For many couples in Australia, lodging a partner visa can be an extremely difficult and stressful time. Even if you have been in a relationship for years, it may be difficult to provide evidence of this to Immigration. You should prepare for your partner visa application months (if not years) in advance. Many couples can also know well in advance that a partner visa may be the only visa option to keep them together.
Immigration doesn’t really care about how deeply in love you are. That when you see her your feel butterflies in your stomach. They want proof of the relationship and commitment . This proof can come in the form of official documents, transcripts, bills, financial statements etc…. Below are some simple steps that you can take to prepare prior to lodgment.
Register your Relationship with relevant authority in the State that you live
Most States and territories allow couples to register their de facto relationship (with the exception of South Australia and Western Australia). Please note that you must live in the State to be able to register your relationship there. Registering your relationship is extremely recommended (almost 100% required), if you have not lived together for 12 months.
Registering your relationship is usually free, however to order a certificate it generally costs about $40.
Set up a joint bank account and use it
Everyone knows that it is a good idea to set up a joint bank account to demonstrate to Immigration that you share financial commitments. But not many people actually use the accounts for everyday use. Why not set up a direct deposit from your personal bank account of about $50 or $100 a week and use it to pay the rent, or groceries or anything else like that. This will show Immi that you share financial household commitments.
Add your partners name to your rental agreement and utilities/internet etc…
If you are living together get your partner on the lease as soon as they move in. Many couples don’t put their partner on the lease just because it is a hassle, but it is well worth it. While you’re at it, why not add your partner to the electricity, internet and other bills. Correspondence addressed to both you and your partner at the same address demonstrates that you have lived together. Perhaps you could sign up to a video store (if they still exist), or any other type of business that still sends documents out to you. Even if you are not listed on the rental agreement or utility bills, evidence of funds being transferred from your account to your partners with an appropriate reference “Electricity bill”, “Rent” or “Internet” will demonstrate that you share the household bills and expenses.
Keep joint invitations to weddings/parties/events
Part of what Immigration look for is that the social context of the relationship. They want to be sure that other people consider you to be a couple. One way that you can prove this is by keeping joint invitations to weddings, parties and other events. Don’t throw these away! (I know most people do). Even Christmas cards addressed to both people in the relationship will be beneficial to include.
Keep your old travel tickets and hotel reservations
Holidays may be some of the funnest times that you have as a couple, and these old reservations/tickets can also double as great supporting evidence for your partner visa application. In the age of online reservations it is now very easy to get a hold of old plane tickets and hotel reservations.
Meet each others parents and family
It is great if you meet each others parents and family. Perhaps you could go to a family Christmas. Remember to take lots of photos. You can even get your parents or another family member to write a statutory declaration attesting that your relationship is genuine.
When you are apart Skype or Email
Obviously Immigration is aware that couples may need to spend some time apart due to work or other commitments. Skype or Email correspondence and itemised phone accounts can show that contact was maintained during the period of separation.
Undertake Joint Activities
Evidence of joint participation in sporting, cultural or social activities are a great way to meet the social context requirement of a relationship. Perhaps you are both signed up to the same social sporting team, or both go to the same gym.
Make your partner the beneficiary of your insurance or superannuation
Writing someone into the terms of your will is an expensive commitment, and many young adults do not even have a will drawn up. Making someone the beneficiary to your superannuation or life insurance payout isn’t that large of a commitment. You won’t be around to spend the money, so why not give it to someone that you love.
Put your partner on your car insurance policy
I get very nervous with my girlfriend behind the wheel of my car anyway, so this just makes sense.
By doing the above mentioned tips as early in advance as possibly it will put you in good stead when lodging your visa application. If you have any questions about Partner Visas in Australia, you can comment below and we will get back to you. Or alternatively feel free to contact us on:
P: +61 (07) 55 327 000
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