Did you know that if you are engaged to be married to an Australian permanent resident or citizen, or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may be eligible for a Prospective Marriage visa? The Subclass 300 prospective marriage visa, which is also commonly known as a fiancé visa, is a temporary visa which will enable you to enter Australia on the basis of your relationship with your partner.
Within the prospective marriage visa 300 term, you must marry your partner, and apply for an onshore Subclass 820/801 Partner visa.
The visa term will be 9 months from the date of grant. Unless the Minister prescribes a specific date, which may be between 9 and 15 months from the visa grant date.
Eligible members of your family unit may also apply for the subclass 300 visa with you.
You can also travel to and from Australia on an unlimited basis whilst you hold a prospective marriage visa.
Adopting this visa pathway will ultimately lead to permanent residence in Australia.
How Does This Pathway To Permanent Residence Work?
The first step in this process is to apply for a temporary prospective marriage visa 300 offshore. You must be outside Australia when you apply for this visa.
You must also be offshore at the time of visa grant (an exception may apply to this visa grant requirement due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is discussed further below).
Upon visa grant, you may then travel to Australia, and marry your partner within the visa term. After marrying, and whilst the subclass 300 prospective marriage visa remains in effect, step 2 requires you to lodge an application for a Subclass 820/801 Partner visa. This is a combined application for a prospective and permanent residence visa.
You will first be assessed for the provisional subclass 820 visa and, if granted, it will allow you to continue to reside in Australia whilst Immigration processes your application for permanent residence.
Which takes us to step 3. Two years following lodgement of your combined subclass 820/801 partner visa application, you will be assessed for the subclass 801 visa. If your application is successful, you will be granted permanent residence in Australia.
As part of the assessment of your subclass 801 visa application, Immigration will confirm whether you continue to meet the visa grant requirements for the partner visa. One important aspect of this assessment is whether you remain in a married relationship with your Australian partner.
It also also important to point out that if you adopt this visa pathway for permanent residence in Australia, when applying for the subclass 820 Partner visa, you will be liable for a reduced application lodgement fee than would otherwise apply to a standard application.
COVID-19 Exception For Grant Of A Prospective Marriage Visa
Be mindful that an exception may apply to the requirement to be offshore for grant of the visa due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is:
- if the visa is granted after 26 February 2021;
- the application for the visa is made before the end of the concession period; and
- the subclass 300 prospective marriage visa applicant is in Australia at any time during the concession period, and is in Australia (not in immigration clearance);
the subclass 300 visa applicant may be granted the visa in Australia.
When Is The Concession Period?
The concession period commences on 1 February 2020, and ends on a day specified by the Minister (this date is yet to be determined).
Do You Need To Marry In Australia As A Prospective Marriage Visa Holder?
No, you are not required to marry in Australia. As the holder of a prospective marriage visa, you must enter Australia within the visa period. You may then depart the country to marry your prospective spouse overseas. You are, however required to then re-enter Australia within the visa period to be able to apply for the onshore Partner visa.
The general intention is that you marry in Australia whilst you hold a prospective marriage visa, and apply for the onshore partner visa within the subclass 300 visa term. But as noted, there is no legal stipulation that you must marry in Australia.
Despite this, if you wish to marry your partner offshore, you may alternatively consider applying for a subclass 309/100 offshore Partner visa. The subclass 309 visa is a provisional visa, which will allow you to enter Australia after you have married your Australian partner, to await processing of your subclass 100 permanent residence visa application.
Are You Eligible For A Prospective Marriage Visa?
The key requirements to qualify for the prospective marriage visa 300 are:
- you must intend to marry an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen;
- you must have turned 18 years of age;
- you must be sponsored by your prospective spouse (who must have turned 18 years of age, and is not prohibited from being a sponsor);
- you must have met your prospective spouse in person since you each turned 18 years of age;
- you and your prospective spouse must be known to each other personally;
- demonstrate that you and your prospective spouse genuinely intend to marry, and that you each intend for the marriage to take place within the visa period;
- The Minister is satisfied that you and your prospective spouse genuinely intend to live together as spouses;
- there is no impediment to the marriage under Australian law (that is, it is legally recognised as a valid marriage in Australia);
- public interest criteria including health and character requirements are met; and
- applicable special return criteria are met.
What Is The Definition Of A Prospective Spouse?
Although the term ‘prospective’ is not defined in the migration law, its ordinary dictionary meaning is an event or otherwise that is expected or likely to happen at a future date.
The Migration Act and regulations prescribe specific definitions for various terms which are relevant to the migration law framework. This includes a definition of ‘spouse’ for this purpose. A person is the spouse of another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) if, the two persons are in a married relationship.
Persons are in a married relationship if:
(a) they are married to each other under a marriage that is valid for the purposes of the Migration Act;
(b) they have a mutual commitment to a shared life as a married couple to the exclusion of all others;
(c) the relationship between them is genuine and continuing, and they live together, or they do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
What Is The Cost To Apply For A Prospective Marriage Visa?
The current prospective marriage visa 300 application lodgement fee is $7,715 for the primary applicant. This prospective marriage visa cost must be paid at the time of lodgement of the subclass 300 prospective marriage visa. There is no additional fee payable at time of visa grant.
For a secondary applicant, the lodgement fee for a person who is aged under 18 is $1,935. If they are 18 or above, the prospective marriage visa cost is $3,860.
Be aware that this fee is only for the actual visa lodgement. Other prospective marriage visa costs may be incurred during the application process, such as for health and character checks.
What Can You Do As A Prospective Marriage Visa Holder?
A subclass 300 visa allows you to:
- travel to, and stay in Australia for between 9 and 15 months (this period will be specified in your visa grant letter from Immigration), from the date of visa grant;
- work in Australia;
- study in Australia; and
- travel to and from Australia as many times as you like.
What Must You Do As A Prospective Marriage Visa Holder?
After the visa is granted and whilst it is in effect, you must:
- enter Australia;
- marry your prospective spouse; and
- apply for an onshore partner visa.
Importantly, you must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia. If this occurs, you will no longer be eligible for a prospective marriage visa and will instead need to apply for an offshore partner visa (provided you qualify).
To remain eligible for a prospective marriage visa, you are permitted to marry offshore and then enter Australia to apply for an onshore partner visa. But before doing so, that is, your first entry to Australia once the subclass 300 visa is granted, must be before you marry your partner.
Get More Information About The Prospective Marriage Visa
We recommend that you refer to our detailed guide on the temporary Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa where you can learn about the specific eligibility requirements, costs, timing, how to apply, and documents required to be submitted with your application.
We have also prepared a series of articles which are designed to provide you with further information about the prospective marriage visa process and how it works. We recommend that you refer to the articles below to learn more.
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In conclusion, we note that the above discussion provides an overview of the Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300. Australia’s migrations laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice before you proceed with applying for a prospective marriage visa to Australia, as being fully informed about the process and requirements that apply will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your application, and thus lessen the chance that it will be refused. A migration professional can help you to do this. Start off on the right foot by contacting PAX Migration Australia today.
For up-to-date advice on the Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide.
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