Introduction to Partner Visa 309

Everything you need to know to lodge a partner visa 309 application, including the most common reasons for refusal

The Partner Visa (subclass 309), also known as offshore partner visa, is an Australian visa for partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens who want to live in Australia as permanent residents.

The applicant for partner visa 309 must be in any country other than Australia at the time of lodging the application. 

The partner visa 309 allows the applicant to live and work in Australia indefinitely. The visa is valid for 2 years initially, after which the visa holder can apply for a permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100) if the relationship is still continuing.

The Partner Visa 309 is for people in de facto or married relationships, including same-sex couples. 

Partner Visa 309 – Benefits

This visa allows the partner to work and study in Australia. It also provides access to Medicare, social security payments, and other government benefits. The Partner Visa 309 is the first step for the applicant to gain permanent residency in Australia with their partner.

In a moment, I will explain what’s the most common mistakes people commit when applying for a partner visa 309.

Eligibility Requirements for Partner Visa 309

To be eligible for a Partner Visa 309, you and your partner must meet several requirements. Here are the key criteria:

Relationship Status

You and your partner must prove you are in a genuine and continuing relationship. This means you have an established relationship and commitment to a shared life together. 

To demonstrate this, you will need evidence like:

  • Joint bank account statements 
  • Bills or rental agreements in both your names
  • Photos together over time
  • Statutory declarations from family and friends 

Now, it’s fairly easy to gather all these evidence. However, the most difficult part is to organise all these evidence together with statements in order to get your partner visa 309 approved.

Bear in mind that the Department of Home Affairs case officers will not be your friend. They will not nicely call you and say, Hey John, you have filled this information incorrectly. No, they will refuse your application. I will talk more about partner visa 309 refusal in just a moment.

Your relationship must also meet the minimum time threshold. You must have been together for at least 12 months or married to the sponsor.

If you are married, your marriage must be legally recognised in Australia. If you were married overseas, you will need to confirm that the marriage is valid in Australia. To find out if your relationship meets the requirements for a partner visa 309, call 1300 320 300.

For de facto relationships, you must prove you’ve lived together for the entire 12 months right before applying.

What if you haven’t lived together for 12 months? Can you still apply for a partner visa 309?

12 months of de facto relationship is non-negotiable and your application will be refused if you don’t have enough evidence of it (unless married/registered).

But it doesn’t necessarily mean living together for the whole 12 months. If you haven’t lived together, you will need strong financial, social, household, commitment evidence so that you can prove when you became de facto and how it is ongoing. Dating or online relationship doesn’t count as de facto.

To check if you have enough evidence to prove a de facto relationship, please call 1300 320 300.


Both people in the relationship must be over 18 years old.

Does age gap influence the decision of a partner visa 309 application?

Technically speaking, no. However, chances are that the application will be thoroughly scrutinised when a big age gap between applicant and sponsor is found. 

If you and your partner have a 10+ year age gap, it’s highly recommended that you speak with Justin Kim, one of our lawyers who specialises in partner visa age gap applications. You can contact him here.   

What should be the Immigration status of sponsor and applicant

The sponsoring partner must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant can be any nationality.

In Person Requirement – Have you met your partner face-to-face?

You must prove you have met in person at least once while both partners were physically present. Providing evidence of this physical meeting is mandatory.

However, all photo evidence need to be presented in a way that the Department case officer will find easy to understand.

Photos must be accompanied by proper description. Showing too many photos could be detrimental to your partner visa 309 application. Quality over quantity is more important.

However, showing too little photos and chat logs can get you a partner visa 309 refused.

To know if your evidence is sufficient and organised in the right way, please call 1300 320 300.

Genuine Commitment – what is it?

As well as proof of your relationship status, you must show mutual commitment.

This means sharing responsibilities for household duties, joint ownership of property, knowledge of each other’s personal details and background, and intentions to build a future together in Australia.

To check if your level of commitment is sufficient call 1300 320 300.

Health and Character – What if you or your partner has some health issue or criminal record?

Both partners must meet health and character requirements. You may need medical checks and police checks to show this.

One of the main reasons for partner visa 309 refusal is the non-disclosure of a health problem or a criminal record.

If you have any health problem or criminal record and don’t know if it will be an issue to apply for partner visa 309, please contact 1300 320 300. 

Family Violence and Child Protection – Has you or your partner got any history of family violence?

