Potential options for Partner visas?

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A question on Potential options for an Australian Partner visa.

I am hoping to get some advice on the potential options for Partner visa.

I have outlined 3 options below based on my current circumstances.

I am 30 years old and an Australian citizen.

I am currently residing in Sydney, Australia and looking to get married with a girl who is currently residing in Bangladesh. We have been in a relationship for over 5 years now. We have met several times over the last few years during my trips to Bangladesh and have adequate evidence to show that we have a genuine and ongoing relationship.

We planned to get married at the end of December 2020 but due to COVID restrictions, I was unable to make the trip to Bangladesh.

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In lieu of above, we are weighing the various options of which visa to apply for under current COVID restricted circumstances and have outlined a few queries below:.

  • Option 1: Prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) – Under this option, I will apply for this visa right now and then get married in Australia when she comes here in 16-20 months. The drawback to this scenario is that we have to apply for a Partner visa separately which may take a further 1-2 years. My question is, how long is the process for a Partner visa if it is part of the prospective marriage visa process? Is it usually a slightly less lengthy process given we will have already gone through the prospective marriage visa process? What is the estimated time frame for this?
  • Option 2: My partner applies for a student visa and comes here to complete higher studies when the borders open for international students. We do not apply for the prospective marriage visa. While she is here, we get married and apply for the onshore Partner visa. The drawback of this is that we’re not sure when borders will open and when she can come to Australia. The potential advantage could be that if borders open soon, thus could be a less lengthy the process than the prospective marriage visa option.
  • Option 3: I wait a few months to see if the COVID situation improves and then make the trip to Bangladesh. I get married in Bangladesh and then apply for the offshore Partner visa (801) and wait for the 2 year process for the application. The drawback of this situation is that it is difficult to say when I can go to Bangladesh under current circumstances as flights from Bangladesh to Australia are rare, expensive and often cancelled.

Thank you and I would really appreciate any advice on the matter.

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