De Facto Visas: A Guide For Unmarried Couples [Update 2021]

De Facto Visa Immigration Guide For Australian Couples Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer

Get Defacto Visa Help Here.

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De Facto Visa Tips

I’m an Australian immigration lawyer who advises daily on visa applications for de facto partners.

In this post I’ll share with you the top reasons why your defacto visa for Australia (aka subclass 820 or 309) application will get refused. Arghhhh!

A defacto visa lodged in Australia is a subclass 820 and one lodged when the applicant outside of Australia is a subclass 309. Both subclasses well lead to permanent residence in Australia.

Anyway, let me tell you more about how you can avoid a refusal decision. You can get one-on-one advice from me once if are ready to lodge or have a unique visa problem.

What Is A “De Facto Visa”?

A “de facto visa” or “spouse visa” might also be called a “partner visa”.

Similarly, a “marriage visa” is a “spouse visa” and might also be called a “partner visa”.

Australia offers spouses of Australians the opportunity to get a permanent partner visa. Both spouses can be in a “married relationship” on the one hand or a “de facto relationship” on the other hand.


Relationship Certificates

A defacto visa application can be made on the basis of a registered relationship.
In most states, you’ll get certificate issued to you in a month.

You could also get a defacto visa on the basis of having been a 12 month de facto relationship (and without a certificate).

If you are applying on the basis of the relationship certificate, you don’t need to meet the 12 month rule. Really useful!!

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The Good States

If you are in a defacto relationship and wish to avoid the 12-month requirement, a relationship certificate with usually get you a great solution.

Unfortunately for migration purposes not every state and territory has a relationships register which is recognised.

Here is a list of the states and territories which other good states.

Defacto visa register states and territories

Accordingly the best place for de facto couples to live in my view are Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian capital territory. It’s a bit frustrating if you are resident in Western Australia, South Australia or the Northern Territory. Damn!


Can’t Wait For 12 Months?

De facto – period of the relationship must be at least 12 months prior to the date of visa application…


Reg 2.03A(5) have these exceptions:

1) compelling and compassionate circumstances

2) humanitarian visa holder

3) relationship is registered.

Unlike regulation 2.03((A)(3) which explicitly requires the 12 month relationship to be met at the time of visa application, regulation 2.03A(5) is silent on when the relationship must be registered.

As such, an applicant who registers their de facto relationship after the application is made but before it is decided is taken to have met reg 2.03A(5). Woohoo! ♥️


How To Register De Facto Partnerships In Different States?

how to get married in Australia for different states MyVisa® By Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer

New South Wales

You can apply online or download an Application to register a relationship form (PDF, 909.82 KB).

  • Print and complete the form
  • Post your completed certificate application (see form for address) and proof of identity to the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages

Post to:

GPO Box 30


Registration fee: ​$223

Processing time: (includes 28 day cooling off period) up to 8 weeks.

For more information please visit the official website by clicking here.


Complete, download and print the register a civil partnership application form.

Visit a Justice of the Peace or another authorised person with your partner (if you are posting your application). Take your proof of ID and supporting documents to have them certified and to complete the statutory declaration section of the application form.

Attach your certified proof of ID, eligibility documents and evidence of home address.

Submit your application form and supporting documents by post.

            Post to:

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

PO Box 15188


  • Register a civil partnership Free
  • Commemorative civil partnership certificate package (1 standard civil partnership certificate and standard postage included)-  $65.60
  • Standard civil partnership certificate (standard postage included)- $50.40

For more information please visit the official website by clicking here.

Australian Capital Territory

Persons wanting to register a civil partnership may apply by completing an Application to register a civil partnership (DOC 182KB) or (PDF 185KB) and paying the prescribed fee for a certificate.

Standard certificate only – $65.00


Post: Access Canberra Births, Deaths and Marriages GPO Box 158 Canberra, ACT 2601

In Person: Please visit 

Or call 132281 to find an Access Canberra Shopfront.

Each person must provide identification and at least one partner must provide evidence of residency within the ACT. Original forms of identification must be presented if applying at shopfront. 

Applications made by mail must be accompanied by copies of identification certified as true and correct copies by a person authorised under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (C’wlth) such as a Justice of the Peace, solicitor or Police Officer.

If you applied by mail your certificate will be sent to you by registered person-to-person post at which time you will need to present identification at the post office.

For more information please visit the official website by clicking here.

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Both parties need to take part in registering the relationship:

Step 1: Partner 1 completes their part of the application

Step 2: Department will email Partner 2

Step 3: Partner 2 completes their part.

Both parties must prove their identity- prove your identity with your driver licence (if it confirms your residential address) and your passport. Do not send original copies by mail. when sending copies of the documents they must be certified copies, otherwise they would not be accepted

Partner 1 must show proof of living in Victoria when filling in the application.

If either of you has previously been married or in a registered relationship, you must provide evidence of its termination.For example

  • Divorce certificate
  • Certificate of revocation of a registered relationship
  • Death certificate of your former partner.

Refer to Uploading hard copy documents online for how to attach evidence to your application.

Registration fee: $228.10 Certificate fee: $33.80

For more information please visit the official website by clicking here.



To register your relationship, both parties need to:

It takes at least 28 days from the date we receive a complete and valid application to register the relationship.

Standard Certificate- $55.62

Priority Service Standard Certificate- approved and completed application will be processed and issued within 24 hours- $55.62 +  $35.64

Once registered, you can apply for a relationship certificate. You can also choose to order a decorative certificate.

For more information please visit the official website by clicking here.


South Australia

If you are a resident of SA you can register your de facto relationship, however it is not recognised for migration purposes.


Western Australia

If you are a resident of WA you can register your de facto relationship, however it is not recognised for migration purposes.


Northern Territory

Civil relationship registration not available. If you would like to get married, you can apply online for marriage certificate. Alternatively, you can contact Births, Deaths and Marriages by emailing

Evidence Required

Most people think that not having enough of a pile of documents showing joint names and “couple” photos with friends and family for a 12 month period is why they’ll get refused, right?

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It’s not the quantity of material Dummy! Rather, it’s the compelling and corroborative value of all of the material you provide.

The de facto couples I’ve helped in the last 20 years have NOT rushed out on the very first day of their new relationship to set up a new bank account.

They have NOT rushed to execute a will (deed) naming each other as a beneficiary.

Realistically, you’d only rush to do these sort of things if your driving purpose was getting a visa. Chances are that in such a case, your de facto visa application isn’t that legitimate, hey?

Is your de facto visa application primarily facilitating an immigration outcome? If your documents suggest this, then you are on the wrong track!

Get on a different track fast!


Is Divorce Necessary?


You can most certainly be in a de facto relationship but still be married to somebody. In order to get married again, you must first get divorced.

If you are married and separated, you could be in a defacto relationship with a new partner and this could mean you may qualify for lodging a partner visa, without your divorce being finalised.

One issue is that you aren’t able to get a defacto relationship certificate until you are married. But see my comments above.


How Many Times Can I Do It?

As a general rule you can only sponsor a partner for a permanent partner visa on two occasions in your lifetime and these must be five years apart.

There are however opportunities to sponsor more than two partners and to do so within a five (5) year period.

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De Facto Visa Refusal

If your relationship is genuine, you are far more likely to get refused because of a visa law technicality rather than for a substantive reason…Like not holding the right visa at the time of application or being in the wrong location when you apply etc.

Most partner visa applicants don’t get their de facto partner visa refused for not having enough supporting material.

It’s very possible to get a de facto partner visa grant if your relationship is genuine and you explain why you are light-on with supporting material. Most of my clients have scant documentation, yet all of them are in genuine de facto relationships.

I’ve had de facto partner visa applications with only scant supporting material, approved, time and time again.

The real issue in de facto partner visa cases, is credibility.

Has your case officer been provided with credible information that your relationship did in fact exist, to the required level, at the time prescribed by the Regulations, and that your relationship continues to exist at the time of their decision?

These are the two most important questions.

I’ve found that immigration case officers want nothing more than to approve an application, whether de facto partner visa application or anything else for that matter. Why?


It’s Easier To Get An Approval

Firstly, it’s a lot easier to approve a de facto visa application, then to refuse one. Writing out “reasons for decision” in a decision record if a de facto visa is refused can be very time consuming, especially when compared to how simple it is to grant a de facto visa. Department officers also recognise that an appeal to the AAT (Tribunal) might be lodged by any refused partner visa applicant and their sponsor.

Immigration officers will try to approve legitimate cases quickly.

If you provide plausible evidence supporting your legitimate case, this will save you (and your partner) the anguish of appealing against any adverse decision not to grant your visa.

I’ve also found that Immigration case officers are reasonable in their expectations of applicants when it comes to providing documentation. And if you make the right approach from the start, they will work with you to get your de facto partner visa application approved with the least amount of stress.

I can help you decide what is relevant and what is not relevant to provide with your partner visa application, and how to deal with obvious shortcomings in your support material.

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Explain The Lack Of Supporting Material

Case officers expect you to furnish the details of the following four aspects of your relationship:

  • Financial
  • Nature of the household
  • Social
  • Mutual commitment

Both the visa applicant and sponsor should each make clear, separate personal statements about their relationship?

Do you need help with your statements?

This is your opportunity to set out the main story of the relationship – how you met, all the important dates along the way and the development of the relationship.


Statutory Declarations

The right format for doing this is via a Commonwealth statutory declaration (there is a prescribed statutory declaration form 888 for this). The statutory declaration form rather than the form 888 is useful when you need to cover one specific issue and make things crystal clear for a decision maker about that specific issue.

If material is obviously missing, explain why and be truthful and frank with case officers. If you are nervous about this for any reason, make an appointment with me to help you draft the appropriate statement.


They Are Smarter Than You 🙂

Immigration officers tend to be smart, experienced and methodical. They’ll smell a rat a mile away, and you can count on them checking things thoroughly if things don’t quite stack up for them.

Don’t try to fudge things or skim over gaps! You’ll waste a lot of time and money.

De facto visa application fees now cost around $8000 in filing fees alone.

Immigration lawyer fees are similar. You will suffer stress, delay and immigration consequences if your visa is refused. So address any gaps in your application head on.


Missing Documents

There are legitimate reasons why certain material could be scant or missing altogether. My advice is to explain carefully why stuff is missing.

If there’s any adverse information, be the first to raise it.

The credibility you will have as a result of bringing something to an Immigration case officer’s attention (rather than the other way around) may well be the credibility that ultimately saves your bacon, if you have a border-line application.

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Get A Visa Approval

If the visa forms, personal documents and supporting explanation you and your immigration lawyer provide is credible, your application for a de facto partner visa will most likely be granted, even though there might be relatively little by way of evidence, compared to what might be provided by others.

De Facto Visa - Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer

De Facto Visa – Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer



Is visa grant a sure thing? Absolutely not! But your chances of approval are greatly improved by following the approach above.

The credibility theme is one aspect of a partner visa preparation and submission system that I’ve successfully used for over 20 years.

I’ve lodged well over a thousand successful de facto partner visa applications with the Australian Department of Immigration. Do you need help lodging yours?


Onshore Subclass 820 Application

A person might be eligible to apply for an on-shore (subclass 820) or off-shore (subclass 309) partner visa if they are in a de facto relationship. The onshore partner visa applied for under Subclasses 820 and 801 allows the applicant to live in Australia on the basis of a genuine spousal relationship.
The provisional partner visa (subclass 820) provides for a bridging visa which allows the visa holder to stay in Australia until a decision is made regarding the permanent partner visa (subclass 801).

The bridging visa in granted in association with an onshore partner visa lodgement, typically includes unlimited work rights and the ability to study in Australia.


Processing Times

There is a waiting period of approximately 2 years from the date of application of this visa before a decision is made to grant the provisional visa.

The permanent partner visa (subclass 801) application is made at the same time as the subclass 820 visa but the subclass 801 is only assessed 2 years after the date of application lodgement.

So you’ll need to show a case officer that since the time of lodgement up to the time of getting a positive decision in relation to your permanent residence subclass 801 visa you were in a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.

So you’ll need to show case officers that since the time of lodgement you are still together.


Eligibility Requirements

  1. You and your partner must have been in a defacto relationship for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before making the application or have registered your de facto relationship before making the application.
  2. If no certificate, you must have been living together for at least 12 months immediately before the application, or, if living apart, only temporarily apart.
  3. You must be sponsored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Usually this person will be over the age of 18.
  4. You and your partner must be able to demonstrate a commitment to a shared life as partners in a genuine relationship.



Get advice from me about the 12 month rule and whether or not you meet the requirement. There different rules for different states in Australia and territories in Australia.

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Work Rights

The bridging visa granted in association with an on-shore partner visa lodgement, typically includes unlimited work rights and the ability to study in Australia.


Bridging Visas

Contact us to discuss bridging visa options and changes to bridging visa conditions or read this guide I’ve written on being bridging visas.

If you already holds a bridging visa and you wish to apply for the de facto partner visa then read my guide to schedule 3 and how schedule 3 affects bridging visa holders in Australia seeking to lodge de facto partner visas in Australia.


Criminal Record

If you have criminal record, this may exclude you from visa grant or visa sponsorship. Talk to me about the particular circumstances in your case.


Offshore De Facto Visas

Offshore defacto partner visa applications can be made under subclass 309 partner visa and subclass 100 partner visa using nearly the same eligibility criteria as under the onshore partner visa.

The provisional partner visa (subclass 309) allows the visa holder entry into Australia and subsequently allows him/her to stay until a decision is made on their permanent partner visa (subclass 100).


New Zealanders And Subclass 461

If you a Kiwi living in Australia on a subclass 444 visa then you may be able to sponsor your defacto partner for a visa to live and work in Australia.

A useful option if your partner is not a Kiwi and you are or the other way around.


Your Experience?

Please share your comments with me.

I’d love to know more about your experience with applying for this visa subclass!

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Nilesh Nandan is Australia's most sought after immigration lawyer for visa refusals and visa cancellations. Appeal your visa or get help to relodge your Australian visa application or citizenship application.
  • Is it possible to get the Defacto partner visa(820) with a disclosable court outcomes (without conviction)Regards, thank you

      • Hi,
        I have a question, I’m holding a student visa and I’ve been in the relationships with my partner who are Australian citizen for over 1 year but we didn’t live together in the same house and didn’t have any documents together and now we want to apply for de facto visa. The problem is my student visa is going to expire on April next year. Can we apply now and how long for the de factor going to approve?

        • You should consider registering your relationship. This will help a great way towards over-coming the strict evidence requirement of the 12 month rule for defacto partner. It will mean less evidence and you have enough time if you act now to get this sorted so you could lodge a do partner visa with confidence before your visa expires in April.

          You can get a quote for us to assist you using this link.

          If you liked this response, please share link on social media.

