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Partner visa 820 and Covid-19

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Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 1:15 pm

Partner visa 820 and Covid-19

Post by 820help » Thu May 14, 2020 8:52 pm

Hi all,

My husband is an Australian passport holder and we have been married 3 years and we have a child together (the child also has an Australian passport).

We are looking to relocate to Australia in July - August due to a sick family member (cancer).

I was looking to travel to Australia on the E visitor visa and then once in Australia apply for the 820 partner visa.

However, when I try to apply for the E visitor now it shows the below alert (in italic)

Travel restrictions to Australia are currently in place – see the Department's website prior to travel and for the latest information.

Important notice

Strict travel restrictions are in place for certain countries due to COVID-19. You should not apply for any visa until checking the latest information.

If you are an immediate family member of either an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600).

If your visa was granted after 1 February 2020 and you are affected by the current travel restrictions, you will not be able to check your visa details and conditions using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) until the restrictions are lifted. You should refer to your visa grant letter or check here in ImmiAccount.

Would you be able to clarify whether the eVisitor visa is still in use or is the Visitor Visa (subclass 600) the only option currently to enter Australia with the aim of then applying for the Partner (subclass 820) visa to remain permanently in Australia. Can an application still be made for an eVisitor visa and then a separate exemption be applied for to enter on this visa?

Also, assuming I can't enter on the eVistor visa and I have to enter Australia on the Visitor Visa (subclass 600) can I still apply for 820 visa subsequently? The reason I am asking this is because the subclass 600 page outlines that this visa will only be provided if the applicant intends to come to Australia to visit only and is a genuine visitor with proof that the applicant has reasons to return home. Therefore, can the application for the 820 be made void/be rejected on the basis the applicant entered on a sublcass 600 but was not in fact a genuine visitor? Thus, effectively breaching their visa? How else could you enter the country (apart from being a visitor) to then apply for the 820 in Australia? It seems like there is a bit of a contradiction here? Am I missing something?
Many Thanks

Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:38 pm

Re: Partner visa 820 and Covid-19

Post by xebec » Tue May 19, 2020 9:23 am

You've not mentioned what passport you have. I am assuming its a UK passport from the flag shown on your profile.

Yes, you would have to apply for the subclass 600 visa as the e-visa program looks to be suspended due to COVID-19 to enter into the country. The e-visa is generally an automated approval system to citizens eligible countries, while with a 600 its manually processed. This is what I believe is the case (I could be wrong). With the manual processing, they can filter out people who have no genuine reason to be in Australia under the ongoing pandemic restrictions.

While on the 600 you can apply for the 820 visa. They generally do not encourage it and the legal refrain if you ask them is you can't, but they seldom crack down on applying for an 820 while on a 600 - the system allows you to apply. Note that the partner visa is nearly 8,000 AUD and the wait times could be up to 2 years. Since you have been married for over 2 years and have a child together, waiting times are usually reduced in the grant of this visa. After your 600 visa expires, you will be put on a Bridging A visa until you get granted the 820 visa. (There are restrictions on leaving the country - you would have to apply for a Bridging B visa if you do).

Make sure you get all your paperwork when you do come to Australia. I would suggest the following:
1. Apostilled/legalised birth certificate
2. Apostilled marriage certificate (if not issued in Australia)
3. Drivers licence
4. Police clearances (preferably apostilled) from the country you're in and any countries you've been in the last 10 years that you've lived in for more than 3 months.
5. Proof of change of surname (if applicable)

Hope this makes it clearer.