Prospective marriage visa Australia: partner migration
What is a prospective marriage visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter Australia for the purpose of getting married must first obtain a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa, otherwise known as a fiancee/fiance visa, from their local Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. The prospective marriage visa permits the foreign fiancee/fiance to travel to Australia and marry her or his Australian citizen or permanent resident sponsor within nine months.
What is a ‘fiancee/fiance’?
A fiancee/fiance is a person who is engaged to be married. The marriage must be legally possible according to Australian laws. In the context of partner migration, the term ‘fiancee/fiance’ is used to mean a woman and a man who intend to marry each other in Australia. The term ‘fiancee’ is used to refer to a woman, who is engaged to be married, while ‘fiance’ is meant to refer to a man.
Who can apply for a subclass 300 fiancee visa?
If you are an Australian citizen, whether by birth or through naturalisation, or lawful permanent resident of Australia (this category includes eligible New Zealand citizens – see explanation below), you may be eligible to sponsor your foreign fiancee/fiance for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa to come to Australia. The fiancee visa category is designed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to facilitate the admission of foreign nationals wishing to get married in Australia.
What are the basic requirements to apply for a prospective marriage visa?
In order to sponsor a foreign fiancee/fiance for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa, you must be an Australian citizen or lawful permanent resident of Australia, or eligible New Zealand citizen permanently living in Australia (see explanation below). You and your fiancee must be at least 18 at the time of application unless an Australian Court has issued an order allowing the marriage before you and/or your fiancee reach the age of 18; be legally free to marry with no impediment to your marriage; and have a serious relationship with intention to get married in Australia within nine months of visa issuance. You must have met each other in person prior to applying for the prospective marriage visa. Furthermore, as a sponsor you must be able to prove that you can support your partner in Australia without applying for any government benefits. This means that you have adequate funds in place.
In addition to your partner meeting the age criteria, your loved one must be able to meet certain health and ‘good moral character’ requirements, which means that any serious contagious illness (e.g. HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis) or a conviction of certain crimes may prevent him or her from applying for a subclass 300 fiancee visa.
What are the restrictions?
You may not be able to sponsor your foreign fiancee/fiance for a prospective marriage visa if you have previously sponsored two other foreign nationals for an Australian migrant visa under the partnership policy; or sponsored another partner for migration to Australia within the last five years; or were sponsored for a partner visa yourself within the last five years. In addition to this, if your fiancee has dependent children, you will be required to obtain an AFP clearance. Should the record check reveal a conviction of a sexual or abuse nature involving a child, you may be prevented from sponsoring your fiancee and his or her children for a prospective marriage visa.
How long is a prospective marriage visa valid for?
A subclass 300 fiancee visa is valid for nine months from the date of issue.
Can my partner apply for a fiancee/fiance visa from inside Australia?
A subclass 300 prospective marriage visa application must be lodged offshore. If your partner is overseas, they will need to apply for a visa from their local Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission, whereas if your partner is currently in Australia on a long term visa of their own, such as a work permit or student visa, they will have to depart offshore in order to lodge their fiancee visa application.
How does the subclass 300 prospective marriage visa process work?
Immigrating to Australia as a fiancee/fiance of an Australian citizen or permanent resident is essentially a two-step process. The first part takes place abroad at an Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission that has jurisdiction over your partner’s place of normal and legal residence. The second part, once you are married in Australia, is when the initial nine-month visa is converted to a two-year subclass 820 provisional spousal/partner visa from inside Australia. The second application to remain in Australia will be processed by the regional Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) office.
Can my fiancee/fiance work in Australia on a prospective marriage visa?
Subclass 300 fiancee visa holders are permitted to work and study in Australia.
How long will it take to obtain a fiancee visa for my partner to come to Australia?
Prospective marriage visa processing times can vary greatly from location to location, and from Embassy to Embassy. The length of time varies from case to case according to its specific circumstances. On average, it takes the Australian Consulates overseas from five to six months to reach a decision on a partner migration application depending on how quickly all the necessary external checks are completed (e.g. medical checks, name/security checks). Some subclass 300 visa applications require further administrative processing. Complex applications can take the examining DIAC migration officers longer to bring to resolution and visa issuance. Processing times are subject to change.
How do partners of New Zealand citizens qualify for a prospective marriage visa?
Eligible New Zealand citizens can sponsor their foreign partners for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa to come to Australia. To be considered an eligible New Zealand citizen, you must have resided in Australia on the 26th February 2001 and held a Subclass 444 special category visa, or resided in Australia for at least 12 months of the two years before the 26th February 2001, or were issued a special certificate under the Australian Social Security Act of 1991 stating that you were permanently residing in Australia on a particular date. It should be noted that New Zealand citizens are required to meet mandatory health and character requirements in order to sponsor a foreign national for a prospective marriage visa.
Applications are dealt with by a MARA registered migration agent with over 10 years of professional immigration experience. Contact our Australian visa department today!