According to Australian immigration laws, couples in a defacto relationship have the same rights as married couples when it comes to applying for a permanent visa for a foreign partner. However, the same strict requirements regarding proof that your relationship is genuine and lasting still stand.
According to the Australian Department Of Immigration website you must have been in a defacto relationship for a minimum of one year before applying for a partner visa. You will also have to prove that you;
- have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
- are in a genuine and continuing relationship
- live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
Along with all of the official paperwork and documents that you'll need to provide there are several other things that you can include which will support your application.
A joint lease or rental agreement.
This will help to prove that you live together. If you don't have an official lease then try to collect correspondence for both of you that has been delivered to your home address. Also keep any rental receipts that show that you have both been responsible for paying the rent.
Joint bank account statements.
This is excellent evidence that you are in committed and genuine relationship and that your finances reflect this. It's not enough to just have a joint account, it needs to be used to pay for bills, household expenses, and living costs.
Supporting statements from friends and family.
Have your friends and family write out short accounts of the details of your relationship, the interaction that they have with you as a couple, and how they see your relationship progressing. To make these statements official they should be in the form of an affidavit or statutory declaration and should be certified by a Justice of the Peace.
Provide social evidence.
This helps to prove that you haven't just been living together in order to obtain a fraudulent partner visa. Things to include are photographs, wedding invitations, joint travel documents like boarding passes, and transcripts of emails or letters that you've sent each other if you have spent any time apart.
Even if you have all of these items and are fairly certain that you fulfil all of the requirements, it's worth using a migration consultancy firm, such as Fisa Pty Ltd, to check over your application before submitting it. They will be able to ensure that you've included all the necessary proof and also that all your documentation and paperwork is valid and filled in correctly. Applying for a defacto visa can be costly and time consuming and you don't want your application to be delayed or denied because you have missed one critical detail.