Marrying a Foreigner in Australia? Here is What You Need to Know

If you've found love across borders and are contemplating saying “I do” to someone from a foreign country in Australia, there are many important things to consider. Aside from working out a budget for the wedding, who to invite and how to blend and celebrate your unique cultural and family traditions and backgrounds, there are also several specific legal requirements and important processes and considerations to keep in mind. In our blog post below, we share what you need to know if you plan on marrying a foreigner in Australia.

How is Marriage Defined in Australia?

The Marriage Act 1961 governs marriage in Australia.

Marriage, in the Australian context, is a legally recognised union between two consenting individuals, regardless of gender. It's a commitment to share a life as spouses, encompassing both the joys and responsibilities that come with such a partnership.

In December 2017, a significant change in Australian law allowed for marriage equality, removing the distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. This change reflects the nation's commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion, allowing any two people in love to join in matrimony. In essence, marriage in Australia is a celebration of love, mutual respect, and the desire to build a life together, with legal rights and responsibilities attached to this sacred bond.

Do I Have To Be an Australian Citizen To Get Married in Australia?

Eligibility for marriage in Australia is not contingent upon being an Australian Citizen or holding permanent residency status. Instead, it hinges on meeting the criteria we will share below and anyone who fulfils the specified requirements can legally marry in Australia, regardless of their nationality or gender identity.

However, if you are looking to marry a foreigner and would like to live together in Australia, you may want to look at visa options that allows your partner to live in Australia after your marriage.

Legal Requirements for Marrying a Foreigner in Australia

Before delving into the process and significant considerations, let's understand the legal prerequisites for marrying a foreigner in Australia. Both parties involved must follow the below:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Not married to another person;
  • Not be marrying a close relative - that is a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister (this includes relatives by adoption);
  • Understand the meaning of marriage;
  • Freely consent to the marriage;
  • Use specified words during the ceremony;
  • Provide written notice of their intention to marry must be provided to an authorised marriage celebrant.

The Process of Marrying a Foreigner in Australia

Now that we've covered the legal requirements, below we’ll share the process for marrying a foreigner in Australia:

Step 1. Comprehend the Legal Requirements:

Begin by familiarising yourself with the legal prerequisites for marriage in Australia. These include ensuring that both parties are of legal age, not already married, and understand the nature of the marriage ceremony.

Step 2. Choose the Appropriate Visa:

The Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) is specifically designed for overseas individuals who plan to marry their prospective spouse in Australia. This visa allows your partner to enter and stay in Australia for up to nine months, during which the wedding should take place.

It's crucial to consult with an immigration lawyer or agent who specialises in this area to ensure all visa requirements are met, as navigating the visa application process can be intricate.

Step 3. Select a Marriage Celebrant and Provide Notice:

To officiate your wedding, choose an authorised marriage celebrant. You must then give at least one month's Notice of your intention to marry using the Notice of Intended Marriage form. Additionally, you'll need to submit essential documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and, if applicable, divorce papers to verify you are who you say you are.

Step 4: Post-Marriage Considerations

If planning on remaining in Australia indefinitely, your partner will need to apply for a Partner Visa - Subclass 820/801. Again, an experienced immigration lawyer can assist you.

Still Have Questions About Marrying a Foreigner in Australia?

At Pullos Lawyers, we specialise in family law matters. While this article provides valuable insights into marrying a foreigner in Australia, our expertise extends to various facets of family law, including spousal maintenance, child support, and international family law. We understand that navigating the legal complexities of relationships and marriages can be challenging. Therefore, if you find yourself requiring legal assistance or advice on any family law issue, our experienced team is here to guide you. We can provide support and direction, ensuring that you are well informed and supported throughout your journey. Additionally, if your situation involves immigration complexities, we can steer you in the right direction, connecting you with expert immigration lawyers who can address your specific needs. With offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, we are committed to offering comprehensive legal services tailored to your unique circumstances, so please get in touch.