Original documents

Should original documents be submitted with my Thai wife’s Australian partner visa application?

Your Thai wife should not supply original documents with her partner visa application, nor should you supply original documents with your sponsorship. If they are lost, then in some cases they may be impossible to replace. The exception however is that you must always supply the original police checks.
Certified copies

You should only supply certified copies of the original documents. If the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) requests the original documents then you should present the originals when requested to do so only. It is however advised that you should never send originals through the post if it can at all be avoided.

In Australia documents can be certified by anyone who can legally certify a statutory declaration. Outside Australia it is usually the local equivalent of a Justice of the Peace. All offshore posts will have people who can certify your original documents too.
Original documents in English

Another important consideration is that document submitted in languages other than English must be accompanied by an accurate English translation, as well as a certified copy of the original document.
Translation

The costs of certifying and translation of documents is payable by the applicant. In some cases, particularly when a partner visa application includes secondary applicants, then translation costs can be considerable.

Generally the cost of having documents translated from Thai to English is a third to half the cost in Thailand that what the same translation would cost in Australia. You should always check that the translator is qualified to give translations. If they are not accurate translations they will rejected. Furthermore of the translator if translating from a copy, then you must ensure that the translator is given the best quality copy possible to translate from.

Are you in the process of applying for your partner’s visa for Australia?

(Tourist visas, Fiancé visas and Spouse visas)

If you would like more help, advice and valuable information that could make your application a successful one, click here. For all Australian Visa applications!

Can my Thai girlfriend get a visa?

Can my Thai girlfriend (soon to be Fiance) get an Australian tourist visa as I would like her to visit me in Australia to see if she likes it. If she does, I would like her to move out here permanently with me, with a view to getting married. I have visited her many times in Thailand…

Australia is one of the most popular tourist destination on earth, and as such Australia welcomes millions tourist from all corners of the globe every year. It is open to anyone to apply for an Australian tourist visa. However depending upon the passport you hold, this will indicate the most suitable kind of tourist visa you should apply for.

There are currently in excess of 150 different types of Australian visas, some of these visas allow for temporary entry to Australia, and others allow holder to enter and remain in Australia permanently. These are known as Australian permanent visas.

Tourist visas are in the category of temporary visas which means that the person holding that visa must depart from Australia prior to that tourist visa expiring or if permissible by their current tourist visa apply for another visa or an extension.

It is very important to note that if you overstay in Australia you will become an unlawful non-citizen, and subject to removal. This can also have damaging consequences on any future visa application.

Tourist visa subclass 676

Currently Thai citizens are not eligible to apply for what is known as an ETA visa (electronic travel authority). They therefore must make a paper application for a visa if they want to visit Australia for tourist purposes. The most common visa for Thai nationals is known as a subclass 676 tourist visa. In most circumstances  this will be the most suitable visa for your Thai girlfriend to apply for. Though, if  your Thai girlfriend has family members residing in Australia who are either Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents then it is certainly possible that she may be eligible to apply for a sponsored family visitor visa (subclass 679).

In nearly all cases however the subclass 676 tourist visa is the most suitable visa for your Thai girlfriend to apply for. Whether you Thai girlfriend applied for a tourist visa or a sponsored family visitor visa, she must be able to clearly evidence that her intention is to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only. If not her application must be refused.

A carefully and well prepared Australian tourist visa application will include not just the required application form but supporting documentation that visibly evidences that the applicant has a an intention to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only.

 

How long will it take for my fiancé’s Australian fiancé visa to be processed and approved?

How long will it take for my fiancé’s Australian fiancé visa to be processed and approved?

This is a common question. Particularly because a fiancé visa, correctly known under the Australian Migration Regulations as a prospective marriage visa, can only be applied for and granted offshore.

It cannot be applied for and granted whilst your fiancé is in Australia.

This can cause some hardship as in most cases the sponsor, who must either be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, will have work and employment commitments in Australia and cannot wait in Thailand for his fiancé’s visas to be granted.

This period of separation can cause a strain on a relationship.

Processing times for a fiance visa

As a general guide only processing is usually between 3 to 6 months after the application has been lodged with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), but it can take shorter or longer, depending upon the overseas post where the application is lodged and whether there are any complexities with the application. Department of Immigration and Citizenship policy is however, that family visa application processing should take priority over other visas such as skilled migrant visas.

