From Student Visa to Partner Visa

Australian Partner Visa


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Transferring From Student Visa to Partner Visa.

A number of Student Visa holders in Australia will marry an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident while they are studying in Australia.
Thoughts then turn to applying for a Partner Visa so they can stay in Australia after their Student Visa ends.

The Student Visa holder will apply for the 820/801 Onshore Partner Visa route, and then wait..

  • Some people think it is easy, fast and automatic, but it isn’t.
  • Some realise it isn’t that easy, but are not worried, as they are expecting to get a Bridging Visa (BVA), that will give them full working rights immediately.  However that BVA will not go into effect until after the Student Visa ceases.
  • Some realise that the BVA will not go into effect until after the Student Visa ends, so they go ahead and cancel the Student Visa.. BUT, cancelling the student visa, also cancels the BVA.

Many people get caught out by these rules, as they didn’t read everything fully, and then end up hiring an Immigration Agent to try to fix up the problem.

Current Student Visa – Partner Visa Rules.

A Student Visa allows limited working rights, and the holder will stay on that Visa until it either ends, or the 820 Temporary Partner Visa is granted.

The current (May 2018) processing time for the 820 visa is: 75% are granted within 17 months and another 15% in 24 months, with 10% taking over 24 months.  More up to date times may be found at: Australian Visa Processing Times


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This means that the Student will remain on the Student Visa, and have to abide by the conditions of that visa, for another one or two years, or until the Student Visa comes to an end.

If the Student Visa ends before the 820 Visa is granted, then you will get a Bridging Visa that will allow full working rights, with Medicare etc.

This is an important thing to remember:

  • An 820/801 application will automatically grant a Bridging Visa (BVA) with full work rights, but that won’t go into effect until the student visa ceases.

A Student Visa holder who applies for the 820/801 Onshore Partner Visa just before the Student Visa expires (a week or two before) is not really affected by this, as the BVA will come into effect as soon as the Student Visa expires, so it will only be a short time having to remain under the Student Visa conditions.

Relevant Wording from the Immigration Website:

If you lodge your Partner application and your current visa ends before you are granted a temporary Partner visa (subclass 820), you can stay in Australia on a Bridging visa A (BVA) while the temporary visa is being processed. You do not have to apply for a BVA – it is automatically granted when you apply for your partner visa. www.homeaffairs.gov.au/…/820/bridging-visa.aspx


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The information we give is based on personal experiences, reading and formulation of available statistics.
Some Visa Applicants might find an Experienced Australian Migration Agent of great assistance. - ai16

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