          Nilesh Nandan
          Immigration Lawyer

  • I just have a question if it can be granted if I will apply for a de facto visa or partner visa while holding a student visa.. In short I wanna change my visa from student visa to de facto visa..if it is possible or do I have to wait when my student visa expires before I’ll apply for the de facto visa just..cheers

      • hi nilesh,

        i have a huge problem im hoping you can help me… my ex has charged a child sex offender sentenced for 12 months and i didnt cope the situation because he was on jail for 6-8 months but i went and visited him anyhow for those months but when he got paroled it was difficult to live wth him as i am scared if he will do it again and reoffended again but me and my ex now has no longer together i havent told immigration as i n eed to get some advice what should i do?

    • You may be eligible for a defacto partner visa sponsored by your defacto partner.
      Each case is different and your eligibility can be discussed at our consultations.
      Please call us on 1300558472 to arrange a consultation in person, by phone or by skype or facetime.
      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer | Migration Agent
      Founder | MyVisa® Australia

  • hi I have a student visa ,I’m in relationship with my boyfriend since 2 years. Can my boyfriend apply for the Defacto visa?

    • I assume that you partner is an Australian citizenship or permanent resident.
      If you are in a genuine defacto relationship with him, then you should get advice about your options.
      You may be eligible for a defacto partner visa sponsored by your defacto partner.
      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer | Migration Agent
      Founder | MyVisa® Australia

  • Hi I am a permanent resident of Australia, my partner is from the uk and is over here on a working holiday 2nd year visa.
    We have been engaged since 2014 (we have know each other years from uk)
    and he came to Australia hoping to get sponcership.
    Unfortunately he hasn’t had much luck finding work in Qld (where I’m living) so is currently in Sydney desparatly trying to get something there.
    We were planning on marrying next year but the question is if we moved the wedding sooner (before his 2nd year visa ends in September 2016) would we be able to apply for a defacto?
    The resin I’m asking this also is because when I was sponcered in 2012 my ex husband got residency through me. It’s been 4 years since and 2years divorced.
    Thanks sorry essay!

    • I’ve got two questions:

      How long have you been in a defacto relationship with your current partner?

      What visa class did you apply for to get residency? ENS or RSMS?

      Nilesh Nandan

  • My sister was just declined Defacto as they applied before she and her partner knew each other 1 year (she would have had to leave the country otherwise). She was on a bridging visa for a year and a half while a decision was made (they looked at all circumstances, docs, etc), so can she apply again for the defacto visa with the same partner since she and her partner have been together and know each other over 2 years?

  • Can I apply for the Defacto partner visa without being “registered” Defacto? We met in 2013 (have known each other 3+ years), started a committed relationship in 2015 (been together over 1 year), and lived together for 11 months in Victoria, Australia. Are we able to apply for the partner visa with all of this evidence? By the time they view our application, we will have lived together over 1 year in Victoria, but I would just like to hear a professional opinion on this matter. I am not able to register for a de facto relationship without meeting the 12 month requirement, so this is why I am uncertain of if I am able to apply for the Defacto partner visa. Thank you for your time.

    • You don’t usually need 12 months to register a defacto relationship.
      Check with the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages.
      You don’t necessarily need to have lived together for 12 months prior to lodgement “in Victoria”.
      You can be in a defacto relationship for part of that 12 month period while domiciled in another state or another country for that matter.
      Hope this helps!
      Nilesh Nandan

  • I’m an Australian Resident and my partner and I have been together for 2+ years, she can no longer afford her schooling and therefore her student visa will be cancelled (I think) and I was wondering if I can apply for a de facto visa while she’s still in the country to avoid the whole mess of leaving for a long period of time.

  • Hi there
    Hi had applied for defacto visa 16 months ago and my file just opened recently. During lodgement i didnt have enough evidence of us living together because we had different address. We were living together either on his place or mine. I couldn’t give them enough evidence of 5 months. I have provided them with written explanation about this in email. Will this affect decision of my visa?
    Thank you

    • Yes, this is likely to lead to a refusal of your partner visa, unless you can convince the case officer that you were in fact in a defacto relationship for 12 months prior to lodging the defacto partner visa application (or had registered your defacto relationship prior to partner visa lodgment).
      Hope this helps!
      Nilesh Nandan

  • I’m in a relationship and i hold a student visa and I was sponsored by a relative to come here.
    My girlfriend is in Africa , so can I apply for a de facto without involving a person who sponsored me.
    We have known each other since 2005 at high school

    • Tashinga
      To sponsor someone for a partner visa, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
      If you hold a student visa, then you may be able to get a “student dependent” visa for your partner, but you’ll need to come clean with your current “sponsor”.
      Hope this helps!
      Nilesh Nandan

  • My partner and I have been together over a year he has applied for a PR last year which is still to be accepted. We are getting nervous his working visa is up in November and our baby is due in September and our wedding is feb next year. We didn’t expect that the PR would take this long !
    How long would it take to get a defacto visa I don’t want to lose my family !!

    • I’m not sure if you should be worried at all.
      I assume you are both onshore and he has a bridging visa allowing for work. Right?
      How long does a defacto partner visa take to get approved after an onshore lodgment? — These things take 12 months, give or take 4 months at the present time, but yes, it could be longer.
      Hope this helps!
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Good Morning,
    I have been in a de facto relationship for 2.5 years, having visited each others country (UK/Oz) and met family/friends. I’m about to start the process of applying however the one thing that worries me, makes me hesitant is the ’12 month living together’ rule, is this a showstopper?

    • Frank, sorry for delayed response.
      No, it is not a show stopper.
      While co-habitation is a nice to have thing, its is not essential, contrary to what most people thing.
      Is a defacto partner Relationship Register available in your state?
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi There,

    My partner is currently on a graduate visa 485. It will expire in September. And we plan to have our Partner visa lodged Early June. We are married and have a baby on the way.

    Do you think my partners visa status is going to hinder our application? or is it fine as long as his current visa is up to date and not expired?


    • Looks pretty good to me – provided a valid application for a partner visa is made, meeting the relevant criteria, before the subclass 485 visa expires. It is not fatal if you didn’t do this before the expiry, but avoid the pain and stress and lodge early.

      Best of luck.
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi Nilesh,

    Hoping to get some advice from you. My partner and I have been in a relationship for nearly 2 years, living overseas. Visit each other bi-annually and don’t believe we would have issues proving legitimacy, however more concerned regarding meeting the criteria of defacto or sponsored defacto. Looking forward to your advice

  • hi
    i m in a big mess ryt now.
    m married not divorced but leave separate from last 2 years and m in relation with australin citizen for last one and half year, and he is also separated but not divorced but in process and living with me from last 14 months as we have too many genuine documents that says we r real couple as we are, but the thing is since m on student visa and i didnot goto uni and i hot email from immigration which says they have intensions to cancel my visa .
    now my partner wants to lodge a de facto relation to keep me here what should i do so messed up that went to depression again .
    do u have any solution for me

  • Hi good day .
    Can we possible to apply a de facto visa. I’m Australian and recidence here .My fiancé and she been grant tourist visa last 2014 good for 6 Mos . Then we apply again last year for tourist visa . And she got the multiple visa good for one year . she stay with me and were living together Is there’s a chance that we can apply a de facto visa since we live in already for almost one year. Before her visa expired ?
    Thank you

  • Hi there, im australian and a few years ago i was in a ligimate relationship with an ex partner. We applied for the partner visa and it was approved. Due to him cheating we are no longer together. Now im in a situation were i would like to apply for a partner visa with my current partner. With no fault of my own im scared that the application will get refused because i have already applied for the partner visa once before. Will they refuse my application..any advise? Thanks

    • You must wait 5 years before you can be granted another visa is you are sponsored or sponsor someone for a a partner visa, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

  • Hi there,
    I m currently on temporary visa for partner visa, but our relationship broke down. So is there any chance get permanent visa or I have to go back..? We have a child together as well.

  • Hi Nilesh,
    My partner & I have been together 18 months. I am an Australian citizen and he is English. He visits me every 2-3 months, and stays for a month at a time. We have not been technically living together for 12 months, but he lives with me when he visits. We have a lot of evidence of our situation.
    We don’t want to spend $7000 if there is a strong chance of rejection. What are your thoughts?
    Thank you, JB

  • Hi Mr. Nandan,

    I hope you can give me an advice on this matter… I am currently on tourist visa under the sponsorship of my partner and we’ve been together for 6 months now. We are planning to register our relationship so we can apply for a de facto visa soon. My concern is, I have an unsettled debt in UAE and I was advised by a friend of mine that there is already a case filed against my name in UAE. Will this affect our application? Can we do something about it if ever I cannot get a police clearance from UAE? Thanks a lot.

  • Hi nilesh, I got my 461 visa. I don’t know when I applied for 461 visa that my partner is Australian citizen she hold a kiwi passport but immigration said she is Australian citizen can I apply for 820 visa thanks Ricky

    • If your partner is an Australian citizen and you are in a defacto relationship with her and you are onshore, then there may be a opportunity to apply for a subclass 820 Provisional Partner visa. Please book in a consult me – call 1300558472.

  • Hi There,

    My partner and I have only been in a relationship for 6 months. My working holiday visa is due to expire in 2 months, we’re looking to apply for a Defacto visa being that he’s Australian. We plan on getting married in the future but would it help if we got married before we applied for the visa since our time together has been less than 12 months?

  • Hi, thanks so much for this information!
    Im Australian citizen and I’ve been dating my partner officially for 6 months and we have been living together for 6 months, we would like to move to Australia in one year to save enough money for the visa, we will move into a house together and both be paying a mortgage. He is from the U.K.. Is it best to apply for his normal tourist visa or is it more ideal to apply for a defacto visa straight away? Can’t thank you enough for any help!

    • An onshore application, if you can make one is always preferable to an offshore application. If he is in Australia, you should register your relationship as soon as you can.

  • Hi I’m holding a Protection visa ATM, I just applied 7 months ago I didn’t get any call from immigration but I wana apply for de facto and immigration knows I’m with my partner so what is the best way for me. And also when I apply for de facto visa my old bringing visa will be cancelled automatically or I have to withdraw? And I’ve full time work right so when I granted new visa so I’ll get work right same time or I’ve to apply again?

  • Hi, my partner and I have been together for almost 2.5 years but will only have been living together for 4 months when we submit our application. My partner is an Australian citizen and came back to Australia in Feb 2017 and immediately he registered our relationship in NSW. I arrived from the UK 1 month ago on a tourist visa and plan to submit the application before this expires. We have more than sufficient evidence with regards to the social side of our relationship however will the fact we’ve only been living together for 4 months be an issue or will this be covered by the relationship registration? Thanks!

  • Great website and sound advice.

    Is it necessary to disclose a police caution on the application? They only mention convictions.

  • Hi!
    I just got a mail from immigration asking for proof of 12 months relationship like joint bank account and mail to the same address. However we have been apart for about 5 months at the beginning and we didn’t even think then of joking our accounts and as I was in Poland I didn’t use the Australian address. What should I do now ?

    • Not an easy question to answer. You’ll need to provide whatever you can and cover all the missing material in statutory declarations which, depending on quality and overall credibility, may or may not be accepted. Call me to discuss if submission help is needed or you application is refused and you need to appeal the visa refusal decision to the AAT.

  • hello
    me and my partner (who is aussie) met in aug 2016 and got into a committed relationship october 2016.
    I was living in Nz on a uk passport when we met and had been doing long distance until may 2017; both flying back and forth to one another. I have since then moved out to aus and we live together with a joint account, we also now have a puppy and we have registered our relationship.
    Am I now eligible to apply ? we have spoke of marriage as well.
    if we were to get married would that make it any easier to apply now or will i still need to wait a little longer ?
    I am currently out here on a 9 month tourist visa.

  • Hello, I’m about to get granted with PR in September and would like to sponsor my de facto partner. I met her 2 years ago overseas, and for quite a while we used to see each 2-3 weeks every 3 months. She moved to Australia last January. Since then, we have been living together. Technically, I don’t meet the 1 year-relationship requirement. Does my girlfriend still have a chance to get granted with the visa? What if they refuse her application? Can she apply later on?

    Thank you very much

  • Hello Nilesh,

    I am in a de facto relationship. I was married but separated (not legally). In creating immi account and My relationship is set as de facto, i need to add information of my other known name. My current surname is still from my ex spouse surname. Do I need to provide evidences such as marriage certificate with my ex? Do i need to declare in the immi account?

  • HI Nilesh!
    Is it nessesary to register de facto for applying for onshore Partner Visa?
    We already live together for around 3 years.
    Thank you!

  • Hi me and my partner are thinking to apply for de facto, i read alot of articles ppl say to register the relation.
    My question is if i register my relation now can i apply straight away for de facto i hope it wont get suspicious ?

    Thanks in advance

  • I am coming out to Australia (WA) on a 3 month tourist Visa and want to know the best way to proceed with a partner visa. My partner and I have been in a 3 year long distance relationship and now wish to prove a de facto relationship.

  • Hi there. My partner who is Brazilian and I have been in a relationship for nearly 2 years now however she had to return to Brazil around 11 months ago to finish her studies. During this time we have visited each other every 3 to 4 months for 1 month periods, twice with her coming here and once where I travelled to Brazil. Will this assist a partner Visa application provided we register the relationship in Jan and apply for the visa immediately while she is here? We have no joint account for financial proof however I have been transferring funds to her for savings and financial support while she studies.

  • I am with my husband for a three months now living together,but we known each other more than 12 months I went overseas and stayed at his family for four months came back and forth,he’s got bringing visa ends March 2018,we married also.My questions is can he apply for a PR please I’m n Australian citizens I don’t want him to go back please we have our joint account also.

  • my partner(sponsor) and me submit our paperwork around 18 months ago, we got an email back from the case officer asking more information for myself. i was given a list of 5 items, we are clear with 4 out of 5. one of them says “EVIDENCE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DE FACTO PARTNER – UPDATED INFORMATION REQUIRED FROM TIME OF LODGMENT TO DATE”.
    so, do i have to provide only evidence or do i have to write a statement? thank you for your respond

  • im a permanent resident originally from US, i have a partner who is currently overseas for work. we want to apply de facto visa soon. we met here in Australia but he was married and is now separated (not legally). He was here in Australia not long ago but left due to expired visa. the only thing is that he was given false allegations and domestic violence order by his ex wife. though its civil case, will it affect the application and can we still apply for it? we have been in defacto relationship for2 years now. All evidential docs are complete. But we are just worried about the legalities.

  • I applied for a de facto visa back in March whilst still on a 457 visa. Since then I have lost my job and 457 visa is in process of being cancelled. I have found employment in NZ and will be relocating there with my Partner in the New Year until a decision is made on my Partner visa. Do I need to be in Australia when the subclass 820 is granted? We have been in a relationship for 9 years (which is classed as “long term” according to the department) so is there a chance that a subclass 801 will be granted at the same time as the 820?

