How to obtain an Australian visa for Thai girlfriend? You are in a relationship with a Thai woman, and you want to take her to Australia for various reasons – whether for a quick vacation, the holidays, or perhaps you plan to marry her.
However, taking your Thai girlfriend is not that easy because Thailand is considered to be a high-risk country as far as Australian immigration is concerned.
Hence, a Thai national is considered a high-risk traveler and not eligible to apply for an ETA visa (or an Electronic Travel Authority that allows you to visit Australia as often as you wish in a 12-month period and stay up to 3 months at a time); they must apply for other types of Australian visas such as a visitor visa.
The Migration Act and Regulations regulates who may be able to enter Australia, and states the qualifications required. This article will discuss all you need to know about an Australian visa for Thai girlfriend.
Options for Australian Visa for Thai Girlfriend: Australian Visitor Visa Applications
This is the most popular route for Thai citizens to come to Australia for tourism, family visits, or even business visits.
Thai nationals are qualified to apply for the following visitor visa subclasses:
- Tourist visa (subclass 600). This type of Australian tourist visa allows the visa applicant or holder to stay in Australia for holidays, breaks, or other recreational purposes for either three months, six months or even a year.
- Sponsored Family Visitor visa (subclass 600). This could be an alternative to an Australian tourist visa, especially if your Thai girlfriend has family members already in Australia. This type of visa allows the holder to visit their family or relatives in Australia for a maximum of 12 months. It also requires a formal sponsorship from the Australian citizen or permanent resident.
It is significant to note that with these visas, your Thai girlfriend can arrive in Australia as a visitor only. Thus, she cannot stay for longer by extending these visas. She must apply for another visa.
Qualifications for Australian Visa for Thai Girlfriend
Generally, your Thai girlfriend must show that she:
- Is genuinely seeking to enter Australia for a limited period of time as requested in the application;
- not using the visitor visa as a means for extended stays to live in Australia through extensions or multiple successive visits;
- will not work in Australia;
- has sufficient funds to support herself on her visit without the need for public funds or employment; and
- has the means to leave Australia at the end of her stay.
In the case of sponsorship, the following should be provided:
- Invitation letter by an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
- Sponsorship letter by an Australian citizen or permanent resident; and
- Evidence of employment, bank savings and accommodation by the sponsor.
Genuine Intention to Stay Temporarily in Australia
One of the requirements for an Australian visa for Thai girlfriend is that she must intend to stay only for a limited period of time, or temporarily. It is not enough that you merely claim that your Thai girlfriend only wants to visit Australia for a holiday or that you guarantee that she will return to Thailand after her visit.
A person cannot simply guarantee that the visa holder will comply with the conditions of their visitor visa. Furthermore, having a huge amount in the Thai girlfriend’s bank account does not guarantee the grant of a visa.
The Australian government would like to make sure that your Thai girlfriend will indeed return to Thailand. Hence, she should be able to prove her strong ties and long-term relationship with Thailand.
Important factors to consider in proving her ties to Thailand are as follows:
- Evidence of stable employment
- Savings in Thai bank account
- Personal Assets and Properties
- Dependents in Thailand
However, tourist visa applicants relying on sponsorship from their Australian partners, friends, and relatives will just need to provide all their details and necessary documents to their sponsors as their sponsors will be the one lodging a formal sponsorship.
When a visitor visa application is assessed, many factors are included, such as the country of passport, age, employment, evidence of a savings history, family ties in the applicants’ country, any history of previous visa compliance, and social and economic factors in the applicant’s country.
These factors are not exclusive; in fact, Clause 600.211(c) of the Migration Regulations requires the Australian embassy to consider “any other relevant matters” in assessing whether an applicant meets the genuine temporary entrant criterion.
Options for Australian Visa for Thai Girlfriend: Australian Fiancée Visa or Prospective Marriage Visa
Perhaps you want to obtain an Australian visa for Thai girlfriend because both of you are planning to get married. For Thai nationals who plan to visit Australia in order to legally marry an Australian national, the visa needed is a Prospective Marriage Visa, popularly known as the “Australian Fiancee Visa”.
This Visa allows your Thai girlfriend to reside with you in Australia. Such visa holders are allowed to stay in Australia for a period of 9 months and can have their visas amended after getting married.
To serve as a sponsor for your Thai fiancée to Australia, you need to:
- Have Australian citizenship, a permanent Australian residency status, or be an eligible New Zealand citizen;
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Be legally allowed to marry; and
- Have met your fiancée in person and have personally known each other.
For your Thai fiancée, she would need to:
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Be legally allowed to marry;
- Pass a character clearance or have no criminal record;
- Pass a health clearance; and
- Have met her sponsor in person and have personally known each other.
It is crucial to note that the law requires you both to have met personally. Hence, if you are in an online relationship with your Thai girlfriend, the requirement for the visa is not met.
Requirements for the Australian Fiancée Visa
To apply for such visa, the specific requirements for the application are as follows:
- Genuine intention to marry. You must have evidence of having a genuine relationship to show your sincere intention to get married. It is also required to show proof of a genuine and ongoing relationship as well. Hence, it is best to keep every piece of evidence proving your relationship, such as photos, email exchanges, money transfer receipts, flight tickets, among others.
- Sufficient funds and accommodation. As the sponsor of your Thai fiancée, you should be able to show proof of your financial capacity and accommodation to support her once she arrives in Australia.
Benefits of the Australian Fiancée Visa
Once approved, your Thai fiancée will be entitled to the following privileges:
- The ability to enter Australia prior to the marriage;
- Travel in and out of Australia multiple times within the allowed 9-month period of stay;
- Work legally in Australia;
- Apply for a partner visa or Spouse Visa after registering the marriage; and
- Study in Australia (without entitlement to government funding).
Seeking Legal Advice
This article gives general advice, guidelines and qualifications on Australian visa for Thai girlfriend. For your specific situation, it is best to seek legal advice.
JB Solicitors has a team of experienced lawyers that can give you the best legal services. We can give a full review of your application and ensure that you obtain an approved Australian visa for Thai girlfriend. We can also answer any queries you may have regarding the visa application process.
Contact us today.