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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I have just recently joined this forum and would like to (hopefully) put my mind at ease. I am someone who dislikes most surprises so I like to be prepared with information ahead of time if I can help it.

I am in USA and my boyfriend is in Victoria, Aus. We first interacted online and began dating in Feb 2017. I flew to Aus to meet him several months later and we have decided to pursue “closing the distance.” So I have already applied and got accepted for the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 462) and I will be living with him. I won’t arrive for another several months, but we have already decided we want to get married. So I know there are few options for us for the next Visa since my Working Holiday Visa is only good for one year once I arrive Australia.

I have read on the Australian government website that they do not count online relationships as time being in a defacto relationship. So I am worried that we will not have enough time to apply for Partner Visa (subclass 820 and 801). I just wanted to check if there were other options I could look into? Will we be okay to go ahead with our original plan to apply for the Partner Visa towards the end of my Working Holiday visa? I will be finding work as soon as I arrive (and will be happy to be sponsored by a company if that’s something they can offer me, but I’m not banking on it since I don’t work in a high demand field...).

The last thing I would want is to overlook something I could have prepared for much earlier for our next steps just because I misunderstood or we didn’t think about... as once we are finally living together, we don’t want to be separated by 9,000 miles again. Anything will be helpful for me, and maybe will ease my mind... thank you for reading this. I appreciate it! If I need to clarify anything, I’ll be happy to do so! :)
 

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Many people in long distance relationships who are engaged take the subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa (PMV) option. It is an offshore visa and does not have the same relationship requirements as a de facto/spouse visa. Basically, have both met in person since turning 18, be engaged and both free to marry, and be in a genuine relationship.

Many people apply for the 300 and then go to Oz on a visa such as the 462 while they wait on a decision, then hop on a quick flight to a nearby country for a few days on holiday to receive the grant (offshore visa means need to be offshore for grant).

A 300 allows full work rights. Application fee is the same at $7000 and then, after entering Oz at least once to activate it, you can marry anywhere in the world within the 9 months visa validity date. You then apply for the onshore 820/801 at a reduced fee of $1170 for 300 holders, but coming off the 300 you again do not need to meet the normal requirements as a straight 820/801. You basically just upload your marriage certificate and any evidence of your relationship since the 300 grant and done. You should get the 820 fairly quickly (mine took 20 days from a 300, though some take much longer) but if you don't, they give you a bridging visa A anyway to stay in Australia with full work rights (granted straight away but doesn't go into effect unless the 300 expires). You'll also be entitled to Medicare once the 820/801 app is made.

Really have a look at the 300 option before you marry. Often people marry not realizing this was the better and often only real option because being married alone does not guarantee a partner visa. They don't care much if you're married or de facto for the 309/100 or 820/801 since they look at your relationship and evidence as a whole. If you don't meet the requirements as a non-married couple, you won't meet them as a married couple either.

An acquaintance from the US had met her partner online and had only met twice in person for 1-2 weeks at a time, applied for the 300 then came on a 462. Was asked to leave for the grant 9 months later, left and got it and reentered on the 300.

I also took the 300 route as my partner and I were in a long distance relationship. But I was unable to use a 462 as I had my dependent child, so I came on an ETA instead. Was asked to leave just over 3 months after applying. I now hold an 820 and am waiting for 801 eligibility in a few months.

Word of advice, Australia prefers the word "partner" rather than "boyfriend." The latter implies dating which doesn't count towards a de facto visa. If you are engaged, you should refer to each other as "fiancee."
 

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Start by reading the Partner Migration Booklet it is on the government website somewhere just google it I guess.

Nothing wrong with your basic plan.
 

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Also, if you choose the offshore route and use the 462 while you wait, you can extend it to a second year if you don't mind doing some work in Northern Australia (note Australia and not Northern "Territory"). Something to be aware of as it does take some knowing and planning in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many people in long distance relationships who are engaged take the subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa (PMV) option. It is an offshore visa and does not have the same relationship requirements as a de facto/spouse visa. Basically, have both met in person since turning 18, be engaged and both free to marry, and be in a genuine relationship.

Many people apply for the 300 and then go to Oz on a visa such as the 462 while they wait on a decision, then hop on a quick flight to a nearby country for a few days on holiday to receive the grant (offshore visa means need to be offshore for grant).

