They say that true love has no boundaries. Does this saying apply to international borders, though? If you have developed a loving relationship with a resident or citizen of Australia, you may well be thinking about future prospects and whether or not you can join them "down under" in marriage. Certain legal steps will have to be taken in order for you to make your dream a reality, and in particular, you need to see if you qualify for a certain type of visa. What's involved here?
Government to the Rescue
The good news is that the Australian government also has a soft heart and wants to help foreigners unite with residents or citizens of the country. They have developed a temporary visa called a prospective marriage visa that is designed to help somebody like yourself enter the nation with the purpose of getting married. This visa, once it has been approved, lasts for nine months.
As you may know, some people will unfortunately try to game the system and will do anything they can to get into the country. This includes marriage fraud, where they will purport to know the sponsor of the application well, but it could be a marriage of convenience. Consequently, you have to be able to prove that you have met the person, that the relationship is real and that you both intend to live in Australia after the fact. You also have to be able to satisfy background and health checks.
What Do You Get?
However, once a visa has been issued, you will be able to come into and out of the country a number of different times over that nine-month period. In certain circumstances, you may be able to work or involve yourself in higher education, but you cannot seek funding from the government to do so. It's obviously in your best interests to get married as soon as possible, and then you can convert the temporary visa into a partner visa, with a road to permanent residency ahead.
Remember, the sponsor has to take responsibility for your finances during that initial stay in Australia, and they cannot have put forward anyone else for this type of visa recently. They will also be ultimately responsible for your behaviour and compliance with conditions set out in the legislation.
If you're ready to apply, you will need a copy of your passport, which has to be certified, together with an authentic birth certificate naming both parents. You have to gather together a lot of evidence showing that you have actually met and that the relationship is real. You must also show that you're in the process of arranging the wedding within the maximum nine months from the visa issue date.
There are a number of steps to take and the information that you gather must be comprehensive. To ensure that you get this right the first time, it's best if you consult with a consultant specialising in these areas.
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