De Facto Relationship for Partner Visa

De Facto relationship is applicable for the following visas:

(i)  a permanent visa; or

(ii)  a Business Skills (Provisional) (Class UR) visa, sublasses 160, 161,162,163, 164, 165; or

(iia)    a Business Skills (Provisional) (Class EB) visa, subclass 188 visa; or

(iii)  a Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visa, subclass 500 and 590; or

(iv)  a Partner (Provisional) (Class UF) visa, subclass 309; or

(v)  a Partner (Temporary) (Class UK) visa, subclass 820; or

(vi)  a General Skilled Migration visa; and

What is a de facto relationship:

You and your partner are in a de facto partner relationship if all of the following applies:

  • you are not legally married to each other
  • you are committed to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • you are not related by family.

Your relationship can be with someone of the same or different sex.

Length of relationship

Usually, your de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately before you apply for the visa.

Time spent dating or in an online relationship does not count as being in a de facto relationship.

If your de facto relationship has existed for less than 12 months, you might still be eligible for the visa. Find out if you do not need to meet (are exempt from) the one year relationship requirement.

If the visa applicant is temporarily outside Australia when visa is going to be granted:

In deciding what constitutes a reasonable period of absence, it is policy that a period of up to 3 months might be reasonable, given that this ties with the period that a 820 applicant would be given if they are eligible to be granted a Bridging B (WB020) visa (that is, a bridging visa with a travel facility that is available only to Bridging A visa holders who meet the relevant criteria for the grant of a WB020 visa).

However, the 3-month period is a guide only and does not have to be applied rigidly. A shorter or longer period may be reasonable, depending on the individual circumstances of the case.

26.3 Reasona​ble circumstances

Circumstances that may be considered reasonable for an applicant’s absence from Australia may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • if the applicant or an immediate family member has a serious medical condition that would make it unreasonable to expect the applicant to return to Australia. (If it is a medical condition of a family member, consideration should be given to other support options available to that person, particularly if the applicant asks that the decision be deferred for more than six months.)
  • if the applicant has personal safety or security concerns that will impact on their return to Australia, such as in times of natural disaster or civil unrest
  • overseas employment of the applicant or their partner where, because of work obligations such as a short-term contract or secondment, they cannot return to Australia in the short term
  • if the applicant or their partner is attending an overseas training course or study, or has an overseas scholarship that does not allow them to return to Australia in the short term.

In all circumstances, the 820 applicant may be asked to provide documentary evidence that they are unable to return to Australia in the short term.

Important update: English Test for Permanent Stage of Partner Visas & Partner visa changes ahead- 2021

The new changes to Sponsored family visa’s, will be implemented for Partner visas by the end of 2021. The changes mean that Sponsorships must be lodged first and approved before Partner visas can be lodged. This change will adversely impact onshore Partner visa applicants wanting to lodge a visa application prior to their substantive visa expiring. The sponsorship application will be assessed separately and will need to be approved before a valid Partner visa application can be lodged. 

If you are planning to apply for a Partner visa we recommend booking an appointment to discuss and understand how these changes may impact you.