  • Hi
    Very quick question.
    Can the refactor relationship registration waive the 12 month living together period?
    we’re planning to add myself(student visa) to my partner’s 457 visa as a dependent but we have only lived together for 3 month.
    looking forward to your reply

    • Sammy
      Yes – a defacto relationship certificate will assist in these circumstances ie. getting a dependent 457 visa.
      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hi

    My partner and I have been together for 2 years. We have been living together with his parents and have only recently bought our own property 2 months ago. I have just gotten an invite recently, how can I prove that the defacto status is existing more than 12 months? We have plans to get registered next year. But that would be after I lodge my visa, is it acceptable? Please advise.

  • Hey!
    Me and my partner have been together from the beginning of the year and lived with each other since mid of the year, we’re looking to apply for de facto early next year,
    He will be applying for his permanent residency at some point next year, will I have to apply to go on both or will I be added on?

    Many thanks

    • Tricky question.
      Make sure you get this right.
      You should be usually be included in the visa application at the time of application of any visa.
      You should only be “added” on to an application if your relationship has sprouted after the application was made by the primary visa applicant.
      Please contact me if you require specific advice.

  • My partner and I met in January 2017 and started living together in March. She returned to Poland in July for two months, but came back on a tourist visa which expires very soon.
    We are aware that we do not meet the twelve month regulation, however we have registered our relationship – albeit only 1 month ago.
    We are currently applying for the de facto visa as we don’t want to be separated again.
    What are our chances?

  • Hi

    I am an Australian permanent resident Since 1989
    i was married and sponsored my ex-wife in 1990
    i remarried and sponsored again in 2001.
    is it possible to do a 3rd time?

  • Hello,
    My partner is currently sponsored by his work on a skilled migrant visa, can we now apply for a de facto visa (I hold an AUS passport)?
    Thank you!

  • I am on my student visa and want to apply my partner’s de facto relationship visa who is in India at the moment. We have been dating for more than 2 years but I am completing my studies here in Australia and she works in IT industry in India. Due to our study & work commitments we are not able to live together but do see each other at every 6 months time period. We don’t have a joint account or lease papers. However we do intend to register our relationship with Victorian Relationship Registration authority. I have 2 questions;
    1) Is our case strong enough to get her de-facto partner visa?
    2) Is it advisable that I call her here on tourist visa and register our relationship with Victorian Relationship Registration authority?
    Thanks in advance

  • Hi I met met my partner (Same sex) in July 2017,
    We registered our relationship in SA in October 2017
    We moved in together a shared house in November 2017 I’m listed as an occupant partner is on the lease
    We’re both on the electric and gas bill
    We have opened joint bank accounts as of Jan 2018
    And had wills witnessed from Jan 2018
    We play to apply for the 820 / 801 beginning of Feb 2018
    My WHV finishes beginning of March 2018

    In your opinion do we have a good chance?

    I’m concerned as we don’t have the 12 months living together

    Many thanks

  • My partner Daniel and I (my name is Caitlin) started our relationship on 25/10/16, we registered our relationship with BDM Vic on the 28/8/17 and started living together on the 5/11/17. Given that we will not have lived together for 12 months or had our relationship registered for 12 months when we apply for a De Facto visa (planning on applying in July as Daniels 417 visa runs out in August), in your opinion what are our chances of a successful application?

  • Hi, my partner and I have been together since Aug 2016, we registered our relationship and have been living together since Sep 2016. We applied for the Visa in May 2017 and it is pending. My partner has just been offered a job in another state and we were looking at doing long distance whilst he tests the waters in his new job. Will us living apart affect the outcome of our visa? Would we need to advise them of these changes or should we stay living together whilst the visa is bridging as we would hate to jeopardize our future by me not giving up my job and moving with him or by him giving up a fantastic opportunity.

    Thanks in advance for your help

    • Great question.

      1. Keep Immigration updated with current residential addresses.
      2. Make it clear in submissions that any “living apart” period is only temporary.

      If all other submissions are sound, you should be ok with a partner visa grant soon.

      Please contact me if you require assistance.

  • My partner is in NZ on work Visa and Im here on PR. If we register our relationship in NSW what are the chances of getting the defacto visa granted? We are in relationship for more than a year now but I recently moved to SYD not even a month. SO considering the time, is it too quick or they just want the proofs of relationship.

    • Please check registration requirements with Births Deaths and Marriages in Sydney. If you are able to get the relationship certificate, you will be likely to get the application lodged and approved. Many of my defacto visa clients have valid reasons for living apart, but you’ll need a great written submission that the living apart is only “temporary”. Please contact me if you would like assistance with this type of defacto partner visa submission.

  • Great info and comment replies. Thank you! I am on a WHV until Dec. 5, 2018 and I want to apply for the Defacto Visa around Nov. 23, 2018. That leaves about a week left of my WHV. Is this cutting it close, or will I be granted a Bridging Visa while the decision is being made? I just don’t see why I would apply any sooner, while I am still on my WHV. Thank you in advance for any feedback, it is much appreciated.

    • Bettie
      As soon as you lodge a valid application in Australia for a subclass 820 partner visa (also called a defacto partner visa) and you hold a substantive visa (WHM) then you will be granted a bridging visa to remain in Australia ordinarily until such time as a decision is made on the visa application made. The application for a bridging visa is not a separate application and is given to you by operation of law, at the time of a valid application lodgement in respect of the partner visa. If you need preparing and getting your partner visa approved, please contact our office. Regards Nilesh Nandan, Immigration Lawyer.

  • Hey i have a question i have 2 weeks before my student visa runs out and am applying for my partner visa all my paper work tomorrow morning am a little afraid of it getting rejected cause am 2 weeks from my current visa expiring date please give me some advice

    • Provided there are no problems with the partner visa being validly lodged prior to the student visa expiry, it should be ok. The bridging visa will kick in after the student visa expires, but you should consider professional advice if you are worried.

  • HEllo, i would like to ask about partner visa (defacto).My partner is a permanent resident in Australia.We started our relationship as bf/gf status on May 2016..From July 2016 he started to support me because i have kids from previous relationship. Then Dec 2016 was our first meeting.January 2017 we temporarily apart because he went back to Australia to work..Our relationship more intimate.He supports me financially,emotionally in all aspect as husband.Then Dec 2017 he went home to be with me.Then leave again temporarily for work…The question is…can we apply for defacto since our relationship is more than a year as dec 2016 as basis or starting point of out intimate relationship? Hoping for your advice regarding this…Thank you!

    • You have an arguable case. You’ll need to show that you have been in the defacto relationship for a period of 12 months immediately before you apply for the defacto partner visa (subclass 820 for onshore cases) and when you were living apart, you were only living apart temporarily.

  • Hi, im in a complicated situation.
    I have applied for a partner visa before and it was granted for my now ex spouse, we were married but did not have kids. Now we are still married but no longer living together and im just waiting for the 12 months to apply for a devorce. The 12months will be in November 2018 then i can file my divorce.
    In the mean time i have been talking to someone and this person will be coming to Australia on a 408 visa for only 6 month. I then wanted to apply for a defacto visa during this period when she is here. What proof do i need to show that our love is genuine and im intending to live with her when she comes to Australia. Im a cotizen here and its more than 5yrs since i supported my ex for a partner visa.
    She is intending to come around October/November. I wanted to lodge an application before her 6 month stay here lapses. When can i apply and what sort of evidence is required ?
    Thank you.

    • Please book in time to discuss this in detail. Timing is everything but if you can meet the 5-year requirement (serial sponsorship limitation), you should be ok.

  • Hi There,

    I’m currently on a student Visa NSW. Have been in Australia for almost 2 years. I have recently met an Australian Girl (Citizen) who lives in Queensland. We have been dating for 7 months now (Since November 2017), numerous flights backwards and forwards and are now engaged. Due to my studies at TAFE, i could not relocate to Queensland as they did not offer the same course (Package deal). We have not lived together due to our christian beliefs. My current student visa expires 30 August 2018.
    We have planned our Wedding for 15 December 2018.

    Question 1 – On the above mentioned, would i qualify for a defacto Partner Visa
    Question 2 – If i were to registrar the relationship in Queensland, would that help the visa application (820)

    Thanking you in advance!

    • 1. Not likely, certainly not before your student visa expiry.
      2. Yes it would help, but you still need to demonstrate that you are in genuine and continuing “defacto” relationship at all the relevant times.
      Please get some formal detailed advice.

  • Hello there! Thanks for all your tips! I am just wondering if i can change my visa as soon as I get to Aus. I am from the UK and will be flying in to Aus on Wednesday 23rd May 18 and will have a 12 month working Holiday visa. Since applying and being granted the visa me and my partner (she’s a new zealand citizen and we’ve been together for 16 months) have decided that we’d actually like to move to Australia for a longer period. I have been offered a job interview in Brisbane (as a chef which is also on the skilled migrant list) but currently on the working holiday I can work a max of 6 months with 1 employer and this isn’t going to go down great at the interview unless I can atleast reassure them that I MAY be able to get a defacto partnership or work visa.
    1. Can I apply for a defacto partnership of a NZ citizen visa (subclass 461) as soon as I enter Australia on my working holiday visa? I am eligible for this visa and we both meet all the requirements.
    2. Would a bridging visa remove the 6 month work restriction of a working holiday visa?
    3. Is there any way I could get the 6 month restriction removed or changed whilst waiting for the verdict if the bridging visa doesn’t?
    4. Would it be best to just apply for a skilled migrant work visa as soon as I get to Australia instead? I thought it may not be allowed as I already have a working holiday visa?

    Thank you very much!


  • Hi. Me and my partner is on Visitor visa SC600, will expire Nov this year. We are both Australian Registered Nurses. We are planning to apply for residency, me as the main applicant and my partner is my dependent. We have been together for 9yrs but we dont have a joint account back in our country. We opened an account here in Australia last Feb this year, can we use this as one of ur proof?

    • While a joint bank account is one of the features of a de facto relationship, it is by no means the be-all and end-all of the issue.

      It is nice to have, but certainly not a mandatory consideration and I do have a lot of de facto couples who do not have joint bank accounts but who nevertheless will meet the criteria for the grant of a de facto partner visa.

  • Hi,
    I just wanted to seek a second opinion regarding the defacto visa which we have submitted recently. Im on 457 visa and will be eligible for my PR later this year and I’ve met my partner who’s on student visa in Dec 16 and we’re both are in serious relationship. We decided to move in together since Mar 17 and the relationship is still ongoing. The issue is I’ve been married previously and haven’t got my divorce filed due to family circumstances till todate however we’re seperated more than 2 years now. Q1) Will this cause any issue with the lodgement? Q2) We didn’t plan or thought of opening a joint account/bills since we never planned this at the beginning of relationship with the defacto lodgement however we ticked all other requirement including the letter from my sponsorer accepting him for partner visa application. Is there anything I should be worried about?

  • Hi There,

    My Partner has been sponsored here for 2 years. He has just applied for Permanent residency and it should be granted in 1 month. I am on my second year working visa, which expires in November this year. Do I have to wait for his to be approved before I can apply for defacto? Also can I register our relationship before he is officially a resident?

    Kind Regards,


  • Hi Nilesh,
    i wanted to know i came as a student visa.last year its got expired . then i applied to renew they refused it. after then i appeal in AAT last year august . but i was in relationship with a girl since December 2016 that time she was 17 then we got married in 0ct 2017.we are living togther since 2017 jan. that time i was on bridging visa. still im on bridging visa. my question is that i want to apply my partner visa. which option is good onshore or offshore?i want to apply asap dont want to waste anymore time.i have good relation with her family n all. we have all evidence on both of our name

    can you please reply me on my email. thank you.

  • Hello,
    I have been in a relationship with my Australian partner for nearly two years, and have lived with her for over a year. I started on a working holiday visa, and am now on a working visa (good for 3 months) in its last month. Can I apply for a De Facto visa on my current visa?


  • Hello, I am on working visa and i am in a relationship and my partner is Australian citizen, but he is married with someone else and she is not giving her divorce. We want to live together, and Am i eligible to apply for defacto visa and how. We know each other from last 3 years. How we can prove the relationship, as he have not got divorce yet.

  • I am Canadian on a 417 WHV, I have been with my partner (australian citizen) for 10 months currently and my visa expires in 2 months. If I apply for a tourist visa and we get rent in our name and I live off of him, would this allow us to stay in the country for me to apply for a de facto visa? We have lot’s of photos, plane tickets, travel documents, family to provide proof of our relationship. We are just wondering the best way to go about this after hearing so many horror stories.


  • Hi,

    I am on a Student Visa and my partner is Australian and I am gonna apply for Partner visa and he is gonna be my sponsor. We started dating last week of March this year. We opened a joined account and register our relationship in ACT. We live in different address but still in ACT. My visa will expire next year march and we’re planning to apply partner visa by the end of the year.

    My questions is Will I get a refusal of the visa because we didn’t met the requirements of 12 months de facto relationship?

  • I am applying for either defacto or pr at the minute. I have nearly completed a four year sponsorship as a marketing specialist. However actual job title is not this. Will this cause problems (Will I need the prove to immagration that I have been working ‘as a marketing specialist) when applying for either of these visas????

  • hello i’m french ! i m on a working holiday visa, i ve been in relationship with an Australian resident since 10months. His family knows me, my family knows him, we ve been traveling around australia together for 3 months, working in the same places, we exchange text pictures and every things pretty every day… so we can apply for the defacto now? the only problem is, his got a job at 3h from me and we can visit each other now just monthly. We live in NSW. I m wondering a swell, if we apply for the defacto, what’s happening for me at the end of my working holiday visa?

  • Hi there,
    This is a great post. Thanks alot for sharing this information.

    I am from Uk.
    I met my Australian boyfriend whilst travelling in Sept 2016. He joined me on my trip briefly and we decided to make it work long distance. During our time apart we both visited eachothers home countries for 2+ weeks each, where we met each others family and friends. We were in constant contact when apart.
    In Sept 2017 I moved into his parents home with him (we are currently looking for a house which we plan to rent once the 820 visa app is submitted). Our relationship is registered. We will be applying for the visa late August 2018.
    So – 12> months long distance with visits and constant contact. 12> months living together in his family home. Registered relationship. Joint bank account. Travelled together. Joint friends and invitiations etc
    With evidence of the above – is this a solid application?

    Thank you
    Trudie 🙂

  • Hi I have a question. If sponsor is unemployee so can’t support financially, is it matter to apply defacto visa?

