I have been chatting online with a lady from overseas for a long time, but I am too busy to travel outside of Australia, and she cannot come to visit me in Australia either. Can we file for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa?
A personal “face-to-face” meeting is one of the main criteria for approval. You must have met in person at least once in order to initiate the process of bringing your fiancee to Australia on a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa. In addition, you must be able to provide suitable evidence of having met in person and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the examining DIBP (formerly DIAC) officials at the Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission that your wedding arrangements are underway.
My fiancee wants to bring her child to Australia. Is it going to be possible?
Yes, you may include all unmarried children under the age of 18 in your subclass 300 fiancee visa application. In some cases it may be possible to sponsor unmarried children older than 18 provided they are wholly or substantially dependent on your foreign partner and have no other means of support in their country of residence.
What will happen if my fiancee and I do not register our marriage within nine months from the date her subclass 300 prospective marriage visa is issued? Will she be able to stay in Australia with me?
Unfortunately, your fiancee will need to leave Australia if you do not register your marriage before her initial prospective marriage visa expires.
If we get married outside of Australia after my fiancee obtains her subclass 300 prospective marriage visa, will she be able to use her visa for entry to Australia?
It depends. If your fiancee makes at least one entry into Australia using her subclass 300 prospective marriage visa before you get married overseas, she may use her current visa for re-entry and apply for subclass 820 visa onshore. However, if you marry your fiancee before she enters Australia, she will need to reapply for an immigrant subclass 309 spousal visa by submitting a new application to the appropriate Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission overseas.
If we get married overseas while my fiancee's application for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa is being processed by the Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission, will she still be able to obtain the fiancee visa?
No, it will not be possible to obtain a subclass 300 visa in such circumstances. However, you will be able to switch your pending fiancee visa application into the subclass 309 spousal visa category at no extra charge.
A few years ago my fiancee was denied a visitor visa to Australia. Will that affect our subclass 300 prospective marriage visa application?
We need to understand why her previous visa application was refused before we can answer this question. Your fiancee may still be eligible for a subclass 300 visa, provided she did not misrepresent any material facts when she applied for a tourist or visitor visa and there are no other reasons for her fiancee visa application to be denied by the Australian immigration authorities, e.g. criminal history or medical issues. Generally, your fiancee should not be inadmissible if her visitor visa application was refused for the sole reason that the examining DIBP officials suspected that your fiancee had no sufficiently strong ties to her home country that would compel her to leave Australia at the end of her temporary stay. The vast majority of Australian visitor visa applications are refused on these grounds.
My fiancee overstayed her Australian visa a few years ago. Is she eligible for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa?
We cannot give you a simple answer to this question. If your fiancee has a history of prior immigration violations in Australia, it could prevent her from obtaining a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa. We suggest that you contact our Australian visa department for a detailed consultation. In general, if your loved one overstayed her welcome by more than 28 days, or left Australia as a holder of a Bridging Visa that was issued more than 28 days after her initial visa expired, she may be subject to a 3-year ban, otherwise known as the period of prohibition on entry. Generally, 3-year re-entry bans are only imposed on most applications for temporary visas. Even though subclass 300 is technically a temporary visa, foreign partners are not automatically excludable because of their prior overstay since the fiancee visa is being sponsored by an Australian Citizen or permanent resident whose interests must also be taken into account by the examining DIBP officials when making a final determination of eligibility. A successful outcome depends on the length of your relationship as to whether you will receive a waiver on compassionate and compelling grounds.
My fiancee has a valid Australian visitor visa in her passport (or can travel under ETA). Can she travel to Australia while her application for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa is pending and spend some time with me here?
Yes, your fiancee can use her valid Australian tourist or visitor visa for entry to Australia while her subclass 300 prospective marriage visa application is being processed by the Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. Please note, however, that your fiancee will need to leave Australia in order to obtain the prospective marriage visa as this visa category requires the applicant to be offshore when their application is approved.
Can my fiancee obtain a tourist visa to visit me in Australia while her application for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa is being processed?
Technically, yes. Foreign nationals may apply for a visitor visa for entry into Australia while they are in the process of obtaining a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa. However, in order to qualify for a temporary visa, your fiancee must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the examining DIBP officials that she does not wish to become an immigrant and stay in Australia indefinitely. A pending fiancee visa application may help you convince the examiner that your fiancee has reasons to leave Australia, as subclass 300 prospective marriage visa can only be granted offshore.
Will my wife have to leave Australia after we get married?
No, your loved one will not have to return to her home country. Once you are married, she may apply for an an immigrant subclass 820 spousal visa from inside the country which will allow her to remain in Australia initially for two years. In general, conditional permanent residency is a two-year “testing period” before a foreign national who immigrates to Australia through an Australian spouse or unmarried partner becomes a full-fledged lawful permanent resident. The purpose of conditional permanent resident status is to guarantee that only people who form real marriages and partnerships will obtain immigration benefits. During the initial two-year probationary period, provisional visa holders receive most of the benefits that permanent residents do (your loved one can work, travel in and out of Australia and, most importantly, count the time she spends as conditional resident towards requirements for Australian citizenship).
Will my fiancee be able to work in Australia on her subclass 300 prospective marriage visa?
Yes, your fiancee will be legally entitled to work and study in Australia.
How long does it typically take to obtain a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa?
It is difficult to answer this question without knowing where your fiancee lives. Processing times vary from location to location, and from Embassy to Embassy. In our experience, the standard processing for Australian fiancee, partner and spousal visa applications takes approximately six to eight months, depending on how quickly the required external checks are completed by outside agencies (i.e. medical checks, ASIO name/security checks) and other factors such as the country of application (“low risk” or “high risk” countries as defined by the DIBP).