Partner Visas – Proof of a Genuine Relationship

At the core of any Partner application is the provision of proof that your qualifying relationship is genuine. For the applications that we lodge proof of relationship makes up around 70 % of the application.

So what is all this stuff?

On the DIAC website at they tell you this…

Note the link to Partner Migration Booklet 1 which is also very helpful in a long winded sort of way.

The first part of this huge bundle of bits of paper is clearly specified in the DIAC online checklists –

Put simply

  1. A statement or Statutory Declaration from the sponsor and visa applicant about their relationship – your story, in your own words and in as much detail as possible. We always put this in as a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration. Don’t write a short novel – if you can’t say it in a few pages you’re telling them too much about yourself.
  2. Witness Statements on Form 888 – Statutory declaration by a supporting witness relating to a partner visa application. (You must have at least 2)  My advice is to choose independent witnesses first who are Australian citizens (next best Australian Permanent Residents) and then go for the odd relative or two if possible. While more is not always better you may add a few extra 888’s if you are a little short on the subjective proof to follow. You do not need to flood DIAC with 888 forms!
  3. Marriage Certificate or Relationship Registration Certificate if applicable.

The second part of this proof is not nearly as obvious. There are no real rules here as every relationship is different however this is what DIAC give us as a guideline…

You must provide proof that your relationship meets the specifications at Migration Regulation 1.09A – a genuine, continuing and mutually exclusive commitment to a share life together.

Examples quoted in the Migration Regulations

Nature of the persons’ commitment to each other

  • joint ownership of real estate or other major assets
  • any joint liabilities
  • the extent of pooling of financial resources
  • basis of shared day-to-day household expenses

Nature of the household

  • joint responsibility for the care and support of children
  • living arrangements
  • shared responsibility for household duties

Social aspects of the relationship

  • testimony from friends and acquaintances
  • planning and undertaking of joint social activities
  • evidence of how the persons represent themselves to others

Nature of the persons’ commitment to each other

  • duration of the relationship
  • degree of companionship and emotional support that the persons draw from each other

First in this part there are three things to remember –

  1. If you are applying as a de facto couple and the relationship is not registered you’ve got to prove to DIAC with bits of paper that you’ve been living together (co-habiting) for a minimum of 12 months – so things with dates on them are very important. You obviously want to give evidence for the whole period of the relationship you claim but the 12 months is the threshold requirement.
  1. If you’re married or in a registered relationship you need to offer proof that as a minimum that matches the length of the marriage/registration. If you’re saying you’ve been together as a de facto couple for 3 years and you registered the relationship last week you should aim to show as much as evidence as is possible covering the length of the relationship.
  1. This is a paper process and DIAC can only see the picture if you paint it for them. The key to relationship evidence is corroboration. Telling the same story from as many different perspectives as possible.

So how do we do this? There is no single answer and everyone will be different.

You’ve already told your story and you’ve provided 888 witness statements and perhaps a marriage or registration certificate so that’s three views of your relationship.

Who else knows about your relationship? Who’s the next of kin on your passport, driver’s licence for example?

Have you declared your relationship to any third parties? Perhaps the Australian Tax Office or your Superannuation Fund.

What things do you have in joint names? Bank accounts, Utility Bills, Mortgage, Rental Lease, Insurance policies

Do you use social media? Facebook relationship status for example

What visual records do you have? Photos? Website?

If you’ve been apart for any period how did you stay in touch? Emails, Skype, SMS – print them out

Other stuff…

When you buy things, especially any significant items, get a receipt in both your names if possible.

Envelopes and correspondence are great to show you both live at the same place – name address and they’re dated. They can be addressed either individually or in both names.

Do you both belong to the same Club, Sporting Association, Church etc… give them copies of the membership cards or evidence of your participation.

If you give each other cards on Valentine’s Day, for a Birthday or any special occasion copy them

And so it goes on and on. None of these items in and of themselves prove anything really but when they are all together in one application they provide corroborative proof that you are a genuine couple.

I interview clients, find out about them and then tailor a list of required documents to match their individual circumstances. It’s not rocket science as they say more common sense. Basically you need to show DIAC how your relationship works rather than trying to fit yourself to some imaginary model.

1,944 responses to “Partner Visas – Proof of a Genuine Relationship

  1. Excellent, excellent advice, Grant. I love your last sentence – from our experience that is 100% true.

    I get so many searches along the lines of “how do I fill in a form 888” and “what do I say on a form 888” as if people are looking for the magic words. The magic words are just write the damn truth!

    I hate to add to your 20,000 page views a month, but I am still linking to your articles. :lol:

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Hi Robyn The Blog just keeps growing and people do appreciate that I spend the hours answering their questions. Not sure where it’s all heading but for now I can afford the time to offer the service and really it’s only the few who seem to either try to exploit my help or can’t define the appropriate boundaries like the person who called me at 2am the other morning. I was less than polite I fear. Grant

      • Hi my name is komal i am on student visa but my partner is going to apply for his PR in melbourne basses on skilled migration i would like to PR with him but we do not have valid 12 month relationship but we are planing to register our relation in vic but i just wondering that do we need to show 12 month joint assets as well or if we register our relation we will waived please help me

      • Hi grant,
        I’m really glad that i found your blog in wordpress. I’ve read some of your blog and it really helps me a lot. I’m planning to apply for a partner visa before this year will end. I would to ask if do I still need to certify or notarize my letter for statement of relationship and some of our proof like the cards and letter that Ive gave to my husband and the print out of our conversation every time we chatted.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Jessa All copies of documents must be certified. I always recommend that Partner statement of relationship go in as Commonwealth Stat Decs so yes they need to be signed in from of one of the people eligible to sign these declarations.

      • Christina rensch

        Hello grant , aim christina from Germany an just about to apply for a de facto visa . My partner and I are together and live together for more then 12 months . But after all what I red abiotic the application I am scared we don’t have enough t o show to proof . We traveled together ,have a bank account together of course pictures ,emails , Skype etc. but my partner Had his apartment already before we met etc so we couldn’t add my name on the bills . .,so we can’t really proof much . I just buy food or some flight tickets to come back . Do you have any suggestions ? I am scared to loge the application and pay for nothing :/ best regards christina

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Christina rensch
        Sounds fine to me you will need to fully explain the living arrangements but you can do that in a Statutory Declaration.
        Also getting Form 888 witness statements from people who can tell part of your relationship story will help.

    • Grant, great blog, I have learnt alot from this site and the process’s (albeit sometimes ridiculous) that go into to getting a partner into the country.

      My girlfriend is Scottish , I am Aussie. She is 28 and will be coming on the working holiday visa.
      I am aware of the 12 month relationship requirement and proof require to apply for a defacto.

      But I am interested in the relationship registration? is this something brought in very recently?

      My questions would be

      Can I register our relationship now before she arrives?
      Can I register the relationship even if she is only on a working holiday visa? ( says on the form you provide a link to in NSW that that need to be a permanent resident)
      How long after registration does the Migration department recognise the relationship and its possible to apply for de facto?

      Unfortunately I am almost 32 and the UK visa requirement extremely stringent – I’m not sure i will qualify.

      Appreciate any assistance you could provide



      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Chris D
        Yes relationship registration is relatively recent – possible for States to legislate after July 2011 under Federal Same Sex Act provisions for civil unions.
        No not really she should be here if you want DIAC to take this seriously.
        Registration avoids the 12 month de facto requirement immediately but it does not prove that a relationship is genuine and that is why, unless a couple has already been living together, I’d recommend you get some time together post resgistration before application.
        Not every state has relationship registration and some have a 12 month residential requirement like Victoria.
        In NSW you need to be able to demonstrate that you are both ususally resident in NSW- for example. So you need to check it out in your state.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Chris D – This may be a duplicate as the server seems to be having problems.
        Yes relationship registration is relatively recent – possible for States to legislate after July 2011 under Federal Same Sex Act provisions for civil unions.
        No not really she should be here if you want DIAC to take this seriously.
        Registration avoids the 12 month de facto requirement immediately but it does not prove that a relationship is genuine and that is why, unless a couple has already been living together, I’d recommend you get some time together post resgistration before application.
        Not every state has relationship registration and some have a 12 month residential requirement like Victoria.
        In NSW you need to be able to demonstrate that you are both ususally resident in NSW- for example. So you need to check it out in your state.

    • Hi Grant,
      Firstly let me thank you for your excellent blog and all the advice that goes along with it. I can safely say it is appreciated by all potential migrants.
      I am applying for an 820 Onshore Partner Visa and would just like a definitive answer on the protocol for lodging in person. I wish to do this on the last day of my current WHV in order to solidify the 12 month requirement. I have registered the relationship in Qld and have sufficent supporting evidence but feel that getting the 12 month requirement in seems to be vital.
      I have got differing advice from DIAC when I called – one operator told me I can just turn up in Brisbane on the day and lodge it no worries, another told me that I will need to make an appointment for a few days before the final day on my current visa, in prder to allow processing time for a bridging visa.
      So what is the answer? Any help would appreciated.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        One of the joys of working with such a huge organisation as DIAC is that you can call multiple times and get multiple different answers.
        Make an appointment.

    • Hi Grant
      My wife is on a 309 visa. The relationship has broken down and about a week ago I informed immigration about it. I also informed them that I want to officially withdraw my sponsorship. I have not heard from them since. There has been no incident of domestic violence and I do not have a child by her. In two months she will be eligible to apply for permanent residency. Can immigration still force me to be her sponsor even though I do not wish to? In the event that my sponsorship is withdrawn, will I still be obligated to look after her until she leaves? Incidentally, tomorrow will be two years since we are married but we have lived together only for seven months till date as she had applied for her 309 visa from Dubai and was waiting for it to be granted.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        No they cannot ‘force’ you as you put it. If you have informed them they will attempt to contact your ex-partner and ask her to comment on the fact that they have been informed that your sponsorship has been withdrawn.
        No you are responsible for her if the relationship has broken down apart from any normal moral obligations.

  2. Hi Grant,

    Thank you for all your infomation here, I am just preparing my 820 visa. I meet my partner june 2011 and he was on WHV and being granted a 857 yesterday, since we were together long enough so i can’t be on his 857 application. We have live together since sep 2011 and I have apply for my studnet visa on Oct 2011 with the same address(as my partner), because I haven’t got much mail coming through to me and the house was rented by his and his friend’s name so i can’t show any joint lease. And we have only move into another house together on feb 2012. Does it mean I don’t have enough proof for living together from Sep 2011?? … on his 857 application we have put me as a de facto and write the reason why i am not apply in that application.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Becky To meet the de facto eligibility without relationship registration you need to be able to prove 12 months cohabitation. So a) you are short of the required amount of time and b) yea your evidence sounds very thin. You need to get some GOOD professional help to guide to get develop the necesay evidence for the application. Someone you can meet face to face to discuss how to get this prepared. Grant Williams

      • Hi Grant,

        Thank you so much for your feedback on my last inquiry. I had another concern regarding with my print out from my previous conversation with my husband from my yahoo messenger, and its really thick (much thicker than a book) and too many. I just want to know if it is required to certify all the pages of that print out since it is too many? Hope you could help me regarding with my concern for my partner visa.Thank you.

      • Hi grant ,thanx for last reply .i have one more question related to my last question .if my wife gets 187 visa nd m waiting offshore .do we need to apply for new partner visa application or its on the same 187 visa application in which I already mentioned as a husband .( Lines below was my question tha u already replied )Hi grant I was on mrt nd decision is negative . i got 28 days .2months ago I lodged 187 application as a secondary applicant .i call the immigration office they said you have to go offshore or lodge the application .but I already lodged application 2months ago .so the question( 1) is I have to lodge it again as secondary applicant when i go offshore or I have to wait on same application offshore ?( 2) if I apply again offshore can I join the same application with my wife .my wife is on temperory residency visa and waiting for 187 acknowldgement onshore

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Jessa All copies must be certified but it is possible to certify large documents with a special wording on the fornt page that indicates that the following 100 page doc is a true copy. Migration agents and JPs know about this. GW

        On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  3. Hi Grant
    I was on a bridging visa b when i applied for a defacto visa in Feb 2012 now i ve got a letter from the department telling me that they need more evidence !!! in the section 2 of this letter they say : no substantive visa held: requirement to provide compelling reasons for not applying section 3 of the migration regulation !! what s that?? Could u please help mi .

