If you are considering applying for a partner visa, in addition to ensuring that you meet all requirements for grant of the visa, it is very important that you provide documentary evidence to demonstrate that you meet these requirements. If you fail to provide this documentation, your application may be refused. Immigration has no obligation to follow up with you to request evidence that has not been provided and it is therefore always advisable to provide a complete and decision-ready application at time of lodgement.
It is thus important to ensure that you are fully aware of what you need to provide with your application, thereby giving yourself the best chance of a successful outcome. Evidence for a partner visa is a critical aspect in this regard.
In this article, we discuss the types of evidence that you can provide with partner visa evidence examples to cover each of the key aspects of your relationship in accordance with visa grant requirements. As each relationship is different, the type of partner visa evidence that you supply will depend on your individual circumstances. You may find that you can provide other forms of evidence not mentioned here. What is important is that you adequately address each of these aspects as best you can, and if you are unable to do so, provide appropriate explanations/evidence to address the shortfall.
But before we delve into the detail on partner visa evidence, let us first take a look at the partner visa class and who may be eligible.
What Is A Partner Visa?
The type pf partner visa that applies to you will depend on your individual circumstances, predominantly in relation to the nature of your relationship, and whether you are located onshore or outside Australia.
if you are married to, or are in a de facto relationship with, an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and you are onshore, you may be able to qualify for a Subclass 820/801 Partner visa. This is a combined application for a temporary and permanent residence visa.
If you are outside Australia, the equivalent offshore application is the Subclass 309/100 Partner visa.
Engaged To Be Married
If you are intending to marry your Australian partner, you may be eligible for a Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa. This application must be lodged offshore.
One of the most critical aspects of being eligible for a partner visa is meeting the ‘relationship’ requirement. Your relationship must meet the relevant definition of either a ‘spouse’ or ‘de facto’ relationship in accordance with the migration provisions in order to qualify.
Prescribed requirements apply in this regard, which means that in many respects, things may not be as clear-cut as you may otherwise expect. What an ordinary person might percieve as a relationship for this purpose may not be in line with what is accepted for visa purposes.
One example of this is if you are applying on the basis of a ‘spouse’ relationship, your marriage must be legally valid in Australia. This means that a marriage that takes place outside Australia may not be legally recognised in Australia.
When it comes to a a ‘de facto’ relationship, its ordinary common meaning, or how it is defined under other laws in Australia or overseas, may not equate with how it is defined under the migration law. Assessing whether you meet either of these terms (based on your personal situation) is one of the key aspects of your partner visa application. The majority of your application requires you to submit evidence to support your claims that your relationship is genuine and that it meets the prescribed definition of either a spouse or de facto relationship under the migration provisions.
Defacto relationships are also subject to additional eligibility requirements to be eligible for a partner visa.
Now that we have a better idea of what a partner visa is and who may be eligible, lets turn our attention to evidence for a partner visa.
Partner Visa Evidence
A key point to remember when it comes to partner visa evidence is that there is no one size fits all. The primary aim in providing evidence for a partner visa is to demonstrate that you meet the definition of a spouse or de-facto relationship, depending on your circumstances. The type of partner visa evidence that you provide will first and foremost depend on the nature of your relationship.
The following partner visa evidence checklist is a handy guide that you can use to get an idea of the types of documentation you need to provide to Immigration when lodging your own partner visa application.
If you are married, you need to provide evidence to demonstrate that your relationship meets the following criteria:
- Your marriage is legally valid;
- You have a mutual commitment to a shared life as a married couple to the exclusion of all others;
- Your relationship is genuine and continuing; and
- You either live together, or you do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
If you are in a de facto relationship, you need to provide evidence of the following with your partner visa application:
- You have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others;
- Your relationship is genuine and continuing; and
- You either live together, or you do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
Note additional evidentiary requirements apply to a de-facto relationship governing the length of the relationship. You must provide evidence to demonstrate that you satisfy one of the following requirements:
- You have been in a de-facto relationship for at least 12 months;
- Your relationship is registered with an Australian State or Territory Government; or
- Compelling and compassionate reasons for applying for the visa before the minimum 12-month length of relationship requirement has been met.