Remember too that a fiancé visa ultimately leads to Australian permanent residency for the applicant, so there is a lot of criteria that needs to first be satisfied before the visa can be granted to the applicant. A visa application can be delayed for any number of reasons such as lack of supporting documents submitted with the visa application, delay in obtaining police clearance certificates and medical reports.

As a rule you should submit a thoroughly prepared application that includes all supporting documents that have been certified and translated if necessary. A complete application will avoid any unnecessary delay in processing. If the case office has to keep constantly requesting further documentation this will significantly delay the processing of your fiancés visa.

 

Including a child from a previous relationship

My Fillipino fiancé wants to include her child from a previous relationship on her Australian fiancé visa application, is this possible?

An applicant for an Australian fiancé visa (prospective marriage visa – subclass 300) may include their dependent child or children in their visa application as secondary applicants. The applicant will be known as the primary applicant, and the child or children will be known as the secondary applicants.

A combined application

If the fiancé visa application has more than one applicant it is referred to as a combined application. All primary and secondary applicants must satisfy all of their criteria for the grant of the visa or the whole application may be refused.

It is very important to note that all of the applicant’s dependants must meet Australia’s character and health requirements whether they are included in the application or not. If one fails, then they all fail is the general rule.

How old is the child?

In order for a child to be considered a dependent child of the applicant, then certain criteria must be satisfied. Firstly, the child must be under 18 years of age. If however they are over 18 years, they can still be included as your dependent, but you must be able to evidence that they are wholly or substantially dependent upon the applicant, for their basic leaving needs, such as food, clothing and housing for example.

Include a birth certificate

An applicant will need to provide evidence that their child is in fact their dependent child. A certified copy of each child’s birth certificate must be submitted with the application. If the birth certificate is in a language other than English, then a translated copy must be submitted as well as a certified copy of the original birth certificate.

In most cases your Fillipino fiancé can include her dependent children in the fiancé visa application before the application is lodged. They may however be able to add their dependent child after the application is lodged but before a determination is made on it.
Are you in the process of applying for your partner’s fiancé visa?

 

When applying for a fiancé visa

Applying for an Australian fiance visa

Australia’s partner migration also provides for the temporary entry into Australia for the fiancés of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.

Some points to remember:

  • In this case the applicant has to evidence that they have an intention to marry their partner at a later date.
  • Proving an intention to marry is just one of the many criteria that must be established before the fiancé visa can be granted.
  • If applying for a fiancé visa, the correct name of the visa is known as a prospective marriage visa (subclass 300).
  • After the holder of the prospective marriage visa has entered Australia they must legally marry.
  • After the marriage has taken place the applicant must then apply for an onshore partner visa.
  • A prospective marriage visa can only be applied for and granted when the applicant is offshore.
  • There is no onshore equivalent for the prospective marriage visa.

Obtaining an Australian fiance visa

If you are in Australia and your become engaged to your partner, you must leave Australia to lodge a prospective marriage visa. If however you marry your partner or are in a de-facto relationship, you may be eligible to apply for an onshore partner visa. This will however depend upon the visa that you currently hold and whether it has any conditions attached to it that prevents you from applying for an onshore partner visa.

  • You will also have to establish whether you satisfy all of the criteria to make a valid application for an onshore partner visa. If you don’t, then your application will be refused.
  • Same sex couples should note that they are not eligible to apply for a prospective marriage visa.
  • A prospective marriage visa is only available to applicants and sponsors of the opposite sex.
  • Same sex couples are eligible to apply for a partner visa based on de-facto relationship. Depending upon the applicant’s circumstances this can be applied for onshore, that is in Australia, or offshore.
  • A de-facto relationship in broad terms is where two people live together in genuine and continuing marriage like relationship to the exclusion of all others.
  • At the time of application, the applicant and sponsor should have been living in a de-facto relationship for at least one year at the date of application.

When submitting a partner visa application to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) you will need to provide supporting documentation that evidences your de-facto relationship with you partner who must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

 

You must be sponsored by your partner

Who can sponsor me?

If you want to apply for any type of Australian partner visa, whether it is based on marriage, de-facto or fiancé grounds, it is an essential requirement that you are sponsored by your partner.

