I came to Sydney to visit my girlfriend and then we decided to get married. Of course, I wanna to stay here with her. Can anyone give me some advices for processing paperworks and the fastest way to do it? I want to get a working permit as soon as possible. Thank you very much.
I forgot to mention. I'm American and her is Australian permanently resident.
You can get married in Australia without a fiance visa (prospective spouse visa) - this is legal. However, DIMA (Australian immigration) to prefer things to happen the "proper" way.
That is, in your situation they would prefer you to either return to the USA and apply for a Prospective Spouse Visa, then get married in Australia - or get married in Australia, return to the USA and apply for a Spouse Visa.
People do get married without a Prospective Spouse Visa, and then apply for a Spouse Visa while still in Australia, however I think DIMA checks these applications more thoroughly. I married an Australian (in the UK though), and hold a spouse visa.
Visa applications for Australia aren't the fastest in the world, but nor are they the slowest! You will need to get a medical, including x-ray and blood test, you will also need to get character clearances (aka police checks) from all countries that you have spent 12 or more months in - so definitely the USA I guess. This 12 months can be from a number of visits, not necessarily just one long visit.
More info on visas for Australia is available on the DIMA website. I think it also costs slightly less to apply for a Spouse Visa from outside Australia, but the fees are on the DIMA website somewhere - I think it's something like AU$1,305 for an off-shore application.
Oh, and you need to provide a fair bit of evidence with your application - what kind of evidence is on the DIMA website!
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 7, 2006 2:29 PM by mojorob ]
Thank you for your reply. As I'm already here; therefore, I guess it will be easier to stay here and process paperworks. I just made an appoinment for medical examination. For character check, I need to send my fingerprints to FBI; however, I can't find anywhere in Sydney to have my fingerprints. I don't want to do it at home as the prints might not come out alright. For FBI, they want a perfect set of fingerprint. Any other advices? Thanks.