Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300.
In this comprehensive and thorough guide, we want to provide you with all the relevant information regarding the Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300, along with a full set of answers to the most commonly asked questions about it. We will cover all the basics, such as what this visa means, who is eligible to apply for it, and everything you will need to file this application.
We wrote this guide thinking about the most common scenarios and statistics. However, we do realize that every case is unique - and yours might present different particularities, perhaps not covered in here. For this reason, we strongly recommend that, apart from reading this guide until the end, you contact us at Easy Migrate. We will walk you through the entire process and help you in every possible way. By letting us handle everything, you will maximize your chances of approval while minimizing the risks. So, there won't be any fear of wasting unnecessary time and money or possibly even getting the visa denied.
What is the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)?
Also known as the Fiancé Visa, the Subclass 300 Visa is a temporary permit that lasts for nine months. This visa will enable you to travel to Australia while giving you and your partner enough time to plan and organize the wedding. The wedding can take place both inside or outside of Australia, but it must happen within these nine months.
After the marriage, but before the Subclass 300 visa expires, you should also apply for an Onshore Partner Visa, which is the next logical step towards your permanent resident status in Australia. You can apply to this visa if you intend to marry an Australian citizen, a permanent Australian resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. You must also be offshore at the moment of this application.
Permanent Australian Resident Status - Steps to Follow
After filing the Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 application, there are only two more steps you need to take to get a permanent residency in Australia:
* Lodging a combined application for the Onshore Partner Visa Subclass 820/801.
* Passing the Department of Home Affairs' final assessment and evaluation process, two years after taking step number 1.
1. Onshore Partner Visa Subclass 820/801 - How to File
Once you have married your partner (but before the Subclass 300 Visa expires), you must file a combined application for both a temporary visa (subclass 820) and a permanent one (subclass 801).
First of all, Immigration will assess you for the Onshore Partner Visa Subclass 820. When they grant it to you, you will be able to continue living in Australia as they investigate and process your 801 application for permanent residency.
2. Onshore Partner Visa Subclass 801 - Final Assessment
Two years after the successful Visa Subclass 820 grant, Immigration will now evaluate you for the final step: the Onshore Partner Visa Subclass 801. There are many associated variables, and they assess every case uniquely. However, one of the most relevant factors involved in it is the fact that you remain married to your partner at this time. As soon as they grant you the 801 Visa, you will become an Australian permanent resident.
3. Visa Subclass 300/820/801 - Geographic Considerations
* Filing the Subclass 300 Visa requires you to be located offshore both when you lodge it as well as when the Department of Immigration grants it to you.
* For both the 820 and 801 Subclass Visa, you can be either onshore or offshore, as that won't have any effect on the process, whatsoever.
Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 - Eligibility.
At the time you lodge your visa application, you must also meet the following criteria:
* Be 18-years-old or older.
* Intend to marry an Australian citizen, a permanent Australian resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
* Be sponsored by your prospective partner (this is important because some individuals are forbidden to become sponsors).
* Your partner must be 18-years-old or older.
* Prove you have met your partner before in person, and also prove you both know each other on a personal level.
* Prove a genuine intention of marrying your partner within the nine months the visa will give you.
* No legal impediments can take place (such as unresolved or invalid divorces under Australian law).
* Prove a genuine intention of living together with your partner, as spouses.
* Your partner must meet a character assessment requirement and also provide police clearances as evidence.
* You must also pass this character assessment, as well as a health clearance.
From all these criteria, we will provide you further information regarding two of them: proving intention to both marry and live together as spouses.
1. Proving a Real Intention to Marry
There are several sub-steps involved in proving a real intention to marry your partner, which is one of the key factors towards a successful Visa Subclass 300 grant:
* You need substantial evidence documenting all the necessary wedding arrangements for the ceremony taking place AFTER you first enter Australian territory.
* An authorized marriage celebrant needs to sign and date a formal letter, on letterhead, confirming the official date and venue of your ceremony.
* Under Australian law, you also need to lodge a NOIM (Notice of Intention to Marry) with an authorized marriage celebrant. This NOIM has to be filed no less than one month and no more than 18 months before the proposed marriage date.
* The NOIM is valid for eighteen months.
* There is no need to officiate the wedding on Australian soil. However, if you do choose to marry overseas, you still need to enter Australian territory BEFORE the marriage.
* If you got married offshore, you must also come back to Australia within the valid visa period of nine months, to lodge the 820/801 Subclass combined application. Also, you want to make sure that your overseas marriage is considered valid under Australian law.
Finally (and most importantly), if you marry your partner before the Department of Immigration makes an official ruling, you won't be eligible anymore for the Subclass 300 Visa.
If this were to happen, you need to notify the Department of Immigration immediately. Also, you must withdraw your Subclass 300 Visa application and reapply for a new subclass visa. If you don't follow these steps, they will utterly refuse your Subclass 300 Visa Application.
