Australian Embassy

Partner Checklist - Relationship De Facto




Before lodging an application for a partner visa on the grounds of a de facto relationship (opposite-sex or same-sex partners), please ensure to read the IMPORTANT INFORMATION provided at the end of this page. Reading this information carefully before the lodgement of your application may help you to determine whether this is the correct visa category for you.

Please submit the following documents in evidence of your relationship:

(   )  Partner Migration - Relationship Details

(   ) a signed written statement detailing the history of your relationship, either individually or jointly. Further details are currently available on page 39 of 
      Booklet 1  - Partner Migration 

(   )
 if you or your sponsor have been previously married provide a copy of the official divorce certificate or the death certificate of the deceased spouse (as appropriate)

(   ) full birth certificates (copies) of any children of the relationship 

(   ) evidence that you and your spouse have been in a de facto relationship for 12 months prior to lodging your application

Examples of this evidence include: 

 evidence that you are living together (example: lease agreements, joint local authority registration under the same address, mortgage documents, council rate  notices, utility bills)
  evidence that your relationship has been declared to any relevant government bodies (example: Centrelink or the Australian Taxation Office) 
  terms of your will(s) 
  evidence of joint financial obligations (example: insurance policies, joint bank  account statements) 
  Letters addressed to you and your partner individually or together at your common address covering the period you have lived together, in particular the 12 months prior to application - preferably official letters but also postcards or invitations etc

   A sample of photographs showing you and your sponsor together at various occasions. Please do not send us more than ten. 
  evidence of contact during times of separation. (example: itemised telephone bills, printouts of your E-Mail inbox folder, envelopes which contained your  personal correspondence, etc.)
  any other evidence which you consider demonstrates a genuine and continuing relationship (example: joint club membership, evidence of holidays taken together (such as photos and flight tickets) or shared interests or activities). 
   NO videos, CD’s or Photo Albums please.

The above listed items are suggestions only. You are expected to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate an ongoing and genuine relationship. This evidence should show the period of time the relationship has been in existence.

Note: Further evidence may be requested and relied on in considering your application.

Please do not send phonecards; videos; photo albums; individual personal E-Mail messages to each other as part of your application.

(  )  Form 888 - Statutory Declarations
Please do not provide Statutory Declarations to our office unless
asked to do so by your case officer after lodgement of your application.






IMPORTANT INFORMATION for applicants applying for a partner visa on the grounds of a de facto relationship (opposite-sex or same-sex partners).


Reading this information carefully before the lodgement of your application may help you to determine whether this is the correct visa category for you.  Note that the visa application charge will not be refunded if your application is refused because you do not meet the criteria.

Definition of De Facto Relationships
A de facto relationship is one where the parties have a mutual commitment to a shared life as partners (of opposite-sex or same-sex) to the exclusion of all others. Living together is regarded as a common element in most on-going relationships and is one of the criteria prescribed in the Migration Regulations. Partners who are currently not living together will be required to demonstrate a high level of proof that they are not living separately and apart on a permanent basis.

12-months relationship requirement
If you are applying for a Partner visa on the basis of a de facto relationship to your sponsor, you must be able to show that you have been in this relationship with your partner for at least the entire 12 months before the date you lodged your partner visa application. In assessing a de facto partner relationship the department usually looks at evidence of such things as living together full-time, sharing important financial and social commitments, and setting up a household separately from other people.

Periods of ‘dating’ would not generally be considered to count towards the 12-month relationship requirement. If your relationship has been on a more casual basis – e.g. you travelled together and shared accommodation, but you each had your own money, paid your own expenses and made no long term plans for your future until recently – you may not be able to meet the one-year relationship requirement. You may need to establish your relationship for a longer basis before you make the decision to apply for partner migration.

Couples who have registered their relationship under the laws of an Australian state or territory are exempt from the 12 month requirement, but must still satisfy all other criteria regarding genuineness of the relationship.

Recognition of same-sex marriages
Same-sex marriages are not currently recognised for migration or citizenship purposes, except to the extent that they are non-conclusive evidence of a de facto partner relationship. Same-sex partners who are married under the laws of another country will still need to be assessed against criteria for a de facto partner, including meeting the 12 month pre-existing relationship criterion.

Further information on the assessment of de facto relationships, the 12 months relationship requirement and circumstances in which this period may be waived is available.
See: Fact Sheet 35 - One-Year Relationship Requirement


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