  • hi hello, just one question for you but I need explain first, I applied de facto visa, I got refused, I already appeal and still got refused on ATT, so now I wanna appeal again but need go to federal court right, so the question is are u eligible on this area to assist me for lodge all my document to appeal on federal court? thank you

  • Hi,
    Great article & great advice.
    B/G: I am Aus citizen & my partner is Brazilian. We met in Jan ’17 while he was here on a student visa and began dating, he moved in to my owner occupied home 23/2/17 (I consider this start of our de facto relationship). In April we rented a beach house together and lived there together for until our lease expired in Dec ’17 and we moved back to my owner occupied house. In January ’18 we left on a 6 month holiday together through Central & South America, finishing with 2 months in Brazil so I could meet his family and friends. In March ’18 we lodged our offshore (309/100) partner visa application. I had to return to Aus in July to go back to work and my partner has stayed in Brazil while the application processes. Two questions:
    1. Just wondering whether his speeding fines in Aus will affect our application?
    2. whether I can register our relationship here in QLD when he is now back in Brazil?
    Thanks in advance

  • Hi,
    I just wanted a second opinion regarding mentioning details about my non-migrating defacto partner while lodging 189 subclass visa application. As per my understanding, we will have to provide evidence of our relationship even though my defacto partner is not migrating with me and is listed under the non-migrating family unit category of the application. Incase, the officer is not convinced about our genuine relationship due to some reason, then will it have any affect on the primary applicant’s visa grant? Will it be refused ?

  • Hi,
    I just wanted a second opinion regarding mentioning details about my non-migrating defacto partner while lodging 189 subclass visa application. As per my understanding, we will have to provide evidence of our relationship even though my defacto partner is not migrating with me and is listed under the non-migrating family unit category of the application. Incase, the case officer is not convinced about our genuine relationship due to some reason, then will it have any affect on the primary applicant’s visa grant? Will it be refused ?
    Many Thanks.

  • hi my de facto partner has been charged a child sex offender he was sentenced 12 mnths but went to jail 6-8 months but that time when he was sent to jail i was living on my own working to support myself as he wasnt there to gide me and supported me etc it was a hard time for me being on my own and no family support. but when he got his parole he come back and live with me but i was scared of him if he will reoffend again and im scared living wth him as he get angry sometimes and throw stuff and break things but i didnt call a police as i am sacred if ill call the police he will sent bck to jail… we are now separated but i havent told the immgration regarding our relationship break down i need to seek an advice please i need your help… if i he will admit everything can i use the statement for a family voilence or not

  • Hi I’d like to ask something.
    Can apply de fecto visa without divorce paper?
    Already separated and pay for kid just not sign paper

  • Hi I’m an Australian citizen and my Indian born partner and I have been in a committed relationship since July 2018 and have been living together since August.. I am also 3+ months pregnant. I already have a 1 year old boy from my previous relationship but have nothing to do with his father and my current partner gives is stability. His visa situation is complicated, Visa aside what are our chances of future partner visa being granted?

    Hope to here back

  • Hi, please give me some advice. I am studying in NSW and my studen visa gonna last until March 2020. However, my partner visa gonna be expired around 15 March 2019. We started our relationship since May 2018 and havent lived together since. We dont have a joint account either. However, we are in a very serious relationship. I just wanna ask whether it s possible for us to register for a defacto relationship in NSW. As i reseaeched this is the most likely solutions to avoid the expense of 12-month cohabitation. Do I need to started livinng together now or having a joint account to support my application? Thank you

  • Hi, please give me some advice. I am studying in NSW and my studen visa gonna last until March 2020. However, my partner visa gonna be expired around 15 March 2019. We started our relationship since May 2018 and havent lived together since. We dont have a joint account either. However, we are in a very serious relationship. I just wanna ask whether it s possible for us to register for a defacto relationship in NSW. As i reseaeched this is the most likely solutions to avoid the expense of 12-month cohabitation. Do I need to started livinng together now or having a joint account to support my application? Thank you

  • Hi,
    I have a query regarding a 485 defacto application,
    The primary applicants visa expires in 2019 where as the partner’s visa expires in december 2018. If the visa is lodged in december, when would the partner’s bridging visa activate.

    • A bridging visa will be usually be granted immediately after the valid onshore visa application is made and fine into effect as at the time of the visa expiry. You should get advice about whether the visa applied for will meet thev relevant criteria. Be sure not to confuse partner defaco visa applications which are for permanent visas with dependant temporary 485 visas for defacto partners.
      You can book a time to discuss with me at
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi There,

    My name is Julia, I’m a NZ citizen on a special category visa. I have lived in Australia for 6 years.
    My partner is Japanese, we have been together 9 months (we met in march, and registered our relationship in june). I spent 3 weeks in japan with his family in november, and he will be meeting my family in NZ in january.

    My partner moved to Australia on a 1 year working holiday visa. He went back to japan in September, and will be returning in January (either on an ETA visa or a student visa as he didn’t do his farm work) while we prepare to lodge an application for a 461 family relationship visa. He has enrolled to study English for 3 months in Melbourne.
    We lived together for 3 months before he had to go back to japan, however our only proof is the word of our housemate. When he comes back in January, he will be living with me and will be on the lease for 3 months before submitting our application. We currently share a bank account but don’t really use it much as he is overseas.

    When our application is sent, we will also need to apply for working rights on his bridging visa immediately on the grounds of financial hardship.
    Could you please tell me if you think this is the right way to go about applying! should we get the ETA visa or a student visa? should i employ an immigration agent to be granted financial hardship for the bridging visa?

    Much appreciated,

  • Hi Nilesh,

    My partner and I wanted to apply for the 801/820 VISA after filling the initial online application, is it correct that only he (the applicant) needs to complete a statement about our relationship covering development, finances, social etc). I thought as a sponsor I would need to submit a similar statement at the same time but the department of home affairs website only says the sponsor needs to prove their Australian citizenship for the first part (820 temp visa).



  • Hi, I have a question.
    Can a de facto visa be used for both the UK and Australia? For example, if my partner and I apply for a de facto visa for him to stay in the UK, can that then be used for me to move to Australia with him, or would we then have to apply for another de facto visa for Aus?

  • Hi,
    I have a quick question. I have applied 189 visa with my partner as de facto relationship. For a worst scenario, if the relationship was rejected. Can I still be get 189 Visa at least for me? and also is there any information about this inthe immi. site?

    Thank you.

  • Good afternoon,

    I am currently on a student visa and I still have to do more than half of my payment.
    I’ve been with my partner for a year now but we haven’t lived together, that’s why I decided to get a student visa before we get to the year and then we could apply for the de facto visa.
    I’ve just read that if you register your relationship you can apply for the de facto visa before having lived 12 months together and then while the application is processing (the 26 months of waiting list) submit the document, am I right?
    If that’s the case and I apply for the de facto visa in a couple of months, does that mean that my student visa gets cancelled and I don’t have to pay for the rest of the course?

    Thank you so much for your help,


  • Hi,
    My working holiday visa is soon expiring, I plan to apply to join my partners student visa, which expires June 2019, We are genuine couple of 16 months, we have registered our relationship, have a joint account and traveled/lived together since we met. We also have flights home to families together in this time. However, at the time of his application he didn’t mention me as we didn’t realise we had too and are now hearing this could be a problem, I would like to know the best way to explain without getting straight refused. Any advise would be appreciated.

  • Hello,
    I want to apply for the partner visa and my girlfriend wants so sponsor me. She got her own 801 partner visa granted in 2016. I found out that she is allowed to be a sponsor if her partner visa was applied more than 5 years ago, that was 2012. While filling out the online application i received a warning “Partner visas sponsors may be subject to sponsorship limitations if they were granted a partner visa in the past 5 years”. Which date counts for the sponsor limitation? The date af application or the date it was granted?
    Kind regards

  • Hi, I’m an Australian Permanent Resident, My wife and I have been in a genuine relationship for more than 8 years and have been married for a year. My wife applied for an offshore partner visa, we provided all evidence of our long term relationship and she was granted the provisional visa recently. My query is to why she was not granted the permanent partner visa as we had provided ample evidence of our long term relationship? What should we do to reduce the two-year waiting period to be granted the permanent partner visa?

  • I am still legally married in Australia , applied for tourist and sponsored visa for my defacto partner whom I have a daughter(Australian Citizen by descent) overseas. It was twice rejected? I understand you cant bring second partner until you are divorced with first one but for family visit is ok?

  • Thank you for the great post. Are the same rules apply to de facto partner on 189 visa? We are in a genuine relationship since July 2017 and we live together since September 2017.

    We have following documents to prove our relationship:

    – Tenant addition addendum to my tenancy contract – signed by the landlord on 30/09/2017 – confirms we live together and we are both responsible for the property.

    – A high number of pictures and posts on social media from several different countries where we were on holidays – since 30/07/2017.

    – 12 airline boarding passes for trips since 30/09/2019.

    – Car Insurance with our both names on – since 03/09/2017.

    – Some invitations for weddings and parties with our names on.

    – 2017 and 2018 Christmas cards from our friends with both names on.

    – Some letters confirm we both live in the same address

    – Our driving licences show the same home address.

    – Her speeding police ticket with our car 😉

    – We have lots of mutual friends on social media

    – We can have as many we want statements from our friends and family.

    – Some bank transfer between our accounts to prove that we share financial responsibilities.

    Do you think that would be enough? We were considering to get married before we lodge the vise (most likely in March), but this would look really fake to get married just before visa application.

  • Hi,

    Good day Sir Nilesh!
    My partner was already in Australia holding visa subclass 482 and right now we are thinking if i’m illegible to apply for subsequent visa 482 because we are already in Defacto relation since 2017 when we are both here in our home country. We have already gathered some documents like travel tickets, hotels receipt, photos together, affidavit from our parents and close friends, and my partner in Australia also submitted an application to register our relation under Relationship Register Act 2010 (NSW) and right now we are waiting for the result. But the problem is when we check her visa subclass 482, her marital status is not in De Facto, and it is in single status. Her visa agent change the status during the submission of the visa application. Now my question is if do I still have a chance to be granted if I apply for subsequent visa subclass 482? If not what we can do with this miss match information in the visa of my partner?

  • Hi there,
    A few questions here – but hopefully they are relevant for all! My partner (Romanian citizen) and I (Australian citizen) are planning to put in an off shore de facto visa application in a few months, but in the meantime we are also looking into Independent Skilled Visa option because the waiting time is significantly lower. My questions are:

    – If our application for the Independent Skilled Visa is declined due to eligibility (such as due to the profession not being needed), will this affect our De Facto visa application? My partner has a completely clean record and positive character reference so that wouldn’t be a problem.
    – Is it possible to apply for the de facto visa while we are awaiting the outcome of the Independent Skilled Visa?

    And, separately:

    – We want to spend Christmas in Australia together, but we are not sure whether it’s better to apply for the eVisitor visa before or after we lodge our de facto and/or his skilled visa application. We are worried due to his relationship with me and our clear intentions to re-locate, my partner won’t be able to demonstrate close enough ties to his country so might be refused. If an eVisitor visa is refused, would that affect the outcome of our longer-term visa applications?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Hi, Myself & my partner are in the process of applying for De facto relationship after being together for 18 months in Australia. I have been a Perm Resident for 4 years and came here on a subclass 300 Marriage Visa. This Marriage broke down 2 years ago and i have been divorced for 12 months. Can i sponsor my new partner even though i have had my Perm Residency for 4 years and there is a 5 year rule?

  • Hi there,
    I have an unusual query. My partner and I just received our Relationship Registry certificate in the mail, but have noticed they made a stupid mistake! They have put my partner’s Place of Birth as: “Pennsylvania, U.S.A, Queensland”. “Queensland” should not be there.

    We have been waiting months for this certificate, and we want to apply for our Partner Visa ASAP. Applying for a correction on this document is apparently going to take another month! I am extremely frustrated, as you can imagine, as this is their error. Would it be sufficient for us to submit the application with the error as is, but still apply for a corrected document, and then upload this correction as soon as we receive it? What is your advice?

    Thank you SO SO much in advance!

    • Hi Sarah

      Yes! Frustrating to get a document that has a mistake.

      The immigration laws affecting visa applications for Australia are now quite unforgiving in relation to providing a bogus document or false or misleading information.

      In the particular circumstances you have explained above I see no risk whatsoever in you lodging the relationship certificate that you have received.

      If you are at all concerned, what you might get to do is indicate in a simple letter (which you might also upload) that there appears to be this particular mistake in relation to the document.

      I hope this helps and wish you the very best in your immigration journey.

      Nilesh Nandan
      Special Counsel
      MyVisa® Australia
      MyVisa® Lawyers


  • Hi Nilesh!

    I had a quick question! I am currently on a 457 visa. My partner is a NZ citizen, we have been together 2 years and we have sufficient evidence to lodge a 461 visa application.

    I’d like to get off the 457 ASAP as my workplace is in a bad place financially. I know if I apply for the 461, I will have to stick to the conditions of my 457 until it is granted (which can take years).

    I wondered if I go onto a BVE, what are the chances of me getting work rights granted, considering I will be losing my salary from my 457? I have been supporting myself in Aus for 5 years and there is no way we could live off my partners wage alone.

    If I withdraw my 457 and then I don’t get my working rights, I will have to leave the country. ANY advice you can give would be much appreciated.

    Thank you so much in advance!

  • Hi Nilesh,
    I am about to apply for the 820 partner visa. but have some doubts about whether we are eligible or not. We have been together for over 2 years, I believe we have a strong case (joint bank accounts, rented a house together for a year, travel together, registered our de facto relationship, ect.) our lives are pretty much merged, but…
    We both left Australia in September (when my visa expired), we have been traveling for a while and now settled in Mexico (my home country) for 4 months. All this time he has been out of the country, hence not “regularly living there”. Also, he is American but arrived to Australia 8 years ago through a partner visa as well.
    His relationship ended over 6 years ago.
    Thank you very much for your insight. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Hi there,
    I am currently on a temporary residency visa subclass 485 which expires in October 2019. I am planning to apply for defacto visa with my partner. We have already registered our relationship in August last year and started living together from November officially. We have our residential lease agreement from December which is is less than a year. We have also organised a joint account a month ago and paying our bills through the account. I was wondering when is the right time to apply for my defacto visa? I would further like to know if I have to apply for any other visa besides defacto visa prior to expiry of my current visa i.e. 485. Please advise further.

  • Hi Nilesh,
    Thank you for the informative information.

    – My partner and i met and got together in Feb 2018.
    – She lives in NYC and I live in Sydney
    – Since then we been together for a few weeks every 6-8 weeks either me in NYC or her in Australia, or travelling together. This can all be evidenced via plane tickets, travel documents. During those times we have lived together albeit for only for that time.
    – We have plenty of evidence of daily phone calls, joint friends, each other taking turns for paying for hotels etc when we travel, rent cars etc.
    – She has now decided to move to Australia to be with me and we are investigating the different options for this to happen.

