Australia’s Subclass 309 is a visa that permits the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand to live in Australia temporarily. It is the first phase towards a permanent partner visa, Subclass 100.

Who is Eligible?

Subclass 309 is an off-shore partner visa, so the applicant must be outside Australia while applying. You must apply for subclass 309 along with subclass 100. Applying for this temporary visa is the first step for getting Australian permanent residence. The applicant must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for subclass 309:

  • You and your spouse must be of 18 years of age or older. There can be exceptions if you are married. 
  • If your partner is under 18, their parent/guardian can sponsor you. But they must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a qualified New Zealand citizen.
  • Both you and your sponsor must send in applications for the visa.
  • You should meet the health and character requirements. 
  • Your sponsor should have police clearance for supporting their character requirement.
  • You have to be debt-free from the Australian government.
  • You must have a monogamous, ongoing, and committed relationship.
  • Those in a de facto relationship must have passed 12 months period. 
  • You must not have had a visa cancelled or refused in Australia.

How to apply for Subclass 309

  • You have to gather the necessary documents before applying. These include Identity documents, Relation proof like marriage certificate, character documents, dependent over/under 18 Documents, etc. You can see the document checklist to know what you need.
  • If you want, you can get help with your application. You can appoint a registered migration agent, exempt, and legal practitioner.
  • Apply the application by creating an ImmiAccount, and filling in all required answers on the site. 
  • Once you have filled out the application, you must pay the visa charges. Your process will not begin without the fee.
  • Submit your application and note down the transaction reference number. It will be required when your sponsor is applying for the sponsorship. 
  • To complete your application, you must attach all the necessary documents to your ImmiAccount. The files should be scanned and translated if required. Insufficient or incorrect paperwork can lead to issues with the application.
  • The final step is to wait for the outcome, during which you will reside out of Australia.


You must be located outside Australia for visa grant. If approved, your visa will allow you to travel to and reside in Australia temporarily, whilst your subclass 100 visa application is processed.

The 309 is a provisional visa and is the first step towards the permanent Partner subclass 100 visa. Generally, you will be eligible for the 100 visa two years after the date you originally lodged the 309 visa.

Yes, it is. The sponsor can only sponsor a maximum of 2 partners during their lifetime.

If the sponsor has previously sponsored his/her partner, they have  to wait at least 5 years since the date of their first visa lodgement.

The 309 visa grants full and unrestricted work and study rights. There are no limitations or conditions attached to this visa which affect your work rights in Australia.

No, you will not need a travel exemption to enter Australia if you have been granted a 309 visa. You will still be subject to quarantine arrangements so you must ensure that you comply with the requirements of the State or Territory in which you are entering.

Visa Processing Time

Application (%)   

Processing Time


4 Months


8 Months


21 Months


29 Months

The time for processing this visa may vary according to individual cases. The length will depend on various factors including, the documents you have submitted. Lack of any necessary files can lead to delay.

Partner Visa Subclass 309 Documents Checklist

When you apply for the 309 Visa, you must attach scanned copies of the following documents to your application:

  • Your passport’s personal information page, including your picture and expiry date.
  • Your national ID card.
  • Your birth certificate, showing the names of both your parents. If you cannot provide the birth certificate, a family book or government-issued document verifying your identity will suffice.
  • If you are married: Marriage certificate.
  • If you are in a defacto relationship: Proof that you are in a genuine, exclusive relationship and that you live together.

    A letter detailing the history of your relationship. Include the following information:

    • When and how you met.
    • How the relationship developed.
    • How you decided to move in together or get engaged/married.
    • Time you spent together and apart.
    • Your plans for the future.
    • Any important events/milestones in your relationship.
  • Documents proving you and your partner share finances. Joint bank statements or loans, mortgage, etc.
  • Documents proving you and your partner share domestic work. Include a letter describing how you share the housework, along with utility bills in your names, mail addressed to both of you, proof you have joint custody of your children, etc.
  • Documents proving you and your partner are committed to each other. Phone records or texts proving you stay in touch even when you are apart, your will terms, etc. You may also have to enter an interview to show you know each other’s background, families, and other personal matters.
  • Any evidence that the people in your lives know of your relationship. This could include proof you have gone out with other people, proof you have travelled together, proof you have friends in common, etc.
  • Police certificates from any country you have lived in for longer than 12 months since you turned 16, including Australia.

    Additional documents for your dependent children:

    • Identification documents.
    • Birth or adoption certificates.
    • Proof you have legal custody of your child.
    • Proof they are enrolled in school or university, as applicable.
    • If the child is over 18, also include proof of why they are dependent on you.


All the information given on the Website is indicative only and is subject to change. Please note that the above content is for general information only and must not be taken as immigration or travel information. The content is up to date at the time of the last update but being current and accurate cannot be forever guaranteed due to the frequent changes in immigration law.