If you are considering obtaining Australian citizenship by marriage, as a foreigner, you must comply with certain legal requirements. Upon the process of immigration in Australia, you will need to obtain one of the visas designed for this purpose.
In this article, you can find information on the main visa types you can obtain, depending on your particular situation.
If you need further details or legal advice on the legislation, procedures and requirements, you are invited to send your inquiries to our immigration lawyer in Australia.
In Australia, there are 2 main ways to acquire Australian citizenship – one refers to citizenship by conferral, and the other one refers to citizenship by descent.
Citizenship by marriage is included in the category of citizenship by conferral, where the applicant must first meet certain residency requirements, among other obligations imposed for this particular situation, one of them being to have a partner who is an Australian national.
Citizenship by conferral implies that the foreign must obtain the residency in Australia, which has to be issued on a permanent basis (persons with temporary residency can’t apply for citizenship, regardless on the legal ground).
The application for citizenship will cost AUD 490, but the law stipulates lower fees or exemptions for certain categories of applicants.
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What are the main visas for Australian citizenship by marriage?
As we said above, there are several types of visas that you can obtain. Each visa type grants specific rights related to the duration of the stay in Australia (they are divided between temporary visas and permanent visas) and other important matters – such the right to work here, study, etc.
Currently, there are several types of visas you can obtain if you want to live in Australia with your Australian partner and future spouse.
Thus, if you want to migrate to Australia for this very purpose, you can apply for one of the following: the Prospective Marriage visa in Australia, the Partner visa (temporary) and the Partner visa (permanent).
In order to have a clear image on when and how you can apply for them, our Australia migration lawyer has prepared a short presentation:
- the Prospective Marriage visa in Australia (subclass 300) grants the right to stay here for a period of 9 to 15 months;
- the holders of the above mentioned visa can then apply for a Partner visa in Australia (temporary), which is the Subclass 820 visa;
- both visas have a processing fee of AUD 7,850, but those who already own a partnership visa (namely, the Prospective Marriage visa in Australia), will pay for the Partner visa in Australia (temporary) a fee of only AUD 1,310;
- the time needed to process a visa depends on the visa type – for instance the Partner visa in Australia (permanent) can be issued in a period of 9 to 14 months (9 months in the case of 75% of the applications and 14 months in 90% of the applications);
- however, if you want to migrate to Australia for marriage purposes under the Prospective Marriage visa in Australia, please mind that the issuance of the visa can be a lengthy process – it can take between 25 to 34 months (25 months for 75% of the applications and 34 months for 90% of the applications), according to the data of the Department of Home Affairs.
How can one apply for a temporary marriage visa in Australia?
The process of obtaining Australian citizenship by marriage starts with a temporary visa (either the Subclass 300, either the Subclass 820).
In order to apply for any of these 2 visas, the foreigner must meet specific requirements, which are prescribed by the law on immigration in Australia.
For instance, for the Subclass 300 visa, the applicant must meet an age requirement – he or she must be at least 18 years old at the moment when the application is made.
Then, the applicant must have a sponsor in Australia, who must be the future spouse. However, the Australian immigration authorities must first approve the respective sponsorship in order for the Australian partner to become the applicant’s sponsor.
We invite you to watch a short video on the process of obtaining Australian citizenship by marriage:
This visa, which opens the legal pathway to Australian citizenship by marriage, can be used as a way to work in this country, but also for study purposes (however, for the latter, the applicant is required to pay for his or her own classes).
It is also important to know that the visa opens the way to freely move to and from Australia. Please mind that for this visa, the applicant must be outside Australia at the moment when the application is made.
Another requirement that has to be fulfilled is to get married with the Australian partner by the end of expiration date of the visa, so that you can become eligible for Australian citizenship by marriage. We invite you to request more details on the Subclass 820 visa from our Australia migration lawyer.
There is also the possibility to apply for a marriage visa issued on a temporary basis through a partner visa in Australia known as the Partner (Provisional) Visa – Subclass 309.
A person can apply for this visa as long as the applicant is the de factor partner/spouse of one of the following: 1) Australian citizen, 2) Australian permanent resident, 3) New Zealand citizen who lives in Australia on a temporary basis.
Those who will apply for this visa type will be entitled later on to apply for another partner visa in Australia that is issued on a permanent basis, namely the Partner (Migrant) Visa – Subclass 100.
Besides the conditions stipulated above, the applicant must also know the following: 1) the application has to be done outside Australia, 2) the visa grants the right to temporary residence only, 3) persons who will obtain this visa and will meet its criteria can directly obtain the permanent partner visa.
Mind that Australia charges various processing fees for the issuance of the visas regulated under the Australian immigration law; the same applies for this visa.
Applicants of a spouse visa in Australia (Subclass 309) are required to pay a processing fee of minimum AUD 8,085. It is also necessary to be aware of the fact that the processing times can be rather long in some cases.
For instance, according to the Department of Home Affairs, 25% of the applications can be processed in a period of 5 months, and the longest period of time can increase up to 32 months.
For this particular visa program, it is important to know that the applicants can apply at the same time for the provisional visa, namely the Subclass 309, and for the permanent visa (the Subclass 100).
Provided that the applicant meets the necessary criteria – 1) being in a relationship with an Australian citizen/permanent resident or New Zealand citizen living in Australia, 2) the spouse in Australia is a sponsor, 3) be outside the country at the moment of the application, the provisional visa will be issued.
After the visa is issued, the applicant can arrive in this country and live with his or her partner/spouse under the temporary Spouse Visa in Australia. This can last for a period of 2 years, at the end of which, after bringing any additional documents required by the institutions, the applicant can receive the Subclass 100 visa.
How to apply for a permanent partner visa in Australia?
The Subclass 100 is addressed to those who are issued with the Subclass 309 visa. The purpose of this visa is to act as a marriage visa in Australia for permanent purposes for the categories of persons previously presented.
In order to apply for it, the requirements imposed for the Subclass 309 will apply as well, given that in most cases, foreigners will apply for both visas. It must be noted that persons who will eventually qualify for the Subclass 100 will not have to pay an application fee.
The application fee is paid when starting the immigration formalities for the marriage visa in Australia (for both the provisional and permanent visas).
The duration of the issuance of this document can also take a long period of time – between 5 and 29 months. However, please be aware that most of the applications (90% of them) will receive a response in 29 months.
Although foreigners will apply for the Subclass 100 when applying for the Subclass 309, please mind that the processing time for the permanent spouse visa in Australia will be calculated from the day when the applicant becomes eligible.
In other words, one can become eligible after 2 years of stay and after complying with the requirements of the provisional visa. Some of the conditions of the visa are:
- be married or in a relationship that can be proven by the parties;
- have an ongoing relationship;
- live together, or not living a long period of time separated;
- prove being mutually committed to the relationship;
- not having any other partners.
Of course, this spouse visa in Australia can have other criteria to fulfill, and they can be presented by our immigration lawyer.
What are the conditions to apply for a permanent partner visa in Australia?
This visa is the one that grants the right to permanently migrate to Australia and become a citizen of the country. You can also bring other family members to live here; this visa can grant access to Australian citizenship by marriage, but the applicant must meet all the requirements stipulated by the law.
In order to be eligible to apply for this marriage visa in Australia, the applicant must be the holder of the Subclass 820 visa, which is a temporary visa.
The applicant must maintain the relationship status with the Australian citizen, but there are few exemptions from this rule, which can be presented by our lawyer. If you need further information, please contact our immigration lawyer in Australia, who can also provide legal representation.