To be eligible for Australian partner visa you must be married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
What is a de facto relationship?
The applicants must be at least for one year in a de facto relationship to be eligible for partner visa. A person is in a de facto relationship with another person if they:
• are not married to each other;
• have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others;
• are in a genuine and continuing relationship;
• live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis;
• are not related by family.
Having a more casual relationship, better known as ‘dating’ is generally not regarded as being in a de facto relationship.
If you physically lived together with your partner for the entire 12 months, you will meet the requirement if all other aspects of the relationship are satisfied.
However, you do not have to live in total 12 months with your partner to meet this requirement as long as you can show that while you were separated you kept in contact and satisfied all other aspects of the de facto relationship.
Exemption from the one year relationship requirement
You may be exempt from the requirement to be in a one year de facto relationship, if you can establish that:
• there are some compassionate and compelling circumstances, e.g. a child of the relationship; OR
• your relationship is registered.
How to show when your de facto relationship began?
The one year de facto relationship will only commence from the time you can demonstrate you are in an establised de facto relationship.
You have firstly met online prior to meeting in person
In order to demonstrate that you are in a de facto relationship, you must be able to show that you have met in person (physically) and you lived together, even if you later on lived apart temporarily. Time spent knowing each other via internet, prior to meeting in person will not be counted.
What documents should you provide with your application?
The answer depends on your circumstances, but most common evidence of a de facto relationship is:
1. statement about history of your relationship describing how you first met, how your relationship developed, your domestic arrangements, periods of separation, your future plans;
2. evidence of financial aspect of the relationship, such as evidence of joint ownership of property, lease, bank statement or/and any joint liabilities;
3. evidence of common friends or that you are generally accepted and recognised as a couple socially, evidence of joint travel;
4. correspondence and telephone accounts to show that the couple maintained contact during separation, if applicable;
5. many other documents, evidence, depending on your personal circumstances.
The above evidence are also used for the partner visa application for married couples.
If you have any questions or you require immigration assistance for partner or any other Australian visa, please be free to contact us via our contacts available on this website.
Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent
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