    – The living together for 12 month condition on the defacto would appear to be an issue. HOWEVER is this negated by Registering a Relationship.
    – If we can prove a relationship albeit a long distance relationship and get around the 12 month living clause by the Registering a Relationship would our application for Defacto visa be likely approved?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Hi there.

    I am a British citizen arriving on a 417 visa.
    I have been with my Australian Girlfriend for 4 months and from the day i move to NSW we have been accepted on a lease for a place together. With in the first couple of weeks we will be registering our relationship and opening a joint bank account.

    My question is this: I will be looking for Regional work in NSW in order to apply for my 2nd year WHV, however if that doesnt work out i am wondering how soon with regards to my 12 month visa being up should we apply for a defacto (820 + 801) visa?

  • I am applying for an 820 visa with my Australian partner. I would like to know if these three things will effect getting our visa :
    If we have only had an 8 month lease to show, but have lived with both our parents many times on three month visas will this be a problem? Over all we have almost three years of living with each other, but only a lease for 8 months, as the rest was with our parents (usa and australia)and don’t have too much documentation for this at all. We have been together for about 6 years. The second thing is we haven’t had a joint bank account until now (already submitted application) because we thought it wouldn’t make sense until now as we were always going back and forth between the states, aus, and nz. And third, we eloped about 8 months ago, and we don’t want immigration to think we did this for visas because we didn’t. It was because we couldn’t get our families together in a proper amount of time and didn’t want to spend the money on that. We have 6 years worth of photos, texts, and emails, along with evidence of each other spending time with friends and family. Thanks for any feed back! I hope this thread still works here!

    • The best way to answer this is to share with you my personal experience which is that genuine applicants get approved even though they have the very same problems you have indicated in your question.

      What is the core issue is whether you and your partner have been in the genuine and continuing relationship. You obviously have scant or “not ideal” evidence in respect of the three issues you have mentioned above.

      Equally you have some very plausible reasons why your supporting material is not as perfect as it could otherwise be.

      You can still show that you meet the requirements for the grant of a partner visa based on a defacto relationship. You should use your individual statements as an opportunity for you both to properly and simply communicate to the assessing officer what your relationship is all about and why it is genuine for the requisite period. The supporting form 888s from family and friends should also address the genuineness requirement.

      I hope this is useful.
      Good luck!
      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • I have a girlfriend and she is a nurse, if we got married, will she loose her nurse registration after applying for the partner visa?

  • Hi Sir,
    My girlfriend has just been refused a visitor VISA (visit family) to re-enter Australia. She has spent 270 days in Australia and 67 days outside Australia in the last 11 months. She left Australia at the start of this month and we applied for VISA the day after she arrive home. The Dept’ officer stated “I place significant weight on travel history. Per policy, a visitor would be expected to spend as much time out of Australia as in…. I am not satisfied that the applicant does not intend to continue to spend the majority of her time residing in Australia.” We were honest in my invite letter of wanting to resume our de facto relationship and grow a stronger relationship. However, we have lived together for only 8 and a half months and short of the 12 month requirement for a partner VISA. How can we live together 12 months continually? I need to work to support us both, so it is difficult to go to her country. The letter ends with the clause 600.211 is not satisfied (Migration Regulations). I miss by 39 yo baby, I am 56. Thanks for any comments

    • Baz
      Thanks for sharing your defacto partner visa problem.
      Had you considered registering your relationship while she was in Australia?
      This would have given you some options!
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi there Nilesh

    At the time of me applying for the visa this coming November, me and my partner would only have been in a relationship for 9 and a half months. We currently just got a new joint lease and would have been living together for 1 1/2 months at the time of application.

    I have just recently registered my relationship with my partner last month to waive the 12 month de-facto/cohabitation requirement, but was wondering if a 9 month relationship stands a chance even in lieu of relationship registration?

    • If if have been in a genuine defacto relationship for 9.5 months and have a certificate, you will be fine to lodge before the 12 months is up. Does this answer your question?
      Nilesh Nandan

      • Yes Nilesh, thank you very much.

        I just was a bit fearful as when filling form 47sp online, it flagged up an issue saying the de-facto relationship is not long enough to satisfy requirements for the partner visa and to give compelling circumstances as to why it should be allowed.

        I mentioned in the comment box that we have registered our relationship, and also mentioned our commitment to each other. Many people on forums have been saying registering your relationship doesn’t even matter, so lots of confusing information online.

        • I would like to learn more about your issue – it it has not been resolved.
          You can book in a chat with me if you need to discuss.
          Nilesh Nandan

  • My partner and I have lived together for over two years in my home in Australia. She has visited Australia 6 times since 5 March 2016. The last 4 visits were about 6 months each time. She has been refused a visitors visa this September 2019 because she has spent too much time in Australia and has no real income or property in the Philippines and therefore it was thought she may overstay, this in spite of going home ahead of time in each of her 6 trips here. We were going to apply for an on-shore visa 820 leading to 801 when she arrived, but as she has been knocked back, that is now not possible.
    Two questions: 1. should she apply for a visitors visa again and limit it to only three months, and if successful apply for 820 while she is here; or
    2. should she apply for 309 leading to 100 off shore, and then immediately apply for visitors visa so we can be together. I have a non curable blood cancer which is why she has spent to much time here. I did not share that detail with Immigration. Thanks


    • In brief terms:

      1. the visitor visa is not the appropriate visa for any defacto partner.
      2. you should not apply for a further visitor visa without first applying for an offshore de facto partner visa. (registration of your relationship is recommended but unlikely now if she is offshore).
      3. an offshore 309 should be lodged with full disclosures.

      Hope this helps.
      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hi there Nilesh,
    I’ve being in a relationship with my girlfriend whose an Australian for about 3 months and we’re thinking to move in together and register as a defacto visa. I am on student visa atm .My question is that 12 month period starts from the day we register our relationship or ? So I can apply for PR and how long will be the best to prove our relationship so I can get the PR visa ?

    Thank you

  • Hi, I am on MRT ( AAT ) and from last 8 month me and my girlfriend leaving together on same address also she is separated but still not divorced she is waiting to finish 12month for divorce so can I apply for de Fecto visa before or after 12 month.
    I will wait for your reply. Thanks

  • Hi Nilesh,

    Thank you for sharing the information. It is very helpful.

    Can I ask you a question re Statutory Declaration? Since I can’t speak much of English, the friends I’ve made in Aus don’t speak much too. Thus they cant help to sign the Stat Dec. Since my partner is Australian, can he find two people from his side to fill in the Stat Dec? ( I’ve only been in Aus around 2

    Thank you very much in advance.


  • Hello Mr. Nandan,

    My partner is currently sponsored through her company on a 408 visa, and I was included in her application.

    As I work for a different organisation to her (she had previously been sponsored on a 457 visa, which allows partners/spouses to work), I was required to provide details of my current employment, which I assumed meant I could continue to work as the de facto partner of a 408 visa holder.

    However, having searched the Government’s immigration website and various immigration forums, I cannot find any information categorically stating that I can still legally work in Australia as the partner of a 408 visa holder – what are the work conditions for partners of 408 visa holders?

  • Hi Nilesh,
    My question may look a bit strange, but please pardon me. I really need some clarity as to what a defacto-relationship means? And basically, what I like to know is if “romance is an important factor/requirement by immigration dept? I am female and I have been friends with an Australian lady whom I have been living with for the past 4 and a half years. We do all things as partners do (travels, share bills, attend the same functions, have mutual friends etc). Do you think I am eligible to apply for a defacto-visa or not? I am currently on a temporary activity visa and my visa expires soon.

  • Hi there

    My partner and I applied for the de facto visa a year ago and have lived together since August 2018 – however have decided to live seperately for a year before we buy a place together.

    Will this affect my application?

    • This is a great question.

      Of course you are making it harder for yourself but technically if you’re living apart and you have a rational reason for doing so and you are only living apart temporarily there there are arguments that can be made that your relationship is never the less one which satisfies the criteria for the grant of the partner visa.

      I would recommend you get some advice on this make sure that you cover your backside. it is quite a bold thing to do under current visa regulations but one which people should in fact do if the circumstances so require.

      Fortune favours the brave I say!

  • Hi, can I still allowed to work and live here legally in Australia when my partner end with me.i am holding bridging visa A till now for he doesn’t cooperate with the processing.he said not now.

    • This is really unfortunate You need to have a valid visa to remain law for the present in Australia.

      If you have previously advised the department that you are in a relationship and this relationship has come to an end then you need to update immigration. You can make this notification using form 1022 notification of change of circumstances.

  • Hello there, i have one important question. My permanent resident visa subclass 801 was granted 24 hours ago and i broke up with my sponsor 1 week knowing this outcome and moved to different places, I now want to apply for centerlink help since I lost my job due of coronavirus and im scared that immigration will find out we broken up recently and potentially lose my PR. Is that possible?

    • Yes it is possible because you must be in the genuine and continuing relationship with your partner at the time of decision to grant you a permanent visa.

  • Hi there, I hope you doing fantastic!
    Actually i about to apply de facto visa in coming months and I currently living with my partner(PR) since last 18 months With all evidence and i take care my partner’s children too. So my question is: may I eligible for Direct PR after provisional visa grant, if i wait 6 more months?

    • No. First you need to lodge your partner visa application. Currently it takes at least 20 months (but give or take 7 months) to get a decision in relation to your partner visa application.

      While your 24 months period does start to accrue from the minute you lodge your 820 Visa or 309 visa, there is no such thing as “direct entry” in relation to spouse visas, simply because you have been together for 24 months.

      There are circumstances where you will qualify for the grant of the 820 provisional partner visa as well as the 801 permanent residence visa in rapid succession, but your case is not one of these circumstances.

  • Hello there,

    I currently hold a student visa that will expire on the 30/08/2020. My partner is an Australian citizen and we are looking to apply for a de facto partner visa by registering our relationships. We have been living in separate address and wish to continue to do so until we get officially married (planning to at 2022) due to cultural reasons. Is that possible? Do we have to move in together for the visa or is registering our relationship enough? We have been in a public relationships for exactly 4 years now (24/04/2016). We have photos of us going on trips, attending weddings and photos evidence of anniversaries and birthdays celebration as a couple for the last 4 years. My parents even included him in the most recent family portrait (professionally done).

    What evidence do we need?
    Please advice.

    • I agree that registering your relationship well indeed need help you.

      As a matter of law you will need to be in that defacto relationship on the date you apply for the visa.

      There can be many circumstances where de facto couples are not cohabiting….. Or not actually living together at the same residence.

      Common reasons are because of work requirements, study requirements or restrictions on one’s visa status.

      Just because you’re not cohabiting does not mean you will fail the requirement for a defacto visa.

      I am have a uncomfortable about the reasons you have put advice for not co-habiting. there’s a real risk that a Delegate of the department of home affairs will form of you that you are in fact only boyfriend and girlfriend rather than de facto couples hoping to go into a spousal relationship only after marriage.

      If you wish to go down this path, I would be very careful.

  • Hi Nilesh,

    My partner and I have been together for 2 and a half years, we have had a shared lease since July 2019 in the UK, and before that we were living with my parents from October 2018. I have already lodged a de facto partnership visa – we haven’t registered our relationship as we have a lot of evidence to back our relationship.

    In September 2019 I applied offshore for my partner visa and our plan was to travel Europe from August 2020, as this is when his visa expires for the uk, until my visa was granted for Australia. With the wait time currenly at 13-21 months that would mean travelling until anywhere between October 2020 and June 2021 which we are well prepared for. Obviously COVID19 is having a huge affect on our plans and I applied for an exemption to travel, to which they said I need to hold a visa and they can’t bring my previously lodged visa forward, which is okay because I am eligible for a working holiday visa which brings me onto my query.

    Would I be okay to head there on a working holiday visa because I applied for my visa offshore I am concerned what issues I will run into if I am in Australia when my partner visa is granted. Is it a case of heading to New Zealand and coming back to validate that visa or can I not be in the country at all?


    • Great question.

      The offshore subclass 309 version of the partner visa can only be granted if you are offshore.

      Nothing stops you from entering Australia on a visitor visa or a working holiday visa.

      At the time DHA is ready to grant your 309 visa, they will check their systems and if you are inside Australia, typically contact you or your agent and explain that they are ready to make it grant …and give you an opportunity to exit (to New Zealand as you have suggested in your question) so that they make the 309 grant to you.

      If this clear?

  • Hi, I have a question regarding processing times, in particular temporary grant of visa to permanent grant of visa. Is the two year period for consideration of permanent residence from the moment you make your overall application or from when you are granted the temporary visa?

    • This is a great question.

      The two year period starts at the time you make the application for the provisional partner visa subclass 820 or subclass 309.

      Subclass 820 is the onshore version and subclass 309 is the offshore version.

      You are eligible for permanent residency after you have been together for a 2 year period starting from the date of lodgment… Not from the date of decision and not from the date your relationship commenced.

      Note that even though you are eligible for permanent residency, it usually takes a few months before information requests are made and processed by DHA …to confirm that you are still in a genuine and continuing relationship, prior to the permanent resident visa grant being made.

      In the case of the case of onshore applications, you will then be granted a subclass 801 permanent resident visa. If the partner visa was originally made offshore as a subclass 309 then you will be eligible for the grant of the subclass 100 while you are on shore.

  • Hi,

    My partner is from New Zealand and I’m from Canada. We’ve applied for the 461 visa in July 2019! We’ve been together for almost 4 years (met in NZ, moved over here together) and have been living together for about 3 years. We’ve sent it enough evidence to prove everything that was asked. Just wanting to ask whether I should keep sending in more documents or just wait and not bother? Will it speed up the process or delay it?? Since we’ve sent our application in, We’ve been on a couple of important trips together, moved into our own place (we were house sharing before), and we have also applied for civil partnership. Will it help to send in this additional evidence?? Thanks!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience and frustration.

      I would get a glass of wine and forget about immigration for the moment.

      If you don’t do this you’re likely to go crazy drip-feeding immigration with every additional bit of information for many many months ahead.

      If you have confidence that you have got enough evidence to show that you are in a genuine and continuing relationship then relax and have a second glass.🍸🍷

      When your case is opened by the case officer it is my experience that in all cases you will receive a letter from them, asking you to provide updated or additional material.

      Until then, I would not waste your precious time unless you really really ♥️ love uploading stuff into your immi account.

  • Hi , I have a question.
    Im holding a student visa and my partner he holding a australian citizenship .I have been live together with him and his mom. He used to work as a causal job but unfortunately about corona virus outbreak then he lost a job ,now he getting a centralink Coronavirus supplement package .if it possible that he can sponsor me a defecto visa while he has no job?(we registered a relationship certificate )
    We live together 3 year but all the bill it under his mom also she is a owner of a small restaurant .

