Are you an Australian citizen engaged to be married to an overseas partner? While you might assume that a partner visa is the only option, if you can get a fiancé visa, you may be reunited with your future spouse in Australia sooner rather than later.
What is a fiancé visa?
The fiancé visa in Australia is officially known as the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300). It allows you to bring a future spouse to Australia, even if you don’t have documentation to show you have been living together previously.
With a prospective marriage visa, your fiancé can live and work in Australia for nine months, after which they will need to apply for a partner visa. The main stipulation is that you must get married within the nine-month timeframe.
Benefits of a fiancé visa
Applying for and being granted a partner visa can be difficult for many couples, especially if they don’t have enough documentation to show that they have been in a defacto relationship for at least 12 months.
If you met overseas and have been living in separate countries for most of your relationship, or in cases where you haven’t lived together and shared your finances for at least 12 months, it is often very difficult to obtain a temporary partner visa.
For many engaged couples, a fiancé visa can save them from having to endure many months or even years apart while they gather enough documentation to satisfy the requirements for a partner visa.
Am I eligible for a fiancé visa?
There are a number of criteria you need to meet if you want to apply for a fiancé visa. The main one is that your future spouse must be residing outside Australia at the time of application, and they need to remain overseas until the visa is granted.
A prospective marriage visa may be right for you if:
- You and your partner are engaged to be married and you intend to get married within nine months of your visa being granted.
- One of you is living outside Australia and intends to remain offshore until your visa is granted. (you may visit as a tourist during the processing)
- Your sponsor hasn’t sponsored anyone else on a fiancé or partner visa in Australia during the last five years.
- Your sponsor hasn’t sponsored two or more people for a partner visa previously.
- You or your partner don’t have any criminal convictions and are in good health.
What happens once we are granted a fiancé visa?
The fiancé visa processing time can vary depending on how complete your application is. It may take up to a year for your visa application to be processed.
Once your visa has been granted, your fiancé will be free to come to Australia and they can leave the country and return as many times as they like within the nine-month period. Your fiancé can work unlimited hours and study while they are in Australia.
You must marry your fiancé within the nine-month time period, after which you will need to apply for a partner visa if you wish to remain together in Australia. With the partner visa, you will be issued with a temporary partner visa that lasts two years. As long as your relationship is genuine and continuing, once the two years is up, you will be able to apply for a permanent partner visa. This allows your partner to remain in Australia indefinitely.
If you have popped the question and you want to find out the best visa option for your situation, speak to a qualified migration agent today!