Provisional Residence Visas


A provisional visa is a temporary visa that may lead to the grant of a permanent visa if the holder meets certain conditions.

Example: Visas subclass 309 and subclass 820 are provisional visas issued to people who are applying for permanent residence on 'partner' grounds. The provisional visa will lead to the grant of a permanent 'partner' visa (subclass 100 or subclass 801) as long as the Department of Home Affairs decides that the person's relationship is still 'genuine and ongoing' 2 years after the person applied for the visa.

Note: Under some circumstances, a partner permanent visa can be granted even though the relationship has ceased within 2 years, for example where the applicant was subject to domestic violence by the sponsoring partner, or where the partner has died.

Provisional visas are not permanent visas, so the holders do not meet the SSAct definition of an Australian resident. However, the holders of provisional visa subclasses 309, 310, 820 and 826 may have access to SpB, but since legislative changes introduced with effect from 1 January 2012, these visa holders must show that they are in financial hardship AND have experienced a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control after arrival in Australia.

Note: With the commencement of the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - General Law Reform) Act 2008 on 1 July 2009, the Migration Regulations 1994 were amended to replace 'spouse' with 'partner'. 'Spouse visas' continue to be issued for visa applications lodged prior to 1 July 2009.

Act reference: SSAct section 729 Qualification for SpB, section 739A Newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.2.2 Visa subclasses 100-139 payment eligibility 9.2.5 Visa subclasses 300-399 payment eligibility, 9.2.11 Visa subclasses 800-849 payment eligibility

Last reviewed: 8 May 2017