Prospective marriage or de facto?

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Prospective marriage or de facto?

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Old 08-01-2011, 01:43 PM
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Prospective marriage or de facto?


My girlfriend and I are in a bit of a pickle for our future plans.

I am an australian citizen(born here). My girlfriend is on a student visa (country of origin, lebanon).
The first time she came here was during the WYD08, she returned back in April 2009 after applying for a student visa and successfully getting this to study at college, she successfully completed her college course in accounting at the end of last year. She then applied and was successful to enrol into a bachelor of accounting and attained a new student visa. the course is set to end at the end of 2012. her visa set to expire soon after that.

I met her in august 2009, and we started going out in october 2009. I met her through a youth group of 250+ members. we are both friends with about 40 of these people.

She has been working and sticking to her set hours etc, never put a foot wrong in the eyes of the government. the same here with me, i am an engineering university student, living with my parents and working for an engineering firm at the same time.

We've been thinking alot about marriage recently and I myself had been thinking of popping the question within the next few months.

Our plan is to properly get engaged in November 2011 when her parents are here for a holiday, then get married towards november/december 2012.

At the end of 2011, she will have 1 year left of uni equating to about $12k of fees. In my opinion that $12k can go towards our wedding/honeymoon and she can go on to finish her degree cheaper after we are married. To bypass this $12k we'd have to lodge any applications just before Feb 2012 which is the date for payment for her uni.

Here is my questions:

1. If we get engaged in november 2011, can we lodge an application for prospective marriage visa around jan/feb 2012?

The only reason I say this is because, well she can leave her uni, work full time until close to the 9 months, then get married and fulfil the requirements of the prospective visa. once married she can live with my parents and myself(they have already agreed to this). she currently lives with her sister and has been since she first came here.

2. The other option i've thought of is what if she moves in at my house ASAP, and we can change all her billing addresses etc and lodge for de facto relationship in jan/feb 2012?

Although we lodge for de facto, we will be engaged most likely.
I have more than enough documents of a relationship, MSN chats, photos, letters to each other, I can get stat decs from friends and also our local priest who knows us well.
the only thing I dont have is joint accounts and 12 months up our sleeves.
But I saw in a previous post, I can prove that I have paid for alot of things for her through my savings and credit cards and I have evidence of the 2 of us going out to things like dinner, drives, movies, beach etc. I have the full support of my family and friends here and her family and friends here.

Can anyone help?

Your time is much appreciated.

  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2011, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Perth
Posts: 197
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You seem unaware of this, but the PMV is only available whrn making an application offshore -it's not available for onshore applications.

Additionally, the spouse de facto visa is only available if you have resided for a minimum of 12 months together, so unless uou are able to register your relationsjip, I don't see this as an easy option for either.

My next comment would therefore be, if you are both currently onshore, and if your girlfrirnd has no No further Stay condition, is can you move your marriage plans up?


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Old 08-01-2011, 10:03 PM
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Hi Sammo

As missmullen said, you can only apply for PMV offshore -- and as she is from Lebanon (high risk country) this may take up to 13 months to process. For de facto you need that 12 months hard evidence living together (unless its registered relationship -- in which case, 6 months).

I hope you're aware that the cheaper university fees only kick in once she's permanent resident? (Which would be at least 2 years after you apply for temp residency).

Also, I think you need to be really careful about the route you're proposing & seek formal advice from DIAC or an immigration lawyer. As far as I know, the bridging visas (that would allow her to stay in the country & work etc while the spouse visa is processing) would only kick in if a substantive visa (student visa) expires -- not if its been cancelled. So if she doesn't pay those fees & go to university as per the conditions of her student visa, she could be deported, which would not look good for you spouse visa application!


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Old 08-02-2011, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
Users Flag! From australia

Thank you both of you.

Yes I was aware of the offshore rule for the PMV, I was just hoping there might be something I didn't know that someone could help with.

you'll have to excuse my knowledge and theories/thoughts about the whole immigration.

What is a registered relationship?
Is that the same as going to the department of marriages, births, deaths and getting married in the offices?

Also, what if we did go and get married through a celebrant at the department of marriages, births, deaths. Will she be counted as my wife? and therefore be given permanant residency?

I know how she can't apply for citizenship straightaway. she wouldn't be going back to finish her uni straight away.

thanks again

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Old 08-02-2011, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Melbourne
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A registered relationship is for unmarried couples, mainly for same-sex couples, but any couple can apply. It's done at Births Deaths and Marriages, you just sign some forms and prove your address and identity, and that of your partner. It's only available in VIC, NSW, ACT and TAS, and if you register you won't have to meet the 12 month living requirement before applying as a de facto couple. Each state has a different procedure so you'll have to check for your own state how to apply, it's called "registering a domestic relationship".

"Also, what if we did go and get married through a celebrant at the department of marriages, births, deaths. Will she be counted as my wife?"
Yes when you get married whether it's in a church by a priest or in a room with a civil celebrant that's still a marriage, she would be your wife.

But you seem to have misunderstood. If you get married you still have to apply for the same partner visa, the only thing that changes when she is your wife is that you don't have to have lived together for 12 months.
First, if you provide a complete application, she will be granted temporary residency and 2 years after she will be re-considered for permanent residency.
For onshore applications it's this visa subclass:
As you can see, it says:
This visa allows you to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of your married or de facto relationship with your partner - they are classed as the same visa.

Please read the partner migration booklet, you really need to it's got all of the information in it:
Look at pages 40 and 41 especially for the sort of evidence you'll have to provide with your application.

So, just to reiterate, marriage means that you can apply as a married couple and she doesn't have to meet the 12 month requirement before applying. Apart from that the application doesn't change.

Originally Posted by sammo5889 View Post
What is a registered relationship?
Is that the same as going to the department of marriages, births, deaths and getting married in the offices?

Also, what if we did go and get married through a celebrant at the department of marriages, births, deaths. Will she be counted as my wife? and therefore be given permanant residency?

Last edited by SarahM; 08-02-2011 at 12:41 PM.

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