If you have come to this page, you have probably met and fell in love with the woman or man of your dreams, and decided to get married in Australia. Congratulations! As an Australian citizen or lawful permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen permanently residing in Australia, you may have the right to bring your foreign fiancee from his or her home country to Australia for the purpose of getting married. However, you must go through the visa application process before your loved one can obtain permission to come to Australia. The subclass 300 prospective marriage visa category is specifically designed to facilitate the admission of foreign nationals wishing to get married in Australia.
As a sponsor, you should familiarise yourself with all of the basic eligibility requirements established by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) before initiating the process of bringing your fiancee to Australia on a prospective marriage visa. We also encourage you to familiarise yourself with certain unwritten rules to learn more about some factors that can potentially have a severe impact on your sponsorship application. Generally, in order to qualify for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa, you and your foreign fiancee must satisfy the following general eligibility criteria:
- As a sponsor, you must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident of Australia, or eligible New Zealand citizen permanently residing in 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 unlike Australian citizens and permanent residents, New Zealand citizens must meet certain health and character requirements.
- You and your fiancee must be legally free to marry. This means that both of you are single (never married or registered a civil partnership) at the time of application, or that any previous marriages and/or registered civil partnerships have ended through divorce, annulment or death.
- You and your fiancee must be at least 18 years old, unless an Australian Court has issued an order allowing the marriage before you and/or your fiancee have reached the age of 18.
- You must have met each other in person prior to filing your application for a prospective marriage visa. You will need to provide sufficient proof that you have met face to face and spent a reasonable amount of time together in person.
- You must be able to prove that you and your fiancee have a continuing, bona fide relationship.
- You and your fiancee must have a serious intention to marry within nine months after your fiancee receives her subclass 300 visa. Essentially, you must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the examining DIBP (formerly DIAC) officials that your wedding arrangements are underway.
- Your foreign fiancee must be able to meet certain health requirements. Each applicant for the subclass 300 prospective marriage visa is required to undergo a mandatory medical examination as part of the application process. Applicants are examined by designated panel physicians for potentially dangerous communicable diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis etc.
- Your fiancee must meet the “good moral character” requirements. A criminal record may prevent your future spouse from obtaining a fiancee visa to enter Australia.
- If your fiancee has dependent children under the age of 18, 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.
- As a sponsor, you must meet certain financial requirements. You must be able to support your future spouse financially after she or he enters Australia on a prospective marriage visa.You must demonstrate to the migration officer’s satisfaction that you and your future spouse can support yourselves and any dependents without requiring any disbursements of public funds before or after your marriage.