Australia Travel

We Survived The Second Stage 820/801 Australian Partner Visa

Australian Partner Visa

When the two year mark rolled around for the second stage 820/801 Australian Partner Visa, I had almost forgotten it was coming. Life tends to just get on with itself, and two years seemed to speed past with us moving house, changing jobs, making big decisions and generally just living our lives. Still, the Australian Partner Visa waits for no one, and when we got the email a few months before our March 25th eligibility date, the paperwork process started again.

Dean and I have been trying to collect as much paperwork as possible during the time period between applying for the first part and the second stage 820/801 Australian Partner Visa. I call it the Relationship Paper Trail. Keeping it feels a little odd still, even though there isn’t too much detail we haven’t already shared with the good ol’ Australian government. I wanted to compile a list here as I did with the first stage, to provide a little bit of assistance with those on the same journey as us.

 Remember, I am NOT a Migration Agent, so this information is provided only in the form of unprofessional advice based on my own experience! 

Ok, so here’s a list of all the paperwork we collected for our application. You’ll notice that it is far from the amount we submitted last time. We got some mixed feedback on this when we asked around the forums. Some suggested that you needed more information, while others said the same or less. In the end we went with the most clear and concise information that showed we were still in a relationship, without too many useless extras. The second stage of the Australian Partner Visa is all about showing that the relationship has continued over the past two years, and we feel this evidence shows that in full.

Let’s dive in shall we!

General Evidence

  • Cover letter with information about how our application was organised, signed by both of us
  • Police check for Dean (no police check for me because no children are a part of our application)
  • Two form 888s from two of our friends, with information about our relationship
  • Statutory declaration from me about our relationship, as Dean’s sponsor, making reference to our provided evidence

Financial Evidence

  • Bank statement from our joint savings and everyday account, stamped by a bank manager,
  • Registration renewal notice for our car, in both our names,
  • Registration certificate for our car, in both our names,
  • Electricity bills in both of our names.

Household Evidence

  • Rental reference for the first rental in Australia, both of our names listed,
  • Lease for our current home, with us as only listed tenants,
  • Copies of our drivers license, confirming we reside at the same address.

Commitment Evidence

  • Screenshots from announcing our engagement on Facebook,
  • A blog about our engagement,
  • Photographs from a couples photoshoot we did,
  • Statement (informal but signed) from Dean’s mother, Shirley,
  • Form 888 from my mother,
  • Blog from my website about our move to Melbourne.

Social Evidence

  • Printed profile from our joint account,
  • Invoice from us getting a premium membership,
  • Photographs, blogs + video from the visit Dean’s mum took to see us in Australia,
  • Itinerary + hotel receipts from our holiday to Indonesia,
  • Itinerary, photographs + blogs from our trip to England,
  • Itinerary, hotel receipts, blogs + photos from our trip to Sydney and NSW South Coast,
  • Photographs of Dean and I with friends + family in Darwin,
  • Various blogs from milestone moments in our relationship.

A breakfast for every occasion. Today: post-engagement celebration breakfast 💍

A post shared by Oceana | Maps + Mandalas (@mapsandmandalas) on

Resources For The Australian Partner Visa

As with before, Dean and I are eternally grateful to the many folks who have helped us out on the road to getting our Australian Partner Visa. For the official word the best place to start is the Australian Government Partner Migration Booklet, but for the inside knowledge from others who have gone through or are currently going through the Australian Partner Visa process, check out the Australia Forum. It is an amazingly well informed and helpful community, perfect for any questions or queries you have on the process.

Good luck!

We Survived The Second Stage 820/801 Australian Partner Visa Pin


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  • Reply
    August 1, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Hi, I would like to provide some accurate information and put everyone’s “feelings” aside.
    The department has a quota. They are only allowed to grant a certain number of visas in a certain period. People are ranked in the queue based on a hierarchy which is affected by citizenship country and other factors. The time period gets extended when more visas are waiting in the queue, due to the quota. The actual process of looking over the documentation, conducting the checks and granting a visa takes a few hours at most.

    Now please stop making wild theories about budget cuts, lack of feelings and other nonsense.



