On the 1 July 2016 changes were made to the Relationships Act 2008 (VIC) which may make it easier for defacto couples attempting to prove they are in a defacto relationship for the purposes of partner visas and for people looking to be included in their partner’s visa application.

What changes were made?

The changes that came into effect on the 1 July 2016 are:

  • Previously, both parties of the relationship were required to be living in Victoria, now, only one person needs to be living in Victoria to register a relationship in the state of Victoria.
  • Previously, applicants were required to show at least 12 months of residence in Victoria to register a relationship, now only three months of evidence is required.

How can this help a Partner Visa application, or being included in a partners visa application?

Couples who have been waiting for 12 months in order to register their relationship are now only required to wait 3 months, and can still register their relationship even if their partner is overseas or interstate.

If your partner is applying for a different visa, and you wish to be added as a additional applicant to that visa application, you can now register your relationship with greater ease to demonstrate to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection that you are in a genuine defacto relationship.

How can this help to meet the 12 month living together requirement?

By registering your relationship you do not need to show to the Department that you have lived together for 12 months to evidence your defacto relationship. A registered relationship waives the requirement of having to show 12 months evidence of living together.

Please note: Providing a relationship registration certificate is not satisfactory evidence alone to meet the requirements of a partner visa. Applicants will still need to demonstrate that they are in a genuine and continuing relationship, taking into regard elements such as the financial aspects of the relationship, social aspects of the relationship and commitment to each other.