The True Cost of an Australian Partner Visa (820)

15 Apr

NOTE: The actual price of the partner visa application is constantly changing. Since I lodged my application eight months ago, I believe it’s been raised twice. This is meant to be a guide only; double-check the visa cost on the immigration website for a more up-to-date estimate.

Most of the people currently reading this blog have no need of this post and probably never will. This post is really for people who are going through the same thing as we are who need a bit more information about the true cost of the visa. This post details everything we bought in relation to the visa–some of it kind of ridiculous, others necessary. All costs are in Australian Dollars unless otherwise indicated. Here goes:

Partner Visa (820): $3975.00
Health Check in Australia: estimated $353 (haven’t done mine yet)
Australian Police Check: $42
FBI Criminal History Check: $18 US, plus $2.40 postage.
FBI Criminal History (Round 2): $2.40 postage.
FBI Criminal History (Round 3): $18 US, $25.00 for fingerprints (first time they charged me), $22 for postage.
Marriage Certificate: $39, plus $24 priority processing.
Passport-Sized Photos: $32.90 total (through the post office, received 8 photos each)
Document Certification: FREE through JPs in shopping centres.

New Printer, with ink and scanning abilities: $49
Paper: $6 (nearly went through an entire packet)
Scissors: $3 (for when you get the passport photos on the same day you turn the thing in, and need to cut two off of the eight you received).
Envelopes: $3
Paperclips: $2 (to bind different sections together)
Ink Pad: $5 (for fingerprinting)

TOTAL COST: $4621.70

Some of my friends are staring at the computer screen with their mouths open. I can see you.

Think of it this way: that’s just a drop in the puddle when you think about how much we’ve spent going back and forth to the US/Australia to see each other over the past five years. (Estimation: $16,000).

I guess my point is, be prepared for the little things to add up. We seemed to forking over money every week for this thing while we waited for marriage certificate, police checks, photos, etc. And then the sucker punch that is the application fee–yeah, we felt our bank account cry with that one!

At the same time, this will (hopefully) allow us to stay in the same country now. And it’s only about double what it would cost for me to fly back home!

What hidden costs are you finding with your partner visa application? Let me know in the comments below! If you’re interested in seeing how my visa journey is going, follow these links:


29 Responses to “The True Cost of an Australian Partner Visa (820)”

  1. Jim December 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    I have applied mine 820 18 months ago.. R u sure I m eligible for Medicare even I have applied defecto (same sex )820 visa?

    • inkhearted December 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      Hi Jim, I believe you are eligible! I know the rule about working rights on an 820 recently changed–do you have full working rights on your visa? That’s all you technically need to prove to get medicare. They were having a hard time finding where it said “unrestricted working rights” in my letter so that’s why they asked for the marriage visa as well. Have you registered your relationship at all with the state? That would be an added bonus, but again, I don’t believe it’s necessary. If you are given a hard time, ask for a manager and they should be able to sort it out.

      Let me know how it goes!

      • Jim December 5, 2013 at 9:20 am #

        Yes I have full time rights and yes I hv resgistered my relationship two years ago ..

      • Jim December 5, 2013 at 9:37 am #

        Can I hv ur email address please..

      • inkhearted December 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

        Hi Jim,

        Sorry, but I don’t give my personal e-mail address out on my blog. I’d be happy to attempt to advise you further here if you have any other questions. Keep in mind, though, that I’m not a migration agent and am currently going through the same process that you are yourself, so I might not have all the answers. πŸ™‚

      • Jim December 6, 2013 at 12:12 am #

        Oh ok .. Sorry I thought u r agent lol .. M sorry again

      • Alexis April 12, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

        It’s now almost $7,000 for the application fee!! Lucky you did it back then. Thanks for all the info you’ve included, really helpful!

  2. LaineyBird June 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I was just looking up the cost of an 820 Visa for a friend, it has increased to $4575 basic fee + additional charges of $2290 if you are over the age of 18. This does not include Medical, and all the other little things. This increase I believe, is as of Jan 2014.

    • inkhearted June 2, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Thanks for the update! I haven’t kept track of the prices since I applied over a year ago, and I know they’ve gone up–so hard to keep track of all the increases!

