A Few Spouse Visa Application Questions (Part II)

Continuation from here [link]

Hello Nix,

Thank you so much for replying!!!

On a side note, do you mind just putting my initials instead of name on your blog please?

And.... do you have any input regarding the bit on financial & nature of household section? We have been in a long distance relationship, no shared assets (not that we needed to) hence we want to actually start living together by getting the visa sorted.... That's our major worry at the current moment. We don't know if we should approach the AU High comm. people to ask or if not who? We're not looking to turn to paid migration agent at the moment though.

Any ideas?


Dear A,

In such a case, instead of going for Subclass 309, you can consider Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage visa) instead. A few key notes about this visa,

  • When lodging the Prospective Marriage visa you must be outside of Australia and remain offshore until the visa is granted.
  • To be an eligible sponsor, your partner will need to be aged 18 or over and be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Circumstances that may affect the eligibility of your sponsor include: if they have sponsored someone for a Partner visa in the last five years; or if they have previously sponsored two or more people for Partner visas. Once the visa is granted you and your partner will have nine months to marry – your marriage can take place anywhere in the world after you first enter Australia (initial entry)

You will be able to travel in and out of Australia as much as you like and participate in the workforce or study in Australia in those nine months. 

Generally, the following requirements will have to be met:

  • Authorised to marry – you will need to be over 18 and have no legal impediment to the marriage taking place
  • Met in person – you must have met as adults in person and know them personally (even if it’s an arranged marriage)
  • Health and character requirements – you will need to meet the health and character requirements of the Department
  • Relationship – you will need to show evidence of a mutual commitment to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others. This will include evidence demonstrating your relationship is genuine and continuing. Generally, you and your partner will need to show that you have been living together as spouses and that any separation was only temporary. Other evidence that you could submit includes; beneficiary statements, joint bank account statements, travel and utility bills
  • Intention to marry – you will also need to evidence your intention to marry. This might be in the form of an Notice of Intention to Marry or a letter that outlines your marriage plans prepared, signed and dated by a marriage celebrant

Your boyfriend is residing in Australia and you are in Singapore, so this visa is probably the best fit for you. You can verify it with a migration agent or get your boyfriend to do the due diligence. He should be putting in some effort because these reading up makes me feel like I am marrying you instead. Besides, this is HIS country of birth and I'm only a PR here for a few years. He ought to know how to get around matters much better than I do.

The prospective marriage visa has a couple of advantages over a spouse visa. Firstly, it is potentially quicker to process, since there is a marriage plan and date involved. Please give them ample time to process your case though, say, your wedding about 6 months or so at the time you lodge your application. Secondly, the required documents of your relationship will be considerably lesser. 

Take my case as a comparison, when we got married, we do not have a HDB flat to our names. Many Singaporean couples to live apart until they purchase their HDB flats. Sometimes it can take a few years. Though this practice is very common in Singapore, to the Australia Immigration Dept, it seems like a dodgy marriage to them and screams fraud. Thus, my wife had to move into my parents' flat after marriage and change her mailing address there. With official documents such as bills or insurance coming through, we were able to prove that we were living together. Bills or expenses would be paid from our newly set up joint account to show we share our financial burdens. These were far from convincing but that was the best we could do under those circumstances. We were rated as a "high risk" case (as evident from our waiting time) but eventually got through.

Since a Prospective Marriage visa works on completely different dynamics, the emphasis on your living together will be much lower. The focus is pretty much on your marriage. The more details (I don't mean more lavish) you can provide them about your wedding arrangements, the better. Take for example, the guests list, with their contact numbers provided for verification to show these are for real. Remember, you can never provide too many details on this.

They like cheesy pictures,
send them more
Next will be to prove that your long distance relationship happened. Yes, the Immigration Officers will read through all your lovey, dovey emails, smses. Even sexts will not daunt them a bit. Travel documents, (if you kept them by any chance) will be crucial to prove both of you have met, or had traveled together, when and how. Any documents with both your names (and faces) on it will be useful to prove your relationship, such as accommodation bookings, air tickets, photographs etc. It is the most cheesiest thing I had to do but that's the way it is. To make your case stronger, include statutory declarations by a few mutual friends.

A key point to remember. Do not get the wrong idea that any specific document is mandatory. That's a silly Singaporean mentality that we tend to fall into. The idea is to put up a convincing case. While a wide array of documents is obviously a good thing, you can get your visa even without certain documents they ask for (except the wedding arrangements of course). 

Confused? My advice is to print out a prospective visa application form and a checklist and go through it. Both documents will give you a good idea what you have to prepare and alarms you what you lack. There is no time to waste. It will not be very convincing for example, to open a joint account 3 days before you lodge your application. Do not delay. Put your foot in and start working on it today.

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