Often referred to as a ‘fiancé visa‘, the prospective marriage visa is for people who are outside Australia and who are engaged to be married to an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
It is only for people who are outside Australia, because the prospective offshore marriage visa can only be applied for outside Australia.
There is no onshore equivalent to the prospective marriage visa.
This not to say that the applicant and sponsor cannot become engaged if they are both in Australia together, but the application must be made whilst the applicant is offshore.
It’s important to note that the sponsor doesn’t have to be offshore at the time of application – only the applicant!
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Once the prospective marriage visa is granted
Once the visa is granted the applicant has nine months from the date of grant in which he or she must travel to Australia. During this time the applicant and the sponsor must marry. It is a strict condition too that the applicant and sponsor must not marry prior to the applicant’s arrival into Australia. If this were to occur, the applicant would have breached a condition of their prospective marriage visa.
If the marriage does not take place within the nine month period, then the applicant would have breached a condition of their visa and this can lead to very serious consequences.
There are many other conditions that are also attached to a prospective marriage visa. It is important that both the applicant and sponsor are fully aware of all the conditions attached to a prospective marriage visa and the serious consequences of non-compliance.
After the applicant and sponsor have married (within the nine month period), the applicant then has to apply for an onshore partner visa based on their marriage to the sponsor. This is a two stage process. The applicant would be granted a temporary partner visa which is valid until a determination is made on the applicant’s permanent partner visa. This period is usually around two years.
It should be noted however, that when the applicant applies for the onshore temporary visa, the permanent visa is also applied for at the same time. The permanent partner visa will usually granted after two years if the relationship between the applicant and sponsor is still assessed as genuine and continuing. This is satisfied by providing supporting documentation to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Both the applicant and sponsor will be contacted in writing before a determination is about to be made on the permanent spouse visa application, it is crucially important that DIAC are kept up-to-date of any change of contact details of the applicant and sponsor.
Australian Visa Advice for yourself or for your partner. Tourist, fiancé & spouse visas. Click here to find out more!