What is a prospective marriage visa in Australia?
The prospective marriage visa (subclass 300 visa) allows foreign citizens to enter Australia for the purpose of marrying their fiancés who are Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.
With a prospective marriage visa, one can cross the borders of Australia as many times as they want during the visa’s validity period, stay in the country for 9–15 months, work and study.
An applicant can also include their family members either while lodging their application or add a dependent child after applying but before the decision is made.
The process for applying for a prospective marriage visa can be long, so it’s important to start early and plan ahead. It is necessary to provide the requested information, attach the documentation, and pay the fee. An applicant must apply outside Australia, but during processing, they can also be inside the country.
If an applicant and their partner want to live in Australia after their marriage, they are able to apply for a partner visa (subclass 820 and 801).
The partner visa is initially issued as a temporary visa for 2 years, and can then be extended to a permanent visa if the applicants still meet all the conditions.
You can find more information about the application process, processing time, and requirements in this article.
Difference between a prospective marriage visa and a partner visa
Some people may confuse a prospective marriage visa with a partner visa. However, they are completely different types of permits.
The purpose of the fiancé visa (subclass 300 visa) is to enable the fiancé of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to enter Australia and get married in this country.
Only after a person gets married, is it possible to apply for a partner visa to stay in Australia for an extended period of time. It is required that the prospective marriage visa still stays valid when applying for a partner visa.
At first, a non-Australian can get a temporary visa with approximately a two-year validity period, and then obtain a permanent visa.
How long does it take to get a prospective marriage visa in Australia?
It may take several weeks to gather all the required documents and fill out the visa application form.
However, it is hard to specify processing time, as it may depend on many factors, including the number of applications currently being processed, individual circumstances, the complexity of the case, and the accuracy of data and documents provided.
Most applications get processed within 38 months.
How to apply for the Australian prospective marriage visa
To begin the application process, you must be outside Australia, but you may be inside or outside the country when waiting for the visa outcome.
See a step-by-step application guide:
- First of all, you need to gather all the data and documents necessary for the prospective marriage visa.
- Then you should fill out the online visa application form providing the requested information.
- Attach the required documentation.
- Double-check your application form. Make sure it contains only correct and relevant data, as completely filled-out forms with accurate info and health examinations and character checks may be approved sooner. If your medical examination and police checks were taken more than 18 months ago, and your National Police Certificate (NPC) was issued more than months ago, you need to complete the new ones.
- Pay the processing fees.
- Share your transaction reference number (TRN) with your sponsor, as they need it to apply for sponsorship.
- Wait for your application to be processed. The reply will be in writing, and you’ll need to keep the copy.
If the visa is approved, you’ll get the information on its number, its validity period and conditions. In case of refusal, you’ll know the reason behind it and if you have a right to a review of the decision.
Prospective marriage visa requirements
For the prospective marriage visa to Australia (subclass 300 visa), the applicant and the sponsor must satisfy the following visa conditions:
-intend to marry each other within 9 to 15 months of the visa application approval
-be 18 years old or over
-be not closely related to each other
-have physically met and know each other
-pass medical examinations and meet character requirements
Also, the sponsor must meet such requirements:
-be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen
-have never sponsored more than one other fiancé, partner, or spouse for migration to Australia
-not have sponsored a fiancé, partner, or spouse for migration to Australia/Prospective Marriage visa in a span of the previous 5 years
-provide police checks and consent to the department disclosing any conviction for a “relevant offence” to the applicant – if a sponsor has a conviction for a relevant offence and a substantial criminal history, the sponsorship may be rejected
Also, if you decide to apply for a Partner visa, the main criteria are:
-you are in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, live together or live apart only on a temporary basis
-you must be in a mutually exclusive relationship.