Looking to Avoid a defacto visa refusal?

Defacto Visa Tips

Here you’ll find the top reasons why your Australian defacto visa (partner visa) application will get refused (arghhhh!) and what approach you should take:

Are you applying for a defacto visa? Most people think that not having enough of a pile of documents showing joint names for a 12 month period is why they’ll get refused, right? Wrong.  It’s not the quantity of material. Rather, its the compelling and corroborative value of the documents provided.

The defacto visa seeking couples I’ve helped in the last 15 years haven’t rushed out on the very first day of their new relationship to set up new bank accounts. They haven’t rushed to execute will naming each other as beneficiaries.

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

Is your defacto visa application primarily facilitating your immigration goal? If your documents suggest this, then you are on the wrong track.

Defacto Visa Refusal

If your relationship is genuine, you are far more likely to get refused on 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 applicants don’t get a defacto partner visa refused for not having enough supporting material.

It’s very possible to get a defacto partner visa grant if your relationship is genuine and you explain why you are light-on with supporting material. I’ve had defacto partner visas with only scant supporting material, approved, time and time again.

The real issue in partner visa cases, including defacto partner visas is credibility.

Is the case officer is provided with enough credible information in the application to support your assertion that your relationship existed, to the required level, at the time prescribed by the Regulations, and that your relationship continue to exist now, at the time of decision?

I’ve found that Immigration Case Officers want nothing more than to approve defacto partner visa applications. Why? Firstly, its a lot easier to approve a defacto visa application, then to refuse one. Writing our “reasons for decision” in a decision record where is defacto visa is refused is very time consuming, especially when compared how simple is to grant a defacto visa. DIBP officers also recognise that an appeal to the AAT may be lodged by any refused applicant.

Immigration officers will try to approve legitimate cases quickly. If you provide evidence supporting your legitimate case, this will save you (and your partner) the anguish of appealing against any adverse decision not to grant your requested 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 have the right approach with them from the start, they will work with you to get your defacto partner visa application approved with the least amount of stress.

Give them complete material and explain why some supporting material is scant.

If material is obviously missing, explain why and be truthful and frank with them.

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 to stack up for them.

Don’t try to fudge things or skim over gaps! You’ll waste a lot of time and money. Defacto visa application filing fees are now around $7000. You will suffer stress, delay and legal consequences if your visa is refused. So, address these gaps in your application head on. There are legitimate reasons why certain material could be scant or missing altogether.

My advice is to explain carefully why stuff is missing. Further, 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 in terms of supporting material.

If the material and supporting explanation you and your representative provide is credible, your application for a defacto partner visa will most likely be granted, even though there might be relatively little by way of evidence.

Is Defacto Visa Approval Guaranteed?

Absolutely not! But your chances of approval are greatly improved by following the approach above. This is one aspect of a submission system that I’ve successfully used in well over a thousand defacto partner visa applications made to the Australian Department of Immigration.

For more information contact me and book in at time to discuss your case.

  1. April 18, 2016

    Is it possible to get the Defacto partner visa(820) with a disclosable court outcomes (without conviction)Regards, thank you

    • April 20, 2016

      I do this often.

  2. April 20, 2016

    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

    • April 20, 2016

      You can apply now provided you meet relevant criteria.

  3. April 20, 2016

    Can you please tell me what are those criteria?

    • April 25, 2016

      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

  4. April 25, 2016

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

    • April 25, 2016

      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

  5. April 27, 2016

    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!

    • April 27, 2016

      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

  6. April 28, 2016

    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?

    • April 28, 2016

      Yes she can, but not onshore.

  7. April 29, 2016

    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.

    • May 27, 2016

      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

  8. April 30, 2016

    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.

    • May 27, 2016

      Yes, this may well be an option.
      Sorry for the delay in responding.
      Nilesh Nandan

  9. April 30, 2016

    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

    • May 27, 2016

      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

  10. May 9, 2016

    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

    • May 27, 2016

      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

  11. May 9, 2016

    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 !!

    • May 27, 2016

      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

  12. May 19, 2016

    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?

    • May 27, 2016

      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

  13. May 23, 2016

    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?


    • May 27, 2016

      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

  14. August 3, 2016

    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

  15. August 9, 2016

    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

  16. August 14, 2016

    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

  17. May 4, 2017

    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.

  18. May 10, 2017

    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.

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