If there are any concerns relating to family violence or child protection, you must declare these upfront. Failing to disclose any incidents is another common cause of partner visa 309 refusal.

If you have any history of crime or family violence, please call Gold Migration Lawyers to know how you should disclose this information, while keeping it confidential.

Gold Migration lawyers have approved 309 partner visas when applicants or sponsors had serious criminal history. Migration lawyers can invoke legal privilege to protect sensitive client information. Migration agents have no legal privilege.

Call Gold Migration now on 1300 320 300 to discuss your criminal record and your chances of getting an offshore partner visa approved. All information disclosed with Gold Migration lawyers is 100% confidential.

How can you apply for the Subclass 309 Visa and potentially get a fast approval?

To apply for a partner visa 309, you and your partner will need to gather various documents and write complex statements in order to prove on paper that your relationship is genuine and continuing.

Here are the key steps:

1. Determine your eligibility for 309 visa

Make sure you meet the basic requirements, including being in a genuine relationship for at least 12 months or married to your Australian partner. 

2. Gather required documents

You will need to provide evidence that proves your relationship is genuine, including photos, travel records, correspondence, and statements from family and friends. 

Likewise, you will need to prove your financial connectivity by providing bank statements, billing accounts, and property ownership docs. To find out if you have enough evidence to prove the financial aspect of your relationship contact 1300 320 300.

Poorly written statements are the number 1 reason for partner visa 309 refusals.

Most migration agents in Australia only lodge valid partner visa 309 applications. That’s why partner visa 309 applications may take 2 or 3 years to process.

It’s crucial that you lodge a decision-ready application if you want your application to be approved in the shortest time possible.

There is a big difference between a valid application and a decision-ready application. Decision-ready applications are applications that have everything the Department of Home Affairs need to grant your offshore partner visa as soon as possible. The case officer will look at your application and say “this is perfect I don’t need to request for any other information”. And your visa is granted.

Gold Migration is known nationwide for lodging decision-ready applications. That’s why Gold Migration has had record processing times for partner visa 309.

To make sure you lodge a decision-ready partner visa 309 application contact Gold Migration Lawyers on 1300 320 300.

3. Forms required to apply for a partner visa 309

  • Form 80 – Character Assessment of Applicant (also required for accompanying dependent children aged 16 years and over)
  • Minimum of 2 Statutory Declarations by third parties supporting your relationship (Form 888). We recommend providing 6 Form 888s. (If you need help with these statutory declarations, please contact 1300 320 300)

One of the main mistakes whilst completing these forms is inconsistency. If there are disparities between forms, your application could be refused.

To make sure you have the right forms filled consistently and correctly, please contact 1300 320 300. 

4. Submit biometrics

You’ll need to complete a health examination and provide biometrics at an authorized clinic.

5. Pay fees

The application fee is currently $8,850 AUD. Additional costs may include health exams, police checks, and translations.

Bear in mind that if you lodge a weak partner visa 309 application or commit a mistake, this fee is non-refundable.  

That’s why it’s of your best interest that you lodge a very strong application. If you need help to lodge a strong partner visa 309 application, contact 1300 320 300.

6. Submit application online or by mail

You can submit your completed application and all supporting documents via ImmiAccount online.

There is an option to lodge the application by post but we do not recommend this as it is hard to track and attach documents to the application in the future.

If you struggle with computers and technology and don’t know how to lodge an application online, please call 1300 320 300 for help.

7. Wait for assessment

The standard processing time according to the Department of Home Affairs is 21-28 months. 

At Gold Migration we have had record processing times for partner visa 309. We understand what it takes to prepare a convincing and complete application that leads to quick visa grants. 

Some of our notable partner visa successes include:

  • On 2 January 2024, a Malaysian national who hired us received their 309 visa approved in only 3 months and 5 days. 
  • On 14 February 2024, a Lebanese client who had his visa 309 prepared by our lawyers, got approved in just 4 months and 17 days.
  • A Cambodian couple who applied in July 2023, with the assistance of Gold Migration lawyers, received approval for their partner visa 309 in around five months.
  • On 3 February 2024, a Japanese applicant who sought the help of Gold Migration got his partner visa 309 approved in only 2.5 months.

Partner Visa 309

8. Receive decision on your 309 visa application – What’s next?

If approved, you’ll be granted a temporary visa to live in Australia for 2 years.

