A Subclass 309 OFFSHORE Partner Visa is the one you apply for offshore, ie. for our clients generally in the Philippines. This is the visa of choice if you wish to marry overseas and to apply for a partner visa based on this marriage.
And to answer a common question, yes a marriage in the Philippines is completely legal in Australia. Under Australian Law you are seen as being legally married. You don’t need to re-marry in Australia, and you don’t even need to register the marriage at Births, Deaths and Marriages.
One of the advantages is that you may apply for the offshore visa (Subclass 309) before the actual wedding has taken place. It’s what’s known as a “Time of Decision” Regulation that you be married. It’s not a “Time of Application” Regulation. So you get the application lodged, and when you’ve married we can send in the marriage certificate as proof that you have actually married.
Onshore (Subclass 820) Partner Visas are different. Being married is a “Time of Application” Regulation. You need to be married before you may apply for the visa there in Australia.
This adds to the previously-mentioned pressure load that comes from applying for partner visas inside Australia whilst on tourist visas.
Tourist visas are normally for 3 month stays. Marrying and trying to apply for a partner visa inside Australia means you need to get the wedding AND the visa application done before the tourist visa expires.
For the wedding, that includes the month you need to get a marriage license, and whatever time it takes to organise a marriage celebrant or church, plus all the usual things that go with a wedding like dresses, suits, flower, catering, etc.
And for the visa, that means assessing your personal information, organising a checklist of essential documents and extensive evidence of your relationship, checking and fine-tuning these visa requirements (documents and relationship evidence), preparing the application forms, collating the application and lodgement…..all before the tourist visa runs out.
Get it done in time, and all is fine. Get it done late, ie. don’t get married in time, or still be chasing documents or evidence, and she ends up unlawful (what used to be known as being an “illegal alien”), which is not what you want to happen. It really isn’t!
So before you jump headfirst into the idea of marrying and applying for a partner visa in Australia, please talk to the experts at Down Under Visa. A visa application is a visa application, regardless of where you lodge it. The only difference between an onshore visa application and an offshore visa application is where you lodge it! The visa requirements are exactly the same, and the same high level of scrutiny will be applied to your application in Australia. Getting a Registered Migration Agent like Down Under Visa who specialise in partner visas for Australian and Filipina couples to manage the application for you is the smartest thing you can do.