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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Tan

My partner and I are not married, am I still eligible for a Partner visa?

One of the questions I get about the Partner visa is what makes a de facto relationship (aka non-married) eligible? And so, here we go!

What is a de facto relationship?

De facto relationship are:

  • you are not married to each other

  • you are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others

  • your relationship is genuine and continuing

  • you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis

  • you are not related by family

What are the characteristics of a de facto relationship under Australia immigration law?

Usually a de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa. Time spent dating or in an online relationship might not count as being in a de facto relationship.

The 12-month requirement will not apply if you can show compelling and compassionate circumstances exist to grant the subclass 820 visa.

The 12-month requirement also will not apply if:

  • your partner holds or held a permanent humanitarian visa

  • your de facto relationship existed before we granted their visa

  • your de facto partner told us about the relationship before we granted their visa

It also will not apply if you:

  • are in a de facto relationship with a partner who is an applicant for a permanent humanitarian visa, or

  • you have registered your relationship with an Australian authority such as a registry of births, deaths and marriages

You might still be granted the temporary visa if your relationship has broken down or if your sponsor died.

What kind of documents do I need to show that my de facto relationship is true? Relevant evidence include proof that you have registered your relationship with an Australian births, deaths and marriages agency, joint bank account statements, joint lease, relationship witness statements

Can my partner sponsor me for a Partner visa? Yes and in fact, you need a partner sponsor to lodge a valid partner visa application.

We have not lived together for 12 months, do we still meet de facto partnership?

Yes you do. This means that you'll need to provide a different set of documents to support your de facto relationship claim to the Department.

How much does a Partner visa cost?

From AUD7,850 for most applicants. From AUD1,310 for Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) holders. You pay for the temporary and the permanent visa at the same time.

How long is processing time?

  • 25% of applications: 6 months

  • 50% of applications: 9 months

  • 75% of applications: 21 months

  • 90% of applications: 34 months

I’m in Australia, can I lodge a Partner application? Yes you surely can. And after you do, you will be able to access provisional Medicare and receive unlimited work rights when your briding visa comes into effect.

I’m not in Australia, can I lodge a Partner application? Yes you can as well. When you do so, you will have to wait until the grant of your visa before relocating.

I hope this helps for your planning purposes. Do remember this is accurate at the time of writing and should not be referred to as in-depth consultative advice.

Still unsure? Feel free to book in a consultation for detailed advice and steps!

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