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.
It seems the Government found themselves a way to make up for budget shortfalls, and decided to milk a captive audience by cranking up the Visa Application Charges – Partner Visas (ie. prospective marriage visas aka fiancée visas, partner visas aka spouse visas) only, both onshore and offshore.
At Down Under Visa we do most of our Australian Partner Visa applications here in Manila, and we would lodge far more Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visas (commonly known as the Fiancée Visa) than partner visas. Most people prefer the convenience of knowing they can organise the wedding at their leisure over a 9 month period than trying to rush it through before a tourist visa runs out.
You go to see Down Under Visa to organise a visa application, and they ask you for a police clearance from every country where you lived in for 12 months or more. It shows if they have a criminal record.
Why do you need this, and can you avoid it?
An enquirer asked me this today. The answer is: In some ways yes, in some ways no.
There is about 8 times as much work in a partner visa. There is a lot more evidence required, more documents and more information. Normally it takes 1 – 2 months to prepare a thorough application for a partner visa or prospective marriage visa, and average of 9 months to process in the Australian Embassy in Manila. However if you’re ready to make your relationship permanent, then yes it’s the right way to go. Continue reading