The Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) visa provides a pathway for prospective spouses of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens to enter and stay in Australia for a period of between nine to fifteen months and marry their partner, prior to lodgement of a permanent Partner visa application.
While this change to the travel exemptions settings will assist some Prospective Marriage visa holders, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021-22, many visa holders remain outside Australia and continue to face difficulties in arriving in Australia within their visa validity period. This may be for example, due to limited quarantine places, flight availability and other practical limitations.
The Migration Amendment (Prospective Marriage Visas) Regulations 2021 amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to address the impact of COVID-19 related travel difficulties by extending the duration of Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage) visas to 31 December 2022, for those outside Australia who held that type of visa on 15 September 2021. An extension until 31 December 2022 will provide Prospective Marriage visa holders who are outside Australia, including those eligible for a discretionary travel exemption and those whose visas were extended to 31 March 2022, with additional time to secure a flight to Australia and marry their partner within their visa validity period.