Have you fallen in love with an Australian citizen or an eligible New Zealand citizen and want to join him/her in warm, beautiful Australia? Then the Partner Visa or the Prospective Marriage Visa are options for you.
The Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) is a temporary visa, valid for nine months, that allows a person at least 18 years of age to come to Australia for purposes of marrying his or her prospective spouse. The major condition for obtaining this visa is that whoever is applying for it must remain outside Australia until the visa is granted. If you and your partner are both already in the country with a valid visa, you may consider a Partner Visa instead.
If your goal is to come to Australia and marry your prospective spouse, stay with me, and I’ll try to help you make this dream come true. However, if you’d rather pursue a visa that allows you to simply live with your partner and then, in two years’ time, become an Australian citizen, I suggest that you check out the Partner Visa post.
The first step in applying is to learn about all the conditions and documentation necessary to fulfil the requirements for this visa. There are some must do conditions you will need to satisfy:
- Intend to marry and live with your prospective spouse
- Be sponsored by your prospective spouse
- Know your spouse and have met him/her in person, as an adult, at least once
- Be a heterosexual couple. Australia does not recognise same-sex marriage but allows same-sex partners to live together in a de facto relationship within the Partner Visa
- Meet all age, health and character requirements
Can Your Partner Be Your Sponsor?
To submit a valid application, your prospective spouse must meet the citizenship criteria, as he/she will be sponsoring your visa. You both must be at least 18 years old, and your prospective spouse must be either an Australian citizen, an eligible New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident. You must have met your prospective spouse in person, as an adult, at least once.
There are some limitations on sponsorship that, if your relationship is genuine, you do not have to worry about. Your prospective spouse will not be able to sponsor your visa if:
- He/she moved to Australia under sponsorship with a Partner or Prospective Spouse Visa within the previous five years
- He/she previously sponsored another person with the visas mentioned above
Are You Able to Provide a Proof of Intent to Marry?
You must reinforce your application with written evidence that you plan to marry your prospective spouse within the nine months of your visa. If you intend to get married in Australia, the best documentation you can provide is a Notice of Intended Marriage that must be provided to the person who will be performing the ceremony at least one month, and no longer than 18 months, before the wedding date.
If you plan to get married outside Australia, you can include with your application a simple letter from the person who will be performing the ceremony.
Do You Fulfil the Health and Character Requirements?
Health and good behavior are always a serious matter for the Australian Government. To obtain your visa, you will need to satisfy all the health and character requirements. However, you do not need to worry, as this is easy enough to do. You will have to get medically assessed and provide a Police Certificate from each country in which, throughout the past 10 years, you lived for 12 months or longer once you reached the age of 16 years; you will include these certificates with your application. Both certificates are valid for 12 months from the issue date, but try to have them ready just before submitting your application; that way, if something goes wrong and you need to reapply for the visa, you can use the same certificates, saving you time and money.
Are You a Debtor to the Australian Government?
If you are, and I hope you are not, you must arrange to repay your outstanding debt to be eligible for a visa.
As part of your application, you will be asked to verify your identity through biometrics.
Can You Include a Family Member?
Yes, you will be able to include a dependent child or step-child in your application, but you must provide documentary evidence of their relationship to you, and they must also meet the health and character requirements. Any family members within your application are not entitled to enter the country before you do.
How to Apply
As you must be outside Australia to lodge your application, the best solution, as always, is to submit your request online. You will need time to obtain some of the documents required in the application, so my suggestion is to have them ready at the time you plan to lodge your application. Make sure to visit the Document Checklist, so you’ll be able to find all the relevant documentation you will need, thereby reducing delays in processing and making your way to Australia – and your spouse – that much sooner.
For this visa, it is required that you submit the following supporting documentation for both you and your partner.
Form 47SP – Application for migration to Australia by a partner
Make sure you read the Life in Australia booklet before submitting this form online; acknowledge that you understand Australian values and the Australian way of life. Filling out Form 47SP must be the first thing you do because without the reference number you will receive from the Australian Government, your sponsor partner will not be able to submit the Sponsorship form for you.
Form 40SP – Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia
This a form that an Australian citizen must lodge to sponsor his/her partner for migration to Australia. It’s a proof of relationship and an agreement to assume responsibility for any financial obligations the partner might incur, as well as to provide adequate accommodation and financial assistance for the partner.
Time and Cost of This Visa
At this stage, the visa processing time may be 5 to 12 months. If you submitted your application online, you can check its status using your ImmiAccount. The Prospecting Marriage Visa will be valid for nine months, and it cannot be extended nor reissued even if you still intend to marry your partner but the marriage has not happened within the nine months of time you were allotted.
The cost of the visa is approximately AUD 6,865. However, the fee depends on whether you have any dependents in your application. An additional AUD 3,435 will be charged for each additional applicant over 18 years old and an additional AUD 1,720 for each applicant under 18 years of age.
What Will You Get From the Prospective Marriage Visa?
Once you have the visa, you must use it to enter Australia at least once before marrying your spouse. You will be entitled to the following facilities:
- Enter Australia and marry your prospective spouse
- Travel in and out of Australia
- Work with the limitation of your temporary visa of nine months
- Study, but unfortunately, you will not yet be able to access government funding for Australian citizen tertiary study
- Apply for a Partner Visa, after your happy marriage and before your Prospective Marriage Visa expires
More information is available in the Partner Migration booklet.
Your wedding does not need to be celebrated in Australia, you are free to choose your dream location, but do not forget to send us an invitation 🙂