300 Prospective Marriage Visa

Australian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their fiancé or fiancée for the purpose of marriage. Subclass 300 visa allows the holder to enter Australia on a temporary basis with the proven intention to marry their sponsor within nine (9) months of their arrival. Upon marriage, a Subclass 300 visa holder may apply for Subclass 820 and 801 visas at a reduced application charge.

It should be noted that an application for a Subclass 300 visa must be lodged outside of Australia and will require a legal marriage before transitioning to a permanent visa.

Whilst increasing the overall cost of the permanent residency process, the Subclass 300 visa is advantageous in that the evidentiary threshold for the relationship is reduced. 

Prospective Marriage Visa Eligibility

  • You are the prospective spouse of an Australian citizen or permanent resident whom you intend to marry within the validity of their Subclass 300 visa.

  • You genuinely intend to marry and live with your Australian partner.

  • There is no legal impediment to the marriage on either side.

  • Your prospective spouse is not prohibited from sponsoring for a partner visa.

  • Both parties in the Subclass 300 visa application are at least 18 years of age.

  • You must have met, in person, as adults.

Unlike Subclass 820 or 309 Partner visas, a Subclass 300 visa hinges on the couple’s genuine intention to marry one another, rather than the degree to which the couple maintain a joint life with one another. The threshold is comparatively more lenient, but the requirement both parties must have met still remain in place.

Nevertheless, if you have already married the sponsor, you will not qualify for the Prospective Marriage visa.

How to Satisfy Subclass 300 Visa Criteria

The intention criterion comprises two (2) overarching considerations. The first relates to the integrity of the relationship between the visa applicant and the sponsor, namely whether they intend to live together as a couple. The second relates to formal arrangements made pursuant to the intended marriage.

There is a clear distinction between the requirements of a partner visa and those of a prospective marriage visa. In a partner visa application, the parties must establish that their relationship comports to that of a typical spousal or de facto relationship, including cohabitation, joint finances and other such elements. For the prospective marriage visa, the parties are not necessarily required to provide evidence of a joint life, but the integrity of the relationship remains at issue.

Formal Arrangements

The applicant and the sponsor must have evidence that necessary arrangements have been made for their intended marriage within a reasonable period of time. It is generally required that the parties complete a “Notice of Intention to Marry” form, which is commonly abbreviated as “NOIM.”

The NOIM specifies the date of one’s intended marriage as well as the intended celebrant. In executing a NOIM, it must be completed by an authorized civil celebrant. The completed NOIM will be valid for eighteen (18) months from the date it is executed.

Meeting in Person

There are no concessions, exemptions or other ways around the criterion of having met in person. It is well established in common law that “meeting” in this context means coming into one another’s “physical presence”: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Yucesan [2008] FCAFC 110.

If you have not physically met your partner since you had both turned 18 years of age, there is no way to proceed with a subclass 300 visa. You must instead focus on alternative means of meeting with your partner first.

Sponsorship Refusal

The sponsorship application would likely be refused in cases where the sponsoring partner has a significant criminal history in relation to specified types of offences. Mandatory refusals apply to perpetrators of child sex offences.

Prohibited Sponsors in Marriage Visas

Australian citizens or permanent residents are not allowed to sponsor their partners if they have:

  • Sponsored two (2) people previously.

  • Sponsored a person within the last five (5) years – the period is calculated between the dates on which the two (2) visa applications are lodged.

  • Been sponsored for a partner visa themselves within the last five (5) years, whether a partner visa or a contributory parent visa, the period is calculated between the dates on which the 2 visa applications are lodged.

Exemptions may nevertheless apply on compelling and compassionate grounds, though they are not readily exercised. The common grounds include where:

  • The parties have a dependent child together.

  • A previous partner is deceased.

  • A previous partner has abandoned the sponsor with a dependent child.

  • The parties have been in a relationship for an extended period.

Arranged Marriage

Australia is committed to safeguarding the rights of all individuals. As such, the risk of exploitation posed by arranged marriage has resulted in the Department applying additional scrutiny to such applications.

The Department will not assist in facilitating a marriage that was formed under coercion or without a free will. This includes coercion or duress from family or cultural sources. Any indication that a party would prefer not to go through with the marriage may give rise to a visa refusal.

In particular, the Department must ensure that there is no evidence indicating a lack of real consent from a party to the marriage. If there is suspicion that either party would prefer the marriage not to proceed or that the marriage is being entered primarily due to family or cultural pressure, then there is a real possibility that the application will be refused.

Visa Conditions

Primary visa holders must be subject to:

8515: The holder of the visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

8519: The holder must enter into the marriage in relation to which the visa was granted within the visa period of the visa.

Primary visa holders may be subject to:

8502: The holder of the visa must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa.

Secondary visa holders must be subject to:

8520: The relevant person who holds a Subclass 300 visa on the basis of having satisfied the primary criteria must enter into the marriage in relation to which that visa was granted within the visa period of that visa.

Secondary visa holders may be subject to:

8502: The holder of the visa must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa.

8515: The holder of the visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

300 Visa Application Fee

The costs of this visa are as follows:

  • Base application charge: $7,715
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $3,860
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $1,935

Note that upon entering Australia and becoming married, a Subclass 300 visa holder will need to proceed with a combined Subclass 820 and 801 application to achieve permanent residency. The visa application charge payable in relation to said application is reduced to the following amounts:

  • Base application charge: $1,285
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $645
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $320

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