    Thank you ,

    • Yes. I would lodge. The current rules for defacto partner visas are as good as they are likely to ever get. I’m sure the employment situation with resolve itself by the time the defacto sponsor application is considered. I wish you both then best.
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi Nilesh,

    Hop you doing well!

    Quick question.

    My partner has been invited for a 190 visa December 2019 and she applied on February this year. She is going to add me as her de-facto in her application. Now, we have been less than 12 months together, so we send the papers for registration around 3 weeks ago.

    The problem is that her visa waiting period got reduced from 7-9 months to 5-7 months, so now we’re afraid that is going to be granted before the de-facto certificates arrives.

    Is it possible to make a change of circumstances in her visa now and upload the certificate later once we receive it? Or is it required to have the exact date where we became registered de-facto for her to do a change of circumstances in her application?

    Thank you!

    • The are a number of issues here. You should consider getting detailed advice. But for present purposes, you should note:

      1. The rules for being a defacto partner in a defacto relationship aren’t the same in 190 applications and 820 applications.
      2. Your visa status and other eligibility for the 190 is to be considered.

      The short answer to your question however is that you should update Immigration immediately and supplement the immi account with the certificate as soon as it comes in.

      Do see me if you require additional support.

      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi Nilesh,

    Thank you for giving us helpful advice!

    Our couple is having a depressing time away from one another, please help us out.

    Currently I’m in my country, South Korea finishing my degree and my partner is in Australia – he is an Australian citizen.
    We were planning to apply for the onshore partner visa this year after I enter Australia with working holiday visa or ETA. But due to the pandemic, the Australian border is closed before I finish my degree, and we are considering applying for the exemption in June when I’m ready to fly into Australia.

    We have registered our relationship at NSW in August, 2019 and we opened up our joint account in November 2018, but we haven’t applied for partnership visa nor married because we have been in a long-distance relationship.

    My question is – 1) given that we registered our relationship at NSW, how likely is it that the Australian government would grant me the travel exemption?

    2) I’m thinking of applying for ETA or working holiday visa along with the exemption application, would the type of the visa I choose affect their decision on whether they grant me the exemption or not?

    3) If Australian government rejects me to enter Australia, what will be the way for us to see each other? :'(

    I hope my questions are clear for you to understand.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  • Hi..
    Is it possible to legally register De facto relationship if my partner is in legally married and has not permanently ended his marriage. I mean he is not intend to divorce his wife..I’m an Indonesian and he is an Australian citizenship. We’ve been t in a relationship more than 2years and i can proof it And now i’m 4months pregnant by him. I have a multiple tourist visa and allowed to stay there for maximum 3months. So since last 2019 i came and out from Australia many times. But because the international border is still closed i cant fly there.
    Thank you Nilesh and have a good day

    • The rules full registration of civil partnerships or any de facto relationship differ from state to state and territory.

      I’m not aware of any state or territory that will allow a defacto relationship to be registered where one party is still married to a third party.

      in your case you say that you have been in a defacto relationship for at least two years and you have “proof” of that. This means that you will be able to rely on the basis of the 12-month rule. If you’re not married or if you do not have a relationship certificate then you need to be in a defacto relationship to the exclusion of all others for a period of 12 months to meet your prior to making the application for a partner visa.

      You should get specific advice about your circumstances before making an application.

      Thank you for your question and I hope that my preliminary comments have been useful.

      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi Nilesh,

    I am currently under my ex boyfriend’s 485 graduate visa as a dependent(he is not Australian). We went to apply to end our civil partnership during November 2019. After three months we’ve got a certificate documenting our relationship being over, but we didn’t inform immigration that the circumstances have changed.

    I am wondering if in this situation, am I able to apply for a partner visa under my 485 dependent visa with my current boyfriend who is an Australian citizen? or likely I will get a BVC or BVE as I can’t work or leave aus ?
    Or the processing time will take longer than other applicants .

    Thanks you for your answer

    • Great question.

      If you are in a genuine and continuing (new) relationship with your Australian citizen partner, then you can lodge a subclass 820 partner visa (get a new certificate). This is possible because you hold a substantive visa and you will be granted a bridging visa A in association with any subclass 820 application made at this time.

      I hope this answers your questions and thank you for your comment.

      Please contact me if you require further information or assistance or a quotation in relation to making the partner visa application.

      Best wishes.

  • Hi I have got refused visa from my previous 1st marriage and got divorced and now I’m re-married with my wife and we are living together, she’s Australian citizenship and I’m on protection visa , we have be together for three years and have our baby son 1year old. I have applied for partner visa Again and I got refused again . Now I have got refused from the department to lodge my Partner visa application now it seem I can’t lodge my visa application again . My lawyer asked me to lodge from offshore as I can’t leave my family and job here . Is there another option to do my case ? Please help.

  • Hi, at the time of lodgement, I would have been living with my partner for 7/8 months, and in a relationship for 1 1/2 years. The immigration have asked for further evidence, basically evidence why we didn’t register our relationship or didn’t meet the 12 month requirement of living together. We registered our relationship with the navy but that is it. What evidence should we give them to explain this. Our reason was we genuinely didn’t know registering our relationship with the state was a thing. And we decided to stay in aus rather than move back to my own country to continue the relationship because my partner is in the navy so he has work commitments. Please help what evidence would be best to supply? A signed letter explaining all this?

  • My wife who wants to leave our marriage because I cheated with my best friend has come back to me. I have done everything to show remorse but she refused to come back for over 6 months she won’t even let me see my kids. I feel sorry and remorseful for my actions already but not letting me see my kids is causing me depression.

    • I’m sorry Lucas but this is not a matter we can help with. Suggest you call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for support for your depression. Best wishes.

  • Hi Nilish good day !! I am under student visa I arrived here last June 2019 and on my application my status is defacto with my boyfriend that is in my home country but along the way we separated. because of long distance . This January 2020 I met a new guy and we get a long then live together starting February 2020 and till now . My student visa will expire on Sept. My question is that do u think we can apply de facto before my visa ends? with different partner? Or should I apply for another student visa for us to have more evidences and to rlimate my former status please enlighten me 🙁

  • Hi Nilesh,

    My partner and I have been together for over a year, we are currently doing long distance. She was going to move to Australia this year but the restrictions have complicated everything. It is possible to apply for entry to Australia for a De Facto Partner. However, would the de facto visa be required for this or can we just prove that we are de facto? I cannot find it specified anywhere. My partner is currently a permanent resident of another county, so we are hoping that she can apply for a non-immigrant visa instead to avoid losing her residency. She would be eligible for the subclass 417 visa.

  • Hi can i ask if we can apply for a de facto with my partner.By the way im separated from my exhusband for 20 yrs already. My current partner is living outside Au and we have been in relationship for over 6yrs. Is it better for him to come here on TV then we will apply for de facto when he is here already.need advise.thank u

    • Certainly it is better to make an onshore application for any partner visa rather than an offshore application for any partner visa. The main reason for this is that you’ll be able to remain together whilst the visa is being processed. Feel free to book a 10 minute free chat if you’d like to discuss:

  • Hi, I sponsored my partner and she has been approved for temporary residency. We are now ready to submit the PR application. Funds are a bit tight due to the covid 19 pandemic so we want to submit this ourselves. Is this ok to do or us it risky without legal representation?

    • If your application is genuine and continuing and you are disciplined and determined to put together all of the supporting material confirming this fact then I think that it is reasonable that you could lodge the PR part of the application yourself.

      These are difficult times and any money you can save can go towards starting your new life together!💃

      I wish you the very best. In case you have problems feel free to contact me again.

  • Hi Nilesh,
    Wonderful post, thank you.
    My partner and I just finished our master’s. We’ve been together for almost 7 years and lived together for at least 4. We were thinking to apply for the 485 independently, however, with the lockdowns and the COVID crises we are trying to cut down costs. Now, we are thinking that only one of us should apply to the 485 and the other would join as a de facto partner. I have a few questions.

    1. Do you think is better to apply separately or as a couple?
    2. If she joins my application as de facto partner, will she have full working rights?
    3. We don’t have any of the proof here in Australia (i.e. shared bills, bank account, or lease). Would be this a problem or there is any other way to prove the relationship?

    Thank you so much for any piece of advice.

    • If both of you qualify independently then I think it would make sense to spend a little bit more and to lodge two(2) separate applications at the present time.

      Be careful not to compromise any answers you provide in terms of being in a genuine and continue relationship with your partner.

      If you’d like weather advice and please booking a consultation with me.
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi,
    My partner and I applied for a de facto visa and we were granted the 820 and now it is time to complete stage 2 for 801. My partner who is sponsoring me has lost his job and has not been able to get another one due to Covid 19. Will this have an effect on getting the 801?

    • No it won’t stop you getting the grant, Laura!

      Just make sure your relationship stays strong.

      Expect delays because of Covid, but don’t expect any visa refusal if your relationship is genuine.

      Thank you for reaching out to me. Hope this helps.
      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Thank you for your reply Nilesh I really appreciate it. Should I mention the fact that he is not working at the moment in the financial part ?

  • He resigned due to medical reasons and is ready to go back to work and has reapplied again but due to Covid 19 they put the job on hold.

  • Hi we are planning to apply for the partner visa, we have been committed for about 5 years. Other than supporting documents and witness letters, is there any separate statement we could provide to try to shorten the bridging period? Thanks

    • Thanks for posting your question.

      There is no separate statement other than your own statement and that of your partner together with the form 888 forms of people close to you confirming your relationship is genuine and continuing.

      if your state or territory allows you to register your relationship then I would strongly recommend you do this and get a relationship certificate prior to lodging.

      Best regards
      Nilesh Nandan

  • Hi,

    I’m from Uk and live in Australia with my nz gf . It will be 12 months in January 2020 we will have lived together for 12 months . We will go to nz in Feb 2020 as my gf will study for a period of time and i will go with her to nz . If we apply offshore with both my gf and myself in nz will i get grant for 461 offshore? If visa 461 is granted Does she need to come back to Australia with me and then visa will be granted ?

  • Hi

    My girlfriend and I have been together for 14 months. She lives in New York and we have not lived together but we have seen each other every 2 months until covid flight restrictions have been enforced and have not been able to see her. I would like to get her into the country to live with me because that was the original plan anyway. Do you think I can get a fly in exemption if we register our relationship as de facto? I live in Victoria. Or do you have a suggestion of a better way to get her to here? Thanks

    • I do not think that you will get any exemption for you girlfriend to fly into Victoria at the present time because of covid-19 restrictions.

      If she is a girlfriend and not a de facto partner then it is unlikely that you would be able to get a relationship registered in any event because it requires you to be in fact in a de facto relationship and resident in the state for registering your relationship.

      You could give consideration to lodging a prospective marriage visa.

      Please give me a call to confirm your eligibility for a prospective marriage visa or another type of visa using this link to book the call.

  • Hi myself and my Australian boyfriend live in the Northern Territory and he want to know. How important is it to have a joint account for the visa is it a necessity for the visa as he has never wanted one and doesn’t now?

    Also not that it would happen but he worries what would the outcome be if we broke up during the application or after the visa is granted?

    • It is most certainly possible to get a partner visa approved without having joint bank accounts.

      The bigger issue is whether you share a household together and whether you are committed to each other. This does not necessarily require joint bank accounts. If you have them then well and good. I am increasingly seeing couples including also same sex couples not having joint bank accounts at all you’re still meeting the requirements of the Migration Act in relation to partner visa criteria.

      Onto your second question, if your relationship breaks down before your permanent residence visa is granted then you will need to withdraw your application and jump onto another visa.

      If the permanent residence visa has been granted and provided there has been no fraud or incorrect answer affecting the previous applications then you would simply part ways and there would be no visa consequence full stop the partner with permanent residency would continue to have permanent residency under the partner visa program because the law acknowledges that relationships do breakdown.

      If your relationship breaks down as a result of domestic violence and you can evidence that family violence has occurred during the course of your relationship, or if there is a situation where the sponsor dies or if there is a child of the relationship then there is an opportunity under the Migration Act to seek to have the grant of the permanent resident visa, even though their relationship has ended.

  • My partner applied for permanent residency with his ex-partner and the primary applicant was his ex-partner. They got the PR in 2014. They got separated in 2015 and divorced in 2017. We have been together in a de-facto relationship for over 18 months, can my partner sponsor me?

    • Yes!

      The sponsorship limitation on serial sponsorship for partner visas only applies in relation to more than one partner visa.

      If your partner was sponsored as a dependent on an employer-sponsored visa, the serial sponsorship rules do not apply but even if they did, you could proceed to lodge a de facto partner visa application now because the timing would allow an application to be made now.

      Although the time period between two partner visas needs to be five years, these dates are counted from the date of lodgement of the first partner visa permission to the date of decision in relation to the second partner visa permission.

      If you would like specific advice please book in a chat with me here:

  • My partner applied last year for a defacto visa with her ex-partner and is still waiting for approval. Their relationship is registered (but has now ended). She is now in a genuine relationship with me (I’m an Australian citizen) and I would like to sponsor her so she can be stay in the country.
    What is the best thing to do when someone changes partners while waiting for a defacto visa application to be approved i.e. what options do we have to move forward?
    Thank you!

    • If you are still waiting for a decision in relation to a partner visa (this would mean your partner holds a bridging visa at the present time) then you should contact me urgently about withdrawing that application and lodging a fresh partner visa application.

      If there is a partner visa that is refused then you will have a difficulty in lodging a fresh partner visa application whilst in Australia and you should seek to avoid that situation if at all possible.

      A guiding light in all of this is to make sure that you do not mislead the Department of Immigration in relation to whether or not your partner ha in fact a continuing genuine relationship with his (ex) partner.

      You can use this link to book in a complimentary chat with me without charge to discuss this matter further if that helps you.

  • I am from the United state of America i had little issues with my husband and he left home after we had quarrels, i miss him so very much. I have tried to reconcile with him but he went ahead to settle down with another lady who have been trying to still him away from me, she works in the same office with him. I told my friend about what i was going through and she said i don’t need to worry that there is powerful Priest who can help me prepare a spiritual power to bring him back to me without much delay. I contacted Priest and he really helped me, we are back together again and also the kids are happy that their father is back home. I am so happy and would also advice you to contact his through his email: Email Robinson_bucler (@) yahoo. com……

    He ( cured me from Herpes virus too ) _________

    Sure Treatment!!

    Please contact:

    Thank YOU for reading!!

  • Can you apply for a partner visa and NOT live with your partner? If you register your relationship with the state, does that allow you to validate your relationship without moving in?

  • Im currently staying on Australia With a working visa. I had applied for de facto visa (Without marriage ) of my ex and visa has been Recently lodged as well. However, we are not in relationship anymore n he is not coming here as well. Now I going to marry another guy and applying him for the De facto relationship visa with marriage proofs. Can I immediately apply his visa?? Or I have to wait for some years??