    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      August 25, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Hi John. Thanks for your comment. I fully recognise that the government has a quote for these kinds of visas. This is a well known fact, and anybody who applies for one of these visas will likely come across it. However, the fact remains that less staff are on board at DIBP, and budget cuts have been made, and it’s pretty clear how the current Australian government feels about migrants. These aren’t wild theories, but supported by fact. It’s fair that people at the mercy of that system, at the whim of policy makers generally responding out of a fear mindset in which all migrants somehow end up being ‘evil’ (despite Australia being a country of migrants), may feel somewhat emotional about the entire thing. So, thanks for your facts but I’d like to provide a safe space for people experiencing what my partner and I went through with the visa process to share their thoughts, opinions and (yes) emotions on the matter.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Hi Oceana ☺
    We have our temporary partner visa and it states that my wife has multiple entry/exits to and from Australia while the 801 is being decided but it doesn’t say whether you have to inform immigration each time?
    Do you know?
    Also her dad is unwell so she hasn’t bought a return ticket as she could be staying 2 weeks or 2 months..
    Cheers and thanks for all your help

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      March 28, 2018 at 7:48 am

      Hi Murray,
      Sorry we didn’t travel apart when my partner was on his temporary visa, only on holiday and we were together. I think that if she hasn’t booked a return flight, you might want to just make it clear to the department (either update documents online or try to call them, but I’m not sure how to call them) about the situation with her father. I’m not a migration agent remember, so I can’t really offer you the ‘right way’ to do this as I haven’t encountered that situation myself. Let us know what you decide to do!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Your post was very insightful! Thank you so much for putting all of this out there! I do have a couple questions. So my partner is the Australian Citizen and I’m trying to immigrate from the USA. How long did the initial application for the temporary visa take? Was 3 months enough time? Also my partner and I have never lived together yet minus our trips to see each other, so a lot of the documentation you listed I don’t have yet, but will once I’m there on the BVA I imagine. Is this ok? What all did you need initially to apply for the 820 and were you able to submit all the other documentation (joint rent bills, joint banking accounts, etc) after he was on the BVA?

    Also did you ever get the BVB so he could travel outside the country? And do you know what is required for that? My partner and I love to travel as well.

    Last question! I saw you were engaged (congrats!!) will the 801 remain in effect or would you require a marriage visa? Thank you so much for your time! 🤗

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      March 6, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      Hey Ellie,
      Remember I’m not a migration agent, so I can only offer advice based on my own experiences. As far as I’m aware, you aren’t able to apply for the partner visa if you and your partner haven’t lived together for a minimum of 12 months. You’ll need to have lived together for this time before you apply, because it’s one of the first questions they ask you. I think before you do the partner visa, you might wish to consider a working holiday visa ( instead.
      In terms of the timeline, my partner (a UK citizen) arrived in Australia on a tourist visa (which is for three months, no working allowed). We applied about 2 weeks later online, and submitted all the evidence of our relationship including proof we’d lived together, joint accounts, joint purchases, statements from family and friends, and our own statements. When his tourist visa ran out, he was automatically moved to the Bridging Visa A, because that’s what they put you on while they’re working through your application. After about 13-14 months he was given his temporary visa, and then two years after we had originally applied, we were able to submit for the permanent one.
      We never looked into getting the BVB because we were concerned about our application being delayed or something. As it happened we took the opportunity to travel in Australia for that year and have his family visit us.
      Thanks for your congratulations 🙂 We aren’t applying for a marriage visa because we don’t need to. The 820/801 visa will result in my partner being made a Permanent Resident (eventually) after which we can do as we please. The marriage visa is for when you’re already married when you apply I think, although I don’t know as I didn’t do that one.
      Good luck!

    • Reply
      March 12, 2018 at 1:13 am

      Another option for you ,if you are not married, is to apply for prospective marriage visa. Waiting process is around 7months at the moment. If you are granted, you’ll have no restrictions whatsoever. The only condition is to get married in the 9months after your arrival. As soon you get married, you have apply for the Temporary/permanent partner visa.

      • Reply
        Oceana Setaysha
        March 12, 2018 at 10:26 am

        Thanks for this information Tamara, it’s definitely good to know for the future if someone asks me as I was not aware of this 🙂

  • Reply
    March 4, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    With that time line we could have had a beer when I was living in Darwin before I moved to Cairns.

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      March 4, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      Haha yeah it’s a long time to wait!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Hi Oceana
    Did you hear anything about your visa yet ? Did they grant it ? If so how many month did you have to wait befor its granted ?

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      February 22, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Hi Liz,
      Nope nothing yet on the visa, I’ll be doing an update post in March as that will be the 12 month mark that we have been waiting after applying for the 801. To be honest, based on the newest wait times I don’t think we’ll be hearing anything before then, it appears they’re around 15-18 months minimum now so we’ll hit that around June of this year.

      • Reply
        February 22, 2018 at 9:23 am

        Ok but it was 15 to 21 month now they changed in 18 to 24 month. And next month they will change again. I dont understand why they keep doing this

        • Reply
          Oceana Setaysha
          February 23, 2018 at 10:26 am

          Well, I think they keep doing it because they’re getting more and more applications but the visa is such a revenue raising enterprise for the government that they want to keep as much of that money for their own coffers as possible. In 2017 they cut yet more staff from DIPB and that is just the latest in continual staff cuts over the years. Less staff means less people to get through the visas and there is already a backlog and thousands of applications pouring in every day. Also probably not helping is the tightening of other immigration pathways so that people are willing to fake a partner visa because they are desperate to stay in Australia. Those fakers make it much harder for people who are in legitimate relationships who have no recourse but to wait endlessly for their visa.