Sponsoring your partner

If you partner is not an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, you will not be eligible for any type of Australian partner visa.

If you want to migrate to Australia permanently you will have to explore what other Australian permanent visa options may be available to you.

Partner visas

Being sponsored is only one part of the criteria necessary for the successful grant of a partner visa. Your sponsor will also have to be assessed as an eligible sponsor. Some people have restrictions on their sponsorship eligibility, so not only must the applicant meet their eligibility criteria, but their sponsor must too.

Secondary applicants, such as children

If the partner visa application includes any secondary applicants, such as immediate members of the primary applicant’s family, children for example, then the sponsors obligations extends to all secondary applicants as well.

Health and character requirements

All partner visa applicants must also satisfy Australia’s health and character requirements. In some circumstances an applicant may be refused a partner visa because they have failed to satisfy the health criteria, or they have a criminal record for example.

Partner visa applications require substantial preparation prior to lodgment. In some circumstances it can take many weeks, even months to properly prepare an application. It is very important that an applicant lodge a complete application as this will reduce the processing time of the application.

Partner visa processing times

Depending upon where the application is lodged processing times can vary, but between 3 to 6 months is not uncommon these days. Of course, depending upon the complexities of the application and whether any additional supporting documentation is required, processing time can take much longer. This is why it is very important to submit a complete application.

A notice of intention to marry

What is a notice of intention to marry?

Do I need one for my Australian fiancé visa?

Commonly referred to as a fiancé visa, the correct name is a prospective marriage visa. Fundamental to a prospective marriage visa is that the applicant and sponsor must have a genuine intention to get married in the future. The sponsor must be either an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Does that mean I have to get married?

When an applicant lodges their prospective marriage visa, they should also lodge what is known as a notice of intention to marry (NOIM). This is the required evidence that the applicant and sponsor have a genuine intention to marry in the future.

If the applicant does not have the notice of intention to marry, then it is acceptable to lodge with the application a letter from an authorised marriage celebrant. The letter should confirm the date and venue for the wedding and whether in fact a NOIM has already been lodged.

It is important to keep in mind that a NOIM must not be lodged less than one month before the proposed date of marriage, or more than 18 months before the date of proposed marriage.

If a NOIM has not been lodged at the time of application, then the marriage must take place within six months of the date of the marriage celebrant’s letter.

Finding a marriage celebrant

Once the visa is granted, then the applicant has 9 months in which he or she must travel to Australia to marry their sponsor. If this does not occur the applicant would have breached a condition of their prospective marriage visa.

Although a notice of intention to marry or at the very least a letter from a marriage celebrant stating the date and venue of the proposed wedding is good evidence of the applicant and sponsors intention to marry in the future, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in some cases may require further supporting evidence to assess the genuineness of the applicant and sponsors intention to marry.

This may even include the applicant and sponsor being interviewed to assess their genuineness.

Australian Fiance Visa Advice

Some important points to remember when applying for you Australian Fiance Visa.

Why is it so important to pay the correct Australia visa application charge?

Nearly all Australian visas require the payment of a visa application charge. It is very important to note that if the wrong visa application charge is paid, or not paid at all, then the visa application will be invalid, that is, it won’t even be considered by the decision-maker. This can cause considerable inconvenience and delay a travelers travel plans to Australia.

Australia’s migration regulations provide for the various visa application charges which are also published on the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website.

Australian Fiance Visa Advice

With over 150 different types of Australian visa, it is vitally important that you pay the correct visa application charge as of the date of visa application, and note too that the visa application charge is not listed on the relevant visa application form as they change annually, and depending upon the country where you lodge your application you will have to pay in the manner the Australian Embassy responsible for that country provides.

Prior to lodging any Australia visa application always check the current visa application charge for the visa you are applying for and the manner in which payment can be made. Failure to do so may result in you submitting an invalid visa application.

Fiance Visa processing times

Another important tip, is that some overseas post of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have different processing times, depending upon the visa being applied for. These should only be used a rough guide as processing times can vary significantly during peak holiday period or where the particular overseas post has a significant amount of applications to deal with.

If you are intending to apply for an Australian tourist visa or a sponsored family visitor visa, then don’t leave it to the last minute. Permanent visas, such as partner visas and fiancé visas can take several months to process after the application has been lodged.