The different types of Australian partner visa

Australian spouse, de facto, fiance, wife or husband visa, marriage visa … people are not always sure what to call the different partner visa types.

So here is a basic explanation of the real and used names of the different Australian partner visa options:

Spouse visa:

The spouse visa name also has the official label ‘de jure’, which means ‘of law’ … which therefore means married.

So this visa type is for a couple who are married before applying for their Australian partner visa.

It does not matter where they married, but if already married, then this is the option. The subclasses used are 309 and 100 (for applications where the applicant is outside Australia), and subclass 820 and 801 when the applicant is inside Australia.

De facto or de facto spouse visa:

This visa is for couples who are not married, but have lived together for 12 months. This can be living together anywhere — inside or outside Australia. But they must have good evidence of living together. It does not need to be evidence in joint names (though this can help), but any normal evidence such as mail, registrations, bills and such, that both people have these kinds of things to the same address in their name.

Prospective spouse visa:

This is for couples who are not married but plan to marry – in Australia – within 9 months of the visa visa being granted.


This is for same-sex couples, and works in the same way as the de facto spouse visa, with 12 months cohabitation being important.

New Zealand partner visa:

If a New Zealand citizen has a spouse (married partner) or de facto (lived together for 12 months), they they can apply for their partner to have a 5 year NZ partner visa, subclass 461.


This is a very basic guide as to the options.

For costs, partner / spouse visa processing times, evidence required for a spouse visa application and more, simply go to Get Assessed at the top or bottom and begin your process as explained.