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      What this means is you have a major problem. You have lodged an onshore application from a Bridging visa that was more than 28 days old. This means you must demonstarte to DIAC that there are compelling reasons why DIAC should consider your application onshore. Unless there are some really special circumstances affecting your partner, some serious illness would be an example. The 820 visa has Schedule 3 of the Migration Regulations criteria that must be met if you do not hold a substantive visa at the date of application. Most people in your situation apply offshore as they cannot demonstrate a Schedule 3 compleeing reason.
      This is what the actual Migration Regulation says…at 820.211(d) – (d) (ii) applies to you.

      (d) in the case of an applicant who is not the holder of a substantive visa — either:

      (i) the applicant:

      (A) entered Australia as the holder of a Subclass 995 (Diplomatic) visa or as a special purpose visa holder who at the time of entry met the requirements of subclause (2A); and

      (B) satisfies Schedule 3 criterion 3002; or

      (ii) the applicant satisfies Schedule 3 criteria 3001, 3003 and 3004, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are compelling reasons for not applying those criteria.

      3001 says you need to lodge your partner application within 28 days of your substantiuve visa expiring. You do not mee this requirement therefore
      3003 does not apply to you however 3004 does and it says you must be able to show that you held a BV for reasons that were beyond your control and that there are compleeling reasons for granting the visa. This is very hard to prove as you were on a BVB either because you’ve lodged another application or you’ve lodged a review application.

      The likely outcome I’m afraid is that DIAC will refuse your application for failure to meet the Scedule 3 requirements.
      Grant Williams

  4. Dear Grant,
    Like Ive mentioned previously me and aust partner are trying to apply for a DFV. We have been together for 3 years but we have not been living together for 12 months. Reason being he has his work commitment in Melb and couldnt possibly move to my country, another reason would be tht its not permissible in my country for 2 ppl who are not married to be living together. If we want to get married we would hv to change religion, and i think thts a bit extreme. We do have a joint account and we have a house together and my name is also on the bills. Is there a way that we can present our application to prove that eventhough we have not lived together for 12 months, our relationship is very genuine and we are committed to our future together? Thanks in advance Grant.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You say you’ve been together for 3 years. Give a breakdown of the three years.
      Grant Williams

  5. Thanks grant
    Now u say that probably actually certainly i have to leave Australia .
    Fact is that we got married after apply for that de facto!!
    If i have to go back in Italy what s my options to came back as soon as possible .

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Stefano I do not make the rules nor do the DIAC case officers. I’m just giving you the information you requested and the DIAC Case Officer is bound / forced to ask this question and to apply the Migration Regulations. I know it is not good news but it is pointless to just assume everything will be OK if that is not going to be the case. I realise you did not know about this regulation but that’s why Registered Migration Agents are here to help applicants who have more difficult situations to understand the Regulations. Basically if they refuse your onshore application because of Schedule 3 you will have to lodge an offshore partner application and start all over again. The onshore refusal of this sort will not have any negative impact but it will go back in the offshore queue and take up to 12 months to be processed. You should get help to lodge this new application. It may well be a good idea to get someone qualified to look at your current situation to see, once they’ve seen all your paperwork and interviewed you and your partner, if there is any possibility of getting around Schedule 3 onshore. Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  6. 2008-we first became known to eachother, 2009-we started commited relationship with eachother, number of trips was made by him to see me, we also started to talk about on how to be together, 2010-we went on trip overseas, he went to my city again as he got a work offer in melb, and we started to look for a house, 2011-i went to melb to look for houses with him, we got the house in Nov 2011, started on compiling papers for application, 2012-i went to melb again to see the house n make it ready, compling all papers n eveidence we can think of, met with our potential migration agent, but we’re still looking at other options. Thanks Grant.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Thanks I really cannot see from this that you can claim the whole period as de facto given the way DIAC assess applicants. For you the relevant period will be the time you have been living together at the same physical address. Grant Williams

  7. Hi Grant,
    Your blog is amazing, thanks so much for all the great info! My partner and I are applying for de facto in July when my 1st year WHV ends. We will have been together for 8 months by then but we registered our relationship in March and have proof of living together etc so it should all go through OK I think? My questions is, I have been working with a company since January 9th and since I’m on WHV, i can only work there for 6 months (till July 9th). I would really like to keep working at my job so I was wondering if because when I apply for de facto visa, I will go on a bridging visa..can I get a bridging visa that allows me to stay in the same job? Or will I have to get a new job? Or are you even allowed work on a bridging visa?
    Thanks Grant, I appreciate any advice you can give me!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Hi Ruth
      This is kind of tricky question. You lodge Partner before the WHV expires in July. DIAC grant a BVA which will according to policy have work permission with the same restriction as the WHV. However the WHV then expires and you then go onto the BVA. New visa. So you can keep working for the same employer. This feels wrong somehow to me but that’s how they view it. If you have all the docs perfect for the Partner application (decision ready) then the visa will be processed asap and really the whole worry may be academic.
      Good luck
      Grant Williams
      JP 195363
      Registered Migration Agent
      MARN 0854799
      Immigration Pty Ltd
      Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000
      PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240
      Telephone: +61 2 92114694
      Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877

  8. Hi Williams
    I am permanent resident here and want to apply permanent visa for my wife but she is on international student visa. she does not want to continue her studies but her one semester left and student visa wil expire in march 2013. what are the options I have. if I apply partner visa so will she eligible for medicare or not. please guide me in this regard . I will be very thankful to you.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Adnan If you make a partner application your wife is eligible for medicare. As she has not completed her course you may have to apply to voluntarily cancel her student visa as her college will report her (s20) if she does not study and pay fees.This will mean that when the Student visa is cancelled the BVA granted for the Partner visa will also be cancelled and she will have to apply for a BVE. Complicated but that’s how t works. Better if possible to lodge the Partner and complete the studies (1 semester) and then DIAC will allow her to stay on the student visa and the BVA until the Partner is approved. Grant Williams

      • Hi, I just read this and I believe it is not correct. ” If you make a partner application your wife is eligible for medicare.”
        I think you have to call medicare and confirm about it . Has she be given a medicare card ???? If not, she is not eligible for medicare.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Janet There has been one person posting who says he has managed to a) lodge an offshore 309 Partner and b) get Medicare to agree to cover his partner who has come to Aust on a Visitor visa. I do not think this person is eligible and I have said so to them but he insists Medicare said OK. In the end it is not an immigration law issue but one for Medicare. Beats me. Grant

        On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 9:38 AM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant


    Hi Grant – this makes for some great reading! At the moment myself and my partner are living in the UK where he is a citizen. I am from NZ originally. We have been together for 3.5 years and have lived together for just under 3 years. The difficulty I’m having with our defacto visa application for him is that when I lived in Australia all my friends who were citizens/permanent residents do not know him so therefore cannot provide the form 888. My mother and sister both live in Australia, however as they are NZers they are not eligible to fill this form out! Can I get them to write statements and get it certified etc along with friends here from the UK who can do the same, but would this be sufficient, instead of the form 888?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Emma get them to meet him onwebcam or the like and then yes the satements will be OK. The bigger point is are you an eligible sponsor for a Partner visa? Are you andd eligible NZ citizen in Australia? ENZC? If not you cannot be a sponsor.
      Grant Williams

  10. Hi Grant,
    I got my Permanent Residency Visa in November 2011 from being nominated by the company that sponsored me. My PR visa says that I have an unrestricted visa for the next 5 years. Howerver, I am unsure about the restrictions in leaving my company. My girlfriend and I are applying for De Facto visa in June and we are planning to re-locate in August. Would this be a problem if I have changed employer while the De Facto visa is being processed?
    Thanks for any help you can offer me.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You are a PR and there are no conditions on your visa. You did tick a box on the application form as did the company saying that the the job was open for 3 years and no doubt this was in some way reflected in your contract of employment. THis is a civil not migration law matter – between you and your employer. However the 3 years cannot be enforeced as a visa condition. Things always change in business and employment. Your decision they will not undo your PR if you need to leave for family reasons in the same way that if the company had to downsize and you were let go.
      Grant Williams

  11. HI GRANT
    it means first she need to cancel her student visa than apply for bridging visa E and after that apply for partner visa. after cancellation of student visa is it sure she will get bvE and can apply for partner visa.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      No you’ve got it in the wrong order and it’s very important to get this correct. 1. Lodge the Partner application 2. Get the DIAC acknowledgement of the application in writing with the BVA granted on this letter. 3. Apply to cancel the Student visa voluntarily. 4. After DIAC agree and cancel the Student visa apply for the BVE. Yes she will get the BVE. Grant Williams

  12. I applied partner visa for my spouse and the visa was refused as they not accepted the marriage certificate and our relationship, now we are planning to apply prospective marriage visa. my question is that is it possible to marriage in Australia bec we are already married and what kind of visa should we apply? thanks for your kind advice.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      OK that’s weird. You’ll need to tell me more. RThey would not accept the marriage certificate? Why? Where are you from? I’d need to see the Decision Record of the refusal to comment fully. I’d say no you cannot apply for TO 300 if you are married. However if they are saying you are not married that may open the door but again I’d like to see exactly what it is they said.
      Grant Williams

  13. Hi Grant
    Thank you very much for your help and really appreciated. what is different between BVE AND BVA. is it right that she can not travel and work if she has a bve.

  14. Hi sir.
    My name is Moon(Applicant). My visa case is De facto. I lodged since FEB 2010 and Refused since JUL 2010.
    Reason was My case officer didn’t received my further informations and she finally game me refusal letter JUL 2010 without any notice.
    After she sent it, she has gone hers holiday so I couldn’ contact with her ASAP.
    I am sure I posted and I have confirmed letter from post office.
    In my case I hadn’t have enough Joint evidence at that times since 2009 because My partner didn’t want to change lease both of name and any joint bills etc.
    I really didn’t know how many evidences.
    But now, I have learnt from this case & I have tried many things to do.

    Last week, I had submitted many evidence.
    I don’ know what MRT want to see my evidence?
    therefore I prepared all my over three years evidence since 2009

    -Centre link letter for we started stay together since end of DEC 2008
    -My Australia Driver Licence
    -Residential Tenancy Agreement 2011
    -Joint Bank Statements from Commonwealth bank since JUN 2009 to APR 2012
    -Approx 40 Pictures
    -My bills, bank etc Statements since FEB 2009 to APR 2012
    -Partner bills, bank etc Statements Since FEB 2009 to APR 2012
    -Joint Letters /bills, bank etc statements since JUN 2009 to APR 2012

    This week I am going to send some Witness Written letter about our true genuine relationship.
    and my statement and argument letter but I need help for writing argument letter via Migration Law or Immigration standard service act etc

    Please can you give me advice that What do I need for MRT review without migrant agent?

  15. Dear Grant,

    they gave the reasons for decision was the marriage certificate was assessed as being fraudulent.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      OK why do you think they said that? Any ideas? What other marriage documents etc… did you submit? Generally they don’t just make these sort of decisions without some proof. Grant Williams

  16. Hi sir.
    My name is Moon(applicant). My visa case is De facto. I lodged since FEB 2010 and Refused since JUL 2010.
    Reason was My case officer didn’t received my further informations and she finally game me refusal letter JUL 2010 without any notice.
    After she sent it, she has gone hers holiday so I couldn’ contact with her ASAP.
    I am sure I posted and I have confirmed letter from post office.
    In my case I hadn’t have enough Joint evidence at that times since 2009 because My partner didn’t want to change lease both of name and any joint bills etc.
    I really didn’t know how many evidences.
    But now, I have learnt from this case & I have tried many things to do.

