A partner visa is one option for happy couples that want to make their nest in Australia. The visa will allow a permanent Australian resident or citizen and their foreign partner to come and live in Australia for life.
It is essential that the applicants can prove their relationship is genuine. One way of doing that is through marriage, but unmarried couples can still find ways to prove that they are in a de facto and genuine relationship.
With almost $8,000 on the line (the cost of the partner visa at the time of writing), unmarried applicants will need to go the extra mile to prove their relationship to immigration. So, how can you prove your relationship?
1. Tenancy Agreements
The visa itself requires unmarried applicants to have lived together for at least one year. There is an exception to this which is detailed further down this post.
The most concrete way of showing immigration that you are living together is to have a tenancy agreement in both names. If one of you moved into the other’s home, it is a good idea to add them to the official agreement to serve as evidence in your application.
2. Open a Joint Bank Account
When applying for the visa, the immigration officer will want to see that both your lives are entwined, including your finances. This doesn’t mean you have to pile all your savings together, but it is highly recommended to open a joint bank account for rent, bills and groceries. It also shows that you support each other financially.
3. Civil Partnership
Earlier it was mentioned that there is a way you do not have to have lived together for a year to apply for the partner visa. This exemption is if the two of you have a registered partnership, otherwise known as a civil partnership.
In Australia, not every state offers this for same-sex couples. If you are a same-sex couple and applying from the UK, you will be pleased to hear that as of December 2019, civil partnerships are now offered to heterosexual couples in the UK.
4. Make a Will
Making a will that includes your partner may not be one of the first things you think of to prove a serious relationship, especially if you are a younger couple. It is not something you should do just to support your visa application either. However, if a will is something you are considering anyway, it is worth attaching it to your application as supporting evidence.
Photographs are expected by immigration to showcase the stages of your relationship, such as vacations, special occasions and time spent with mutual friends. These friends will be able to submit their own verification of your relationship in a statement, but having pictures with them and especially pictures of you hosting each other will be excellent support for your de facto relationship.
These are five common ways of making sure the immigration agent dealing with your application can see that your relationship is real!