Have you fallen in love with an Australian? Are you thinking of getting married to him or her? Here are a few things to remember before you pack your bags.
Moving to Australia
While it is understandable that you want to live with your partner, there are some things to keep in mind before you decide where you’ll live.
Australia is indeed an attractive place. There are many reasons it’s become a popular tourist destination, from the beauties of the outback to its iconic wildlife such as kangaroos and koalas to the wonders of the Great Barrer Reef and the Sydney Opera House.
With almost 30% of Australian residents having been born overseas, the country feels welcoming to foreigners. Particularly if you’re originally from the UK, New Zealand, China or India, you will find those who share your heritage and cultural background.
Plus, there are many practical advantages to living in Australia. Residents enjoy great educational opportunities, quality health care, and a good work-life balance.
However, they also have a high cost of living that goes with a great quality of life. Australia is ranked among the top 12% of countries in terms of how expensive it is to live there. A family of four will need approximately AU$6700 a month to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle.
This means, if you are planning to get married and move to Australia, it might be a good idea to have a job lined up.
If you do, or if you are already working in Australia, then that makes it easier as far as visa requirements. Often employers will help talented workers get through the visa process.
One thing to realize is that while it is easy to apply for a visa in Australia, the process of obtaining one can be tricky. If you don’t have employment waiting for you and you’d like to join your partner in Australia, then you’ll need to manage the process of obtaining a partner visa in order to be able to legally live there.
The Partner Visa
What are the requirements of a partner visa?
First of all, a partner visa is based on verification of the relationship you have with your Australian sponsor.
You can apply for a partner visa if your partner or spouse is:
- An Australian citizen
- An Australian permanent resident
- A citizen of New Zealand
Your partner visa will be processed in two stages. The first gives you temporary residency and the second, given approximately 2 years later, gives you permanent status.
In order to qualify for a partner visa, you need to prove the following:
- that you are in a genuine relationship with your sponsor – in other words, you must be either already married, affianced, or a long-time partner of your sponsor
- that you have spent time living together for a reasonable duration
- that there are financial ties between the two of you
- that there are social ties that can be proven via pictures and letters from family and friends that describe the relationship
You must also meet certain health and character requirements.
Your partner visa will allow you to live, work, and study in Australia. While there are several subclasses of partner visas available, as someone who is planning to marry an Australian, you would most likely qualify for the prospective marriage visa subclass 300.
This subclass of partner visa will allow you to move to Australia and live there with your intended spouse prior to getting married. It is valid for up to 9 months, at which point you must register your marriage and apply for a spousal visa.
In addition to the other requirements of a partner visa, the additional requirements of a prospective marriage visa include:
- that your fiancé(e) is at least 18 years of age
- that you have physically met your fiancé(e) prior to moving to Australia
- that there are no legal impediments according to Australian law to your marriage
A prospective marriage visa will allow you to work, study, and live in Australia for 9 months. During this time, you can freely travel to and from Australia.
All types of partner visas can take anywhere from 18-25 months to process, so you need to plan accordingly.
For more information, you can check out the Australian Immigration Agency which has more complete information about the immigration process.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.
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