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How to Switch from Student Visa to Spouse Visa in Australia?

Switching from a student visa to a spouse visa in Australia is a significant step for international students who have found love and wish to continue their journey with their partner in the country. However, many find themselves standing at the crossroads of student life, pondering the intricacies of transforming their visa status into a celebration of shared dreams.

Successfully navigating this transition necessitates a thorough grasp of immigration regulations, documentation prerequisites, and procedural nuances associated with the switch. From understanding eligibility criteria to meticulously completing the required forms, this blog aims to unravel the finer details, providing you with valuable insights as you embark on this transformative process.

Understanding the Student Visa

A Student Visa is a legal document granted by the host country that allows individuals to reside there temporarily for the purpose of education. This type of visa is usually linked to enrollment in a recognised educational institution, and it comes with specific conditions and restrictions that students must adhere to during their stay.

One of the key components of comprehending a Student Visa is being familiar with the eligibility criteria, which often include proof of enrollment, financial capacity, and, in some cases, proficiency in the host country’s language. The duration of the visa is typically tied to the length of the academic program, and students may also have the opportunity to work part-time during their studies.

Are you thinking about pursuing your studies abroad but feeling overwhelmed by the visa application process?

Let 4Nations International pave the way for you towards a smooth and hassle-free transition. Our expert team will guide you through every student visa condition, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process to obtain your student visa.

Contact us now to kickstart your international education journey.

Spouse Visa Eligibility

A Spouse Visa is a significant immigration pathway that enables individuals to join their partners in a foreign country for an extended period. This type of visa is designed to facilitate family reunification, allowing spouses to live together and build a life in the host country.

The eligibility criteria for a Spouse Visa often revolve around the genuineness of the relationship, financial stability, and compliance with immigration regulations. Proof of a legal marriage or a recognised partnership is typically a fundamental requirement. In cases where the relationship is relatively new, demonstrating a genuine commitment and shared responsibilities becomes crucial.

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“Do I need to cancel the student visa to obtain a partner visa?”

It’s a question we often hear. But here’s the plot twist – switching from a ‘Student Visa’ to a ‘Spouse Visa’ is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

Why the caution? Well, hit the brakes before cancelling your valid student visa.

When applying for a spouse or partner visa, you will automatically receive a Bridging Visa A (BVA) once your visa expires, allowing you to stay lawfully. However, if you stop studying or cancel your Student Visa, it can have serious repercussions and affect your legal standing in the host country. 

If your Student Visa is cancelled, your bridging visa will be cancelled, leaving you without a valid visa and in an unlawful status. In such a situation, you may be granted a Bridging Visa E (BVE), which will have no work rights and permits a lawful stay in Australia for a specified period but ceases immediately upon leaving the country. Applying for a Bridging Visa B to depart Australia and return while holding a Bridging Visa E is not permitted. Returning to Australia after leaving on a BVE is only possible if you obtain another substantive visa.

Steps to Switching from a Student Visa to a Spouse Visa

Marriage or Establishing a De Facto Relationship:

When applying for a Partner Visa, you must demonstrate that you are either legally married to your partner or have established a genuine de facto relationship. This involves providing evidence of shared financial responsibilities, cohabitation, social activities, and a commitment to a long-term relationship. The visa application process will differ slightly depending on whether you are married or in a de facto relationship.

Check Visa Eligibility

Before applying for a Partner Visa, it is crucial to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be 18 years old, have a genuine and ongoing relationship with your spouse or de facto partner, and meet health and character requirements. Seek advice from a registered migration agent to review the specific criteria outlined by the immigration authorities to determine your eligibility before proceeding with the application.

Apply for a Partner Visa

Once you have confirmed your eligibility, you can lodge your application for a temporary partner visa. This involves completing the necessary forms, paying the required fees, and submitting supporting documents to prove the authenticity of your relationship. The application should be lodged either online or through a designated immigration office, and it is important to provide accurate and comprehensive information to avoid delays or complications.

Also read: Partner Visa Australia Checklist.

Which partner visa can you apply for while on a student visa?

If you are currently on a student visa and wish to apply for a spouse visa in Australia, you can consider applying for an onshore partner visa Subclass 820/801. The Subclass 820 is a temporary visa, while the Subclass 801 is a permanent partner visa. Designed for individuals who are in a genuine and ongoing relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, this two-phase visa pathway ultimately leads to permanent residency.

Also read: Australian Partner Visa Application Cost

Provide Supporting Documents

“When you are submitting supporting documents for your partner visa application, you may need to include a range of documents such as:

  1. Completing form
        -Form 40SP – Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia:
        -Form 47SP – Application for Migration to Australia by a Partner
  2. Marriage certificate or evidence of de facto relationship.
  3. Joint bank accounts or financial commitments.
  4. Shared bills or household responsibilities.
  5. Statutory declarations (Form 888) from friends and family affirming your relationship.

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Health and Character Checks

Both partners must undergo health examinations and obtain police clearances. You will need to see a panel physician approved by immigration authorities to assess any medical conditions that could pose a threat to public health or result in significant healthcare costs. The physician will provide necessary reports to the immigration department.

Regarding character checks, you will be required to obtain police clearance certificates from each country where you have lived for a certain period of time, typically 12 months or more, since turning 16 years old. These certificates aim to ensure that you do not pose a risk to the community and that you have good character. 

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Await Visa Processing

After submitting your application and supporting documents, you will need to wait for the immigration authorities to process your Partner Visa. The average processing time can vary depending on various factors, such as application completeness, complexity of the case and the volume of applications being processed. 

Notify of Changes

If there are any changes in circumstances that may affect your partner’s visa application, it is crucial to notify the immigration authorities. This includes changes in address, relationship status, employment, or any other relevant information. Keeping the authorities informed ensures transparency and compliance with the visa requirements throughout the processing period.

Comply with Visa Decision

Once your Partner Visa is approved and granted, you must comply with the conditions outlined by the immigration authorities. These conditions may include maintaining a genuine and ongoing relationship with your partner, residing in the country, and not engaging in any activities that breach the visa conditions. Failure to comply with the visa conditions can result in visa cancellation or other legal consequences, so it is important to understand and adhere to these conditions.

Also read: How can I transition from a tourist visa to a partner visa in Australia?


Transitioning from a student visa to a partner visa signifies a profound life change, reflecting the evolution of personal relationships and the desire for a more permanent and intimate connection with a partner.  Every step in this process, from the essential task of gathering necessary documents to demonstrating the authenticity of your relationship, holds paramount importance.

At 4Nations International, our experienced immigration lawyers play a pivotal role in facilitating a better understanding of the application process, contributing to a more streamlined and efficient experience. The decision to switch visas is not just a legal process but also a transformative personal journey. Our specialisation in partner visas for Australia aims to enhance the overall experience by offering tailored advice, addressing concerns, and supporting individuals and couples at every step of the process.

Why wait any longer? Contact us today and ensure a better experience throughout the entire transition.

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