Partner Visas: The 4 Main Aspects of the Relationship

In order to be eligible for any partner visa, an applicant must show that your relationship is genuine and continuing. By law, decision makers when granting a visa are required to take into account four factors; the financial aspects of the relationship, the nature of the household, the social aspects of the relationship and the nature of the persons’ committed to each other.

Factor 1- The Financial Aspects of the Relationship

The financial aspects of the relationship refers to any evidence of shared finance that indicates your partner and yourself are in a genuine and mutually committed relationship. There are a number of factors the decision maker will consider to determine whether you satisfy this aspect:

Legal Obligations

Whether one person in the relationship owes any legal obligations in respect of the other.

Pooled Resources

The extent to which you and your partner pool your financial resources (e.g. a joint bank account).

Documents that show you and your partner share financial responsibilities include:
    • mortgage or lease documents showing joint ownership or rental of property
    • loan documents of major assets such as homes, cars or major appliances in both names
    • joint bank accounts
    • household bills in both names

Factor 2- The Nature of the Household

The nature of the household requires the decision maker to consider whether you and your partner live together.  There are a number of factors the decision maker will consider to determine whether you satisfy this aspect:


Shared responsibility for care and support of children.

Joint Utility Bills

Joint utility accounts (for example: gas, electricity, and telephone bills).


Shared responsibility for housework.


Letters addressed to both parties at the same residential address.

Documents that show you and your partner share household responsibilities include:
  • a statement about the way housework is distributed
  • household bills in both names
  • mail or emails addressed to both of you
  • joint responsibility for children
  • your living arrangements

Factor 3- The Social Aspects of the Relationship

The social aspects of the relationship is where the decision maker considers the applicants broader social life and connections in order to determine whether the relationship is real and genuine. There are a number of types of evidence the decision maker will consider when determining this:

Officially Declared

Evidence that the relationship has been declared to other government bodies and commercial/public institutions (i.e. have you registered your relationship).

Group Membership

Joint membership of organisations or groups, documentary evidence of joint participation in sporting, cultural, social or other activities.

Factor 4- The Nature of the Commitment

This refers to a decision makers understanding that you and your partner are in a mutually committed ongoing relationship. The decision maker will be more likely to grant your application if he/she is satisfied that you and your partner are  in a serious and established relationship. In order to determine this the decision maker will consider:


The duration of the relationship or the length the parties have lived together.


The partners’ knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances (this could include background and family situation and could be established at interview).


The degree of companionship or emotional support the parties draw from each other.


Overall evidence of the parties intentions towards the relationship


Whether both parties see the relationship as long term.

Documents that will help provide evidence of these factors include:
  • the terms of your wills
  • letters and phone bills that show you have been in contact when apart.
  • a statement about your relationship that describes:
    • how, when and where you first met
    • how the relationship developed
    • when you became engaged or married, if applicable
    • joint activities
    • periods of separation
    • significant events in the relationship
    • your future plans together.


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.