Applying for a marriage visa in Australia is a complicated application that requires a large amount of documentary evidence. It is an excellent idea to contract the services of a Registered Migration Agent so that your application and associated documents are correctly prepared. This reduces the possibility of your application being held up as a result of mistakes or omissions. The first step is to apply for a Prospective Spouse Visa or a Partner (Permanent) visa depending on whether you are living overseas (in which case you apply for a Prospective Spouse Visa) on in Australia (when you apply for a Partner (Permanent) visa. After 9 months from the granting of a Prospective Spouse visa you need to arrive in Australia and married at which point you can apply for a Marriage Visa. Look at here now if you are looking for a registered migration agent.
If you are the holder of either a Prospective Spouse Visa or a Partner (Temporary) Visa, you will be sent a letter detailing the document requirements for your permanent visa including any necessary health and police checks. Health checks are one of the four criteria for the granting of a Marriage Visa. These may be required even if you previously supplied a health check prior to coming to Australia.
You must also demonstrate that you are living in a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner. In this the criteria is similar to that required to prove a de facto relationship. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection are looking to see that you have made a physical, emotional and financial commitment to one another and that you are sharing the commitments and responsibilities of a joint household. You also need to show that you are socially considered by friends and family to be a committed couple and have shared friends and shared participation in sporting and cultural activities.
The DIBP also assess the eligibility of any children that are included in the original Partner (Permanent) Visa application and that custody criteria are being met. Any children that were not included in your original Visa application must first apply for a Dependent Child Visa and have this granted so that they are added to your Permanent Visa application. This must be done before your Marriage Visa application is decided. The processing of a Marriage Visa takes between 6 to 8 months. Because this type of application can be complex, particularly if children are involved, using a Migration Agent can be a good idea.
If you are preparing your own applications and documents, remember to keep a copy of everything! Some documents will need to be supplied as originals, others can be certified copies (that is copies that have been notarized by a Justice of the Peace as a true and accurate copy). Documents such as Police Clearances, medical reports and statutory declarations must be originals. Marriage certificates, birth certificates, passports and wills must be certified copies.
Any documents that are not written in English must be accompanied by a translation. You can find a certified translator on the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.