    Last week, I had submitted many evidence.
    I don’ know what MRT want to see my evidence?
    therefore I prepared all my over three years evidence since 2009

    Centre link letter for we started stay together since end of DEC 2008
    My Australia Driver Licence
    Residential Tenancy Agreement 2011
    Joint Bank Statements from Commonwealth bank since JUN 2009 to APR 2012
    Approx 40 Pictures
    My bills, bank etc Statements since FEB 2009 to APR 2012
    Partner bills, bank etc Statements Since FEB 2009 to APR 2012
    Joint Letters /bills, bank etc statements since JUN 2009 to APR 2012

    This week I am going to send some Witness Written letter about our true genuine relationship.
    and my statement and argument letter but I need help for writing argument letter via Migration Law or Immigration standard service act etc

    Please can you give me advice that What do I need for MRT review without migrant agent?


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Moon you’re asking a Migration Agent how to win at the MRT without a migration agent? That’s an odd way to go.
      I’d say from what you’ve written,especially if you can show you sent the additional doicuments to the correct DIAC address, that you have reasonable chances of success at the MRT. Most MRT applicantions are just a waste of everyones time. I regularly turn applicants away as their cases are just not viable.
      My advice is to get a good agent to help you present your case. To be totally honest you’ve already messed this up once don’t make the same mistake again! Get help.
      Grant Williams

  17. Hi Grant
    So happy!!!
    U don’t know how much it means for us!!!
    Thanks for everything u ve done !!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Stefano It was a pleasure. Good luck. As I said to Sunny DIAC will probably contacat me for the second stage of your processing in two years now so make sure you keep me in the loop as to your contact details. Grant

  18. hi grant
    my name is tejinder and i got my letter for 801 visa as a proof they ask for DNA test but me and my wife dnt agree for that we gave all document whaever they need.can you please tell me why they need DNA and if we dnt want to do that can immgration refuse my file or visa plese give me any suggetion thank you

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Are you saying DIAC have requested a DNA test to be taken by you and your wife?
      Are you related? if so how?
      Why did you refuse to take the test? This is a very unusual request so I assume DIAC must hold some information. What is it?
      I need more information if I am to give you any advice.
      Grant Williams

      • Hi Grant.

        Firslty thanks for the information you provide to us, i have a similar issue regrad to DNA request by the DIAC, as im unsure abt the fact that if the child is the bioliogical child of my husband, if the DNA result came out negative and the child does not belong to my husband will it got any impact on my visa granted, if my husband still willing to take full responsibilities toward my child then in this case will the DIAC still decline my visa. And also should i inform the DIAC before im taking the DNA test that the fact that im worry that if the child belong to my husband. Thanks for ur help.

  19. Hi Grant,
    Firstly could I say you are fantastic for offering such honest free-advice. You obviously realise how hard it is for people who do not have pots of money, to find valuable, clear advice. You gave me some a few months ago and I have been an avid reader of your blog ever since.

    Secondly, for what it’s worth can I advise everyone here PAY FOR AN INITIAL CONSULTATION!! Your life in Australia is worth the relatively small fee for an hour of Grant (or other agents) time for a chat. Over the years I have coughed up for advice from a trusted agent like Grant, when needed, and it has been PRICELESS. You can still do the applications yourself if you are able (the costly bit), but get the facts first.

    Lastly, I have just had my Partner visa approved. It only took 8 weeks – so have faith everyone! But I took several months over painstakingly producing all the evidence they asked for, to the letter. No use arguing – rules is rules! You simply have to follow them. We also applied for our relationship registration certificate well in advance to cover a shortfall in our 12 month living together requirement. And yes, before I started I paid for advice (and got a little free advice too from Grant! – THANK YOU)

    In Summary;
    Get professional advice, do what immigration tell you to do, work hard at your application and be honest: We wrote 5 page stat decs talking about our lives together (in addition to 6 x888 and inches of other evidence), it would have been hard for them not to believe we were in an honest and continuing relationship.

    Best of luck to everyone (I hope the above advice helps someone) and thanks again Grant.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Great news congratulations and thanks for taking the time to leave the comment and update.
      Grant Williams

  20. hi Grant
    Hopefully you are doing good. I need to get some information regarding spouse visa eligibility. Me and my partner were student before and than we applied for Permanent visa here, in that application I was secondary applicant . our relationship was registered as de facto. we have got residency nine months before but I have broke up with my partner and she does not want to stay with me any more. Three months ago I went to overseas and get married there with my First cousin(allowable in our religion and culture).
    I want to ask how can I bring her here on spouse visa because some one told me I can not bring her here due to reason that i got my permanent residency as secondary applicant( sponsored by previous partner.
    I will be really grateful to you if you help me in this regard.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You were not sponsored you got PR as a secondary applicant. You can be sponsor in the same way that any PR can sponsor a partner.
      Grant Williams

  21. Hello

    Thank you for your blog.

    I sponsored my husband for residency. We are at the final stages of the process where he has been a temporary resident for over 2 years. The other day, diac sent us a letter asking for further information like bills, bank accounts, witness statements etc over the last two years. I just wanted to know whether this was normal practice and whether you can ascertain from experience where we are in the process. I think that we are at the end but I’m not quite sure.

    Also, I wasn’t too sure how much info to provide as I haven’t kept alot of my bills over the last three years and I tend to throw them out. I do have photos where we were together on my graduation days (but not many photos of social occassions).

    Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      If the request came from 2nd Stage Processing in Melboure and had a chcklist and an addressed envelope and reply card and a few other items in the apackage it’s a normal process prior to PR. If not get back to me.
      How much to give? You complete the 2 Stat Decs – applicant and sponsor. get two new 888 witness statements, new AFP ususally and attach some more relationship evidence – photos, correspondence showing you both live there, evidence of any travel you’ve done since TR was granted, evidence of share financial arrangements over the last 2 years, cards you’ve given each other same as before really just not as much. The scaled down vewrsion to show you’re still an item.
      Grant Williams

      • Thanks so much Grant. I really appreciate your response. I thought that it could have been standard practice but just wanted to double check. You have just minimized my stress levels by about 50%!

        Out of curiosity though, once diac review the information that they asked for, how long does it usually take before we hear something back about PR?

        Again, thank you very much for your response. I understand that you are doing this for free and I could not be more appreciative. It is such a long and daunting process so I am very grateful that you have taken the time to respond.

        Kind regards,

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        KC They give you 60 days to send the info requested and then take about 2 months if all is well and they don’t want anything else. Round figures as each case is different. Grant Williams

  22. thanks for reply. its bit confusing for me to understand your answer.
    I was student here before but do not meet the point for immigration purpose because my course was not in skill list. but my ex partner met the requirements so I got my residency as a partner. so in this case can i bring my spouse form overseas as I mentioned befor i got married overseas after broke up with australian partner.

  23. Hi there,

    I was wondering if you could help me please:) I met my boyfriend early last year and we really hit it off, fell for each other straight away:) SInce then we’ve been together roughly 14 months now, barely apart however we’ve only been living together 9 months when I apply for the defacto mid June, we have everything a lease for 9 months, seven different flights toghether including international flights together, hotel rooms, emails from our parents talking about us as early as last May, also joined bills for months, you name it, photos, declarations, bank accounts joined, police checks, the only thing is from reading the above I’m afraid that 9 months living together won’t suffice? Will this be a problem or will having a flight booked from May 2011 together of last year suffice, showing that we were a serious couple for over a year? I hope it does:( thanks so much for your help, you’ve no idea how much this helps:)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Moonsie. The de facto rule is 12 months cohabitation (living together). On its own travelling together will not slove this problem. If you lodge froma 9 month relationship DIASC mustrefuse the application. Have you considered registering your relationship?
      Grant Williams

  24. Thanks so much for that Grant, I’ve never heard of that before, can we register the relationship now and say we are together over 12 months? Will that suffice if I lodge the defacto in a months time if I register it now? Sorry, I’m not sure how the registration works, thanks so much for this Grant:)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Not every State or Territory has Relationship Registration. Where do you live? GRant Williams

  25. I’m in Victoria Grant:)

    To be honest my 2nd WHV does not expire until the end of December 2012, the only reason I’m trying to lodge my defacto application next month is so I do not have to leave my job as my six months is up in a months time at this job, and I really feel like I can progress in this job and it’s something I’ll stay in once I’m a permanent resident also and make a career for myself.

    It’s for this reason that I’ve been so frantic to get my PR application lodged, otherwise I’d happily wait until we’re officially in a defacto relationship 12 months and lodge the application in three months time.

    Do you know if there is a way around this, I’ve been looking at temporary visas but haven’t managed to find anything. It’s really only the job I don’t want to lose, my visa doesn’t expire until December, I’d happily wait for another three months before applying for PR otherwise:) And again, thanks so much, your advice is wonderful:)

  26. Hi Grant, Question about Statutory Declaration
    What type of statutory declaration form me and my de facto partner should use to explain our relationship ? We are using 888 form for our friends declarations.

    Also, would you be able to assess our file by email?
    We live in Melbourne ,do you provide help in Melbourne?


  27. Hi Grant,

    Been following up u r blog for a while. I have been accumulating document for defacto visa. In this for co habitation, I have the first six month lease agreement as the landlord agreed orally there on we have been staying together for almost 3 yrs now. I asked the landlord to write a stat decl for us staying for which he agreed. But my confusion is we stay in a shared accom where in I and my partner share a room. Will this be negative point in front of the case officer?



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      generally no but when something is not ‘normal’ you need to expalin it claerly so a DIAC officer is not confused and / or they don’t draw the wrong conclusion. It’s all about communication. Lots of people live in shared accommodation.
      Grant Williams

  28. Hi Grant, appreciate all the information you’ve given here. Was wondering if you have an office in Melbourne as I’m thinking of having a registered agent to have a serious look at my application. Thanks.

  29. Hi Grant,

    Tricky situation here.

    I am currently on a 457, but i lost my job few months ago now. Facing impossibility to get a new sponsor, I am now thinking of applying for a 820 since i have been with my australian partner for almost 4 years. However we have never lived together. My objective is to get work permission ASAP, and then TR/PR.

    Therefore, I have 2 options here:

    1. Cancel my 457, request a BV E, and then apply for the 820 which I can do under the Expansion of Partner Visa Eligibility in Australia. However I am a bit worried at the Schedule 3 requirements: “28 days rule” and the “compelling reasons”. Could please advise on that issue?
    Then apply for work permission since I have been told by DIAC, that work permission will more likely be granted ONLY after I lodge the 820 application. Is that correct? OR

    2. Apply first for the 820, then cancel my 457, request a BV E+work permission.

    In any case my 820 would not be a decision ready application since we can only obtain the registration of our relationship in 2 months time :(

    Consequently, I would like to go with option 1 because it seems that if i can get the work permission, I would get it earlier than with option 2. Am i correct?

    Further questions regarding BOTH options:

    a. What are my chances in getting work permission when my partner is a high income earner? And how would that relate to the fact that we do not live together, thus we do not pay rent together?

    b. Would DIAC, knowing that we do not live together (work permission request), take it into account when assessing our 820 application, EVEN THOUGH we would provide a certificate of a registered relationship?

    I know it is a lot of question, but thanks in advance.



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Not tricky – if you do not live together (cohabitation) you are not eligible to make a Partner application. Even if you register your realtionship you would still not be eligible as you are not living together.
      Grant Williams

  30. Hi Grant,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Bad news here.

    I was woried about that issue. But when i asked DIAC officers about this issue, they all told me if i had my relationship registered in order to waive the 12 months requirement, then I would not have to prove that we are currently living together, providing that we prove that we have been together, and we intend to stay in a genuine and lasting relationship.

