Thinking of getting married to someone overseas and feeling unsure about how they will be allowed to enter and remain in Australia?
There are two ways for your partner to enter and remain in Australia as your spouse. The visas your partner may be eligible for are known as the prospective marriage visa and the partner visa. Both visas require you to be one of the following:
- An Australian citizen
- An Australian permanent resident
- An eligible New Zealand citizen
A prospective marriage visa allows your intended fiancé to enter Australia and marry you within the visa’s nine month validity period. Your fiancée must enter Australia before marriage, they are allowed to leave and re-enter Australia as many times as they wish before their visa expires. This is usually nine months after the visa is granted. Within that time your fiancé is permitted to work in Australia as well as study, however they will not have access to government funding. Once you are married, your partner may apply for a partner visa which will allow him or her to use Australia’s medical expenses and hospital care assistance scheme.
Partner visas allow people to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of their marriage relationship with their partner. This means that your partner will have a temporary visa for a period of two years from the date they applied for the visa. If, after the two years, the relationship still exists then your partner might be eligible for a permanent visa.
The partner visa requires you to be in a married relationship prior to lodging an application. You need to be prepared to sponsor the applicant and any dependant family members also included in the application who are migrating with your partner.
A partner temporary visa will allow your partner to remain in Australia until a decision is made about the permanent visa. It will allow your partner to work, study and receive medical benefits in Australia. A partner permanent visa allows your partner to permanently live in Australia and apply for Australian citizenship. With this visa your partner may also be eligible to receive certain social security benefits.
It is often very beneficial for you and your partner to see a lawyer prior to making any applications. A solicitor can provide you with assistance and support to ease the process so that your partner is able to come to Australia as soon as possible.
A special thanks to Dalya Oraha for her contribution to this article.
For more information on any immigration matter please do not hesitate to contact an expert solicitor at Lex Fori Lawyers (MARN 0851270) on +61 2 9723 8793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.