          • Liz
            February 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm

            Hi Oceana
            I agree with you. Because of them we have to suffer. I just wish they understood that we have feeings too and we have partners to go lofe trough just like they do. i just dont understand how long i have yo wait anymore. Lost in counting but problem is people applied after me and some of them got in 5 month . That shouldnt be like that. Before they said there is a cue and now they just grant whoever they want to grant not even considering there is applications before thos people who actually applied ages ago

        • Reply
          March 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

          I couldnt agree more. Have you got any updates on your visa yet ? Its march now ( •-• ) the more time it takes the more i get stressed as i dont want to wait over 25 month like so many people do this days :/

      • Reply
        April 12, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        Hi Liz,
        Did you applied for the visa in paper or online?
        How long it takes from the application until he got granted?
        I have been waiting for 12 months.
        We have not had a honeymoon because I cannot travel.
        Thanks 😘

        • Reply
          April 23, 2018 at 1:41 am

          Hi Sab
          For my 820 Temporary parner visa i applied in papper and for second stage 801 Permanent partner visa i applied online. 820 took 14 month and 801 took approximately 14 to 15 month .

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I have been granted my 801 Visa and what are the next steps after that. How long before you receive correspondence about citizenship?

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      February 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Hi Will,
      Congratulations on being granted your 801 visa. Unfortunately I am not a migration agent, and can only offer my own experiences. We are currently still waiting for the 801 visa to be granted, and based on new estimates my partner Dean is unlikely to see his granted prior to June of this year, over three years after we applied. As far as I am aware, PR holders do not qualify for citizenship for another 4 years after their PR is granted, so you may have something of a wait before you can apply for that. I am unsure of the specifics of the process though.
      Still, you got your 801 and that’s fantastic.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    When applying for the second stage partnership visa… when did you put up your evidence?? Did you wait until you heard from a case officer or did you just put up a heap of evidence you think they want?? I have submitted my application but now I am wondering what and when to put evidence up.

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      February 8, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Hey Steph. Do you mean the 801 part of the visa? If so, you can apply for that one exactly 2 years after you’ve applied for your 820 visa. So, we applied for our 820 visa on the 25th March 2015 and on 25th March 2017 I was ready to upload all the new information to catch up whoever was reviewing our visa application as to what had happened in the two years prior. Of course, I had already added information in the interim, to the old i.e. 820 application (like when we moved house) but for the 801 application you start a new one on your immi account (its Stage 2 – Permanent Partner Visa Assessment). We have only heard from a case officer on one occasion in the nearly 3 years we’ve been involved in the application process, and it was to request us to submit some information we had forgotten to attach. Since then, we have heard nothing.
      In terms of the information we submitted, you’ll see on the blog post above I included a list of what evidence we submitted. I’m not a migration agent, so this is only my own experience. Basically we were trying to fill the gaps of the last two years, show that our relationship was ongoing and we remained committed to each other.
      Good luck!

  • Reply
    Samantha R
    January 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Hey there Oceana,

    So 4th March 2018 it’s our 2 years from the date of applying. Can we put in our application now (January 2018) to be ready for when they pick it up in March? OR do we literally have to wait until that time?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      January 7, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Hi Samantha,
      As far as I’m aware you can only actually submit the application online after your eligibility date, but I suppose I never tried to submit ours early. However, I had absolutely everything ready to go so that when our date came up I applied on the day with everything done. So definitely put the application together (get your evidence, make note of periods of employment/unemployment + all past addresses etc) but I’m pretty sure you can’t get it submitted online until the day you are eligible.

  • Reply
    Barry Thake
    December 12, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Hi there,
    My wife has been on the 820 since November 2015, based on my assumptionions having read the 820/801 application, you should not have to apply a second time to get the 801 ?
    My reading of the documentation suggests to me that you flow on from an 820 approval and into an 801 approval process.
    We started the process on 15 January 2015, after much form filling and supplying various documentation, the 820 was granted, a major milestone for us, however, here we are today 12/12/2017 and we have no idea of any more progress relating to the 801 side of her application.
    Yes it is frustrating (very in fact) I have emailed the immigration department several times to receive an automatic reply, I appreciate that the people of the immigration department have a lot of work to do, but more frequent updates to those applicants might help with individual frustrations and also let them view the immigration department in a better light.
    I would appreciate your views on my assumption of the application covering both parts of the Visa application, we paid over $10,300, but that is my wife and 2 adopted children.
    Regards….Far North Queensland, you might also answer via email ?

