The Prospective Marriage Visa allows people from overseas to enter Australia, before marrying their intended fiancé within the visa's nine month validity period. Their fiancé must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Once married, holders of this visa can then apply to remain permanently in Australia by a making a Partner Visa Application.
The following is a basic outline of a Prospective Marriage Visa Application for permanent residence:
Prospective Marriage Visa Application
The first stage in this process is the Prospective Marriage Visa Application.
A Prospective Marriage visa allows your fiancé to enter Australia and marry you within the visa's nine (9) month validity period. You must be one of the following:
- an Australian citizen
- an Australian permanent resident
- an eligible New Zealand citizen.
This visa has the following requirements for your fiancé:
- s/he must have met and be known to you personally
- s/he and you must genuinely intend to marry
- s/he and you genuinely intend to live together as spouses
- s/he must enter Australia before you marry
- s/he may leave and re-enter Australia as many times as s/he wishes before their visa ceases (nine (9) months after visa grant)
- s/he can work in Australia
- s/he can apply for a Partner visa in Australia after you marry
- s/he can study, but s/he will not have access to government funding
- s/he may use Australia's medical expenses and hospital care assistance scheme, Medicare, but only if you are in Australia and have already applied for a Partner visa.
Partner Visa Application
The second stage in the process is a Partner Visa application and the following is a basic outline of a Partner Visa Application for permanent residence:
1. Migration Law Requirements
Under current Migration law, an applicant for a Partner Visa must be able to satisfy the legislative requirements, the most significant ones being summarised here:
- an applicant for a partner visa must be married to, or in a de facto relationship with, their sponsor.
- the sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- de facto partner relationships are recognised where de facto partners live together and jointly share financial resources as partners (for 12 months or more) but are not legally married.
- the relationship should be genuine and continuing, requiring the applicant and their sponsor to have a commitment to a shared life as partners, to the exclusion of all others; the visa applicant and the sponsor must live together, or not live separately and apart on a permanent basis;
- de facto partners must have been cohabitating in a partner relationship for 12 months immediately prior to applying for a Partner Visa;
- if de facto partners have their relationship registered then the 12 month cohabitation requirement does not apply, however substantial documentary evidence of the de facto partner relationship is required to support a partner visa application
- each of the visa applicant and the sponsor must be aged 18 years or over;
- be of good health with satisfactory completion of a chest x-ray and medical examination; and,
- be of good character with police clearances required for any country (including Australia) in which the visa applicant has lived for a period of 12 months or more within the last 10 years.
2. Partner Visa Application process
A visa applicant who applies in Australia or overseas for a partner visa undertakes a two-stage visa application process. A combined application is made to the Department of Home Affairs for a temporary visa and a permanent visa.
At the first stage the temporary visa application is assessed. The second stage, usually two years after making the application, involves an assessment of the permanent visa application.
The first stage is the Partner Temporary Visa application with assessment of a visa applicant’s eligibility for a temporary visa. The applicant may be asked to attend an interview to enable the Department of Home Affairs to further assess the application. If the applicant successfully completes the first stage of processing, they will be granted a temporary visa valid until a decision is made on the application for the permanent visa, or until the application is withdrawn.
Where the applicant and sponsor demonstrate they are in a long term partner relationship the permanent residence visa is also granted at Stage 1.
The second stage is the Partner Permanent Visa application with this assessment taking place approximately two years after the applicant lodged the first stage visa application. This involves assessment of the applicant’s eligibility for a permanent visa.
The visa applicant and the sponsor may be asked to attend an interview separately or together.
At both processing stages, the visa applicant and the sponsor will be required to provide evidence that the relationship between them is genuine and continuing.
With the exception of certain circumstances, a Partner Temporary visa will be cancelled if the relationship ends before the second stage of processing.
A decision ready Partner Temporary visa may take up to 12 months to process and may take longer depending upon the circumstances of the application.
3. Preparation for lodgement of a Partner Visa Application
If the visa applicant is in Australia, the partner visa application must be lodged with the Department of Home Affairs before the visa applicant’s existing visa expires.
The visa applicant must be physically present in Australia at the time the application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs and at the time the decision is made to grant the visa.
If the applicant wishes to travel outside of Australia during the visa application process our office must be advised as the visa applicant may be required to make an application for a Bridging B visa to enable return to Australia.
If the applicant is outside Australia at time of application, the visa applicant must also be outside Australia at the time of decision on the visa application.
A visa applicant, after lodging a Partner Visa application outside Australia, may travel to Australia while the application is processing, subject to holding a valid visa permitting travel and stay in Australia for a specified period.
Further Information & Essential Readings
For further information on how Strategic Migration can assist you in developing a Strategic Plan, please read the following:
- Attachment 1 – Decision-making of Your Application by the DHA - What You Need to Know;
- Attachment 2 – Your Application Processing at the DHA - What You Need to Know;
- Attachment 3 – Common Mistakes by Unrepresented Applicants or Non-Specialists.
We recommend a professional consultation to discuss the abovementioned information and to review your eligibility.
A professional consultation will enable us to explain the process comprehensively, appropriate options and strategies, timelines and costs and your prospects of success.
Please refer to consultation page.
"Obtaining a partner visa is a complex business.
It is one of the most complex engagements I have ever had with the government. To make things worse my partner comes from a country where homosexuality is illegal. Even the family of a gay person (male or female) can face persecution. So discretion and confidentiality was a paramount consideration.
Philip and Maria ensured absolutely that confidentiality was kept and also guided us through the complexities with sensitivity and patience. The process was as smooth as it could be and our application was successful.
My partner now lives here in Australia with me. Thank you for all your help!”
AB & CD
Same-Sex Partners achieving Migration Success in Australia
"Philip and his team at Strategic Migration assisted with Ruth's successful Partner Temporary Visa and later Partner Permanent Residency Applications.
Through each step of the application process and with Tim based overseas during that time, Strategic Migration provided invaluable assistance and guidance.
Their service was timely and professional.
We couldn't have done it without them and couldn't have asked for a better result.”
Tim and Ruth
now living happily together in Australia.
For news of the Prospective Marriage Visas and other news about Australian Migration, please refer to the Immigration News page.
Disclaimer: This website contains information relating to some of the abovementioned visa categories and has been sanctioned by a Registered Migration Agent. The information is for general guidance only and readers should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their personal circumstances before taking any action. Strategic Migration expressly disclaims any liability should the reader act without a professional engagement with Strategic Migration under which you have.