Here in Australia we are seeing the rise of the de facto relationship. This is when two people are not married, but are living together as a couple.
If you are in a serious relationship with an Australian Citizen or permanent resident, you are still entitled to apply for a partner visa. However, it can be a lengthy process and take up to 18 months. The Department of Immigration and Border Control receive around 80,000 applications a year and a lack of supporting evidence is one of the main reasons why an application is rejected.
Here at Visa Solutions Australia, we’ve come up with some advice to those people who may not be married or engaged but who want to secure a partner visa.
How do you prove the relationship is serious?
To prove you are in a de facto relationship, you need to be living with that person for at least twelve months before you lodge your partner visa application.This means you should be in a committed relationship and living under the same roof.
You can update your information with photos and travel documents even after your application has been submitted as this shows you are in a committed relationship.
If you have a child with that person, but are not living with them, it can still be classed as a de facto relationship.
How much evidence is required to show I am living with my partner?
Immigration officers will want to see that you are cohabiting with each other and living at the same address. You will have to show documentation such as:
- Property lease
- Property ownership – such as mortgage documents or a deed title
- Correspondence which is addressed to both of you at the same address
Joint bank statements will also need to be shown to demonstrate that you are sharing financial commitments. Immigration officers would also like to see evidence that friends and relatives see you as a couple. If you have been backpacking or travelling with your partner for an extended period, you will still be classed as cohabiting. However, you should establish that there was a commitment prior to travelling and that you were in a joint household.
What if your partner is working FIFO or away from home?
A lot of workers, especially here in WA are involved with FIFO where they work away from base. You can still lodge an application but you must prove that while your partner is away you are in contact on a regular basis.
What happens if I am still not divorced and am officially separated but living with someone?
If you have been married and are now separated and are living with a new partner, you will be accepted for a partner visa if you are in a de facto relationship, but it must be an exclusive partnership and you have to demonstrate your marriage is over.
Remember partner visas are heavily scrutinised because of the high number of false applications. If you feel you need extra help why not give us a ring here at Visa Solutions Australia? Our team of experts will ensure you have the right documentation for a successful visa application so you won’t face disappointment. Contact us today to find out more.