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      December 12, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Hi Barry,
      In order to qualify for your 801 permanent visa you need to apply again, supplying further information (but paying no extra money) that the relationship remains ongoing. Now, you can only apply for the 801 2 years after you put your initial 820 application in. So, my partner and I applied for his visa towards the end of March in 2015. His 820 was granted in 2016 and then in 2017 in March again we became eligible to apply for the next stage of the visa, which we did. I’m not a migration agent, but my understanding is that without applying for the 801 specifically, you cannot be granted it. I would jump onto and put in that application ASAP. If you think you might have already applied, take your query to the Immigration section of the Australia forum ( There are literally hundreds of people there going through the same process, as well as migration agents who offer their assistance for free on small matters.
      Good luck, I wish you all the best!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Hello! Just wanted to ask has your partner been able to work this whole time in Australia? At what stage and after what forms did u submit that allowed him to do that?
    And thanks very much for your post. I was having trouble figuring out where to start! 🙂

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      October 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Erin! That’s a great question, I will have to add it to my upcoming FAQ on the visa process. Dean actually couldn’t work for the first three months of his time in Australia because he entered on a tourist visa. While he was on that visa, we submitted the paperwork (online) for the temporary partner visa. When the tourist visa ran out, because the paperwork had been submitted online, he was automatically given a Bridging Visa which allowed him to work. As far as I know, not all bridging visas have work conditions, but the one they generally put people making the transition from Tourist to 820/801 does. He did find it a challenge to get work on the bridging visa, as it’s not a permanent visa by any stretch. In our case, he was awarded the temporary visa about 13 months after we applied.
      Hope that helps!

      • Reply
        November 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm

        Thanks Oceana just one more quick question. How were you notified that he had the bridging visa? What proof did he use to show to potential employers?

        Really appreciate your time! 😊

        • Reply
          Oceana Setaysha
          November 19, 2017 at 8:55 am

          We weren’t notified by the government as far as I remember, BUT you can check your visa status at any time using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system on Once you put in some personal details (like the receipt number on your visa or the passport on which you lodged the visa, you can see what visa you hold. You can print the form that’s generated and take that into employers. Here’s the link:
          Hope that helps 😀

          • Erin
            November 22, 2017 at 6:33 am

            ok great that does help thanks so much! 🙂

          • Oceana Setaysha
            December 4, 2017 at 5:54 am

            Awesome! Always glad to hear it 😁

  • Reply
    October 10, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Can i ask, did you apply via online or paper. And did you get the visa granted yet.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      October 11, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Mel,
      We applied online in March of 2015, and applied for the second stage in March of 2017. We have yet to hear anything from the department about our visa application, nor do we expect to as wait times are currently upwards of 12+ months.
      Hopefully that was helpful!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Hi! Thanks so much for your tips 🙂
    Did you need to fill out any other official forms, particularly form 80?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      August 17, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Nat,
      We received different opinions about whether Form 80 was necessary. We really wanted to avoid it as it is so long and complicated, and together Dean and I have 14 siblings and all of those details were required. However, ultimately we weren’t willing to take the risk and filled it in.
      Good luck!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Hi, could u please share the timeline of your application from the first time u lodge it?

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      July 11, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Rossa! Sure, we applied around the end of March in 2015. They later asked for us to submit the medical and then the police check before his temporary visa was granted in May of 2016. Then in March of 2017 we applied for the second stage, and currently at July 2017 we are still waiting to hear on that application. If you haven’t already check out my post on the first stage of the visa:
      Good luck!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

    If you are married, is it the same process of getting a permanent visa in Australia? if it’s easier, why not just be married as you’re going to, anyway. Otherwise, best of luck and lived happily ever after. 🙂

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      June 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      As far as I’m aware it’s not easier or necessarily cheaper to get the partner visa if you’re married. For us it was a question of whether we wanted to get married ‘for’ a visa, and we just didn’t. We had been together just over 1 yr when we applied, and we didn’t want to rush into a wedding just to get the visa. To be honest I feel like us getting married so early would have been more of a red flag. We’re engaged now and it’s perfect timing 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Hi! Is there a deadline to submit the paperwork the second time ’round for the 801 visa? I just realised I was eligible to apply 9 months ago 🙁

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      June 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      To be honest Jill I have no idea. I don’t know anyone who missed their eligibility date. I would be talking to the folks at Australia Forum (link in post) and they can probably direct you from there. If they can’t, perhaps a registered migration agent will be able to offer assistance. I think it definitely will delay the final outcome of your visa though 🙁

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