Visitor (Tourist) Visas intersect with Partner Visas in two ways:
- If you are visiting Australia and wish to apply for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820) while you are in Australia, or
- If you have applied for a Partner Visa (Subclass 309) from overseas and wish to visit Australia while your application is being considered.
Applying for a Tourist visa while waiting for partner visa
Until a couple of years ago, the Department did not consider that a person wishing to visit their partner in Australia, when that person had a Partner Visa application in train, could be a ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant’. The logic for this was simple – if a person has indicated a desire to live in Australia permanently, how can it be said that they will want to leave when their visa expires?
Thankfully, the Department now understands the illogical nature of this reasoning. For one thing, a Partner Visa application lodged offshore can only be granted when the person is outside Australia – so of course they intend to depart Australia(!)
So now the Department is being much friendlier to families, by accepting that couples should be able to spend time together while they wait for the extremely slow processing phase to complete.
In short, if you’ve lodged an application for an Offshore Partner Visa (Subclass 309), you can absolutely apply to come to Australia for a visit while you wait. This isn’t to say you’ll automatically have that visa granted, but you’ll at least be given fair consideration.