    I am very confused now. Are you confirming your previous post?



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Boost The tests for a partner visa application are 1. Do you have a qualifying relationship? 2. Do you have a genuine relationship? Think of it this way any two people can walk into Births Deaths and marriages and registrar a relationship in and of itself it proves nothing. To prove genuine you need to be able to demonstrate that you have JOINT living, financial, social, and emotional connections. If you do not live in the same place a) you do not have a qualifying relationship and b) you have almost no evidence to prove a genuine relationship. Over the last 15 years I’ve done hundreds of these applications. In fact i finished two new ones today. I aslo see many people who manage to stuff up their applications. Try not to join that group! So yes as you put it I am confirming my previous answer. It will not fly! Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  31. Thanks for your answers.


  32. Hi Grant
    Can you please tell what all is needed to apply for pr for my wife. We been married for 2.5 yrs and have been staying in Melbourne for 2 yrs. I am Australian citizen and she is temporary resident. We don’t have joint bank account. What else is needed to get permanent visa for my wife? and how much time it takes? Thanks

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Not what this Blog is for. You’re asking a little too much methinks. Try reading the two recent post on Partner visas on the Blog…it’s all there.
      Perhaps you should get some professional help with the application if you don’t feel confident after reading these posts.
      Grant Williams

      • Hi Grant,

        We are trying to apply the Spouse Partner Visa, We are @the stage of writing that “story” to prove our relationship is genuine and 2 witness (Australian citizens) has helped to finished the form 888 as well. However, we notice that “Bank accounts, Utility Bills, Mortgage, Rental Lease, Insurance policies” is also needed to prove the relationship is genuine. The fact is we married in Australia in Apr 2012 and I finally moved in this June (from HK) after several short term visits in past years. Recently I am living with my step parents. My husband do have a house but has rent it out and we will get it back later for our own use. We DON’T have any joint bank account, bills statement etc. Hence, what should we do ?

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Bottom line is that you need to provide DIAC with evidence that your relationship is genuine. There are ways of presenting your story using Statutory Declarations and there are a number of actions you cna take to generate evidence of relationship. There is a post on my Blog taht looks at all of this. I would suggest that you both need to make an appointment with an experienced migration agent to get some help.

  33. Dear Grant,
    You’re doing a good thing helping all of us and we appreciate it.
    I still know so little about this entire process though I’ve spent a great deal of time researching. The evidence we have collected is from 1 month in Australia, 11 months in China. It looks like we have to apply offshore and the processing time will be 9-12 months. I’m the Aussie. If we apply, do I have to stay here while we wait or can I move back to Australia and perhaps just come back here for holidays until the visa is granted? I’ve spent a year here already for no other reason than getting a visa for my partner, I’m not really up for another year.

    And does the 2 year requirement for getting PR start from the day we make the partner visa application? Therefore if it takes 12 months to get the partner visa, is it only 12 months after that to get the PR?



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Hi Jack
      So you’re in PRC with your partner and you’ve been there for 12 months?
      I need a little more info to help you. Perhaps you should email me direct at and tell me a little more of the story.
      Basically when you apply 309/100 visas it is a permanent residence application but the applicant gets a 2 year TR visa first and then after 2 years from the date of the 309 visa grant PR on the 100m visa.
      Get back to me and I’ll give you some more guidance and options.
      Grant Williams

  34. Hi Grant,

    Don’t know if I’m leaving my comment in the tight place, but I would love your advice.

    I’m Was born in Australia and my Fiancé’ is English. I met him 2 year ago while doing Volunteer work in Cambodia. To Cut a really long story short and he came out to Australia to be with me last year (July 2011). He came out here on a working holiday Visa, and did 3 Months rural work to be granted a second year on a holiday working Visa (His 2 years starts this month). We are engaged but don’t intend on getting married till 2014 as we are get married in England and we need to save! So we are apply for a de-facto visa. My Understanding is that if it is granted you get 2 year temporary residency than after that if you circumstance haven’t changed you get 2 years permanent residency granted my questions are:

    -What happens after the 2 year permanent?

    -And we are considering living in England for a while? What happens with the visa if we decided to go aboard for a couple of years?

    I really look forward to hearing from you! And I appreciate your time!

    Thank You! Alexis

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      2 years TR on an 820 visa followed by PR on a 801 visa. Permanent is permanent no time period on this idea. The two years you may be confusing is that the new 801 visa holder can not SAustralian social security for 2 years from the date of PR grant. Also PR visas have a 5 year resident return travel visa attached to them so you have to either renew this after 5 years or to make it much easier just apply for Australian Citizenship. If you go o/s for period just make sure you read up on the resident return criteria that apply to the Pr visa so he will be eligible to get it renewed as citizenship will be impossible unless he has 4 yaers of normal residence in Oz.
      Grant Williams

  35. Hi Grant,
    I have recently applied for my PR 885 where I am claiming points from my defacto partner. I have tried my best cover all the corners here but few question still persists in my head. First of all, my partner took her ielts during May 2011 and we have submitted it. But few of my friends here say that partner ielts should be less than one yr old. I am bit confused as in it say in last 24 months. Second of all even though, we have been in relation since 2009, there is lot less pics and social gathering as we were trying to save as much as possible as. We were planning to apply seperatly for skilled migration, since DIAC is improvising their ielts requirements every time, it made us to apply together. Any advise would be appreciated Grant.

    THanks to all those people who posted here and I am in debt to Grant for his valuable advise.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Your Partner must have Competent English. Defined as an IELTS result less than 2 years prior to the date of application. Your ‘friends’ are confusing the English requirement for secondary applicants to avoid having to pay an English language charge or levy fro AMEP English classes. This result must be in the last 12 months.
      As to the relationship evidence I would not worry too much about that. If they want more they will ask and you can get some Stat Dec s and you should make an effort to complie proof from now on.
      Grant Williams

    • Hi Grant!

      Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I was just wanting to clarify something you said. You said -” the new 801 visa holder can not SAustralian social security for 2 years from the date of PR grant”.

      -What do you mean by the new 801 visa?

      -and what do you mean by the SAustralian Social Sercurity for 2 years from the date of PR grant?

      I look forward to hearing from back from you!

      Thank You
      Alexis :)

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Alexis 801 = PR and Australian Social Security = all Centelink benefits
        Grant Williams

      • Hi Grant,

        In regards to “Australian Social Sercurity” – when and when aren’t you entitlied to payments/ benefits?

        Thank yOU!

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        You get no benefits whatsoever for the first t 2 yaers after getting PR. You sign a declaration on all PR application forms. Grant Williams

  36. Hi Grant,
    One more question for you. I have completed my 2 years Australian qualification by completing 1.5 years in Master in Professional Accounting and 1 year Diploma in Management. To make sure the concerned officer gets why I did 2 year qualification separately, I am trying to compile a Statement of relevancy. I am writing my intention and future plans of why I took these 2 degrees. Is there anything else we should add to it so the CO doesn’t get confused for the closely related qualifications.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      The CO will not be confused it’s up to you to explain how these two courses are closely related. That’s the whole point of the statement you’re drafting is it not. Grant Williams

  37. Hi Grant:)I hope you’re well:) I just had one more question,about the visa, we’ve been approved for domestic relationship registration in Victoria, I’m just waiting on the cert to come and then I can lodge the visa. Is it okay so to lodge the visa if we’ve been living together 9 months, have been certified as a registered relationship, have the cert and have proof of being together for over 15 months, I just wanted to double-check that that will allow me to lodge my visa with the department. Thanks so much for your help again:) Also Grant, I was wondering if you would be able to recommend any agents in Melbourne, I’d like somebody to have a look over my application before I lodge it:) thanks so much again:)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Once you are registered – when you get the actual certificate – you can lodge as this replaces the 12 month de facto rule. Sorry we don’t recommend as we have no control over what these folks will do. Grant Williams

  38. Hi Grant, im just getting in line with everyone else to say thanks for your advice, don’t know where you get the time and energy but you’re making lots of desperate people happy :) I will try to keep my question short.

    My Italian partner and I have been together for just over 1 year, we have been living (and travelling) together for the past year but have no hard evidence to prove the first ~3 months (only decs from flatmates/friends). We are currently in Italy and have been preparing our partner visa application but have become quite unsure about lodging it without better evidence. Due to family crisis I need to return to Aus asap and of course I wish to do so with my partner. We have been discussing the option of returning with my partner on e676 tourist visa and registering our civil relationship, then for my partner to leave and lodge the application (maybe from NZ), and then return to Aus on the same visitor visa!! Haha so it sounds like a good solution but is it even possible to do? Failing that do we have any other options apart from getting married?

    Looking forward to your advice, cheers

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      An Italian should be able to get an ETA (e visitor visa) which has no restrictions on onshore visa lodgement. If he gets here on an open visitor visa (no condition 8503 – No Further Stay) you can a) register your realtionship and b) apply onshore.
      You cannot go to NZ and lodge the application you must lodge in his passport country unless he is normally resident in a third country (eg wir=th a work visa in NZ)
      I’d go for an onshore application if possible. It can be processed ina few weeks whereas the offshore will take 6 – 9 months.
      Grant Williams

      • Hi, thanks for your quick response. I was under the impression that offshore visa’s are generally processed quicker so that is interesting news. Do you have any further advice about how likely an 8503 condition would be? Also does it breach the rules of the holiday visa to apply for a partner visa onshore? I guess it must be something that’s not really encouraged but I’m wondering if there is any precedent of a visa being refused on these grounds. Thanks again

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Piccol You can apply from the vv for a partner. DIAC will not object. 8503 is unlikely in your case provided you don’t tell them about your relationship status. If you tell them you may not even get the visa. Grant Williams

  39. Hi Grant,
    I am a student with BVA and MRT. I lodged my de-facto visa about 6 months ago and it’s still processing off shore. Me and my partner have decided to get married. Now i would like to invite my mother for wedding. How do i proceed with that? what all will be the requirements and what visa to apply?

  40. Hi Grant,

    I just wanted to commend you for putting together this fantastic website that has so much useful and free information for Australian visa holders. Absolutely refreshing to see a professional giving away free advice and responding to all the questions that you are asked. Truly inspiring!

    Look forward to reading more of your insights.


  41. Hi Grant
    I can see you are very informed! I wanted to share my story and concerns. I am the Aussie and my husband is Kenyan. Basically we met in early September last year and were married on 7 April this year. It may sound crazy to many but thats what we wanted and hows its happend. I believe we have huge amounts of evidence in wedding photos and videos and even pics before the wedding as well as that my mum and sister came to kenya for the wedding then we all travelled to Grecce together after to meet the rest of my family. My worry is now that they will look at how fast we got married even if we wait to sumit the application in september so we have lived together for 12 months? Also, a huge problem in kenya is that the house we rent together is just a hand written rental agreement and the electricty bill is in the house owners name not ours! Documents like that may be hard to get and convince! I wanted to apply asap its just the time issue that may go against us. We have many people including kenyans and aussies that can write to support our relationship but im still a little worried as to if i should wait until september to apply. I would really appreciate your opinion.



