Defacto Visa Tips – Avoid A Defacto Visa Refusal

Defacto Visa Tips

Looking to Avoid a defacto visa refusal?

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 continues 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 to consume, 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 a 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 a time to discuss your case.

Same-Sex Partner Visa

76 Replies to “Defacto Visa Tips – Avoid A Defacto Visa Refusal”

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

  2. 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

    1. 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

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

    1. 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

  4. 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!

    1. 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?

      Regards
      Nilesh Nandan

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

    1. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    1. 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

  9. 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
    Thanx

    1. 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

  10. 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 !!

    1. 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

  11. 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?
    Regards
    Frank

    1. 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?
      Regards
      Nilesh Nandan

  12. 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?

    Thanks

    1. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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
    🙁

  15. 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
    Richie

  16. 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

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    1. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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!

  23. 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?

  24. 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!

  25. Great website and sound advice.

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

  26. 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 ?

    1. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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?

  30. 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!

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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?

  38. 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

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

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