  • Hi Nilesh,

    My partner is currently overseas, we are applying for the exemption to travel for a de facto partner, we have also just applied to register our relationship. Would she be able to come over on a 417 visa or would she have to come over on a partner visa.
    Also if we have not lived together for a year does that ruin our chances of being classed as de facto? We have a lot of other evidence to back up our relationships and commitment

  • I have sponsored two partner visas in the past without any dependant children. I now have a 3rd partner in a 1 year relationship which is pregnant on a student Visa. I Also have a section 9 recorded against me. What do i need to do and will my Visa application be rejected if I apply. Please help

  • Hi Nilesh, I know this is a long time ago, but I hope you would be able to read my comment.

    I have a boyfriend for almost 10 years and he is offshore at the moment. I would like to ask if it is possible for him to go here on a tourist visa and we will apply for a de facto relationship and then add him to my 485 Visa? Thanks.

  • Hi,

    Very helpful articles!

    My boyfriend (an Australian citizen) is currently posted in India for work and we met 3 months back. Our relationship has become fairly serious since and we have been considering a partnership visa but staying aprt while the application processes is not an option.

    I have been reading a lot about the visa processes on govt websites /blogs/lawfirm alerts, but it all seems to end with a deadlock. While it may be possible for citizens of some countries to arrive in Australia on a tourist and then apply for a partnership or marriage visa from within Australia, the same isnt true for an Indian citizen. This is quite a worrying situation for us as my boyfriend moves back to Australia by End of January and we wouldnt want to stay apart, while substantive visa application is pending.

    Preparing and Applying for a lengthy and tedious partner Visa application in india and then waiting for a decision to come through is not an option for us. If we have the konths if Dec and Jan to work documents and application out, what is best solution for us? Can i apply for the Partner visa from india and then immediately apply for a tourist visa and leave with him so that we dont stay away?

  • Hi, I am student visa and my boyfriend is kiwi and leave in australia over 30 years but he does not have australia passport. How we can apply de facto relationship? Can we apply de facto with new zealand passport?
    Thanks and regard

  • My gf is living outside Australia and I’m an Australian citizen, we have been planning to apply for a de facto visa. I’m currently studying and don’t have a stable job yet. Will that affect the financial aspect of our application? Do we need to show a lot of funds/money in our joint account or do I need to prove that I can financially support her?

  • I’m in the process of putting my partner visa application together. We would’ve been together for 18 months at the time of lodgement but only lived together for 7 months (with bills for 5 of those months).

    We attempted to register our relationship through Victoria’s BDM site in June but due to COVID they are not issuing certificates. I have a copy of the application receipt which I’ll add to the evidence but I don’t imagine the certificate will arrive by November.

    We have plenty of joint plane tickets, bank transfers, photos and messages prior to living together but I’m not sure whether this is going to be enough? Obviously don’t want to waste the money if it’s almost certain to get rejected.


  • Hello Nilesh,

    I had a question about applying for the partner visa. My partner and I have been in a relationship for the period for 4 years, myself being the permanant resident. We have several times considered moving in together but I am supporting my mother who is unwell and dependent on myself financially. Is a partner visa in this scenario still possible for us?

  • Hi Nilesh,
    I am a UK citizen and met my partner of 4+ years while on a work visa in QLD in 2017. After a year in QLD living separately I moved back to the UK for university. We have visted each other back and forth for periods of 1-3 months each year. My partner is at university in QLD. In 2019 I moved to QLD on a student visa as part of my university. I moved in with my partner from March 2020-July 2020 but his house is paid for my his work with no lease so we can’t really prove I lived there during the Covid-19 lockdown. I am now back in the UK for final year of university as he finishes university in QLD. We have evidence such as years of flight receipts, cards, photos and a joint bank account as proof of our relationship. Do you think we could qualify for de-facto status? We have been committed for over 4 years, but university and visas have prevented us living together properly.
    Thanks so much for your help.

  • Hi Nilesh, thank you so much for this post, we truly appreciate it.

    I met my boyfriend online in January 2019, he is an Australian citizen residing in NSW. We started a long-distance relationship for 6 months with phone and video calls. In June 2019, I flew over and stayed with him for 3 months to assist and support him through a post-surgery period. We were separated for 3 months as I was in New York for work, and I returned to stay with him again for 3 months from Dec 2019 to March 2020.

    I was supposed to return in March, and submit an onshore application for a Partner Visa so that we could start our life together and build up a small business as well. But since the closure of international borders, I have been unable to return. I seek your advice:

    1) Both of us are in our late-40s, as such, we never had much social media proof of our relationship. Neither do we have a joint bank account or had any will made. We are not prepared for marriage either at this stage. Will all of this hinder our application for a de facto Partner Visa?
    2) Once borders reopen expecting mid-2021, can I apply for a tourist visa to visit him again, and we submit an onshore application then? What are our chances?
    3) Based on our circumstances, please can you advise what we can do for now and also when the borders reopen?

    Thank you so much, Nilesh.

    • Mel

      Have you considered register your relationship at the state of New South Wales? I didn’t assist with registration of relationships but you should explore your opportunity to register such a relationship even though you are currently outside of Australia.

      The second issue which arise from your questions is that 2 days ago significant changes were announced in relation to the partner visa program.

      English language requirements are to be introduced. These are unlikely to affect you as you are likely to be from an English speaking background. But it does change the requirements in terms of having your partner required to first be approved as a partner-sponsor before your visa application will be entertained.

      The next consideration is the fact that allow it is always preferable to make the application inside Australia, get ordered to come within more preferable current rules, you should get some advice in relation to an offshore application for a de facto partner visa.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. I had no idea we can register a de facto relationship, which I believe would help a lot as we did not live together for 12 months, nor do we have children or joint assets, and only screenshots of text messages. I understand the application takes up to 9 weeks to apply. Once we have the de facto relationship registered, would I have a chance to apply for a travel exemption to enter Australia, and once there, apply for an onshore partner visa? Do you think that our case is strong enough? I would have no issues with the English test, and I am from an Apac country but I speak fluent English. Thank you.

  • Hi Nilesh,

    First of all, thanks for putting up this very informative article.
    It has helped answer many questions, but I do have a few things I need more clarification on and I was hoping you could help advise on.

    I am an Australian Citizen, my girlfriend is in Sydney on a student visa and it will expire in June 2021. We have been dating for 3 months now, and we are looking to get married in the 1st quarter of next year.
    As I understand from this article, as we have not been dating for 12 months, the first thing we need to do is apply for a relationship register/certificate. (Are both the same or are they different, and do we need to provide any supporting documentation, photos or other related items, and what is the percentage that this is be approved and we will be able to get this relationship register/certificate?).
    Do I then apply for the PR (820) before or after we get married, or does it not make a difference?
    And once we have lodged the PR application, am I right in saying that even though her visa has expired, she is still able to lawfully stay in Sydney until we get the outcome from the PR 820 application?
    How close to her visa expiry date should we lodge the PR application?

    Thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions you can provide to us.

    • It is technically possible to lodge a partner visa application prior to the date of the marriage however I would not recommend this course of action.

      I say this because there is a risk that you might be found not to be in a genuine and continuing relationship, sufficient for the purposes of the migration regulations, as at the time you made the application. Having a marriage certificate can combat this risk and is quite an ace of cards to hold.

      Another opportunity available to you and to others in most other states but not all, is to make an application to register your relationship with the offices of Births Deaths and Marriages. Most people go for this option if their state or territory allows it.

      In relation to the best time to apply I would say that you should apply as soon as you are eligible and that regard as soon as you I’m married or have a relationship certificate or at least applied for a relationship certificate.

      Earlier this month it was announced by the treasurer and also followed up by the minister that rules relating to partner visas will change in the future. I think those (future) rules will be much more problematic than the current rules so I would try and lodge with the current rules as quickly as possible.

      When an answer application is made by a visa holder who holds a substantive visa, and that application is made in Australia while the visa applicant is in Australia than that visa applicant will usually obtain a bridging visa A, by operation of law in most circumstances.

      That bridging visa will keep the visa applicant lawfully present in Australia and usually with full work rights until such time as the decision in relation to the application is made.

      The visa holder might be eligible for a different bridging visa to allow the visa holder to exit Australia for a short period and return to Australia, and then wait in Australia until the final decision is made.

      If there are travel restrictions in place then you need to be aware and compliant with travel restrictions in place or obtain relevant exemptions in relation to travel both out of and into Australia.

      In my experience it is taking about 20 months give or take 7 months for subclass 820 Visa applications to be decided.

      I hope this helps and please consider leaving a review about your interactions with me and Live nation available in this blog… at this link below … as it helps me greatly.

      Good luck!

  • Hi Nilesh,

    I moved to Qld on a gap year in 2016 and worked at a school where I met my partner, who is an Australian citizen. I stayed for a year and we entered into our relationship very soon after I arrived in 2016. When I had to leave back to the UK for university in July 2017, we continued our relationship long-distance. He flew over to the UK for a month in December 2017, and I lived with him for 2 months over summer in 2018. I also visited for Christmas 2018. In July 2019 I got to move back to Qld for a year on exchange with my university, where we were closer but not in the same city so visited each other consistently but we didn’t live together. We did open a joint bank account to help pay for the flights to and from. When lock-down happened in March 2020 i moved in with him, but the school he works for owns the house and part of his wages are seen as ‘rent’ so he doesn’t have a lease that I could be added to. I stayed with him until July 2020. I have had to move back to the UK to finish off my degree, while he also finishes his university in Central Queensland. We really want to live in Brisbane, but we’re not sure if we are eligible for the de-facto visa as we have never officially lived together. We have 4 years of flight receipts, photos and a joint bank account, and are incredibly committed to each other, but because of university neither one of us could stay in the UK or Qld to live together properly. What are your thoughts on this? I wold like to move there and gain permanent residency eventually.

    Thanks for your help!

    • There are a lot of nooks and crannies involved in the history you have shared above.

      The short story is that people in defacto relationships can often live apart and still meet the requirement (at the time of application and at the time of decision), of being in the genuine and continuing relationship…..provided that if they were living apart at any relevant time, they were living apart only temporarily.

      You can book in a quick no-charge chat with me if you require further assistance.

      I’m grateful for your question and hope my answer gives you the clarification you need.

      Could I ask that you please login to FB (to be able to leave a review) and comment about your experience with me? It really helps me have more conversations and interactions like this one, by reducing my costs of advertising.

      Would you please do this for me, Helena?

  • Hi,
    A friend has recently applied for de facto partner visa – only about 2 months. She applied onshore, and she is still on bridging visa. Unfortunately, her sponsor has become controlling resulting in emotional and psychological trauma for her from domestic violence. She wants to leave the relationship but she is fearful that her 820/810 would not be granted if she leaves. Her abusive partner has also threatened to contact Immigrations if she leaves and tell them to cancel her visa. Given that she has only got the bridging visa less than 3 months, can she apply for change of situation successfully without being the partner visa being cancelled altogether? How long does she have to live (suffering in silence) before she is able to leave the abusive sponsor and therefore be eligible to notify Immigrations of change in situation? Thank you.

  • Hi
    Me and my Australian partner are in a relationship for past 2 years and 7 months. We are living together and have our finance together. We met each other parents as well. I’m on the student visa at the moment and it will be ending on march next year. Do you think it makes a strong De Facto Visa case or do we need to get married (as we don’t want get married now, we want to save some money and have a wedding after 1-1.5 year)?

  • Hi Nilesh,

    Hope you are doing well!

    I am currently in India and my fiance is in Victoria(PR). We were supposed to get married in Apr 2020 but due to covid marriage is now postponed to either Dec2020 or Jan-Feb 2021.
    Is it possible for me to apply defacto tourist visa for now so that I can travel along with my partner to Australia after getting married in India. And, then apply partner visa from onshore once I reach there on temporary defacto visitor visa. What is the possibility of getting temporary defacto visa if I have photographs of engagement, marriage venue booking details of April and whatsapp chat of confirmed marriage. We dont have any common financial proofs like rent agreements or bank accounts. And our relationship started around nov 2019.

    • There is no such thing as:

      “defacto tourist visa” or “temporary defacto visitor visa”.

      It would appear from the information you have provided that you are not in any defacto relationship as recognised by Australian visa rules.

  • Hi Me and my partner are applying for a defacto partner visa, I am currently on a student visa and was wondering when I get put on a Bridging Visa will I have full working rights or still be on 20hours and have to keep attending college here ? My student visa end in Oct 2021.

    • Even though your bridging visa is granted to you, the visa which is in effect is the student visa… and you will need to keep on complying with your student visa conditions.

      If there is limited risk to you getting what is known as a “no further stay” condition, you might consider applying for a visitor Visa which will extinguish the student visa.

      You will not be able to work for 3 months on the visitor visa but after the visitor visa ends, and assuming you lodge your partner visa whilst the holder of the visitor visa, your bridging visa will kick in and you’ll have full work rights.

  • Hi Nilesh,

    I’m on a student visa with four more years to go before it expires however it is a packaged visa which means I still need to complete a two year program and a three year one. I am currently halfway through the two year program and due to covid it has been difficult financially.

    I have a boyfriend who wants to help me but we’ve only been together for 6 months and living separately and we want to register our relationship.

    We want to apply for a Partner Visa and have a few questions – Does my student visa need to continue while waiting for Partner Visa approval? (We cannot sustain the tuition fees long term). And secondly we would like to know what our chance of having our partner visa approved is.

    Thank you for any advice that you can offer us.

  • Hi Nilesh ,
    Good day !!
    Hope you are doing well .
    I am currently in Adelaide on 485 visa and my visa expire in September 2021. My Fiancé is a citizen and stay’s in Adelaide too . We started dating each other 2 years back when I came here on student visa and recently got engaged . We registered our relationship in July 2020 in SA. We plan to apply for de facto as we can’t marry until my family can come here and they can not travel due to travel restrictions. We don’t stay together because of many personal reasons(religion mostly), but I do have him on my lease which started in Feb 2020 . We have our bank account together, we support each other financially , I recently changed my religion and have got certificate of that, we have bills together , receipts of gifts, chats and other relevant documents
    What do you suggest in this case ?
    Your suggestion and help will be appreciated !!

  • Hi

    I and my partner have been in a de facto relationship since September 2017. My partner is an Australian citizen. We have lived together since and have a joint bank account, rent lease, and many more evidences that are listed in home affairs website. Would we be considered as a long-term relationship and be waived from 2 staged process when we apply for the partner visa? I understand it would be circumstantial but I would like to know if the sufficient evidences are there this would be the case.
    If yes, what should we focus on when we prepare the documents?

    Much appreciated.

