Everyone’s life is characterised by marriage, and brides and grooms frequently desire to be physically present at their wedding ceremonies alongside their loved ones.
However, many couples residing in Australia cannot traditionally get married for different reasons. The main reasons are the Covid19 travel ban that has been in place for the last 24 months until now and the explosive growth of online dating apps and websites.
So, they are going towards online marriage or proxy marriage in Australia.
What is a proxy marriage?
Proxy Marriage, also known as a marriage by proxy, is performed when neither the bride nor the groom is present in person for the ceremony. To simplify, getting married via Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or comparable service is known as marriage by proxy.
In this marriage, a certain individual signs the marriage certificate on the bride’s or groom’s behalf.
Double proxy Marriage
A marriage is celebrated without the participation of both contracting parties, each represented by some specific individual.
Eligibility criteria for Proxy Marriage Australia
Before proceeding, the Australian Federal Government sets some requirements:
- The bride and groom must communicate about proxy weddings in advance so there can be no misunderstandings later.
- Performing the wedding ceremony solemnly should not be forced on anyone.
- Both parties must consent and give their permission.
- Before execution, both parties must sign a written contract including all terms and conditions.
- The marriage of an insane person should be prohibited.
- It should not be overly stressful.
- Legislation must permit and accept the marriage by proxy.
By the Department of Home Affairs’ recommendation, the marriage may be recognised under section 5F(2)(a) of the Act, provided it satisfies all of the formalities and real consent requirements.
Real consent is a term in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth), which derives its definition from that Act’s section 23B, which addresses why marriages may be declared null and void. It states that the following situations would constitute an invalid marriage:
- Either party’s permission constitutes valid consent for the following reasons:
- It was taken unlawfully or under force.
- The party misunderstands the other party’s identity or the nature of the ritual being conducted;
- The party lacks the mental capacity to comprehend the purpose of the marriage ceremony and its outcomes.
Obtaining a licence for a proxy marriage
- For obtaining the licence, you will have to give:
- A scanned copy of your passports or other valid documents.
- IDs from the government, like a driver’s licence
- A passport-sized photograph
- Personal information like:
- Full names
- Complete addresses
- Contact information
How does marriage by proxy take place?
- Duration: The ceremony is About 30 minutes.
- Location: Zoom meeting (a URL is provided via email)
- Time: You can select your time zone’s local time.
- What is necessary?
- The number on the marriage licence when booking two witnesses (via their own devices or sitting in the same room)
- A county clerk will preside over the ceremony via video conference.
Are proxy marriages recognised in Australia?
Even though Australia does not acknowledge marriage by proxy that takes place there, if it is accepted lawfully in the nation where it takes place and is certified there, Australia may consider it under “common law” for immigration-related purposes.
As a result, a couple may be able to arrange a marriage by proxy and then be qualified to apply for a Partner Visa based on that marriage.
If approved, the offshore partner would be considered an “immediate family member” (i.e., the spouse); hence there would be no need for a travel exemption, and the holder of a partner visa 309 would be able to enter Australia.
The Department will examine applications based on proxy weddings considerably more closely than ‘regular’ in-person marriages, so take note of this.
Still, the couple will need to prove to the Department that:
- The marriage was performed by the law of the nation where it was solemnised (i.e., the country where the marriage celebrant granted permission for the union);
- Both parties provided “real consent” to the association as defined by Departmental policy, and the marriage was performed.
The couple must continue to show that:
- They do not permanently live apart from one another and are committed to living together. Additionally, their relationship is genuine and ongoing.
Partner Visa Australia
You might qualify for a permanent partner visa if you are legally married to an eligible Australian partner. Although legally acceptable, do not expect a proxy marriage to guarantee your entry into Australia.
With this type of visa, the spouse of a PR holder or citizen in Australia can live in Australia. To qualify for this visa, you must be married to your partner or de facto companion, an Australian citizen, or a permanent resident.
Partner-sponsored migration is based on one‘s relationship with the person sponsoring your visit to Australia. Applicants who a partner supports are evaluated individually based on the nature of their relationship.
- Be married or living with an Australian citizen, a PR holder, or a New Zealand citizen, or be engaged to one of these people.
- Have a true and lasting relationship.
- Fulfill the character and health requirements.
- Meet any other requirements for the stream you are applying for.
A world where international travel is extremely limited and sometimes unsafe makes it possible for intended spouses to marry by proxy.
Proxy marriage in Australia is a great choice for people away from their loved ones who cannot come together due to travel limitations and several other factors. But until it is legal, it is not legitimate in Australia. The next stage in a marriage by proxy is to apply for a partner visa if it is valid and legal.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at The Migration if you want to apply for a Partner visa via marriage by proxy. Our staff of registered migration agents are skilled at handling extremely difficult situations and will be glad to assist you.