If you are getting married to an Australian citizen with a view to applying for permanent residency or Australian citizenship, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The main issue is that only the Department of Immigration and Border Protection can give you expert and informed advice about applying for PR or citizenship. Any agent or marriage celebrant who promises or guarantees that you will automatically be granted permanent residency or citizenship must be viewed as giving you unreliable information.
Only DIBP can give you reliable information concerning any such application.
As a general piece of advice, the following can be regarded as true.
You may be eligible for a partner category visa (issued by the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection) if you are:
- the spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, or
- the fiancé/fiancée of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, or
- the de facto partner (including same-sex relationships) with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
The reason for this advice being reliable is that it is information stated by DIBP.
Authorised celebrants and visa applications
As an authorised marriage celebrant, I am frequently asked by couples about visas, permanent residency and citizenship. As much as I can, I assist couples by giving them the background information provided by DIPB, pointing them to the appropriate website, and advising them to call the Department for any specific assistance and advice.
Marriage celebrants must follow a Code of Practice which includes not providing advice which is not within their purview; that includes not providing advice concerning visa applications or the likelihood of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship within Australia.
Pointing couples who enquire about these issues to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website is the best advice any celebrant can offer on this issue.
What partner visas are available?
As per the DIBP website, there are different visa options available, and the correct visa will depend upon whether you are applying in or outside Australia.
If you are:
- Applying for a visa in Australia, and
- A spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
then DIBP suggests you see Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820) and Permanent Visa (subclass 801).