Also known as a fiancé visa, the Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) allows an Australian citizen to bring their partner (including same-sex partners) into Australia for nine months as long as they marry by the end of that period.
Of course, like most Australian immigration options, this temporary visa doesn't come cheap. It's well worth the money for engaged couples who want to begin their lives together and start the process of permanent residency without rushing their wedding, but it's important to make sure you have that money before beginning the process. If you don't, you could find yourself with delays or even a visa breach on your hands. Here are the three main budget considerations you need to keep in mind before applying for a Prospective Marriage visa.
1. Can You Afford the Visa?
The first and most obvious consideration is the visa cost itself. The base cost of the application is more than $7,000 AUD. This is the minimum you will need to pay to get the Prospective Marriage visa, but other requirements can increase the cost. For example, the non-Australian fiancé may need to pay for criminal record checks, health assessments, and other paperwork from their home country. They may also need to pay for the cost of a government-sanctioned translator for these documents. On top of that, if the application includes children who need temporary visas too, this will incur an extra fee.
2. Can You Afford the Wedding?
The next thing to consider is your wedding budget. One of the most important things to note about a Prospective Marriage visa is that you and your spouse must marry within the nine-month validity period. If you don't, the visa terms will be breached and the visa will be cancelled, affecting your ability to get a visa in the future. This means you must have enough money to pay for the wedding by the time the visa runs out. The average cost of an Australian wedding is a whopping $53,000 AUD, and costs are even higher for couples who need to bring family members over from overseas. Of course, if you and your partner have no interest in splurging and simply want to live together in Australia long term, you can always opt for the most basic ceremony with no reception, which will run you no more than a few hundred dollars.
3. Can You Afford Health Insurance?
Finally, note that those living in Australia on a Prospective Marriage visa are not eligible to apply for Medicare. This means you'll need to take out a health insurance plan to ensure you or your partner will never be stuck unable to afford medical treatment. Some nine-month insurance plans start at as little as a few hundred dollars, but these include lower coverage. Ideally, you should budget for a low-excess plan that covers both emergency hospital treatment and GP visits.
For more information on prospective marriage visas, contact an immigration consulting firm.