    • Nickybaby July 31, 2014 at 12:22 am #

      Yes,i just applied last sunday, everything online,once payment through u will receive two emails from immigration,just print out those emails bring it to medicare,i just fix up my medicare today,all good.

  3. Ashlee September 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    I was just wondering how much you ended up paying for the Health Check?
    Did you complete the Health Check in Australia?

    Thanks πŸ˜€

    • inkhearted September 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi Ashlee! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. It was about $360, but that was nearly a year ago now so prices might have gone up. And I did complete it in Australia (Brisbane). Hope that helps!


  4. 24kaye February 21, 2015 at 1:31 am #

    Hi Inkhearted!
    First, I want to say, I’ve not read a very helpful and informative blog about Partnee visa processing and the hiccups included, before! I’ve been doing some reading from forums eversince my boyfriend and I got engaged! So thanks so much for going through all the effort!
    I am engaged to an Australian citizen, and we have just recently started looking into visa options and reading partner migration booklet. Needless to say, we are getting stressed already and we haven’t done much so far. We have decided to apply onshore for the partner visa while I am on Tourist visa without the NFS condition. We are about to register our relationship this month, because we have no evidence of living together. So that one’s settled (hopefully no hiccups there!)
    What concerns me is, if I come to Australia in June on a tourist visa (1-month stay every entry) which will expire on July 9, 2015 and we get married right away and lodge our partner visa application, I will not be breaching my tourist visa condition of staying more than one month because the BVA kicks in right away. Am I right in assuming this?
    Thanks very much for your response

    • inkhearted February 21, 2015 at 8:05 am #

      Hi Kaye! You’re right in thinking that a bridging visa will be granted immediately when you lodge your partner visa (and come into effect when your tourist visa expires, so you won’t be breaching any conditions). However, even with a registered relationship you do need to have evidence that you are a genuine couple, and it’s often hard to compile that evidence without having lived together for a little while. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, just that you’ll want to look into it a bit more! From the sounds of things, you might be better off with a Prospective Marriage Visa, which allows you to apply offshore as an engaged couple, and then after it’s granted you will be able to come to Australia and get married within nine months. This route is actually cheaper in the long run too, though it does mean spending some time apart while you wait for the PMV to be granted.

      Just throwing another option out there! If you do still want to register your relationship and apply while on a tourist visa, I’d recommend hopping over to and asking about what sort of evidence you might be able to include. You’ll be able to get lots of ideas from them!

      Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions. It’s a stressful process but so worth it in the end!

      • 24kaye February 21, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

        Hi Emily! Thank for the swift reply an for the suggestion. I will definitely check for more ideas. I am aware of how tedious gathering evidences for the relationship can be, especially that the only times my Fiance and I were together were twice a year! We have thought about getting the PMV, but was disheartened to know how long it’ll take for us to get the visa granted, and we are planning to get married by June/July this year.
        I will definitely share with you my status and if ever any problems we may encounter down the pipeline! Thanks heaps!

  5. Alexandra April 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Reading this blog is actually quite relieving since I just applied for the same visa last night. The prices have gone up a fair bit though. I paid about $6900 just for the application itself…

    This wasn’t the case for you seeing as you come from the States, but when you come from a non-English speaking country or Province (as it is the case for myself), be prepared to spend a LOT of money to translate official documents such as birth certificates.

    • inkhearted April 12, 2015 at 6:34 am #

      Thanks for the update! I hadn’t thought about the cost of translating documents. That must be so frustrating!

  6. Penelope August 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    We just applied for ours and with the most recent increase, it cost $7,000 and that was just for the visa (paid by credit card to get the points).

  7. Becky November 2, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    Hello! I just stumbled across your blog looking to find information on the partner visa for Australia. I will sure have a more thorough snoop around your site as I’m trying to get to grips with this maze of information. I’m already somewhat horrified to see the difference in base cost (around $4k) for you a couple of years ago and the base cost now (nearly $7k). My heart weeps looking at these figures.

    • inkhearted November 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

      The price hike is terrible, isn’t it? Good luck with your application!


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