Prospective Marriage Visa vs. Partner (Provisional) Visa

Prospective Marriage Visa vs. Partner (Provisional) Visa


The Prospective Marriage visa and Temporary Partner visa are aimed at couples that are located outside of Australia at the time the visa application is lodged. The catch; the couple must be offshore when the visa is granted. This proviso does not come without repercussions.

Before exploring these repercussions, let’s consider a brief overview of the respective visas.



Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)

Intended for the fiancé of:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • a permanent Australian resident; or
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen

this temporary visa will allow you to enter Australia on the basis of your relationship with your partner. The purpose: to travel to Australia to marry your partner.

Temporary Partner (Provisional) Visa (subclass 309)

The visa may be granted if you are married to, or in a de facto relationship with:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • a permanent Australian resident; or
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen.

In most cases, the temporary visa will be granted. This is the first of a two-step process toward a permanent visa.


What if you haven’t put a ring on it?

So, let’s consider the options available if he (or she) hasn’t put a ring on it. If this is the case you cannot apply for a Prospective Marriage visa. The alternative; apply for a Temporary Partner (Provisional) visa. Enter repercussion number 1: you must be able to prove that your relationship is genuine and continuing at the exclusion of all others.


This may cause problems for those in de facto relationship for who aren’t ready to tie the knot. Why? Because if your case officer is unsatisfied or the evidence or quality thereof; your application is subject to refusal. Monash University migration expert Dr. Bob Birrell talks of the immense pressure felt by the migration officials because it is “very difficult to evaluate whether the relationship is genuine and continuing.” The result: you are still offshore. The remedy: propose to your significant other.


Hold on! What about my other spouse?

Visa conditions expressly prohibit marriage before entering Australia. That is, polygamous relationships aren’t legally recognized in Australia; the monogamous nature of relationships is sufficiently protected by Australian law. Enter repercussion number 2: you must have a mutual commitment that excludes all others. Unfortunately, when applying for a Prospective Marriage visa or a Partner (Provisional) visa your other spouse may be the reason your application is refused.


Contributions to this blog entry were made by Toby Hall