After 2 years, if your relationship is still continuing, you can apply for a permanent partner visa (Subclass 100). For that, you only need to submit evidence that you are still together and living a genuine relationship as a couple.  

Mistakes to Avoid with Partner Visa 309 Applications

Most migration agents don’t specialise in partner visas. They do all types of visas, such as skill visas, student visas and work visas.

See, their knowledge in partner visas is very limited.

We get a lot of people reaching out to us to help with their partner visa 309 refusal.

When we ask them what happened, that’s the most common story we hear:

“We booked a 30-minute consultation with a migration agent. After 3 months we received a refusal letter.

My migration agent told me that they were not aware that we had “this problem” that caused my visa to be refused. They blame me for not disclosing it during our 30-minute free consultation.” 

Sadly, this happens again and again.

Because these do-them-all visa agents and lawyers don’t know all the requirements to apply for partner visa 309, they don’t ask all questions they should.

Of course, you can’t expect much from an agent or lawyer who claims to know about all types of visas and does free consultations.

For them, quantity is more important then quality. They just want to sell their poor services to as many people as possible, even if they have to make a cheaper price.

Partner visas are complex. Mistakes due to lack of expertise can ruin your chances of getting an approval.

Work with a specialist partner visa lawyer to ensure you get it right the first time. Don’t risk your future.

Gold Migration has 12+ years of experience lodging partner visa 309. And we never got a partner visa 309 refused before. That’s right, 100% approval rate.

Why Gold Migration Lawyers has a staggering 100% approval rate in partner visa 309?

Gold Migration Lawyers has been known in Australia for lodging decision-ready 309 visa applications, or bullet-proof partner visa 309 applications since 2009.

A decision-ready application is a complete application that the Department case officer will scour through and say:

“This is perfect! I have everything I need to make a decision on this application right now.”

Boom! You are granted a partner visa 309.

How do we lodge decision-ready partner visa 309 applications?

First, we have a comprehensive checklist with everything you will need to make a decision-ready visa 309 application.

Second, we have effective templates for all statements that you and your partner will need to write and the 888 forms you will ask your family and friends to write.

How did we create these perfect 309 visa templates? After more than 12 years working in partner visas, we created a database with all our statements and our system filtered all the most successful statements. What do I mean by most successful statements? Statements from 309 applications that were granted faster. From there, our system was able to pinpoint all common points between these successful 309 applications, generating these highly-effective templates we have now. That’s what differentiate us from all other migration agencies and law firms. And it’s actually one of the reasons we have a 100% approval rate in 309 visa.

We will provide you with all these templates. In addition to that, we will make changes in your statements, as well as 888 forms, in order to get clear, consistent and precise language. If we need to substantiate your statements with some legal terms, we will also do that.

The Department case officers hate ambiguity. They want to be spoon-fed. We know exactly the type of language to use in order to make the Department case officers happy with your partner visa 309 application.

Our team of highly experienced migration lawyers have helped thousands of couples successfully obtain their 309 visas over the last 12 years.

In 2023, we won the Top Experts award for Best Partner Visa Law Firm in Australia. This prestigious award recognized our unparalleled expertise and outstanding success rate for partner visa 309.

If you need any help with lodging a decision-ready partner visa 309 application contact Gold Migration on 1300 320 300.

Don’t Wait Until the Australian Government Changes the Rules of Partner Visa 309 – Fill in the form below and let’s review your specific situation, answer any questions you have, and customise a solution to have your partner visa 309 granted in a short timeframe…

You only have one chance to get your partner visa 309 application right. Book a consultation with the proven experts at Gold Migration Lawyers to ensure your application is lodged accurately, thoroughly and efficiently the first time. 

“The team at Gold Migration Lawyers are true experts in partner visas 309. They handled my application quickly and efficiently. I received my visa approval faster than I could have ever imagined thanks to their diligent work. I highly recommend them!”

– John S. 


“My fiancé and I were extremely stressed about our visa application. Gold Migration Lawyers put us at ease every step of the way. They responded to all our questions and concerns promptly. We got our visa approved in record time! Couldn’t be happier.”

– Sarah T.


“Gold Migration Lawyers exceeded my expectations. Their detailed knowledge of partner visa requirements ensured we submitted a strong application. We received our visa so much faster than average processing times. We’re thrilled!”

– Akash and Priya

Partner Visa 309