it came back invalid & closed. Which means you need to apply again & pay $7000….again. When your application is invalid you do get a refund however it can take a month to get the money back.
    So round 2 we were much more prepared & have literally filled out & uploaded every form/document we possibly could! Stat decs (form 888), 40SP form, form 80, form 1221, health check, police checks, letters of support, invitations, bills, lease agreement, evidence of travel together, event tickets, phone records, photos, marriage certificate etc etc.
    I’m my Husbands sponsor so I also wrote a 4 page statement outlining our relationship, how we met, travel & events together, meeting the family, our wedding, the finances, details of the household, emotional support for each other, any difficult times we’ve gone through together & how we overcame them & our future plans together. I had this signed by a JP & I also did a stat dec too. A lot of this info is required in the 40SP form but I wanted to write something in my own words. My hubby also did the same. This may be difficult for some if their English isn’t strong but definitely worth it.
    The only communication we’ve had from immigration thus far is confirmation of his bridging visa granted & his health check clearance.
    Hopefully we hear more soon but for now I feel comfortable with everything we’ve done.

    So my advice to anyone out there about to apply or who’s in the middle of it, do your homework first & start working on everything required before applying. We literally started from the top of the list of “recommended” documents to upload & ticked them off one by one. It’s quite a long process & we had a number of late nights but if that’s what it takes to keep my hubby here then I’d do it again & again. Book in early for the health check as they can be quite busy, ensure you have at least 2 people complete stat decs (form 888) for you either just before you apply or within days of applying & the sponsor needs to fill out form 40SP immediately too.
    I’m now also in the process of ensuring all bills/insurances are in both our names, we are listed as beneficiaries on each others wills/superannuations & we have at least 1 joint savings bank account. I’ll also be documenting & saving everything over the next 2 years for when we need to apply for partner PR. Can’t wait for when that time comes around!

    All the best everyone & I look forward to JAYNE’s post about finally being granted PR!

    • This is such great advice and mirrors everything I experienced too! After applying in April 2015 I had my permanent partner visa approved this week – almost 3 years to the day! It’s a long and scary process but it does end haha. Best of luck to everyone still waiting on theirs.

    • Hi Jayne and other contributors, just stumbled across the blog and it’s a valuable resource – thanks!

      I’m planning on moving to Australia in a couple of months with my Aussie girlfriend, and we’re proposing to make our home and lives together there in the coming years. A partner visa looks the way to go, given our circumstances. As a Brit, I’ll travel to Aus on an evisa (for tourists) and then plan on submitting an application for a temporary partner visa.

      As a self-employed freelancer I need to be able to work in Aus as soon as possible after arriving – which I understand is possible as soon as Temp Partner visa is applied for. Approx how long did it take you to get all the docs necessary for the application together before submission? I work internationally, undertaking short-term contractual assignments in various countries – so I need to be able to travel throughout. Is there any particular type of bridging visa I should apply for that permits frequent travel to/from Australia whilst the temp partner visa is being processed?

      Any advice gratefully received.



  35. Hi Jayne~
    It’s quite late but congratulations for your happy news!!:)

    If you are okay, please help me out~~

    I have been preparing the visa, but really confused I need to upload 888forms on the same day my application lodgement or not.
    1 is already done but, the other one would take 2~3days.
    What do you think? And what’s your case??

    Thank you , Jayne 🙂

    • Hi Charlotte, you have some time to upload all your evidence after you submit and you can even add more between applying and being processed. Best of luck!

  36. I love this blog! Its such a great inspiration and encouragement for those who are waiting!
    I do have a question for you.

    My husband and I applied on August 16th, 2017, and I did my medical and all the required info to support our relationship.
    On Thu 16/08/2018, we received a letter saying,
    “Subject: Your Australian Partner (subclass 820) visa application is progressing
    Automated message from the Department of Home Affairs
    Dear Rebecca
    We are writing to inform you that your application for a Partner visa is in progress. Your application takes time to process as we complete a number of thorough checks. ”

    From the time that you received this letter, how long after were you granted? Thank you so much for writing this blog again!

    • Hi Becky, my temporary visa was approved 1 year from the date of application and I never received a letter like this – the visa just turned up in my inbox one morning. I think the waiting time may have been shorter in 2015/16 though. Hope yours comes through soon!

    • Hey Becky,

      I got the exact same email just 2 days ago. It was exactly 1 year to the day that I had applied. Have you heard anything since you received that email?

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