Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300
What is a Prospective Marriage Visa?
The Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300), also known as the TO-300 visa, is intended for people seeking to enter Australia for the purpose of marrying their prospective spouse (an Australian Citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen) after they arrive, and remain in Australia permanently after the marriage.
This visa enables the holder to enter and remain in the country for nine months. After marrying their prospective spouse, the TO-300 visa holder can apply for a UK-820/BS-801 Partner visa which, if granted, will allow them to stay in Australia permanently.
A person cannot be granted a further TO-300 visa, even where the wedding ceremony is delayed past the visa expiry date.
There are a number of eligibility requirements that need to be satisfied for this visa to be granted, including but not limited to:
- Both the visa applicant and the sponsor must be at least 18 years old at the time of the visa application.
- The couple must have met in person since turning 18.
- The couple must be known to each other personally. In assessing this criterion, the Department will consider evidence of contact throughout the development of the relationship and whether the relationship is traditionally/culturally appropriate in the circumstances of the couple.
- Evidence of marriage ceremony arrangements having been made in the form of a signed, dated letter on letterhead from an authorised marriage celebrant who will conduct the ceremony. This letter should include the date or date range of the marriage ceremony, the venue and a confirmation that a Notice of Intention to Marry has been lodged by the couple with the celebrant.
- The marriage date must take place within the visa period. The letter from an authorised celebrant stating the intended date can be used in order to establish that the marriage is intended to take place within the visa period.
- There must be no impediment to marriage. This means that both the applicant and the sponsor must be free to marry and the marriage must be recognisable as valid under Australian law.
A number of issues may arise as the application is assessed.
When assessing whether the visa applicant and sponsor satisfy the requirement that they intend to live together as spouses, the Department may become concerned about the integrity of the relationship.
If there is real and substantial evidence to justify those concerns, for example where fraud is being suspected, the Department will request intervention from the Bona Fide Unit which will carry out a further investigation of the couple’s application.
Arranged Marriage is another issue for the visa application. The Department will be looking to determine whether or not there is real consent to the marriage from both parties. If one of the parties indicates, either themselves or to a third party, that the marriage arrangements are solely due to familial duress and cultural pressure, or one of the parties does not want to proceed, this clearly demonstrates that there is no real consent and the application will be refused.
If you require assistance please contact one of our specialist lawyers at Matthews Folbigg