Offshore Visas? Onshore Visas?

Australian Migration Law is complicated. There are a huge number of visa types, all with their own rules. Fortunately we at Down Under Visa stick to Partner Visas (fiancee visas and spouse visas), Tourist Visas and Family Visas. And we know them inside and out.

Partner Visas are broken up into ONSHORE and OFFSHORE visas.


OFFSHORE means you must be offshore (ie. OUTSIDE Australia) to apply for them. And you must also be offshore (outside of Australia) for the visa to be granted.


If you have applied for one of the offshore partner visas, such as a Subclass 309 Partner Visa (spouse visa) or a Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa (fiancee visa), you need to be:

  1. Outside Australia when we lodge the application
  2. Outside Australia when they make a decision (hopefully grant) the visa

Does that mean you can’t visit Australia during the application processing time? Not at all. If they are ready to finalise the application, they will contact us. We then contact you. When you return offshore (ie. leave Australia), they will finalise the visa application. Not a problem at all.

Just understand there are no exceptions. The applicant must leave the country, even if they go visit Bali or Fiji. They just need to leave the country.


ONSHORE means you must be onshore (ie. IN Australia) to apply for them. You also need to be onshore (in Australia) for the visa to be granted.

Being onshore also means you will qualify for a BRIDGING VISA so you can wait for the processing there in Australia, as long as the visa application is valid, ie. put together according to the Regulations.

Just bear in mind that:

  • The applicant can’t work until the visa is granted
  • Visa applications usually take a LOT longer to be processed inside Australia
  • The Government Visa Application Charge is a LOT higher
  • The applicant needs to GET to Australia first, and they need a visa with no CONDITION 8503 on it! Yes, the dreaded NO FURTHER STAY! Nearly all tourist visas from countries like Philippines will have this Condition applied, so you’ll be prevented from applying for an onshore visa and will need to leave anyway!

All more reason to get professional advice from a Registered Migration Agent like Jeff Harvie from Down Under Visa!

Most of our clients (ie. 99%+) will get offshore visas. And we have ways of helping you to spend most of your waiting time together anyway.

Get a Free Partner Visa Assessment HERE!


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Filed under Australian Visa Applications, Fiance Visas, Partner Visas - Offshore, Partner Visas - Onshore

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