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I do not think any of this will be a problem. Two basic tests.
      Do you have a qualifying relationship for the appliction – YES you do.
      Is it a genuine realtionship – Yes but that must be demonstarted. Get some professional help to lodge the application and it will be fine.
      It will take a while 9 to 12 months atbthe Nairobi post but that’s the same for all o/s 309/100 Partner applications.
      Grant Williams
      JP 195363
      Registered Migration Agent
      MARN 0854799
      Immigration Pty Ltd
      Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000
      PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240
      Telephone: +61 2 92114694
      Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877

  42. HI Grant:) I just want to say thanks so much again for your help, if you hadn’t told me about the relationship registration I would have lodged the application and have been refused and lost out 3000 dollars so thank you so much again:) I just had one last question before I lodge the application, I was hoping you could help me please, because we didn’t start living together until September 2011 when I lodge the application for the question “Date de facto relationship began”, will I say April 2011 when we were officially in a relationship, or September when I moved in and my name went on the lease? Thanks again for your help:)

  43. Thanks Grant, that’s great:)I hope you’ve a lovely day:)

  44. Hi grant ,
    I am an indian citizen got married in feb 2012 .My husband is also an Indian by birth but he has an Australian citizenship by grant Soon after I got married I accompanied him to Australia on tourist visa which I acquired before getting married and stayed together . Now I m back in India because my visa had no further stay condition stamped on it . I applied for an offshore partners visa today hoping to join my husband there soon . I would want to change my name .What do you suggest I wait for the visa to come through and then think about going for the name change or I can do it simultaneously . will it delay the visa processing? How do I go about it ?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Please wait until the partner visa is garnted all you will do is confuse the situation and create lots of extra paperwork, new Police checks and letters back and forthe which will greatly slow up the procesing of your application. Be patient.
      Grant Williams

  45. Hi Grant,

    I am another one to thank you for giving this advise for free!!! I have applied for my De Facto relationship visa (subclass 820) in April last year and had the visa granted within 5 working days which was amazing!
    My question is now: when I get granted my PR (subclass 801), will this still be linked to the relationship and what does it mean that I have 5 years of returning resident attached to the visa?
    Thanks heaps for your help in advance!!!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes you still need to be in the realtionship to get PR. Once you get PR your immigration status no longer depends onn the relationship. All PR visas have a 5 year resident return visa condition which means that you must either renew this travel facility every 5 years and there are criteria to get this done which are all on the DIAC website. Search for Resident return visa. This all ceases to be an issue if you take Australian Citizenship as soon as you are eligible. Agian all criteria for this on the DIAC website.
      Grant Williams

  46. Hi Grant,
    Thank you very much for your greatly useful blog. I just had my Permanent Residency last May 2012, and now wanting to sponsor for my partner. We have been together for 3 years and now are planning for wedding next year. She is holding a student visa, and is waiting for her 485 visa. She just had case officer two days ago, and was asked to have medical exam. My questions are:
    1. Can she apply for Partner Visa while holding a 485 visa? I read Booklet 1, Page 12, and found that she may be not eligible to have valid application and/or be granted visa because of this “since your last entry to Australia, hold or held a Provisional General Skilled Migration visa and you
    have not held or did not hold that visa for at least 2 years;”
    2. In case she can’t, do you think that we should cancel her 485 application and lodge Partner Visa application. Any other suggestions about our case?

    Thank you very much for your advices. Really appreciate it.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. Yes she can. No problems. Not sure what this is you’re quoting but it will not affext any Partner application in your circumstances.
      2. n/a
      Grant Williams

  47. Hi Grant,

    I had a look over DIAC’s policy and I can’t find anything that expressly states that you need 12 months of cohabitation before you can make an application. Can you please let me know the specific section in the policy where this requirement is set.



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Don’t have time to be finding this for you. It is contained in the definition of a de facto relationship in the Migration Regulations. Be assured if you are de facto and you apply before you have 12 months cohabitation it will be refused.
      Grant Williams

  48. Hi Grant.

    I and my wife Came over here together on November 2008. Unfortunately, We have got Divorce Order on thursday 4th November 2010 by Family Court of Western Australia. Our marriage has broken down and has been terminate the marriage on Fifth day of December 2010. She is gone back to Home Country and married with another man. After that, I also went my home country last March 2012 and married with another Girl as a social and traditional style making all of picture and videos. I would like to Bring my new wife as a dependent visa. Can I do that and what sorts of Document do I need. Would you please give me proper Suggestion it will be great help and appreciated. Thank you Grant.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      What is your status? Are you a PR or are you on some other TR visa? if it’s a straight Partner application then all the info is on the Blog post
      Grant Williams

      • Deepak kumar

        Dear Grant,
        I came over here as a student visa on oct 2008 and couple of month left to finish my study, After that, I can apply TR or PR. could you please advise me how can I bring my new wife. Thanks in deep your quick response.
        Thank you Grant

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Deepak If you only have less than 6 months on your current student visa they will not grant a dependant visa. Once you apply for TR or PR and you are one BV they generally don’ t allow defendants to come. Include your wife in the application you make. Get some help. Grant Williams

  49. Hi Grant! Thanks so much for this blog, it is incredibly helpful!

    Like many others, I am wanting to apply for a defacto visa. I met my boyfriend two years ago and we have visited each other several times (I am cuurently based in RSA and he is in Perth). I am intending to get a working holiday visa, so that we can attempt to fulfil the 12 month requirement of cohabitation. I have however, read alot about registering your relationship. Do I need to do this from day one? We are of course going to get a joint lease, bank accounts etc and I have already begun compiling all our correspondence etc. I just want to have everything in place for an application.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Once you register a relationship it means the 12 month de facto rule no longer applies. However this does not prove the relationship is genuine and that means you still need all the evidence you are collecting. Not sure that WA has relationship registration yet. You need to check. Also it’s not required you can still just hang out to meet 12 months cohabitation.
      Grant Williams

  50. Hi Grant, just came across this blog and I think it’s amazing what you are doing for people and I appreciate any time you might spend replying to me.

    I have a couple of questions. My story is that I am Australian and my boyfriend is English. We met whilst i was living in the UK in May 2010 and started a relationship pretty much straight away. I moved into his house in August 2011 and then he moved to Australia with me in October 2011. We stayed with my parents for a month until we got a house together in November 2011.

    The problem is that I only have one piece of mail addressed to me at his house for August 2011 and then we both only have one piece of mail each addressed to us at my parents house for October. Our evidence is a lot more solid from November onwards.

    He is on a 1 year working holiday visa which expires at the start of October, and we are planning to apply for the defacto visa in September. We live in Melbourne and want to register the relationship just to strengthen the application, however I have read on the official registry site that you need to have lived in Victoria for the previous 12 months to register. Do you think it would be ok to submit the visa application in September, register the relationship in October when we are eligible to (he will be on a bridging visa then) and then add this to our application? Will this be acceptable?

    Or do you think we are being paranoid and we won’t need to register? I am confident we can show that we have been in a genuine relationship for over two years and that I can get many statements from people to back this all up – it is just that I feel worried that we don’t have enough hard evidence to prove when we started living together other than a couple of pieces of mail.

    Any advice or opinion would be greatly appreciated.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      It”s hard to not get paranoid when dealing with some aspects of Immigration. I see no reason you cannot lodge immediately. By all means register the relationship. I’d try doing that now I’m sure we have had clients who have done so from your current position. Statutory Declarations can be powerful evidence of the earlier part of your relationship. Your own declarations will tell the story and then others will confirm this. In this case include your near relatives and get them to attest to the early part of the relationship. You must have spoken to them etc…
      Grant Williams

      • Thanks for your reassurance. Yes, I have four Australian friends who visited me whilst I was living in the UK and met my partner. My sister did as well. I also have a lot of emails between my mum/grandparents/cousins and I where we spoke about my partner and where I sent them photos of us etc. From what you’ve said it appears as though we have nothing to worry about, but I will try to get the relationship registered as well to put our minds more at ease. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

  51. Hi my name is komal i am on student visa but my partner is going to apply for his PR in melbourne basses on skilled migration i would like to PR with him but we do not have valid 12 month relationship but we are planing to register our relation in vic but i just wondering that do we need to show 12 month joint assets as well or if we register our relation we will waived please help me

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Once you register your relationship you need to provide DIAC with ample proof that you are genuine it does not have to be 12 months worth of anything.
      Grant Williams

  52. Hi I am Rizi and i want to know that is it necessary to provide marriage certificate when i apply onshore spouse visa? because i read that (if applicable) provide marriage certificate.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      If your are applying as a married applicant yes. If not you must meet the de facto requirements.
      Grant Williams

  53. Oh thanks and could you suggest me any good migration agent and if you are in melbourne can i get your address to get more information about it

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Amrik We do not make agent recommendations as we cannot control what they are doing or telling you. My contact details are below. Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  54. hi Grant i would like to apply for GSM visa my sis is Australian citizen and i had done my 2 year study in cookery i would like to apply a sponsorship visa do i am eligible ?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Komal Where does you sister live? This is only possible if she lives in a designated regional area. Grant Williams

  55. Pingback: Partner Visa Project – Evidencing Your Relationship - My Access Australia

  56. Hi Grant,

    I have just stumbled across your blog and what a treasure chest of helpful hints and tips it is.It is very generous of you to give up your time. I wondered if I could possibly ask some advice…
    History brief:
    I am form the UK and came to Australia on a WHV, end of May 2011, met my Australian partner in June 2011 and moved in with him the end of June 2011, we have been on numerous holidays together and have registered mail to the same address but I am not actually on the house lease. We also spent last Christmas with his family and regulary visit them. (so wil have no problems with stat decs from them or friends clearly stating our relationship is genuine and probaly close to 2000 pics! – Im pretty camera happy :-))
    I am now on my second WHV and we have been together for over 1 year and have started to collect a lot of effidence ie photos, cards, joint inet bills etc dating back from June 2011. My question is should I apply for a defacto visa now? or wait until Feb 2013 as we have a big joint holiday planned to the UK, iceland and NY to vist all my friends and family so he can meet them in Jan 2013 booked already? Then we would have far more evidence and another Christmas and valentines day etc together and family holidays?
    Sorry, my last question is, do you think it is worth registering the relationship? also dont know if it helps but Im currently working for a local government and wondered if that would go in my favour at all or not worth mentioning?

    thanks so much for your help in advance
    Look forward to your reply


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You can apply now or later. Yes Registration will add an extra level of commitment to the evidence on top of all the other stuff you have. No working for local government makes absolutely no difference.
      Really up to you but for what it’s worth I’d wait unless you can put together the perfect decision ready application now and then travel on the 820 TR visa. You’ll PR quicker if you apply now obviously.
      Grant Williams

      • Thanks for your responce Grant, really helpful information. Just wondered if I could also ask if
        1) Whilst on a bridging visa(waiting for defacto) you are able to leave the country ie for a holiday?
        2) When my two year working holiday Visa runs out and I go onto my bridging visa can I still only work for an employer for only upto 6 months?
        3) Do I need to be in employment when you apply for a defacto visa?
        4) Do you know of any reccomended agencies in the Perth area?

        so much
        Laura :-)

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Laura 1. If you have a BVA you can apply for a BVB to travel 2. The work limitation resets to anothet new 6 months when BVA starts 3. NO 4. Don’t do recommendations as I cannot control what they do. What do you want done? Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  57. Hi Grant!
    I know my partner since 2005 when we first met and dated. We were again in a relationship for 7months in 2008. Every time I had to leave because of my studies and “being responsible”. In August 2011 we decided to be together again, however, only via Skype and Whatsapp and all sorts of social media, and in September 2011 we booked out holiday for 3 weeks in Bali together in Dec2011/Jan2012.
    After that long distance again and long story short: we registered our relationship in April 2012, lived together (with hard evidence)in that month and now from June-August, when I have to leave for a few weeks to graduate in Scotland. In September I want to come back to stay here permanently and we want to apply for the defacto visa. Do you see any chance of approval?
    Thanks a lot for your opinion!!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      It will be difficult to use all the 2005 to 2012 stuff to prove genuine realtionship.
      Really all you have is very recent + registration. I’d wait for as long as you can on whatever visa you have to get more time together before you apply and perhaps look to getting some professional help to get solid evidence together before you apply.
      Grant Williams

  58. hi Grant
    On bridging visa E , applicant of partner visa 820/801 entitled for medicare card? if she has medi care card and she get bridging visa E still she can use that card or not?
    looking forward for your kind advise.

  59. Have just come across your fantastic blog. Have noted your contact details as looking to speak to a registered agent asap to clarify some points re partner visas.

