How to Prove a De Facto Relationship to Receive an Australian Partner Visa

If you wish to apply for a permanent partner visa, certain requirements need to be met to ensure a successful application.

De facto relationship for partner visa

A partner visa is one option for couples who wish to live in Australia with their partners temporarily or permanently.

This visa isn’t just for married couples, those who are not formally married but are in a relationship with an Australian resident or citizen are also eligible to apply for a partner visa. This kind of relationship is called a de facto relationship. It is defined as a relationship between two people of the same or opposite sex who live together but are not legally married or related.

If you wish to apply for a permanent partner visa, certain requirements need to be met to ensure a successful application. Firstly, you need to prove that you have cohabitated with your partner for at least 12 months. You must then prove that your relationship is genuine.

Proving a de facto relationship can be challenging. Many genuine unmarried couples are unsuccessful in their applications because they do not understand the requirements to prove they are in a de facto relationship.

At Migration Door, our agents are here to ensure you are fully aware of the best ways to evidence your de facto relationship and receive a successful application.

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Can I be exempted from the 12-month requirement?

It may be possible to prove you are in a de facto relationship without living together for 12 months. Reasons for this include:

The relationship is legally registered under an Australian State or Territory government.

Australian Relationship Register gives legal recognition to a de facto relationship. Once your relationship is registered in the Australian birth, deaths and marriages agency, you won’t need to meet 12-month cohabitation requirement. Through relationship registration, it is possible to lodge with a shorter period of cohabitation. NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT allow de facto relationship registration. However, processing times and residence requirements differ in different states. So, couples need to know about the various criteria that apply to different Australian states and territories. Couples using this option must meet the following requirements:

· Both parties must be 18 years old or over

· They must not be in a registered relationship

· They must not be related by family

You are not permitted by law to live with your partner in your home country.

Often, a same-sex relationship is not acceptable in the applicant’s country of residence. If this is the case, the one-year relationship requirement may be waived.

How can a de facto relationship be proved?

To prove you’re in a de facto relationship, you need to meet the four main pillars of evidence. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA), assesses the following four aspects of your relationship and decides whether your relationship with your de facto partner is genuine and continuing.

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· Financial aspects

· Social aspects

· Commitment aspects

· Nature of the household

Financial aspects

To collect required evidence, the department will track your spending and expenses as a couple to make sure you and your partner are sharing financial responsibilities. Some examples of the financial evidence include:

· Joint ownership of significant assets.

· Joint liabilities, for example, a mortgage, joint lease or utility bills.

· Joint financial resources (e.g. a joint bank account).

· Shared household expenses: (e.g. day-to-day household expenses/daily spending).

· A liability is where you and your partner are legally responsible for something.

Social aspects

To prove your de facto relationship, you must be able to provide the department with evidence that other people are aware of your genuine relationship. The evidence can include:

· Joint invitations or evidence you travel and go out together.

· Proof you have mutual friends.

· Proof you have told the government or public bodies about your de facto relationship.

· Evidence of joint activities together.

Commitment aspects

You must prove that you and your partner have a long-term vision for your future together. The evidence could include:

· The duration of your relationship.

· The length of time that you have lived together.

· Your knowledge of each other’s circumstances, e.g. about your background and family – this can be explained in your written statements and an interview with migration if requested.

· Evidence that you have stayed in touch whilst apart.

· Proof you have combined your personal matters.

Nature of the household

You must provide evidence of ‘cohabitation’ with your partner. The most widely used way to prove you are living with your partner is to provide evidence that you share the same dwelling unit. The required documents include:

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· Joint mortgage or lease documents.

· Joint ownership of your property.

· Postal correspondence addressed to one or both of you at a similar location.

Applying for a visa of any kind can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry if you are still unsure about your eligibility for a partner visa, Migration Door Australia are here to help. We will ensure you have correct and sufficient evidence to satisfy the requirements. If you would like assistance, please book a consultation with one of our friendly Registered Migration Agents.


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