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onshore vs offshore partner visa: which is better?

4138 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Skybluebrewer
G'Day! Pleased to meet you all. I'm a dual US/Australian citizen, female, married for 4 years to a male US citizen. We live in the US and would like to move to Australia in the next year.

With current processing times, would it be better to apply for the offshore 309/100 partner visa now and move once it's granted, or go to Australia and apply for the onshore 820/801 partner visa as soon as we arrive? And if we do the 820, under what visa would it be best for my husband travel to Australia?

I found a thread here on this topic from 2011, but want to make sure we have the latest information before we act. (Can't post the link, I'm too new! :D)

Thank you in advance for your insight and experience, and for this great forum!

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- You get to be onshore while the visa is being processed.

- Long processing times.
- If arriving on tourist visa/ETA he can't work until the current period of stay expires and the Bridging Visa A kicks in.
- Can be more difficult to find employment on a bridging visa in spite of BVA having full employment rights.
- DIBP have a proposal in the works to change the sponsorship process so that the sponsor would have to be approved before a partner visa application can be lodged (currently they are lodged concurrently, or rather sponsor lodges their application immediately after the visa application has been submitted and paid for). We have no way of knowing how long DIBP would take to approve a sponsor. If it takes longer than 2-2.5 months you can see that prospective visa applicants who are on a 3 month tourist visa or ETA will be in a bind and would have to go offshore. This is specifically designed to reduce onshore partner visa applications. This proposal was talked about earlier this year, but was deferred to next year. This may affect you if you are planning on moving to Aus later rather than sooner.


- Shorter processing times.
- Your husband will be eligible for PR since your relationship is longer than 3 years (submit evidence of length of your relationship), hence once granted he would be a permanent resident on entry and in theory should be able to find employment more easily.
- less uncertainty.

- He has to be offshore for visa grant. You can apply for a ETA/visit visa for him if you want to come to Australia sooner, however he would not be eligible to work on ETA/visit visa and he would not be eligible for bridging visa.

You didn't mention his age - does he qualify for Work and Holiday visa? Could be a good option if you intend to apply onshore. Keep in mind he would have to abide by conditions of whatever visa he enters on, until said visa expires and the BVA kicks in.
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You're welcome.

I assume if the sponsorship process changes, it would change regardless of whether the sponsor is onshore or offshore?
I would imagine so.
If you're not intending to move for another year then I would recommend the 309/100 route.
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