Prospective Marriage Visa Help

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Prospective Marriage Visa Help

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2011, 09:31 AM
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Prospective Marriage Visa Help

Hi everyone.

I'm Callum and I'm an Australian and British Citizen currently living in UK. I have always wanted to go back to Australia, and have recently been offered a full time job in Melbourne.

My fiancée is British, and we have both wanted to move to Australia almost since we've been together (May 2010), although didn't expect the opportunity to fall into our hands so quickly (I hadn't been applying for jobs - I'm currently self-employed and one of my clients had a position open up, which we have jumped on as it's a great way to help us settle there).

We've been engaged since March 2011, and living together in my parents house since February 2011. The reason being is because we've had Australia in mind and thought we'd be better off financially and able to save a lot more without renting our own place.

Our initial thought is to go for a Prospective Marriage Visa. I know we'd be eligible for the Defacto Partner Visa, but we have a lack of evidence to prove our relationship in 2010. My partner lived in Manchester when we met (online) and we met in person every 2-3 weeks for the first couple of months, and then every week from around November time. We have no evidence to prove this however, and we didn't meet each others family until November either, so I think this makes our chances very slim for the defacto visa. The only real evidence we have from November onwards is train tickets, evidence of phonecalls (which I'm assuming I can get from my mobile network), and a couple of flight bookings for weekend trips to Paris and Glasgow - although I don't think we have the originals anymore (we didn't realise we'd need to be building up evidence).

From what I have read, we should be ok to go ahead with the prospective marriage visa. We can (just about) prove we're living together. My partner has a few letters pointed to her name and my parents address (bank statements etc) to help prove that she lives here, and old statements to show that she was living in Manchester and moved to Royston to live with me. We don't have anything at all with both our names as we have no need to pay utility bills. My parents pay these so we just give them rent.

We gathered it would help to share a bank account, so we are adding my partners name to my bank later on today, and she'll start paying money in electronically from her personal bank instead of giving me cash to pay in (for our savings).

We have done a quick assessment with a migration agency called Visa Centre which came back positive, and have just paid £185 to have a full assessment done - they'll be studying our case and coming back to us within the next 5-10 days with their advice on what visa we should go for, prices and whether we'd need more evidence.

I just thought it would be nice to hear what you guys here think, having been through stuff like this.

Do you think we'll be ok to go through on a prospective marriage given the lack of evidence we have?

We also have a timeframe. I was meant to be starting the job in September but we understand this is virtually impossible, unless Alex gets a working holiday visa. If she does that, what would happen in a years time?

Many thanks!

  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:32 AM
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I gathered I would get another quick question in before someone replies. It is certainly an option to get married in the UK and then apply for a spouse visa. Would this option be any easier? We're happy to keep things really small (and quick) and then have a big ceremony later down the line if this makes the application easier and quicker. I've heard the prospective marriage visa is one of the longest to process?

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 12:52 AM
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Hi Callum,

You could certainly apply for a PMV from what you have said about the history of your relationship. I think though that the PMV takes longer, however, to get to the final PR stage. You have to wait up to 6 to 9 months for the PMV, then go over and get married and apply onshore for the temporary spouse visa to stay in Oz until PR consideration comes around.

If marriage is something you have thought about, I'd say get married now and apply straight up for a spouse visa. It takes roughly the same amount of time as the PMV, but knocks out the need to apply again for the temporary visa grant once in Australia.

That's just my opinion. Certainly wait and see what the agent tells you, as there advice would be more professional and could highlight some points and pitfalls I haven't.


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Old 06-11-2011, 04:06 AM
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HI callum

you won't be eligible for a de facto as you must have been actually LIVING with your partner for a full 12 months. You might have a hard time having enough evidence for a spouse visa too, even with marriage certificate. PS I know from experience that DIAC like to see the actual boarding passes from flights (not just the print-out tickets) as I guess its easy enough to book tickets but it doesn't actually prove that you both got on that plane together.

why don't you just get a working holiday visa for your partner? It would be fast & easy for her to get, also much cheaper, and then you would have a whole extra year or so to gather stronger evidence for a spouse/pmv application. If she has a "no further stay" on her working holiday visa (unlikely?) it would just be a matter of popping across to NZ for a couple days to lodge a spouse/pmv.



  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 06:36 AM
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Thank you both for the replies.

First of all, I'd like to update you on the job situation. I received an email today awarding me with the position even if it takes us 6 months to get out there, and I'll be working from the UK in the mean time.

My fears about getting a quick marriage here are it does look like we're doing it just to get out there (i.e. we'd be submitting the visa not long after getting married).

I like the option of my partner (Alex, by the way) getting a working Visa so we can get out there in 2 months time. As you said, it will definitely strengthen our case as we'd be living together for over 12 months if you include the time spent at my parents.