2. Proving a Real Intention to Live Together as Spouses
Another crucial factor involved in the grant decision is proving a real intention of living together with your partner after you marry, which you can do following these steps:
* If you marry overseas, you have to make sure the marriage is considered valid under Australian law.
* You and your partner have a mutual and committed shared interest to live as a married couple.
* Your relationship is genuine and lasting.
* You don't live apart over long periods (it helps if you're already living together).
There are also four things the Department of Immigration takes into consideration in your intention of living together as a married couple:
* Financial Issues: do you both have joint assets or other shared financial responsibilities?
* Social Issues: do people know about your relationship? Including, but not limited to, family and friends.
* Household Issues: do you both share responsibilities and house chores? How do you organize your lives together as a couple?
* Nature of the Commitment: do you both intend to have a long-term, committed, and exclusive relationship with one another?
We also understand that under cultural or religious reasons, perhaps not all of these criteria will be met. Immigration evaluates all Visa Subclass 300 applications on a case-to-case basis. They will consider all of the above factors and, when applicable, use them when making their decision.
Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 - Documentation Required.
1. Personal Documentation:
You need to provide personal identification documents, such as a passport, a birth certificate, or other related documents. Also, you must have police clearances that serve as character documentation.
2. Relationship Documentation:
* You must provide a formal, signed, and dated letter from your marriage celebrant.
* Confirmation of a NOIM lodgement.
* Two Form 888's. They serve as a legal declaration from your chosen witnesses, attesting that your relationship is genuine.
* Evidence showing both you and your partner have met before, personally, as adults aged eighteen or older.
* Evidence showing both you and your partner, genuinely, want to start a life together as spouses.
* Evidence about the history of your relationship with your partner. These statutory declarations should cover a briefing of the origin and development of your time together. You should also include the date of engagement, shared interests, plans for the future, and so on.
Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 - Fees and Other Expected Costs
1. Visa Subclass 300 Lodging Fees.
Note that these fees might change. So, please double-check them with our consultants at Easy Migrate:
* Main Applicant Fee: $1,285.00.
* Secondary Applicant Fee (Under 18): $320.00.
* Secondary Applicant Fee (Over 18): $645.00.
Secondary applicants usually refer to children or other people included in the main application.
2. Visa Subclass 820/801 Lodging Fees.
Once your Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 is granted, you need to lodge a combined application for the 820/801 Subclass Visa. Those are the final steps towards the Australian residency process.
* Main Applicant Fee: $7,715.00.
* Secondary Applicant Fee (Under 18): $1,935.00.
* Secondary Applicant Fee (Over 18): $3,860.00.
3. Other Expected Costs.
As we have stated before, every case is unique, and yours might require more (or less) documentation than others. When deciding to lodge the Visa Subclass 300 application, you also have to prepare yourself for some of the following additional expenses:
* Medical examinations and check-ups.
* Character checks from the police or other government organizations.
* For all documents not written in English, you must provide an official translation.
* If you decide to work with a migration agent such as Easy Migrate, there will be fees applicable to their services.
Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 - Average Waiting Time.
Based on a statistical review of over 90% of applications lodged, we have found that the average waiting time for the Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 is from 12 to 16 months. This presented time-frame is only an approximation. Your case could take more or less time depending on several factors, such as the lack of documentation required, improper form filling, or the need for further investigation from the Department of Immigration.
To put it simply, from start to finish (including the 9-month Visa Subclass 300 period), we can safely say that the whole residency process takes about five years to complete. We think it's important to consider this time-frame when planning your future along with your spouse.
Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 - FAQ
1. Can I visit my partner in Australia while Immigration processes my Visa Subclass 300 application?
People usually wait around one full year before the application gets approved. In the meantime, you can apply for a Visitor Visa, which allows you to visit Australia for a short period (usually three months).
However, at the moment your Visa Subclass 300 gets approved, you must still be outside of Australia. You can always follow the Department of Immigration website to get notified of all changes regarding your application.
2. What happens when Immigration grants me my Visa Subclass 300?
As we stated before, you must be outside Australia at the time of approval. Once granted, you can visit Australia and reside on Australian territory freely for nine months. Only after you get this visa, you are free to marry your partner - be it onshore or offshore. The Visa Subclass 300 also allows you to work and study in Australia for the same duration.
3. What happens if Immigration denies me my Visa Subclass 300?
If your application gets denied, you may be able to appeal the decision via a "merits review "to the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal). Sadly, this is not a possibility for all cases.
The AAT can take one of three possible stances: they can stand aside, confirm the Department's original ruling or change it. The Tribunal will consider your current application and all evidence gathered using the same legislative provisions applied by Immigration.
The entire process might seem like a lot to handle and, with so many documents to gather and forms to fill, we understand the process could become overwhelming. At Easy Migrate, located in Perth, Australia, we will give you up to date professional advice as well as a full eligibility assessment for the Prospective Marriage Visa 300 Subclass. For more information about the process, book a confidential consultation with one of our migration agents at Easy Migrate.