If you register your de-facto relationship, then you are not required to provide evidence covering the 12-month relationship period. But be aware that if your de-facto relationship is for a duration of less than 12 months at time of lodgement, or if you supply evidence that covers less than this period, your application will undergo greater scrutiny by Immigration. It is therefore highly recommended that you provide as much evidence as possible with your application.
Types Of Partner Visa Evidence
Lets now take a look at some partner visa evidence examples to help guide you through this process as you gather and collate your own partner visa evidence.
Evidencing Your Relationship
You and your partner should each provide a written statement or Statutory Declaration about your relationship which should cover the following:
- How, when and where you first met;
- How your relationship developed;
- When you became engaged and decided to marry, or started a de facto relationship;
- A description of your domestic life together (i.e. how you support each other financially, physically and emotionally);
- Joint activities that you engage in with your partner/spouse;
- Significant events in your relationship;
- A description of any periods in which you were separated (i.e. when/why this occurred and how you maintained your relationship during that time);
- Your plans for your future life together.
Your statements should be signed and dated, or declared before an authorised witness (e.g. a Justice of the Peace) if in the form of a Statutory Declaration.
Financial Aspects Of Your Relationship
Provide evidence to demonstrate how you and your partner share financial matters (i.e. joint ownership of real estate/other major assets, and joint responsibility for financial liabilities), such as:
- Joint purchase and/or loan agreements for property, motor vehicle, major household appliances and any other assets you have purchased together;
- Joint bank account statements, evidencing active use of the account for a reasonable period before lodgement of your application;
- Combining your funds together for a major financial commitment, e.g. to purchase assets noted above;
- Assuming financial obligations on behalf of one another, evidenced by one partner becoming a guarantor for a loan, or power of attorney, for the other partner;
- Payment/receipts for daily household expenses to evidence that these are shared, e.g. via bank statement transactions and/or payment receipts;
- Household bills/accounts in joint names.
Nature Of Your Household
Supply evidence to demonstrate shared household/domestic responsibilities, such as:
- residential property purchase documents to show joint ownership;
- joint lease agreement;
- joint rent payment receipts and/or evidence of shared rental payments via bank account;
- joint utilities accounts and any other household bills, for example, electricity, gas, telephone, internet, etc;
- postal correspondence addressed to each partner (either jointly or separately) at the same address;
- shared responsibility for care/support of children;
- shared housework responsibilities, e.g. via a joint written statement explaining the division of household chores.
Social Aspects Of Your Relationship
Evidence should be provided to demonstrate that your relationship is known to third parties, for example:
- written statements and/or statutory declarations from family, friends, colleagues, etc. who are known to you both;
- documents evidencing that you have declared your relationship to an institution or authority, e.g. government body, commercial or public institution and confirmation of acceptance;
- joint memberships/subscriptions for groups/organisations;
- joint participation in activities, e.g. sporting, cultural, social, etc;
- joint travel undertaken, evidenced by flight/accommodation bookings, travel itineraries, payment receipts/tickets for joint activities on your travels, photos taken;
- joint written statement outlining your travel plans for the future;
- social media posts where you have publicly declared your relationship, e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc;
- joint invitations and greeting cards received from third parties, and personal letters/cards/emails/messages/etc. exchanged between you and your partner;
- Evidence of attending social events together, e.g. tickets/bookings/photos;
- Common friends, which can be explained in your written statements, and those provided by third parties. You can also provide photos taken together with your friends/acquaintances.
Your application must also include at least two Form 888’s, which are statutory declarations provided by supporting witnesses attesting that your relationship is genuine.
Nature Of Your Commitment
Provide evidence to demonstrate your intention to be in a committed, long-term and exclusive spouse or de-facto relationship, based on:
- the duration of your relationship;
- the length of time that you have lived together;
- extent of companionship and emotional support that you provide to one another;
- whether you view your relationship as being for the long-term, e.g. documents that show you have combined your personal matters, and the terms of your wills and superannuation accounts (via declared beneficiaries);
- your knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances, e.g. about your background and family – this can be explained in your written statements, and in an interview with Immigration (if requested);
- evidence that you have maintained contact whilst apart, e.g. letters, emails, electronic messages and phone bills/Skype call logs/transcripts.
