Filipinas Getting Married in Australia: Things to Consider When Acquiring Australian Citizenship by Marriage

With Australia being the home of some of the most romantic venues and awe-inspiring backgrounds, it is not at all surprising that a lot of wives-to-be dream of getting married here.


That’s okay though, because you don’t even have to be an Australian citizen to get married in Australia. Yes, even a Filipina who has little Australian roots to speak of can make their fairy tale come true in the land of Oz.


Here’s what you should know when acquiring Australian citizenship by marriage.


Requirements to Get Married in Australia


The rules are straightforward, the requirements simple:

  • You can’t be married to anyone else.

  • You can’t marry your mom or dad, your brother or sister, your child, your grandparent, or your grandchild.

  • You have to be at least 18 years old, unless you’re 16 or 17 and have secured an approval from the courts.

  • You have to understand what marriage means and you have to make sure you’re doing it with your own free will.

  • You have to submit your written notice of your intention to marry within the timeframe required.


As for the paperwork, the most basic thing you really need is the Notice of Intended Marriage (as mentioned above). This form can be completed with the help of your chosen registered celebrant, and submitted at least a month before the wedding.


If you’re a stickler for time and you want to get things done as early as possible, then you can submit the form up to 18 months before the wedding.


But what if you decided to get married in a hurry and have less than a month to go? Although this can be allowed in certain situations, it is very rare that such requests are approved. Nevertheless, you can talk to a registered celebrant, who will then raise your request to a prescribed authority in your area.


Some of the information you submit may also have to be validated. As such, the celebrant may require you to submit additional paperwork, such as any proof of your place of birth, or proof that a previous marriage has legally been annulled.


Image Credit: Dustin English


Partner Visa: An Overview


Of course, being a Filipina who is neither a permanent resident nor a citizen, the next thing that you would have to worry about is your visa. This applies both to those who are already in Australia using another type of visa, as well as to those who are still in the Philippines, waiting for an opening so that they can join their partner in Australia.


One of the primary options is a Partner Visa.


The Partner Visa applies for those who are spouses or de facto partners of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. Yup, this is not just for boyfriends, girlfriends, or fiancées – this is also for those who are already married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident.


The Partner Visa has two types:

  • Temporary Partner visa (subclass 820)

  • Permanent Partner visa (subclass 801)


Of course, you’d have to start out with a temporary visa first. From here, you can enter Australia and file for a permanent visa.


What You Can Do


Once you have a temporary visa, what are you allowed to do?


Here are your options:

  • Stay in Australia until you receive your permanent visa

  • Legally work in Australia

  • Study in Australia without government funding

  • Enrol for Medicare


Once you receive your permanent visa, you can start enjoying these benefits:

  • Indefinitely stay in Australia

  • Study and work in Australia

  • Apply for citizenship

  • Sponsor eligible relatives

  • Receive social security payments

  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years (you will need another visa beyond the 5-year period)


Normally, it would take about 2 years before your application for a permanent partner visa is approved. However, there are also special cases where the 2-year period is shortened:

  • If the relationship ends but there is already a child that is borne out of the relationship.

  • If the Australian citizen or permanent resident dies and it is proven that the relationship could have continued if the death had not occurred. This would often come with the need to prove that you already have strong cultural, business, or personal ties with Australia.

  • If the relationship ends because you or any of your family members become the victim of family violence.

  • If you have been in the temporary partner relationship status for more than three years at the time that you applied for the permanent partner visa.

  • If you have been in the temporary partner relationship for more than two years and have borne a child at the time that you applied for the permanent partner visa.


Applying for a Partner Visa


Remember that you have to be able to prove that your relationship is genuine the moment you apply for a temporary partner visa. Both partners should also be part of the relationship under their own free will.

  • Applicants in a De Facto Relationship


    If you are in a de facto relationship, you should be able to prove that you have been in the relationship for at least 12 months at the time you send your application in. Note however, that this does not include the period when the two of you were still in the dating stage.


    You may also skip the 12-month requirement if you fall under any of the following:

    • You are under compelling and compassionate circumstances, like having dependent children.

    • Your partner has been given a permanent humanitarian visa and that your relationship was already in existence even before this visa was granted, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been informed about the existence of the relationship before granting the visa.

    • Your de facto relationship is registered in Australia.

  • Applicants who are Married


    For applicants who are already married (whether in Australia or in another country), their marriage should be seen as valid under the Australian law. This means that your marriage is not going to be recognized if they fall under the following circumstances:

    • One or both parties are underage under Australian standards

    • The marriage is polygamous

    • The marriage involves people of the same sex


There could be a few instances where a marriage involving one underage party is considered as valid, but this would have to be approved by the authorities.


Same-sex couples may also apply for a temporary partner visa, as long as they apply as a couple under a de facto relationship regardless if they were legally married in another country.

There are also certain health and character requirements before you can be granted a temporary partner visa.

Couples in Sydney

i>Image Credit: C. Rich Imagery


Prospective Marriage Visa: The Difference


Some of you might be wondering why more people opt for a partner visa instead of a prospective marriage visa. Here are the key differences:

  • The Prospective Marriage visa is only valid for nine months, unlike the partner visa, which offers more long-term options.

  • You have to be outside Australia when you send in your application and when your visa is granted. Under the partner visa, you can be in Australia when both happen.

  • The visa is strictly for those whose weddings are yet to happen, while the partner visa is open to those who are already married.


Take note that once you have been granted a prospective marriage visa, you can choose to apply for a partner visa after the wedding.


You would also have to be sponsored by your prospective spouse. Online relationships, no matter how long it could be going on, will not be considered as valid if the two of you have not met in person yet.

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