    For now though, I wonder if you can offer some preliminary advice…
    I am British, my boyfriend Australian. We have been together since April 2011. We have more-or-less lived together from July 2011 til present, so the past 12 months. I say more-or-less as there have been periods of approx. 3 months, within that period, where we have been apart due to travel commitments/visa expiry dates etc. We have a great amount of evidence to show everyday contact during these absences.
    Currently, we are in the UK preparing to apply for an offshore partner visa so I can return to Australia. Given that we are (I think?!) JUST meeting the 12 month cohabitation requirement for defacto, we are seriously considering marrying here in the UK in the next few weeks, just before we will submit our offshore partner application.
    In your opinion, is this a confident way to omit the 12 month burden and strengthen our application? And will the closeness of a marriage date to an application date be judged negatively?
    We do have evidence to support our case: a joint tenancy agreement to cover some months of cohabitation (stat decs to cover others), a joint bank account (though only showing a few months use – before having to leave Aus), photographs of us in UK and Aus, hundreds of pages of text messages, skype call records etc, and strong stat decs, but I’m not sure it is enough!
    We are in love and all we want is to finally settle and begin our lives together in one place, so we truly have no qualms about obtaining a marriage certificate given our dire visa situation.
    Your preliminary thoughts would be most welcome before I can hopefully arrange to speak with you over the phone.

    Thank you so much in advance.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      My first thought is why not just apply for an ETA (electronic visitor visa) not mentioning your realtionship and come to Australia and apply from here? It’s the most common way for UK residents and DIAC don’t object.
      If not yes marrying will mean your relationship absolutely qualifies although in my view from what you’ve said you will very soon (July) meet the 12 month rule for cohabitation.
      Your application needs to stress that you are wanting to move to reside in Aust as soon as the visa is granted as you are both residing o/s. This will be fine as your partner is an AC.
      No they won’t look in a negative way at a recent marriage after 12 months living together.
      Grant Williams
      JP 195363
      Registered Migration Agent
      MARN 0854799
      Immigration Pty Ltd
      Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000
      PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240
      Telephone: +61 2 92114694
      Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877

  60. Hi Grant:) Hope you’re well, I just had a question Grant I hope you can help… I resigned from my job two weeks ago because my six months was up, I did that to work on my partner visa and I lodged the application today, and I was hoping to go back to work on Monday, my employer said they would take me back once the application was lodged and I was on a bridging visa giving me another six months. The only thing is on the application form it says that the bridging visa only kicks in when the current visa expires but my current visa doesn’t expire until December:(:( I don’t know what to do right now, the only reason I lodged the visa early with the registered relationship cert was so I could stay at my job but I don’t know if that’s possible:(:( Am I right in thinking this, and is there anything I can do to get around it, I’m due to come back to work Monday but I don’t think I can, thanks a million for any help!:)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Moonsie Your BVA will only start when your current visa expires. So it’s only a new visa then. No way around this beyond cancelling the WHV which also cancels your Partner BVA..Becoming briefly unlawful . Applying for a BVE. Getting the BVE. Then applying for Work Permission on this BVE. Then you could go back to work. I do not recommend this but it is possible. I do not know about your job/employer but if they have more than one business entity – they can swap you over to that entity and this represents an new employer if the pay comes out of the other business/entity. Grant Williams

      • Thanks a million for your reply Grant:):) And for all your help, really appreciate it, have a lovely weekend:)

  61. Dear Grant,

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for such an informative and generous blog. The time you take to educate and engage with people in an area with such variables and complications is much appreciated.

    I will try and keep my own inquiry as brief as possible! My partner (American) and I (Australian citizen) have been in a relationship since June 2008 (we met in 2007 when he was studying here but only decided to enter into a committed relationship in 2008). Since that time we have have largely conducted a long-distance relationship because study and work commitments have kept us in our respective countries. That said, this four years of long-distance has been broken by regular spells spent living together for anywhere between one month to six months at a time and multiple lengthy holidays together/with friends.

    We are in a position where we are looking to apply for an offshore Partner Visa (he is in the States working right now) and finally begin a permanent life together in the same place! I do, however, have some concerns regarding this application – namely, is the evidence of our genuine and committed relationship enough despite our lack of proof in the area of “nature of the household”? We opened a joint bank account in February of last year, have just submitted our application to have our relationship registered in NSW, have countless photos/letters/emails/phone calls from our four years together, and are well and truly known and accepted as a couple amongst all our family and friends (with many ready to sign stat decs to confirm this). We just haven’t lived together consistently, nor have we made any big household purchases together or signed any joint leases.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this, although I appreciate you’re a busy man, and am thankful for the wealth of information that is readily available on this site.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I don’t see a problem with your application. Obviously you will need to convince DIAC that your plan is to now settle permanently in AUstralia ( at least for ther ime being anyway to be eligible for the visa.)
      Grant Williams

      • Thanks for your swift reply Grant – much appreciated. It’s difficult not to freak out about all the details! Best, E

  62. Briliant Grant, thanks :-)
    RE Questions 4) I just was just wondering if it was best to get an agent to help with the application process as I heard they process them faster? But then I guess loads of people do the applications themselves.
    2) working on the BVA isbecoming a bit of an issue with employers as you can only work for them for upto 6 months, as I currently have an offer of a full time perminant job if I was a resident. :-( But as it stands I will have to leave my job in November as I wont be able to continue to work for them as I will still be on my 2nd yr WHV until my defacto visa kicks in in June 2013. So I wil have to find another job.

    Thanks so much for your help, I cant tell you how valuable this source is :-)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Laura Most partner applications are self lodged and most take 12 months or more. A good agent should be able to get a decision ready application lodged which will take much less time to process. No one can guarantee any time as it’s good old DIAC calling the shots. GW

  63. Hi Grant,

    Let me start by saying how helpful you blog has been in my situation. It’s an incredibly wonderful thing you’re doing here.

    My partner (French) and I (Australian) are in the final stages of putting our visa together and sending it off but we just had a few questions that needed answering beforehand.

    Q1.) Do our personal statements have to be hand written? We had conflicting information about this.

    Q2.) Some of our documents are in French. Does everything need to be translated. For example, the police check, birth certificate, bank statements and government letters.

    Q.3) Another thing we read conflicting information about is getting every single piece of paper certified. Does this include copies of bank statements, personal e-mails?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Warm regards


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. No but they are best as Statutory Declarations.
      2. Yes everything you want them to read.
      3. If it’s a copy it must be a certified copy or they will ignore it
      All annoying but that’s how the system works.

  64. Hi grant , I’m just wondering if you can help me with my situation.I am absolutely confused. I am in temporary visa then get married in my country so my partner is Australian citizen, he needs to lodge my partner visa but we are still waiting for the marriage certificate as proved that we are married but we are in a relation last year only may 06,2011. D0 we need to get married again here this month to complete the 12 months rule relation???? Please help me..many thanks.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Overseas marriage is fine but you do need to provide DIAC with proof – Certificate + photos + Statutory Declarations for friends and family who were there.

  65. Hi Grant, I just came across this blog tonight after investigating registered relationships and immigration NSW. The advice you offer is invaluable! I was wondering what your charges are.. I am here on a student visa, I am from UK, I have been in Sydney since Feb 08 and been on a student visa all that time. My Partner ( from Argentina but has citizenship here) and I have just registered our relationship.. only on Friday 29th June 2012. We will be applying for a defacto/partner visa in due course. We met in July 2010, seperated in Feb 11 until Oct 11 due to unforseen circumstances. I just want to make sure we have all the evidence needed for the application. I feel after reading the advice you have given we are better off paying for the services of a professional like yourself to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. Kind regards LW

  66. Hi Grant,
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!
    I am on a WHV and it is up in July. My partner and I have a registered De Facto relationship in NSW but we can’t apply for De Facto visa yet as we don’t have sufficient evidence of living together etc. So I want to go on a tourist visa for a few months. I understand that I have to leave the country to apply for this visa. Would it be OK to go to Fiji for a week or so, apply as soon as I leave Australia, and hope that it will be approved before I come back? Would it help that I am in a registered relationship with a PR? Any advice or tips you have for my situation would be much appreciated.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Might actually work the other way and they may well refuse the Visitor visa as you are not really a visitor. It happens very often. So perhaps not a good strategy.
      If you’re registered you can apply perhaps you need to come in for a consulataion (me or whoever you trust) to see if it can’t happen before your current visa runs out. It would be easier.
      Grant Williams
      JP 195363
      Registered Migration Agent
      MARN 0854799
      Immigration Pty Ltd
      Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000
      PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240
      Telephone: +61 2 92114694
      Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877

  67. Hi,
    Thank-you for the information, really useful article. I try to get my application ready to get PR. My partner is Australian, we are together since December 2010, we have baby boy together (6 months old). We live together, but we don’t have any bills or bank account with both names on it, but we have facebook… Could that be an issue to prove how genuine our relationship is ? I kind of expect the fact that we have a child together would make it easier/faster, is it the case ?
    Thanks a lot !

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes that’s true but you will still need a fair amount of other proof. Before you apply get some face to face advice from a good agent who is willing to give you some tips on how to develop sound relatiionship proof. Many agents don’t like to offer this sort of help as it’s not really good biusiness for them so you may have to shop around a bit depending on where you are.
      Grant Williams
      JP 195363
      Registered Migration Agent
      MARN 0854799
      Immigration Pty Ltd
      Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000
      PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240
      Telephone: +61 2 92114694
      Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877

  68. Hi Grant
    I was hoping to get a quick answer as to whether our situation could be workable for a de facto or marriage visa. My fiance and I (both British) have been together for 3 years but he worked in London and I worked 140 miles away, so we’ve never really co-habited during the week. Secondly, he was going through a divorce and so I have been careful to keep my finances separate to his, although I would be able to give bank evidence of food shopping/eating out and some money which I loaned him to clear a credit card. So, as far as the rules go, we cannot prove that we lived together or that we share bills.
    The relationship has not been the smoothest due to the long distance and the additional baggage and we did try to separate as the journey seemed too hard but neither of us can be without one another.
    Added to this, social aspect of our lives has been difficult due to our friends not getting on and I don’t know that we would have the support of witnesses.
    Now the situation is, I am in Australia on a 457 visa (6 weeks in). Before I left the country, we decided to split as we were still on the road to recovery (and he has children in the UK) and so I did not mention him in my application. But we are still in love and in constant contact and have decided that the right thing to do is to make a life together here in Australia – this would mean marriage. In the meantime, he is looking for work in Australia to try and obtain a visa that way, but with the current climate it is proving difficult.
    How would the DOI view our situation with regard to a de-facto/spouse visa?
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my question.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I’d say DIAC would struggle to see your relationship as qualifying. I assume you want to add him to your 457 visa as Partner visas are only for Australian Permanent REsidents and Citzens to sponsor a foreign spouse.
      If he was here you could sthen register he relationship and then apply to have him added to your 457 as a dependant.

  69. Can a son be a sponsor for his dad’s finance? Dad has residency (2011- s.143).

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Finance? Money? Do you mean fiancé ? If so the answer is no. If not I have no idea what you mean? Assurance of Support?

  70. Thanks Grant,
    Yes I mean father’s fiancé, so they should wait for 5 years!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Chris that’s the regulation unless ther are some unusual circumstances like the death of a partner. GW

  71. Thanks Grant. I will speak to my sponsers about that.

  72. Thanks Grant, if my marriage certificate will takes for 6months to get that, I think we need to get marry here again , because my temporary visa is nearly expired,or if the my 457 temporary residents visa expired then they will issue bridging visa while we are waiting for permanent residents visa to be approved ,my husband who is citizen can still apply a partner visa for me right??? Because we need to wait until the marriage certificate comes.please what is the best thing to do??thanks a lot ,.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Hope I cannot think of anywhere in the world where it takes 6 months to get a marriage cert. Why did one not get issued when you married? DIAC will be suspicious. You only get a BV if you lodge an onshore application. If you are married you can apply now you do not need to marry twic. GW

  73. Hi Grant,

    My partner and I want to apply for a de facto visa. However, he (my sponsor) is currently unemployed (he took a package last November and is now looking for work in the banking industry, but its going a bit slow). I finished uni last year and still haven’t figured out my career path so i am still being supported by my parents. My working holiday visa expires in August, so i am praying that my partner finds a job before that, but if that doesn’t happen then we will have to apply for the visa without him having a job. How will immigration view this? Will this lessen my chance of having my visa approved?
    Do you know any good migration agents in Melbourne?