  • Hi Nilesh, I have a question regarding the de facto. Me and my partner( PR holder) have been in a relationship and lived together for 2 and half years. During that time i was onshore and had to extend my student visa and eventually apply for my grad visa (485), during the application for both visa’s I picked “never married” as the relationship status. At that time I wasn’t aware how the de facto relationship worked and thought i should first register my relationship to be considered as a de facto.

    I applied for my Grad visa in Jan 2020 and registered my relationship in July ,What i am worried about is the Relationship status I had picked recently for my temp visa. Will this cause any issue and should i file a form 1023. How could I approach this?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Hi Nilesh, we applied partners visa onshore last January 2019, currently on BVA. When we applied as de facto, we didn’t not meet the criteria of 12 months living together but we have had compelling reason we included during the application. We get married early this year and updated immi account details. Im a little worried I might get refusal, what do you think I should do?

  • Hi,

    Me and my partner have met while both working on a cruise ship and this is when our relationship started back in March 2019 since then we we have managed to see each other a few times in port of calls (when we ended up on different ships)and once for a month vacation together and we are in a constant long distance relationship and well Covid did not help us much to be able to see each other either. She is planning to come to Europe for like 3/4 weeks vacation what we could spend together as soon as borders are opening up and then around September time I wish to visit her in Australia. We wish to find a way to be able to stay together and have the chance to live together. could we still have chance for partner visa if we do not register in de facto? and not been living together at all? If I go out with a tourst visa and live together for 3month could that be enough? appreciate your advice.

  • Hi Nilesh,

    Currently I’m on a bridging visa for (491),and before lodging my 491 visa I was holding a 485 visa. My, question is that can I apply for a partner visa 820 while on bridging visa, and can I cancel my 491 application after lodging 820 while the 491 is not yet finalised or decided?

  • Hi.
    I am married but not living wit my husband since 2 years.
    I am in defacto relationship since 3 years and want to apply for partner visa.
    I am not divorced lived at same house for few months with ex husband but now living with my partner since 2.5 years.
    How do I prove that I am separated and now wish to apply for defacto visa

  • Hi I have been living at my partner’s home, who is an Australian citizen, regularly from past 9 months and on and off from past two years. We live in close proximity, two minutes drive away. He is separated not divorced yet but will soon apply for one sided divorce as his ex wife won’t return his calls. We have a genuine relationship, our familys know and all our friends and colleagues. We are in a relationship from past two and half years. My student visa expires in couple of months, can I apply for defacto. The only thing we don’t have is anything under our joint name, no bank account or home bills as we pay rent all inclusive.

    What can we do to get past it?

    We are planning to get married once divorce sorts, probably by mid of next year, what effect can it have on the application?

  • Hi guys, if you need help to get back your ex lovers or want any help whatsoever, you can email Lord Zakuza on Lordzakuza7 @ gmail. com for he’s a GOD on earth..

  • Hi Nilesh

    My partner and I plan to go to the UK for 1 year in 2021 (we are currently separated by distance ) and apply visa 820 onshore when we come back. Would the 12 month rule be exempted if we get married before lodging the application? Also, if we decide to register our relationship (if we haven’t got married when lodging the application), at what stage should we register our relationship and would that affect if we get married while waiting for visa decision? Thanks

  • Hi Nilesh,

    i have been granted my PR visa subclass 190 three years ago. I had applied for this visa together with my then de-facto partner and we both were granted the same visa (190).
    Does this count as a sponsorship? Can I sponsor my new partner for 820 visa now, or do I have to wait for the 5 year limitation?

    Thank You,
    Best Regards,

    • George

      Great great question!

      It does not count as a sponsorship.

      If your relationship has broken down and you wish to sponsor a foreigner for a partner visa, then you should do so quickly, before the laws on relation to partner visas change in the first half of this year.

      But certainly there is no sponsorship limitation at the present time which would apply to you.

      Please contact me if you would like help lodging a new partner visa application subclass 820.

  • Hi. First of all thank you for your services and the information provided on your website. I have a question with respect to the option of registering your relationship in order to bypass the de facto criteria. What are the alternatives for couples (my partner is from South Australia) that are not resident in the ‘good states’. It sounds silly, but should they consider changing their state in order to apply for the partner visa successfully? Thank you.

  • Hi,
    I am a PR, I want to sponsor my wife for partner visa, she’s thinking to get an ETA and then apply for partner visa onshore.

    Is the ETA still available at the moment? they now have an ETA mobile app since October last year, but im not sure if its now available for application

  • Hi , my fiancé was recently was a job as a doctor in Melbourne with a 407 training visa. We have been together for 7 years and living together for 3 years. Will I be eligible to apply for a de facto partner visa? What are my chances for it to get approved and also will I be able to get the Visa the same time as my partner? We are planning to get married in a month.

  • Hi, i have a question. My friend arrived as a student and is not divorced yet from overseas. She will soon start her proceedings from the Australia court. Her partner who is an Australian citizen wants to marry her because she has only 5 months visa left and they love each other. She wants to know if her divorce might be an issue for applying for a de facto or spouse visa. Thanks for your help.

  • Hi, I was granted partners temporary graduate (485) visa and it’s valid till may 2021 but my defacto wants to divorce, not yet divorce. Currently I am offshore and she is in australia. So, in this line can I will my visa still be valid and can i enter australia if i get divorce with her?

  • If I have PR and waiting to hear about my partners de facto visa, but our relationship ends. Does my partner need to leave the country immediately (back to the UK) or is there an option for him to stay in Australia? Also with COVID does that mean he stays here until travel restrictions are lifted? Can he still work?

  • Hello Nilesh

    I found this is very useful. I would like to get advice on my current situation and proceed with your consultant on my case.

    I am in a defacto relationship with my partner for over 2 years now. My partners have been married before perpetually separated for close to 7 years now. But it has been very difficult to obtain the divorce with all the issues her ex-partner. She is living in a country, that the legal system does not allow to obtain the divorce as sole application.

    What is the best option available for us in this situation?

  • Hi there
    My partner and I are applying for the 820/801 visa. We will not get married for a couple of years due to covid. If we apply for the 820/801 can we get married during the process or will this void our application ? I’ve head that you must wait until you are granted the 801 to get married

  • Hi there
    My partner and I are applying for the 820/801 visa. We will not get married for a couple of years due to covid. If we apply for the 820/801 can we get married during the process or will this void our application ? I’ve head that you must wait until you are granted the 801 to get married

  • Hello, thank you for all this great information. I am currently on a student visa but I have been living with my partner since I was on a visitor visa. Is it ok to register my relationship now or would that make it seem like I was not a genuine student or visitor? I am studying and following my visa guidelines. We have been together since about one month after I arrived to Australia. Thanks!

  • Hi just a quick question. I am Australia citizen and I have a girlfriend in Japan but she has a 7 year old child dependent to her and the main guardian as my girlfriend is already divorced with her past marriage. What visa can I get for her child if I will apply a defacto visa for my girlfriend.

  • Hi, I am an Australian citizen living in Ireland, I’ve been in a committed relationship for nearly 4 years but only started living together 10 months ago, but I never changed any of my documentation so we can’t prove we moved in together a year ago, would we still be eligible for the partner visa? We are only 19 and 21.

  • Hi there,
    Is the immigration officer able to access WhatsApp private conversations for a partner visa application and check the legitimacy?

  • Hello, I am the sponsor of a partner visa applicant and my relationship has broken down beyond repair.

    I wanted to try to respect the application but my partner has since started being with another and she has been abusive towards me.

    What can I do? Who do I notify of my circumstances. She’s trying to kick me out of my home that I have built with little to no help from her. I have supported her fully, I even got stuck in the pandemic overseas visiting her family because she had ceased being human in her homesickness and need to see her family.

    I have done everything to support this until I have reached breaking point. I cannot see myself leaving my home that I have worked so hard to build. Please give me some advice.

  • Hi Nilesh

    I was wonderin to what extent the department expects money to be pooled between de facto partners. Is it sufficient to have individual accounts as well as a joint account that is used to pay all shared bills? Or is it expected that all money comes in and out of single joint account? Thanks.

  • Hi!
    I am an Australian Citizen and my boyfriend is German and 35 years old.
    We have been together in a relationship since June 2019 ( so 1.5 years) and we met working overseas.
    We are currently both outside of Australia due to COVID rules as he cannot enter the country. We previously spent 10 months apart in different countries originally because of work commitments and then COVID not being able to travel. Now being back in the same country (Turkey) for approx 7 months and will be apart again for another 6/7 months for work. Hoping to both travel to Australia by the end of the year so he can at least meet my family! I see applying for a defacto relationship is one of the only options but struggling with evidence.
    How long does the process take? How much does it cost and do you see any other visa options for us?

  • Also I forgot to add that I am from Perth which does not recognise the registered relationship documents.
    And we work as hotel annimators/Entertainers. This means we live in the hotel for free so no bills or rent paid.
    We have been staying in our friends apartment in Turkey for the last 6/7 months with only paying bills to him. Proof being that the address is the same on our turkish residence permit application otherwise no proof of rent.

    • Dear Amber

      Nilesh has asked me to respond to your question.

      Thank you for contacting MyVisa®.

      You may be eligible for a Partner visa based on your de facto relationship. We think this is your only option, considering your circumstances.

      Regarding your relationship evidence, your circumstances are challenging. You will need lots of statements (4x Form 888 plus partner statements).

      Usually, a Partner visa application takes between 19 and 23 months to process. However, it can vary depending on individual circumstances and COVID.

      Should you wish to get specific advice from Nilesh, you can book in a consultation with him here.

      Jade Lee
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hi, I am currently awaiting for the approval of a partnership visa. We were in an de facto relationship prior to the application. Now we want to get married, however have been told that getting married will impact on our application negatively. This makes absolutely no sense to us. Is that true? Thanks heaps

    • Dear Sandy

      Nilesh has asked me to respond to your question.

      Thank you for contacting MyVisa®.

      The short answer is that it is recommended to remain in a de facto relationship until after the partner visa application is finalised.

      We agree that it makes little sense!

      Here are some of the issues:

      Officers can test the integrity and status of the relationship at the date of application and again at the date of decision.

      Legislation is poorly drafted and does not properly accommodate (your partner visa situation) where there is a claim of a “de facto” relationship at the time of application and then a “married” relationship at the time of decision.

      If you have applied for an onshore Partner visa (subclass 820/801), it will depend on whether you relied on the registration of your de facto relationship to get past the 12 month requirement.

      For these cases, it may be advisable not to get married, as this may adversely affect the relevance of the de facto relationship certificate (as it may no longer be applicable) due to the change in your relationship status from de facto to married. Complicated, isn’t it!

      This is not to say that partner visa grants can not or are not made to applicants who are in a defacto relationship at the time of application and a married relationship at the time of visa decision – it’s just that it’s fraught with greater risk of refusal.

      In the event you have already married, you may wish to provide new Form 888 statutory declarations in light of your new married relationship status. You will also be required to notify the Department as soon as possible of the change in circumstances by submitting a Form 1022.

      Note: Issues arise due to the applicant’s location when lodging the application (offshore or onshore) and whether there is a section s48 issue.

      Should you wish to get specific advice about your circumstances from Nilesh, you can book in a consultation with him here.

      Please do let us know if you decide to marry and what your experience was!

      Justin Jinhyun Kim
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hi Nilesh, quick questions, is it still eligible if we are both living together but outside of Australia (e.g., working in Europe) after applying for a De Facto Visa? We assume that we only need to be in Australia when we apply for this visa (820) and when they decide on our temporary visa application, is that correct? Thank you!
    Cheers, Josephine

    • Dear Josephine

      Thank you for contacting MyVisa®.

      You will need to in Australia when you lodge the subclass 820 application and you’ll be well advised to be back in Australia to get granted the visa. You can guess when you need to be back this by looking at the processing times published by DHA.

      The department is full of great people and they’re likely to indicate to us in advance that they are looking to Grant the visa and at that stage we would normally indicate to you to get back into Australia.

      There is no mandatory requirement that you must be resident in Australia for the duration of your relationship for the duration of the application.

      Should you wish to get specific advice about your circumstances from me, you can book in a consultation with me here.

      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hello nilesh,
    If I’m starting my regional skilled work visa after my student graduation visa, how can I bring my partner to stay with me? She is on school visa until the end of this year at the moment.

  • Hi me and my girlfriend(Australian citizen) have been in a relationship for more than one year but due to financial circumstances for we cannot afford to have our own rental property. She still studying and don’t really have a job and me on my own can’t afford a rental property on just my wage at the moment as I was jobless the whole covid period and I am from melbourne (Victoria). Would I still be able to file visa ? She lives with her dad from Monday to Thursday and and Friday- Sunday at my place. Please suggest

    • Dear Kani Singh

      Nilesh has asked me to respond to your question.

      Thank you for contacting MyVisa®.

      We understand that you and your Australian partner have been in a relationship for more than one year but are not living together.

      It will be challenging (very difficult) to satisfy the requirements of a de facto partner and de facto relationship.

      You risk failing as you’ll need to provide evidence of the financial aspects of your relationship, the nature of your household, the social aspects of your relationship, and the nature of commitment to each other.

      All very hard to do if you’ve not lived together and don’t have your own place.

      Should you wish to get specific advice about your circumstances from me, you can book in a consultation with Mr Nandan here.

      Jade Lee
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hi! me and my australian fiancee been in almost three years relationship, and were planning to get married. his been here in the philippines twice, could you please give us advice what visa we should apply, what is best, married first before applying or before marriage. thank you so much. hope to hear from you

    • Hi Mary Jane

      I assume that you’re currently separated with you being in the Philippines and your partner being in Australia.

      As you’re not yet married and you’re not yet in a defacto relationship the only real opportunity you have is to make an application for a prospective marriage visa.

      A prospective marriage visa can be upgraded into a partner visa lodged onshore after you have come on sure and married within 9 months of arrival inside Australia.

      If you decide to marry after you have lodged a prospective marriage visa and that marriage, then you’ll need to advise immigration of the marriage and your application will change to either an onshore or an offshore partner visa application and assessed as such.

      In short, given travel restrictions, I would suggest that the prospective marriage visa subclass 300 would be the way to proceed.

      Should you wish to get a quotation from our law practice to assist you with this fiance visa immigration work then please book in a 10 minute chat with us.

      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hello Sir,

    May I ask that my boyfriend completed his Master before, then hold his 485 and after that Working Holiday visa. After his Working Holiday visa expired, he became dependents on my 485 application, while waiting for my 485 outcome, my agent advised him to become dependent on my current student visa (which expires 15/3/2021). I have BVA of 485, however he has none. Should he apply for another student visa now and when I receive my 485 I will include him to my 485 again? (Since he still want to keep working, my agent advised him to apply for 408 covid visa but it seems risky for him, they don’t think it’s good idea to apply new student visa for him from now to study trade course because he completed Master before).

    Thank you so much in advance Sir!!!
    Kind regards

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