A prospective marriage subclass 300 visa is for engaged couples who meet each other and genuinely intend to live together as spouses. It allows an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand to bring their fiancé or fiancée who they intend to marry to Australia for the wedding.
What is a Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300?
A prospective marriage visa, also known as visa subclass 300, lets eligible applicants enter Australia to marry their partner. That is, this temporary visa allows couples who are in a genuine relationship to marry in Australia. A prospective marriage visa subclass 300 lets you:
- Stay in Australia for between 9 months and 15 months from the date the visa is granted.
- Work in Australia.
- Study in Australia at your own expense.
- Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid.
It is not the same as a partner visa. You will need to submit a partner visa application after you travel to Australia and you have your marriage take place. Once you are legally married, applicants may be eligible to apply for a temporary partner visa subclass 820 and a permanent partner visa – which can ultimately lead to permanent residence and Australian citizenship.
Requirements for a Prospective Marriage Visa
To be eligible for a prospective marriage visa subclass 300, you must:
- Be sponsored by your prospective spouse,
- Intend to marry your sponsor,
- Be 18 years of age or older when you apply,
- Meet health and character requirements,
- Be outside Australia when you apply for the visa, and
- If you have a child, the visa must be in the best interests of the child.
You and your sponsor will have to pay any debts you owe to the Australian government and you will need to pay the application fee, which is one of the most expensive in the world. If you have had a visa refused or cancelled in the past, you might not be eligible to receive a subclass 300 visa.
Your sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. They must provide information about any relevant offences and/or criminal record, including police checks from Australia and countries they previously lived in for more than 12 months. They must be 18 years old or older. If they have sponsored more than 1 other person or any other person in the last 5 years for a partner visa or subclass 300 prospective marriage visa, they may not be eligible to sponsor you and your visa will not be approved.
You must get married before your visa expires.
The prospective spouse visa is for people who genuinely intend to marry an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen and then live together as spouses. This means that you will need to enter Australia and marry your Australian partner before your subclass 300 visa expires, usually within nine months from when it is granted. Your marriage must take place within your visa period and must be valid under Australian law.
How Can You Apply For a Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300
There are 5 steps to getting a prospective marriage visa subclass 300. These steps cover everything you need to do from before you apply right through to your prospective marriage visa application determination.
Step 1: Get ready to apply. At this stage, the Department of Home Affairs recommends you get help from a migration agent to apply for the subclass 300 visa. Your migration agent can help you to determine if you are eligible for a prospective marriage visa – or whether there may be a better pathway for you.
Step 2: Gather your documents. You need to provide documentation proving your identity and your relationship with your partner, including your intention to marry them. You also need to provide details of your former relationships, any dependents and/or family members, and get your background check documents. They must be translated into English by an accredited translator if the original document is in any other language.
Step 3: Apply for the prospective marriage visa. You can apply for a subclass 300 prospective marriage visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you are outside Australia when you submit your visa application. You submit the visa application online.
Step 4: Maintain eligibility and stay lawful while you wait. You will need to provide updates to the Department of Home Affairs if anything changes while you wait for your prospective marriage visa application. You may need to provide additional documents, including details of your health exam and any family members you want to add to your visa.
If you made any mistakes when you submitted your application or if your relationship status changes, you’ll need to provide details. You should also only stay in Australia legally – or risk having your prospective marriage visa refused.
Step 5: Get your visa outcome. You can be inside or outside Australia when your visa application is decided. If your visa is granted, you will find out your visa grant number, the date your visa starts and details of any conditions attached to your visa. Your visa grant is approved on the basis that you and your prospective spouse have an intention to marry within nine months and intend to live together.
So, one condition that will be attached to your visa is that you must travel to Australia and your marriage must take place within your visa period (nine months). If it is refused, you will find out why it was refused and whether you can review the decision. In this case, it is important to reach out to a migration agent or migration lawyer at Altria law as soon as possible.
You can only review the decision within a very short timeframe, usually 30 days, so you need to submit that application very quickly.
How Much is a Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300 for Australia?
The subclass 300 visa costs $7,715 AUD for the main applicant. There is an additional fee if you want to add family members to your visa application. The application fee you paid is not refunded if your visa application is refused.
How Long Does a Prospective Marriage Visa Take?
It does take time for the Department of Home Affairs to process a prospective marriage visa. The processing time varies: 75% of applications are processed within 18 months and 90% of applications of 28 months. Sometimes the visa application processing time is longer if the application isn’t completed correctly or if you don’t provide all the information required. A migration agent can help ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
Once you are granted the subclass 300 visa, you can stay in Australia for your visa period – which is usually a 9 month duration. It will then take more than two years for your permanent partner visa to be assessed and for you to receive your permanent visa grant. You will be able to stay in Australia during this time if you apply for your temporary visa and 801 partner visa (onshore) before your marriage visa expires.
The process for assessing sponsors for partner visas is going to change in the near future. Instead of assessing sponsor applications at the same time as the visa application, sponsors will need to be approved in advance. We expect this will impact – and likely increase – processing times for prospective marriage visa applicants.
What Happens After Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300?
After you enter Australia on your subclass 300 visa, you must enter a marriage that’s valid under Australian law with your Australian partner (and sponsor). Once you are married – and while your marriage visa is still valid, you can apply for a subclass 820 and 801 partner visa. You need to marry your Australian partner within 9 months of receiving your visa grant letter and you are only eligible to apply for the subclass 820 801 visa within your marriage visa period, while you are still in Australia.
To get your visa subclass 820 and, eventually, permanent residence, you must meet all the requirements for the partner visa, including health and character requirements. It will take at least two years for visa applicants to receive permanent residence after you submit your partner visa application. You can read more about the temporary partner visa subclass 820 and subclass 801 visa application here.
Seek Help with Your Partner Visa Application from Altria Law
Altria Law would love to assist you with your marriage visa and to act as your migration agent. To marry your prospective spouse and get your partner visa you must meet very strict requirements – which can be confusing. We will help you with every aspect of your application, letting you know everything from when you can travel to Australia to how you can demonstrate your intention to marry. Once your marriage takes place, we can help you get your subclass 820 or 801 application so you can stay in Australia permanently.