How to Get Married in Australia for LGBT Foreigners
“How to get married in Australia for LGBT foreigners?” you ask.
The answer is simple: by meeting the eligibility criteria, gathering the required documents, and following the legal marriage process.
Australia is a land of diversity and inclusivity, and since the amendment of the Marriage Act 1961 in December 2017, same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
This guide will walk you through each step on how to get married in Australia for LGBT foreigners, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your big day.
Key Takeaway: Australia is an inclusive and welcoming country where LGBT foreigners can get married just like any other couple. The process involves meeting eligibility criteria, preparing necessary documents, and following legal procedures.
Before diving into wedding preparations, ensuring you and your partner meet the basic eligibility criteria for marriage in Australia is crucial.
Both partners must be at least 18 years old, not be married to other people, and not be closely related by blood.
Additionally, both individuals must fully understand the implications of marriage and give their informed consent.
For LGBT foreigners, checking your visa status and any conditions affecting your ability to marry in Australia is essential.
In Australia, foreigners generally need to be on a visa that allows them to stay in the country to get married legally. However, there’s no specific “marriage visa” you must have to tie the knot. Here are some common visa types that people often use:
1. Tourist Visa (Subclass 600): Many people come to Australia to get married on a Tourist Visa, generally valid for three, six, or twelve months. However, this visa only allows you to stay in Australia after marriage if you apply for a different type of visa.
2. Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300): This visa is designed for engaged couples with one partner as an Australian citizen or permanent resident. It allows you to come to Australia and marry your partner within the visa’s nine-month validity period.
3. Partner Visa (Subclasses 820 and 801): If you’re already in Australia and you marry an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for a Partner Visa. This is a two-step process, starting with a temporary visa (Subclass 820) and leading to a permanent one (Subclass 801).
4. Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 or 462): If you’re between 18 and 30 (or 35 for some countries), you might be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa, which allows you to work, study, and holiday in Australia for up to a year. You can also get married on this visa.
5. Student Visa (Subclass 500): If you’re in Australia on a Student Visa, you’re also allowed to get married. However, the primary purpose of your stay should be to study.
6. Other Visas: Other visas like business or skilled visas also allow you to get married in Australia if they don’t have a ‘No Further Stay’ condition attached.
It’s crucial to consult with immigration services or a legal expert to understand the specific conditions of your visa, as some visas may have ‘No Further Stay’ conditions or other restrictions that could affect your ability to marry or apply for a different visa after marriage.
Key Takeaway: Meeting the eligibility criteria is the foundational step. Ensure you and your partner tick all the boxes, including visa-related conditions, before diving into wedding preparations.
Paperwork might not be the most romantic part of getting married, but it’s essential.
You’ll need to gather several documents, including proof of divorce if you’ve been previously married, a completed statutory declaration from your celebrant, and original identification documents like your passport and birth certificate.
You’ll also need to submit a notice of intended marriage at least one month before your planned wedding date.
For LGBT foreigners, additional documentation related to your visa status may be required, so it’s advisable to consult with immigration services or a legal expert.
Key Takeaway: Gather all required documents well in advance to avoid any last-minute hiccups. This includes any additional paperwork related to your visa status, ensuring smooth sailing towards your big day.
The Marriage Process
On the day you say, “I do,” there’s more paperwork to handle. You, your Commonwealth-registered celebrant, and two witnesses must sign three marriage certificates.
These will then be submitted to the births, deaths, and marriages registry to make your union official.
Key Takeaway: The marriage process involves a few legal formalities on the wedding day itself. Make sure you and your celebrant are prepared to handle these.
While no one enters marriage thinking about divorce, it’s essential to know that the divorce process for same-sex couples is the same as for heterosexual couples in Australia.
You’ll need to meet specific criteria like being separated for at least 12 months and one day and having a valid marriage certificate.
Key Takeaway: Understanding the divorce process and criteria can help you navigate future challenges, although we hope you never have to.
Prenuptial agreements, or pre-nups, are not just for the rich and famous.
These legally binding documents outline how assets, debts, and financial resources will be divided if the marriage ends.
They can be essential if both partners own significant assets, like a business or real estate.
Key Takeaway: A prenuptial agreement is a practical step to consider for safeguarding individual assets and setting financial expectations within the marriage..
Consult With a Family Law Expert: How to Get Married in Australia for LGBT Foreigners
Planning a wedding is an exciting journey filled with joyous moments and meaningful milestones.
When it comes to getting married in Australia as an LGBT foreigner, the process is refreshingly straightforward and inclusive.
However, it’s not just about picking out wedding rings and tasting cake samples; there are legal aspects to consider.
The importance of seeking legal advice cannot be overstated. While this guide provides a comprehensive overview, laws can change, and individual circumstances can introduce complexities.
Consulting with a family law expert familiar with Australian marriage laws can offer you tailored advice, ensuring that you’re not just emotionally prepared for your big day but legally prepared.
Director of Melbourne Family Lawyers, Hayder manages the practice and oversees the running of all of the files in the practice. Hayder has an astute eye for case strategy and running particularly complex matters in the family law system.