A 300 allows full work rights. Application fee is the same at $7000 and then, after entering Oz at least once to activate it, you can marry anywhere in the world within the 9 months visa validity date. You then apply for the onshore 820/801 at a reduced fee of $1170 for 300 holders, but coming off the 300 you again do not need to meet the normal requirements as a straight 820/801. You basically just upload your marriage certificate and any evidence of your relationship since the 300 grant and done. You should get the 820 fairly quickly (mine took 20 days from a 300, though some take much longer) but if you don't, they give you a bridging visa A anyway to stay in Australia with full work rights (granted straight away but doesn't go into effect unless the 300 expires). You'll also be entitled to Medicare once the 820/801 app is made.

Really have a look at the 300 option before you marry. Often people marry not realizing this was the better and often only real option because being married alone does not guarantee a partner visa. They don't care much if you're married or de facto for the 309/100 or 820/801 since they look at your relationship and evidence as a whole. If you don't meet the requirements as a non-married couple, you won't meet them as a married couple either.

An acquaintance from the US had met her partner online and had only met twice in person for 1-2 weeks at a time, applied for the 300 then came on a 462. Was asked to leave for the grant 9 months later, left and got it and reentered on the 300.

I also took the 300 route as my partner and I were in a long distance relationship. But I was unable to use a 462 as I had my dependent child, so I came on an ETA instead. Was asked to leave just over 3 months after applying. I now hold an 820 and am waiting for 801 eligibility in a few months.

Word of advice, Australia prefers the word "partner" rather than "boyfriend." The latter implies dating which doesn't count towards a de facto visa. If you are engaged, you should refer to each other as "fiancee."
Oh I didn't know about the "partner" vs "bf" vocab. Good to know, and also makes sense! We are not engaged yet... since we have only met once in person for 2 weeks, we decided to do the 462 visa to make sure we can live together without issues (we don't anticipate any problems, but we want to be sure.)

Your response really opens my eyes and glad that I am asking this now so I can at least figure out which route I need to plan on taking.

I thought maybe I had screwed up this whole thing applying for the 462 first. I know you didn't say this directly but just from what you have informed me and the stories you had mentioned, this sounds like I can do this way? Go ahead and come to Australia on the 462 visa for a year (as already planned) and if we get engaged, I can leave Australia to lodge the 300 visa, once granted, return to Aus, get married, and then apply for the 820/801 visa in Aus?

I didn't know about the discounted rates for the 820/801 visa for those who hold the 300 visa. This makes me feel like applying for the 300 before 820/801 will work better for our case because of the "de facto relationship" requires more time than I will be physically living with my partner, sounds a lot easier if we are married beforehand.
 

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If you are going to come on the 462 first, then the 820/801 may be the better option since you may meet the requirements towards the end or if you do a 2nd WHV. I wouldn't bother waiting until the end of the 462 and applying for the 300 if you can meet the requirements for a married or de facto visa then as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you are going to come on the 462 first, then the 820/801 may be the better option since you may meet the requirements towards the end or if you do a 2nd WHV. I wouldn't bother waiting until the end of the 462 and applying for the 300 if you can meet the requirements for a married or de facto visa then as well.
Oh okay! Thanks for the help. It's good to know I didn't screw up. I got the 462 visa easily while others I knew had a hard time getting it... and then I make myself paranoid about others not getting the 820/801 at all so I didn't want to lose out on the $$$$ And not get the visa from it. Thanks for your help!
 

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I have not read all Sky's comments but from your reply's she seems to have explained a few options, explanations and things to work out how best to move forward.

Not sure if it was mentioned but there can be sudden changes to requirements and fees made by immigration department - the planned sponsorship changes are also to be considered.
 

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I'm from the States as well and opted to come to Australia on the 462 to see if I liked living here and whether i'd be happy with my career options. Been here for 4 years now and just got PR :)

We applied for the 820 towards the end of my WHV shortly after we got married (we were together for a long time but was primarily long distance in our teens and early 20s so we had a lot of social/travel history but not much financial evidence and spent the WHV year building that evidence)

Keep in mind the WHV limits you to 6 months with one employer but you can apply to lift that restriction - it may be a bit difficult to get the job you want due to that restriction. If you're not fussy with a particular job then you should be fine. Good luck!
 
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