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Online Weddings – A viable option for getting an Australian Partner Visa or Tourist Visa?


online weddings and Australian visa applications


Video (below)



Online Weddings – History and Investigations


We first found out about online weddings early in 2021.

No, actually I heard about it last year. Dismissed it outright. Sounded like another dreaded Facebook Rumour which gets people into trouble, and we run a reputable and ethical practice here. No rule-breaking and no taking clients down pathways to disaster.

No, I did a bit of a search and it said “Online weddings are NOT legal in Australia”, and I ceased looking up after that.

Then I found out that it could be done through Utah in the USA. They would marry non-US residents. OK, looked into it a bit more and found the website of the Government in the….not sure how it works in Utah. I’d say “province”, but that’s not the word. It’s done through “Provo” in Utah. Right in the heart of Mormon country. 82% of the population, if you find that interesting.

I emailed Provo several times after reading websites. It was the Provo Utah Government doing it all. No “wedding coordinators” or go-betweens. Organising marriage licenses online as well as weddings online, and they would issue a US marriage certificate from the Government office there.

Note carefully! The marriage certificate says that Mr and Mrs Visa Applicant were married in Provo Utah. It does NOT say “Virtual Wedding”, or “Online Marriage Certificate”. If you walk into the Provo office and marry, or if you do it online? You get the same certificate.

I also checked with an Australian family law specialist lawyer. And with the Attorney General’s Department. 




  1. No, you can’t marry online under Australian law
  2. You CAN marry online in Provo Utah under US law. No need to be US Citizens and no need to be resident there.
  3. Under Section 88D of the Marriage Act, Australia accepts and recognises overseas marriages…..just as Australia recognises Philippines marriage certificates… long as the wedding was LEGAL in that country, wasn’t bigamous, no one underage, no one coerced or not understanding what they’re entering into. 
  4. The Utah weddings do conform to those requirements, thus ID’s are checked, and the couple are briefly interviewed online before the marriage license is issued.
  5. Australia is also a signatory to the 1978 UN Convention on Marriages which says the same as the above. Australia will recognise the sanctity and legality of overseas marriages!
  6. And Australian Immigration refers to the Marriage Act for its definition of “spouse”. This is why the Immigration legislation didn’t require changing when same-sex marriages became law. One day to the next, we could apply for partner visas based on same-sex weddings. It’s no different here.

So the weddings started. How many? Not counting. Maybe 30 – 40 couples by now. All said it was easy, quick and remarkably cheap. About AUD$140.00 in total, including the ceremony. And marriage certificates would be uploaded to us about 10 days afterwards. 


Now, why this video?


Because everyone in their right mind is going to be skeptical! Everyone who takes their lives and their relationship and their future visa prospects seriously is going to worry that this will blow up in their faces. That the Aussie Government would laugh at them and say “WE don’t accept this crap! No visa for you, scoundrel!”

Valid fear! I put myself in the same position. I’d be the most annoying client in the world! I know this, and this is why I don’t have a problem with questions.

The question everyone has been asking…..and no doubt WAITING for… “CAN I GET A VISA WITH THIS?” and “CAN I GET A TRAVEL EXEMPTION WITH THIS?”


We have had:

  • Travel ban exemptions granted to couples who had online weddings
  • Tourist visas granted to couples who had online weddings
  • PARTNER visas granted to couples who had online weddings

So yes. Yes it can. It has, it can, and it will continue to happen!


We have Shane and Donny who made separate videos for you. I explained the RIGHTFUL skepticism experienced by couples who were still of two minds about this. They understood, because they used to be right where you were. 

So please watch…listen…..and enjoy! 


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Jeff Harvie is a Registered Migration Agent from Australia, but resident in Philippines since 2010 with his Filipina wife Mila and large extended family. Experienced with the Philippines culture, cross-cultural relationships and bureaucracy as well as Australian visas and Australian Migration Law, he writes with authority and fortunately with enough informality and humour that the average Aussie gets it! Down Under Visa specialises in visas for Australians in relationships with ladies and gents from Philippines, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Read MORE


Breaking News! Philippines Border Soon Open to Vaccinated Travelers
Australian Visa Grants from Philippines in March and April 2021


  1. Don Taylor

    Hi Jeff, surely you’ve heard in the latest budget that migrants have to wait 4 years before they can get government financial assistance….just another kick in the guts from this Liberal government.


  2. Mark Lister

    I can’t wait to get my wife and daughter to Australia. It’s been so long since I have seen them.

      • Craig fuller

        With covid restrictions in baguio city Philippines .
        And no slots available for passport.
        What other way is there to do her passport to came to Australia

        • Jeff Harvie

          Sorry, not something we get involved with. Suggest she contacts the passport office and asks.

  3. Nila arnado pitogo

    What are thr rrquirements

      • Den

        Hi jeff, my fiance has passport but never travelled and doesn’t want to on her own if we marry online can l then apply for a 9a to go to philippines and travel back with her

        • Jeff Harvie

          Not needed anymore. The Philippines borders have opened to tourists. Come on in!

  4. Waldemar Purski

    How things have changed and how the whole world is now online. Being 55 years old now it would be a science fiction fantasy to imagine when I was 20 that a device in the palm of your hand connects you to everything from around the world.

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Wally. I can remember swearing I would never touch a computer ever! Then I got one in 1996…..a 386DX40 with 1MB of RAM and a 42MB HDD. Didn’t even have Windows on it. Internet followed 6 months later with a dialup modem and $2.00 per hour internet access. First mobile phone in 1997. Didn’t even have texting back then, let alone the ability to get married! I still remember one black and white TV in the house when I was a kid! Yes, amazing world we live in now.

  5. Sameer Dasouqi

    Hi Jeff,

    My partner and I are trying to get an online marriage certificate from Utah, who do we reach out to to get a legitimate marriage certificate. I currently reside in the UAE while my fiance is in Melbourne, Australia.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    • Jeff Harvie

      Please contact the Utah Government in Provo, Utah.


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