Are you thinking of applying for a partner visa to Australia? If you are not married, the Department of Home Affairs Australia expects you to meet the one-year De Facto relationship visa requirement for the grant of Partner Visa.
To lodge a partner visa, you have to demonstrate that your relationship existed for at least a year by the time you are submitting the application.
What is a De Facto relationship according to Australian Law?
According to Australian Family Law, a De Facto (meaning: in practice) relationship means:
- The couple has lived together or apart only on a temporary basis
- The partners have a reciprocal commitment to a shared life
- The relationship is authentic and will continue in the future
- The partners are not related
- The couple must have been in the relationship for at least 12 months before applying for the visa
- The partners are not legally married
- The partners are not related to each other
Partners living together
Living together is a part of some relationships. Here’s what you need to know:
- The one-year relationship yardstick doesn’t require the partners to have lived together for the whole period of a year
- The Australian authorities appreciate that you and your partner may have had to live apart for a period, due to work or family commitments.
- Having said that, the couple has to prove that the separation was temporary, and that they had lived together at some point from the beginning of the relationship.
Evidence to prove De Facto Relationship
Providing the Australian authorities with the history of your relationship is one way to do it. You will have to submit a signed relationship statement that will provide the authorities with all details.
Such a statement should cover:
- Details of how, when and where you met your partner
- How your relationship developed over time
- Proof of commitment when it comes to supporting each other: emotionally, financially and physically
- If there was a period of separation due to certain commitments, how you kept close contact even during that time
- Your plans for the future as a pair
- Financial aspects of your relationship
- Nature of your household
- The social context of your relationship
- Your commitment to each other
1. Financial aspects of your relationship
You must provide details of a functional joint bank account. The joint account should have a history of continuous transactions. This proves that you and your partner are sharing expenses.
For example: There can be transactions showing that you paid rent through a joint account.
Other ways to prove joint financial responsibilities are joint liabilities such as bank loans, joint lease, joint utility bills (internet or electricity bills), joint health insurance, joint car purchase and insurance cover, or joint ownership of the house.
2. Nature of your household
Your statement details should consist of hard evidence depicting the nature of the household that you and your partner shared.
This can be in the form of furniture purchase receipts, joint household bills as well as letters to both of you directed to the same address.
3. The social context of your relationship
While hard evidence may be difficult to provide sometimes, it is relatively easy to prove the social context of your relationship. You have to show that you two are accepted as a couple socially.
You can provide your photos as a couple and with friends and family, your travel documents (flight tickets, hotels booked for the both of you), proof of social activities that you attended as a couple (joint invitations), evidence of common friends.
4. Your commitment to each other
This can be proved by telling the authorities about the duration of the relationship, knowledge of each other, declaration of intent to have a long-term relationship (proven by terms of each other’s wills), any form of correspondence (letters, emails) and phone details to prove that the couple maintained contact even during periods of separation.