De-Facto Relationship Visa
To be able to apply for an Australian Partner Visa through the De-Facto Relationship Visa Stream you must be in a relationship with an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen or with a permanent Australian resident.
Your partner (including partners from same sex relationship) must sponsor your application, and there are certain requirements that need to be met, including:
- you have to be in a relationship for at least 12 months before you apply for the de-facto visa or have the relationship registered on the Relationship Registry depending in which State you reside;
- you have to provide proof, including documented information, that you live together or if you don’t live together, it is just temporary;
- you have to provide proof that your relationship is continuing.
Some of the factors that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship takes into account in deciding whether partners meet the requirement are:
- Financial aspects of the relationship, including mutual financial obligations such as real estate, joint accounts and sharing everyday’s household expenses;
- Mutual knowledge of their personal circumstances;
- Social aspects of the relationship, statutory declarations from friends;
- The level of commitment &relationship duration, e.g. how long have the partners lived together and whether the partners see their relationship together in long term.
De-Facto Visa Application Process
First you have to apply for a Temporary partner visa, whether you are in or outside Australia. This visa allows you to stay in Australia, to travel, work and study.
The most crucial requirement for obtaining a Temporary partner visa through a de-facto application is to satisfy the 1 year relationship requirement or Register the relationship with the relevant bodies in the State where you reside.
In some circumstances, the 12 months relationship requirement can be exempted if you:
- have children with your partner.
- the sponsor is a holder of a permanent humanitarian visa, and the de-facto applicant has been in satisfactory relationship with the sponsor prior the humanitarian visa was granted, and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has been informed about this relationship.
- The de facto relationship has been registered as prescribed relationship in an Australian State or territory as prescribed by Legislation.
Following the grant of your Temporary Partner visa it takes two years from the date of application lodgement to be granted Permanent Residence provided that you are still in a relationship with your sponsoring partner.
You may be entitled to make a request to waive this 2-years waiting period before obtaining permanent residence in certain circumstances, including:
- You have been in a de-facto relationship for more than three years at the time of application.
- You have a child together, and you have been in a de-facto relationship for more than 2 years.
It is possible to apply for Partner Visa on de-facto grounds if one person is still legally married to a third party in some circumstances (e.g. while one of the parties is awaiting a divorce).
All the general requirements, including health and character checks, minimum age of 18 years &Australian values statement must also be met in order to apply for Partner visa under the de-facto relationship regime.