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Are Proxy Marriages Recognised under Australian Law?

As the world pursues its battle against Covid19, the majority of businesses and events continually adjust with the new normal.



From virtual meetings, classes, and now as practised in a number of countries are online and proxy marriages. In Utah County (USA), county clerks and their designees were given permission to officiate weddings via the video-conference application, Zoom, which started in mid-March of 2020 when everyone was asked to avoid gatherings and just stay at home to avoid the spreading of the contagious virus that has caused a global pandemic. Utah Counties’ fully automated marriage does not even require the couple to be physically present for the ceremony, as long as the Utah officiant can see and hear both of them through video call. Meanwhile, in other states and several countries, proxy marriage is being practised as an alternative. A proxy marriage is when one of the couple members is not physically present at the wedding. Where the ceremony is held, a stand-in takes the place of the other person.


So in case you are wondering, are these types of marriages ( virtual and proxy ) recognised under Australian law when applying for a visa? Yes, but only if the marriage was recognised as valid under the law of the state/country where the couple got married and both parties gave real consent to the marriage

However, virtual or proxy ceremonies that are done in Australia are not legally recognised by law because the couple, the officiant and two witnesses must be physically present at a wedding ceremony for the marriage to be valid. For visa purposes, the Marriage Act of 1961 states that the original or certified copy of a marriage certificate or record of a marriage issued by the governing body of the country where the marriage was held serves as proof of the overseas marriage and its validity.

Other than that, the following conditions set by the Department of Home Affairs must also be met by applicants who were legally tied up by an online or proxy marriage and are applying for an Australian Partner Visa:

  • Applicants must be in a genuine relationship with their spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen;

  • And they must be in Australia when applying for this visa and a decision has been made for the temporary/permanent visa application.

For more information about securing an Australian Partner Visa, you may email us at [email protected] or book an appointment with a registered Christie Migration Agent through this link https://bit.ly/36RRV9r and be one step closer to spending a lifetime with your partner in Australia.


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