If you are in Australia and your partner is an Australian Citizen or Permanent resident you may be able to apply for an onshore partner visa known as the Partner Visa Subclasses 820 & 801. However recently the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has scrutinised partner visa applications following many ‘fake’ or ‘non-genuine’ partner visa applications.

When lodging an onshore partner visa (subclasses 820 & 801) there are two streams that the application can be assessed under which are:

– De Facto Applicants (Not married)
– Married/Spouse Applicants

If you are applying for a partner visa as a de facto applicant you will need to provide evidence to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection showing that the relationship has existed and has been genuine & continuing for at least 12 months prior to your application lodgement.

De Facto Applicants and the 12 month requirement

If you are unable to show evidence of at least the 12 months prior to the application that you have been in a genuine relationship there is an option available to register your relationship in your state and territory. However, each state and territory have different requirements on what is needed to register your relationship. For example, in Victoria you must show that both parties have been ordinarily resident in Victoria for at least 12 months.

A common misconception is that if you are married to your spouse you are automatically eligible for the partner visa, although this does make your application stronger it is by no means the only aspect to the application process. Married and De Facto applicants both need to show that their relationship is ‘genuine and continuing’.

When a case officer is assessing your application they are required to consider and make assessment son the genuineness of the relationship based on the following factors:

Financial aspects of the relationship

The financial aspects of the relationship involves providing evidence in your application that you and your partner share the financial responsibilities of the relationship with each other. Examples of this include but are not limited to joint ownership of assets, joint liabilities, assisting in paying for each others expenses, joint bank accounts, and the sharing of utilities and other financial requirements.

Social context of the relationship

This aspect that needs to be assessed is how your relationship is depicted to your family and friends, and showing evidence that you are both accepted as a couple in a social setting. Evidence includes but is not limited to group photos with people, joint invitations, friends in common, travel with family and friends and joint participation in social events.

Nature of the Household

The nature of the household is providing evidence that you and your spouse or partner share the responsibilities in the day to day operations of your household. Sometimes this aspect is harder to provide evidence for as not all circumstances are similar however you can use the information you do have to paint a clear picture for the case officer. Evidence for this aspect includes but is not limited to your past and current living arrangements, how the housework in the house is distributed, and correspondence addressed to you and your partner at a shared address.

Nature of Commitment to each other

The nature of commitment aspect requires applicants to provide evidence that a mutual commitment to each other exists. An important point to note for this aspect of the application is any time you have spend apart from your partner which is known as ‘periods of separation’. Evidence for this aspect of the relationship includes but is not limited to chat logs for correspondence with each other during periods of separation. Phone call statements/logs to show you have maintained contact and communication through these periods of separation can also help provide more weight to your partner visa application.

History of your relationship

Further to the above evidence you have provided it is important that both the applicant and the sponsor write a statement in regards to the history of your relationship. These statements can be joint or can be written individually however you should ensure that they are both similar in nature and there is no conflicting information. If you are in a long distance relationship, or regularly apart from each other it is crucial to outline how you maintain contact throughout these periods of separation. Overall the relationship statement(s) should contain how you met each other, when and how you met, how the relationship developed, any holidays or trips away together, if you have met your partners family and friends, how you spend your spare time together, details of your social lives together, how you support each other on a emotional, physical and financial level and what plans you share for the future.

If you are considering making an application for a partner visa and have any questions or concerns you would like to clear up please contact us on 1300 083 843 or send us an email at info@ethosmigration.com.au

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