If you are married, you must supply your Marriage Certificate.
If your de facto relationship is registered with an Australian State or Territory Government, you must supply the Relationship Registration Certificate.
Prospective Marriage Visa Evidence
Before we conclude our discussion, we will now take a look at the type of evidence to be provided with your prospective marriage visa application. Although this is not stricly a partner visa, it does fit within the broad partner visa framework given the nature of the relationship involved, and we will therefore provide a guide as to what type of evidence you should provide when lodging this type of application with the Department.
Firstly, provide two Form 888’s (Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application). The declarations should be completed by two people who:
- are 18 years of age or older;
- know you and your partner; and
- know about your relationship.
If the witness is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, provide proof of this such as a passport or birth certificate.
Also provide other evidence of your relationship such as:
- evidence that you and your prospective spouse have met face-to-face as adults since turning 18 and know each other personally;
- evidence (such as a letter from the person who will officiate at the wedding) that you will marry your prospective spouse within 9 months of being granted the visa;
- evidence that you and your prospective spouse genuinely intend to live as spouses;
- written statements showing the history of your relationship, such as:
- how, when and where you first met
- how your relationship developed
- when you became engaged
- joint activities
- significant events in the relationship
- your future plans as spouses
Some Additional Thoughts
As noted, the above partner visa evidence examples are not exhaustive and will depend on your individual circumstances. It is a useful partner visa evidence checklist to start off with when compiling your own application.
It is important to point out that in instances where you are unable to provide adequate evidence to cover each aspect of your relationship, you should explain this in a written statement.
Further, we note that although you can add evidence for a partner visa to your application after lodgement, be aware that you risk a visa refusal within days of lodging your application if you do not provide sufficient evidence at time of lodgement. To avoid an expensive refusal, make sure you lodge sufficient documentation at time of lodgement.
Get More Information About The Partner And Prospective Marriage Visa
To learn more about the partner and prospective marriage visa program, we have prepared a series of articles to provide further information about how this visa class operates, including the eligibility requirements. Please see the links below for further information on the partner visa:
We also recommend that you refer to our articles on articles on the Partner Visa Changes and Australia Partner Visa Changes for a detailed discussion of changes that have been proposed to partner visas, which could have very significant implications for potential partner visa applicants. This demonstrates just how vital it is to be fully equipped with the latest information, combined with extensive experience in migration law, to give yourself the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your application and avoidng a partner visa refusal.
Who Can Help You With Your Partner Visa Application?
In conclusion, given the highly complex nature of the migration laws, and the fact that every individual case is different, we recommend that you engage a registered migration agent to make sure your case is presented with the strongest possible partner visa evidence to give you the best chance of visa grant and avoid processing delays. The migration professionals at PAX Migration Australia can help you to do this.
For up to date advice and a comprehensive assessment of your eligibility for a partner visa, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide. Your migration agent will provide advice to you based on your specific circumstances, including a partner visa evidence checklist so that you know exactly what you need to provide with your partner visa application. Tailored advice especially for you, which is vital given that when it comes to partner visa evidence, there is no one size fits all.
Get advice that is fit for you, by speaking with the migration professionals at PAX Migration Australia today.
Why Choose PAX Migration Australia?
To learn more about why you should consider speaking with PAX Migration Australia, we will let our clients do the talking. For reviews and testimonials from our clients about what they think about us, and why obtaining professional assistance and advice from a migration agent can be beneficial in achieving a positive outcome on your migration matter, please see the following articles:
To ensure your partner visa is lodged with complete evidence and addresses any concerns or issues present in your circumstances, contact us today and book your initial, no obligation, confidential consultation.
Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and citizenship – Visas – Getting a visa – List of all visas – Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa – Step by step – Step 2 Gather your documents – Your relationship with your prospective spouse