    Thanks in advance, I really appreciate your help.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      If your sponsor does not have employment DIAC will request an Assurance of Support which will nedd to come from an eligible Australian citizen who will have to get this organised via Centrelink. Plenty of info on this on the DIAC website.
      We don’t recommend as we canniot control what other agents do and the last thing we need is angry folk blaming us when someone else makes a mistake.

  74. HI Grant,
    I want to know that is it required to provide statutory declarations for 485 subsequent visas and will the story of relationship,emails,photos from past,marriage certificate(oct 2009) be enough.Also my partner came to Aus. on a visitor visa of 3 months this year when i sponsored her can that help as proof in subsequent visa application.Thanks.John

    • GW
      Marriage certificate(oct 2011) mistake and do i need show any finances to support her to immi.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes that all sounds fine. Make it easy for immigration and include realtionship statements. Finance is always an issue so showing that you are employed is important. It is all relevant but the basic test is are you in a genuine realtionship.

  75. Thanks Grant
    Is one relationship statement signed from both of us is enough and also what can be done in case i am unable to show my employment.
    Thanks John

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      John separate relationship statements are best. You will need some explanation as to how you are supporting yourself and your partner. GW

  76. Hi Grant,
    We began our relationship in May 2011 whilst she was working and living interstate, she then proceeded to seek employment in Sydney so we could be together and was lucky enough to secure sponsorship and moved to Sydney in Oct 2011 and we have been living together since. We have our names on the lease and joint bank accounts, etc. A few weeks ago, she was involuntarily made redundant and asked to leave Australia within 28 days. We are now in the process of applying for a partner visa (Jul 2012). We have registered our relationship with NSW Births and are waiting for the certificate to be sent to us. What are the chances of us submitting a favourable application even though we have only been living together for 9 months but to meet all the other requirements of a genuine relationship.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You will need to apply with the actual relationship registration certificate to avoid the 12 month de facto rule. If you don’t then your application will e refused.

  77. Thanks for the reply GRant, so I can now lodge a partner visa even she was on bridging visa or temporary 457 visa right now?? Thank you for your kindness and useful answer.

  78. Hi grant, thanks for your advise, pls help me with the ff. Questions

    1. Can I still lodge a partner visa if her temporary visa expires and she is in bridging visa?
    2. We can get marry here again to get a married cert. Straight away than waiting for a long time for our marriage cert. In other country.because they don’t issue it on the day of wedding unlike here in our country.
    3.If my spouse is in bridging visa because her approval for permanent residence has no decision yet,and her temporary residence visa has been expired, it’s okay to lodge a partner or spouse visa for her at that time.?
    4.BRidging visa holder can apply student visa?
    5.BRidging visa holder can do to get a partner visa?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. No being on a BV is a problem for an onshore Partner visa application. So do it before this happens.
      2. Up to you.
      3. No same ? as 1
      4. generally no
      5. that’s the same ? three times!

  79. Hi grant, great advise from you, hopefully you can help me with this questions
    1.Can I still lodge a partner visa for my spouse if her temporary visa already expires and she in bridging visa?
    2,BRidging visa hold can apply for student visa ?

  80. We can get marry here again to get a valid prove of marriage cert. As it will issue on the wedding day unlike my spouse country it will takes more time to wait for that.?

  81. Dear Grant,

    I am currently on an international student visa which expires in March, 2013. I want to apply for my de facto visa on shore now though. My partner is a natural australian citizen. We met while she was living as an expat overseas with her family. We have dated since highschool (2005) and have been together for te past 6 years. We got to Australia after her highschool graduation and have been living together since 2009.

    I was just reading your article above and was wondering how to use Facebook as evidence for on going committed relationship? As we have had countless photos since 2007 on Facebook I am sure this would help in our application. Furthermore, most photos taken with digital cameras these days do not have date stamps on them. Will this be an issue? You can find dates in the ‘more info’ of a photo when it is on a computer. Are large numbers of photos able to be handed in using a USB stick?

    Any help would be great!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      DIAC do not accept USB sticks or any similar stirage device.
      You need to get colour copies of the photographs certifed and wite simple notes and dates next to them putting them in revese chronological order – oldest first.
      Print out all the facebook evidence in colour and give it to them.
      Really any more than 30 or 40 photos is too much.
      Youcan say you have 2000 and these are samples and offer to guive them the whole lot if they want to see them – they won’t.
      You do howver need a lot more than facebook and photos.

      • Hi Grant,

        Thanks for you quick feedback!

        Yes along with the photos we also have lease agreements and RTBA bond forms for the various places we have lived. Additionally since all the bills have been in my name we also have a transaction record from my partners bank account to mine stating all the bills we have split.

        Thanks again!

  82. Hi Grant,

    Thanks for your article, it is extremely useful. I just had a couple of questions:

    1. my partner is irish. I am a australian citizen, living in australia for the majority of my life but i also have an irish passport (father is irish). does that make a difference?

    2. we met in aug 09, moved in together in dec 09 in ireland (we have no lease but a letter from our landlord, and stat decs from my family and friends who visited at that time). we then had 3.5 months apart in constant contact while my boyfriend did his rural work and i saved money, whereupon we moved to sydney, got a joint lease, opened bank account together and shared bills (feb 11). we bought a car together (it’s only in my name though, they wouldn’t let us put it in a joint name). i have bank statements, bills, cards, a very few photos, phone bills to prove constant contact, stat decs, joint insurance, joint purchases (including a lounge suite and car) and 18 months of leases (feb’11 to now). if we have all that, and we clearly meet the 12 months cohabitation clause, is it fairly certain we would get the visa?

    3. this is stupid, but do we write separate stat decs outlining our relationship or can we write a joint one?

    thanks again ffor your blog, i have found it so useful!



    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. No.
      2. Yes
      3. Yes

      • Hi sir
        My name is Sandeep
        Actually I m a student and now I m married and my partner is PR as she got her PR on her fathers 457 as a dependant applicant
        But we already met each other before her PR granted as a co-worker but wasn’t in a relationship that time and we got in a relationship after that as a boyfriend girlfriend and we married after 12 months and more and I want to know “when did we first met and the place ” and date is that as a bf gf or as a co- worker and we never get engaged and what will the answer of the ” commit to shared life together ” ?
        With regards

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Just tell the truth.
        You first met at work.
        You committed when you married unless you were living together before marriage – if so use the date you began cohabitation.

  83. Dear Grant,
    Just wanted to know whether the individuals who provide the statutory declarations for the partner visa, have to necessarily have met both individuals in the relation to be a valid statutory dclaration? My husband is in New zealand while I am in Australia. Most of our social contacts are kiwis. the individuals who can provide statutory declaration have known of our relationship, how ever have not physically met my husband

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Manahil You can only do waht is possible. If you have people who know about the realtionship but have not actaully met your partner it is difficult for them to fill out the 888 when you read the questions it asks. Try to introduce peole over the web. Can he just come here? NZ citizens have no travel restrictions to Aust. GW

  84. Hi Grant,

    I was just wondering, what is the best way to explain bank statements? I have read in a few forums that people just highlighted the transactions and wrote small notes next to them explaining what they are.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      M What are you explaining? By all means annotate them if you want. We don’t do this but I guess if you’re trying to show you purchased a new teapot you could write it next to the transaction but unless the transacations record shows it was from the Tea Pot shiop it’s meaningless. GW

  85. Hi Grant,

    These are some of the best articles I have seen regarding de facto visas!

    My partner and I have been dating for six years and will have lived together as a defacto couple in Australia for three years at the time of application (January 2013 on shore). We have all our documents gathered- lease agreements from our first address (three years ago) to our current address. Bills from each property, bank statements, stat decs and we will be opening a joint bank account soon. Along with email correspondence, photos etc.

    I was reading on the immi website that if you have been in a defacto relationship for 3 years at the time of application you are eligible for an immediate PR? so essentially skipping the 820 two year wait period.

    My question is will the PR happen automatically or do we have to make a request to skip the 820 based on our three year de facto relationship?

    Any help would be great!!!


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Iylia If you don’t ask you may not get so YES make it VERY clear and ask to be considered for the grant of 801 visa. GW

      • HI Grant,

        My partner and I applied for de facto visa on 13th Feb 2012. We are still waiting for a case officer. Should we ask to be considered for the grant of 801 visa before or after been assigned to a case officer?
        (Been living together as de facto for 3.5 years and had submitted necessary documents proving that we are living together and such.)

        Hope to hear from you soon.

        Kind regards,

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Ron the three year long term relationship status is at the date of application so if you we’re 3 years when you applied and have solid proof of the whole time all three years ask when you get a case officer.

  86. Hi Grant
    I ve got my 820 granted not long ago thanks to you!! Sunny and i are getting married in October !!! My question is should i tell the department that my status is changin? ( no more partner but married couple )

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Stefano No that’s not necessary now it’s something to tell them when the time comes for 2nd satge processing of your 801 PR visa. Grant Williams

  87. Hey Grant,
    Like so many others before me – thank you so much for the advice you give, it’s amazing and so refreshing!
    I am the applicant,my partner the sponsor for my 820visa. We met in 1996 as kids and my family returned to Germany in 1999. We lost contact but were able to find each other on Facebook in 2008. In 2010 I started planning to go to Australia for 1-2 years on a WHV and see how things work out between us. We have had feelings for each other since 2008, but neither of us wanted a long distance relationship. I arrived in Perth in August 2011, we moved in together in September 2011 and wanted to take it slow, as “everyday life” is quite different to being in contact via skype or other social media. We were planning a europe holiday when we found out I was pregnant ( so much for taking things slowly-haha). Maybe you can give me some of your words of wisdom:
    We are ready to hand in my 820application and have gathered a lot of evidence, even calming photos from back in1997 when our families went camping together to prove how long we have known each other! The only thing we don’t fulfill yet is the 12 month relationship requirement, however now im getting paranoid- perhaps my pregnancy and the fact that I’m due in August will be compassionate circumstances enough to waiver the requirement? You can’t register relationships in W.A … And I never wanted to get married while being pregnant…
    My visa expires in August, hence we can’t wait until we fulfill the requirement…
    I know it’s a tough one, but what is your opinion and experience regarding compassionate circumstances? If you have any tips, I would be very grateful!

    Thanks so much,


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Generally DIAC do not regard pregnancy as a compassionate circumstance – the reason being that (and this is sad in my view) that many people would use this as a way work the system, and they would. Having said that if you are due in August there is a) no way you can get on a plane and b) unless you can apply onshore for a straight visitor visa (which I would think is possible and I guess you are not working now anyway) you do not have a lot of other options. You early history together and the online stuff will not count as relationship. If you lodge just before the 12 months and include a letter requesting compassionate consideration with all the ‘medical/ evidence, even ultrasounds of the baby just to personalise this issue my feeling is DIAC will say OK. Basically if they said no you’d win at the MRT and you’d be in a very strong position to request a priority hearing in the MRT (meaning you’d be heard in 90 days rather than 2 years) and DIAC know this. When someone is 3 months and up to viable travel time they are unmoved. Your situation basically forces their hand.
      Grant Williams

  88. Hi Grant,
    Great work you are doing here, really appreciate your effort and advice.
    I am an Aust Citizen and my partner and I are applying for a de facto partner visa (801 & 820). We met 4 years ago in 2008 overseas but only began our relationship when I travelled back to her home country in August 2011. She then arrived in Australia in September 2011 and moved striaght in with me. We have all the evidence of this and more so we are not worried about that part of the application. My partner has just spent the past 6 months working for the one oganisation and now has to leave as she is currently here on a 417 WHV. We would like to submit our application ASAP so she can obtain a letter from DIAC that she has a bridging visa (proof to her potention new employer that she is allowed to stay and work in the country. Our concern is that if we submit now we have only been living together for 11 months even though our realtionship has been going for over 12 months.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You have to claim the start date from when you were together overseas – this will be OK.
      However the BV only starts when the WHV expires so just getting the BV does not reset the WHV. This only happens when the WHV is replaced by the BV – I don’t have thae dates but be careful here.