If you don't mind, I have a few questions:

1) How long does it take to get a working holiday visa?
2) You mentioned the "No further stay" would cause problems if it gets added to Alex's Visa - why is that normally added?
3) What happens if we marry in Australia when Alex's Visa expires? Would this make our options better?
4) If we lodge an application (whether de-facto, spouse or pmv) when Alex's working holiday Visa expires, what happens? We'd lodge overseas and pick up overseas? Can it be granted whilst in Oz? And can Alex stay and work in Oz whilst we're waiting for a decision?

Just trying to figure out how much of a pain this option would be in the long run. The last thing we want is Alex having to return to UK to wait!

Many thanks once again! You're a great help!

  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:54 AM
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Hi callum

Congrats on your job

According to DIAC website, the Working holiday visa will take about a week to process, and costs $235 -- big difference to waiting months for a spouse visa & paying $1,735!

A "no further stay" is added to many tourist visas and some other visas. Its not really that big a deal, it just means that you can't apply for a further visa while you are in the country (my partner had this condition when he came to visit me). It would mean that you would have to pop over to NZ or some other nearby country when your visa is almost expiring & lodge there. As your partner is a Brit, they could return to Aust on an ETA to wait for it to process.

I don't think your partner would have this condition though, as I understand that Brits with a working holiday visa can apply for a 2nd year WHV when they are here in Aust.

If your partner doesn't have "no further stay", at the end of her WHV (say in the last couple weeks) you could lodge a Spouse visa onshore in Aust. When her WHV expires, it would automatically tick over to a Bridging visa with all the same conditions of her WHV (ie work rights etc), and she could hold the Bridging visa & stay in Aust until her Spouse visa is decided. Which could take months.

If she lodges the Spouse visa onshore in Aust, she needs to be in Aust when its granted. If she lodges the Spouse visa offshore/overseas, she needs to be offshore/overseas when its granted. She doesn't have to return to UK necessarily, she could just go to a nearby country like NZ/Asia.

It wouldn't really matter if you marry or not while she is here in Aust on a WHV -- if you have that 12months & all the relevant evidence built up you could apply on defacto grounds.

Hope it helps!


Last edited by theskyisblue; 06-11-2011 at 08:07 AM.

  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the super detailed response, that is a huge help!

Sounds to me that this might be our best option! If we are to apply for the WHV 3 weeks before we go, by time it has been 11 months or so we'd have been living together in UK for 8 months and Australia for 10 months, so we would definitely have enough evidence to prove this. Just need to make sure we bring evidence of Alex living with me in my parents house to Oz with us, and we can get statements from our parents and friends.

In regards to lodging overseas, if this was the case with Alex (although it seems it won't be), what happens about having to be overseas for it to be granted? For example, do you just have to wait until it is approved, and then fly to NZ for it to be granted? Or do you need to be in NZ when it is approved, too?

Thanks so much for all your help, you're really making sense of this for us!

  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:15 AM
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No worries

There's a form you can fill in (forget the number) if there are any changes to your circumstances after you lodge -- so you could use this to advise DIAC and your CO that your spouse is actually in the country, & (hopefully) they wouldn't grant the visa while she is onshore. If your CO is nice (!) they'd let you know when a decision is close, so she could nip over to NZ/Asia for a week holiday or something for when its granted. If the spouse visa is lodged overseas, its super important your spouse is actually out of Aust the day that the visa is granted. Annoying, but just how the system works!!


  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 10:12 AM
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That's a very annoying system! But if that turns out to be the case I guess we would just have to work around it somehow - this is only if Alex has a no further stay condition on her WHV though right? If the chances are high that she won't have that on her visa than we'll be absolutely fine!

Now I'm excited as we will be able to move there mid-August! Yay! thanks again!

  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2011, 11:56 AM
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I read that your job offer is in Melbourne. As you will be working and living in Victoria the other option you have which there is a fair bit of information on this website regarding, is to have your relationship registered so it is legally recognised and can be used in the visa application. I don't know a great deal about it as my partner and i applied off shore but having read about it on here a lot of people have found it really useful. I think it assists in waiving the 12 month living together thing (but don't quote me on that) and so if you go and your girlfriend is on a WHV you could register your relationship (i would assume you do this with B,D&M) and then apply for the Subclass 309 visa. Regarding the 2 year WHV comment, this is a possibility but it requires the WHV holder to spend 3 months of their first 12 months working in rural/remote areas doing seasonal work, so basically farm/fruit picking work. If this is something your girlfriend would not be interested in, look at the WHV as being 12 months and not 2 years. Hope that info is of some help.

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partner visa, prospective marriage, pvm

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