Permanent partner visa processing. DIBP no longer contacting applicants

Until recently, the Department contacted applicants to ask them to provide updated evidence for their permanent partner visa processing. Not any more.

Two-step process

Applying for an Australian partner visa is a two-step process.

First, an application is lodged for a temporary partner visa (subclass 820 or 309) and for a permanent partner visa (subclass 801 or 100).

The application for the temporary partner visa is then processed by the Department. It’s normally granted (or refused) within 12 to 18 months of the visa application being lodged.

Applicants are eligible to be considered by the department for grant of the permanent partner visa 2 years after the date they applied for the temporary and permanent partner visas.

Until recently, 22 months after the partner visa applications were lodged, the Department would send a letter to the applicant (or their registered migration agent) by post or by email, advising the applicant that they would soon be eligible to be considered for the permanent partner visa. The letter advised the applicant and their sponsor to now send the Department updated evidence of the genuine nature of their relationship, and that their relationship was ongoing.

Recently the Department stopped sending these letters to partner visa applicants. It’s not clear why.

It’s now up to you to act

So, it is now up to partner visa applicants, and/or their migration agents, to remember to provide updated evidence of the relationship to the Department. This should be done at the 2-year point after applying for the partner visas. The department will no longer ask or remind partner visa applicants to do so.

Be careful not to underestimate this

Providing evidence for processing of the permanent partner visa has also become a “mini” partner visa application in the eyes of the Department.

I recommend that you don’t underestimate the process as refusals of permanent partner visas are not uncommon unfortunately.

Consider getting advice if you need to

Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this process and development.


Ross McDougall

Immigration Lawyer



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