  89. Hi Grant
    My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for nearly 5 years. We lived together in Australia in a Defacto relationship for 14 months and lodged for an RSMS last year which we withdrew due to my girlfriend not having the right job qualifications. She then returned to Germany and has been there since April. I am currently in Germany visiting her for 3 weeks. We have stayed in contact and in a relationship throughout this period.She just needed to return as her Visa expired and to find her feet and spend time with her family as last year was very stressful with Immigration and sickness.
    We are looking at lodging a partner visa from Germany for her so that she can continue working as this is important to her. I am just interested to know if you think we still would have a valid application as she has been away for 4 months. If you do what do you think we should write in the 47sp application as the reason for the time apart? Also do you think using a migration agent increases the chance of success with Immigration, are they happier to work with you than with us?
    Thanks in advance your blog is very good


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Fisrt the gap is OK given the time you have together. Just say her Australian visa exiped and she had to depart. Tell them you have since visited her etc…
      A good migration agent should be able to prepare a better application than you can – more technical addressing the Migration Regulations but in truth if you are well organised you should be able to do this yourself.

      • Thanks for your help Grant greatly appreciated. Could you send through the cost to use your services to my email address?Thanks again

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Mark My general cost for 820/801 that’s the TR and the PR in two years time is $4400 incl GST. All DIAC and third party fees are extra. However I always reserve the right to change this once I know a couple’s full story. Any odd or additional requirements – like making special Character or medical submissions will cost more as they eat up huge amounts of time. Really all costings depend on hiow much time I have to spend. My initial consultation is $150 Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  90. Hi Grant
    I think your blog is awesome and is really helping me with my application. Just a quick question, we are currently living together with my partners mum. same goes when we were in the UK together (with my parents), so have no joint lease are we ok to get stat decs from house owners saying we lived there and contributed etc? We also dont have any utilities accounts apart from our internet account do you reckon that will be ok? Many Thanks in Advance

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes… every relationship has different parameters and the test is is the relationshiup genuine not do you have a joint lease and utility accounts. Just attach Stat Decs expalining everything and what I usually do is make for any perceived weakness with more of something else. In your case I’d add a few more Form 888 witness statements from independent Australian friends or work colleagues.

  91. Thanks Grant for the info :)

  92. Hi Grant
    Im a new agent and read your blog quite often during my studies. I have question regarding the latest Partner Visa proof of relationship . Currently DIAC states they only need one form of evidence for each category relating to the relationship (financial aspects, the nature of the household, social context of the relationship and the nature of your commitment to each other. I expect this is to due to the large backlog of partner visa applications this year.

    I’m wondering if you read that as a restriction and that they may reprimand an agent for sending a lot of evidence attached to the application. As you’d know Section 54 of the Migration Act (1958) requires that the Minister must give regard to all information submitted in an application. Therefore Agents could send as much as they like?

    I would love to know what you thihnk.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      First I think their categories are silly and confusing. Most applicants have no idea what they actually want and every copule has different documents according to their cultural background, their preferences. There is no one size fits all. DIAC are unrealistic inn this area.
      If you send in a Partner applications with four items as proof of relationship only they will either a) reject the application or b) request more and more and more.
      So it’s our rule of thumb to cover this area very well with as much evidence as the applicants have. WE like to only have to make each aplication once.
      If it’s there they can scan it – I’m sure it does not all get read but within reason a full set of relationship evidence is better than a relationship certificate and a few photos.

      • Thanks a lot for your input. I wasn’t at all comfortbale with DIAC statement “You need to provide only one type of evidence from each category” and doubted they would accept an application with that evidence alone.
        RIght! Only one complete and well supported application is all I want to deal with!

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Hi Jennifer It’s always hard to know what they mean when you are looking at the website. Stick to the Regulations and tick all those boxes. The website is basically fluff for public consumption – it even has a detailed disclaimer clause. Grant

  93. Hi Grant,
    Thank you so much for the helpful information you provided on this blog. I just happened to have a few questions regarding Partner Visa.

    I am currently on my 485 visa (expires in Dec 2013), my boyfriend holds an Australian passport and we are planning to register our relationship in NSW this month. We also plan to live together later this year or early next year (latest by March).

    Here are some of my questions:
    1) To apply for the Partner visa (820), Immigration clearly states that you need to live together for at least 12 months at the time of application. However, in Fact Sheet 35 under WAIVER, it says: at the time of application of the partner visa, the de facto relationship was registered as a prescribed relationship in the relevant Australian state or territory legislation.

    Does this mean that if we are going to register our relationship this month, we do not have to be living together for at least 12 months at point of application? Or does it only applied to relationships which have been registered for 3 years or above? If we are going to live together, for example, from Dec 2012, and I lodge my 820 application in Sep 2013 (and already in a registered relationship), will my application get rejected or will it be on hold (i.e. will not be processed) until Dec 2013?

    2) Since my 485 Graduate Visa expires in December, I will have to hold another valid visa to stay in the country. Will I be granted a bridging visa automatically or do I need to leave the country after December?

    3) Will My 485 visa automatically cease after I lodge an application for 820 Partner Visa?

    Thank you so much for you help! I look forward to hearing your reply.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. No you must be living together and registered to avoid the 12 months
      2. When you apply from the 485 visa you will get a BVA automatically
      3. The BVA starts as soon as the 485 expires.

  94. Hi, My name is May and I am actually applying for a sponsorship visa in NZ with my boyfriend who s a NZ citizen. We ‘ve been together for over a year and have been living together for over 10 months now. I met him during my first Year in Australia with my WHV but was unfortunately not able to extend it. At the moment we got few pictures of us during the past two years: around 10 letters from our friends ( which are not really long – 5 lines): also our conversation printed from the last 8 months (we didnt have internet before cause of Backpacking together) ; a tenancy agreement of our last apartment where we stayed 5 months.
    As my visa ran out a year ago now, I havent worked since, and my Boyfriend has been supporting me, so we cant really prove a joint bank account, paying bills together etc…
    Is this enough information ?
    Do you think the fact that my visa ran out a while ago would be a big problem?
    *I know that you are not from Nz but the conditions must be similar.
    Thanks for the few tips I’ve just read above ;)

  95. Hi Grant,

    I met my partner in Australia 4 years ago, she is chinese and was on a 90 day tourist visa together with her chinese partner visiting australia. Her chinese partner launched a protection visa application (got refugee status and is now a citizen) and she was on the initial application as a defacto. She seperated from him whilst still on the tourist visa and met me. We went to Sydney immigartion office and cancelled the application for a protection visa whilst she was still on her 90 day tourist visa on the basis that she had ended her relationship with her chinese partner. We both then flew to China together 4 days before her toursist visa expired. 4 years later still together, married after 2, I lived in China for 1(i import from china for a living).

    We are now starting applying offshore for a partner visa and on form 47SP Q7 it asks ‘Have you ever been on Bridging visa E?’ Do we answer yes or no, I hope I can put no because we both left the country whilst she was still within her 90 day tourist visa and therefore was not yet on the briding visa which would have only been activated after the tourist visa expired.

    Second question is she has a child in china but the child was kidnapped by her divorced husbands mother and has never been seen since, So she can not give an address for the child even though she is not in our application. Whats the best way to explain this on the form, should we just be honest and say what happend and that the childs location is unknown,?

    Thanks if you can answer these.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      No she has not had a BVE from what you say. So answer No. They will check all this in any case.
      You must list the child as it will have been delcared in the old application. DIAC will want medicals for the child and you will need to convince them that this is impossible. This will be a pain and take time but if they are convinced then they can waive the requirement. They hear this story all the time and very often it is not true so don’t expect them to just roll over.

  96. Hi Mr. Grant Williams! Thank you for these informations and guidelines to make things work out even its really tough to do. I’m holding visa 426 and getting married next month. My fiance and I are planning to lodge a partner visa but there is something that makes us bother, that is where to lodge my visa since I’m not continuing my 426 visa after end of oct, does the immigration will tell me to lodge my partner bisa in my country or is it possible to lodge in Sydney? I am really stress about it coz we want to live together with my fiance and Im afraid not to see him for couple of months if immigration will ask me to go back home for the
    Lodgemnet of my PV. Thank you and more power to your careet! Godbless!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      What conditions have been applied to your visa? I can only answer your question with this information. These are the four digit numbers on the visa starting with 8. List them all out for me. It is very important you check this before you do anything elae.

      • Hi Grant,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I looked at my visa and I got 8110 work limitation and 8516 eligibilty to stay. I have no idea about this and I am really happy your helping me out in this difficult times. Thank you.


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        So if there is no 8503 you should be OK to lodge onshore. GW

  97. Hi, how are you doing? I am writing to you because I need to apply for my partner visa and there are things that I’m not quite sure. I would be much grateful if you could please help me.

    (i) I have been in a 5 years relationship with my boyfriend but we have been living together since January 2012. He just got his PR today and I was wondering, if we register our relationship here in Melbourne, can I apply for my partner visa without the 1year requirement?

    (ii) I am upset about the proof for financial aspects of our relationship. The thing is that my boyfriend works and I am still doing my master degree. So he decided that he should be the one to support me. He pays for everything and I buy the food. We don’t have a joint account because we found that it is more convenient to split the financial responsibilities like this until I get a job after my studies. What should I do to show a proof for our financial aspects? My name is on the rent contract and on the electricity bills as well. My boyfriend also pays for my telephone bills.

    (iii) If I apply for my onshore partner visa, can I still go abroad for holidays during the process?

    (iv) About the love statement, how many pages should I write?

    Thank you very much in advance


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      For DIAC your realtionship starts when you started living together.
      1. Yes
      2. What about pother financial aspects. His superannouation – are you his beneficiary? Tax – are you delcared as his partner for tax purposes to the ATO?
      3. Once youhave a BVA you can apply for a BVB to travel.
      4. Your statement should detail all the time you’ve been together in as much detail as you can manage – generally no more than 2 typed pages.

  98. Thanks a lot! That’s really helpful :)
    I don’t think I am declared as his partner for tax purposes and even for his superannuation, I’m not sure. I have to ask him.

    As for the bridging visa, if I am still on my student visa while waiting for the partner visa to process, can I still travel abroad or should I apply for a BVA?

    Thanks again,


  99. Thanks for the reply Grant, I think I need a consultation.



    • Hi Grant,

      Thanks for this wonderful news you brought to us. However, we are confused what type visa we should apply for me since my contract will end on oct 28 and so the visa 426 will end soon. Should we apply for partner visa or spouse visa after the marriage that wont affect us due to nearly cancellation of my existing visa?

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Czaih Sounds like you need to lodge a Partner application before your 426 visa expires. You need to get this checked out by a profesional agent or lawyer. Where are you? City? GW

      • I’m in lane cove right now Sir. My partner to be and I will lodge my new visa after the wedding but dont know what type of visa should be applied for this. What will I do, Sir? I am really confused about these things. But Im still thankful you’re here. Thank you Sir so much.

  100. Hi there Grant,

    I am marrying my boyfriend (he is local) soon and I will be applying for a partner visa (currently on a student visa) Just a few questions. He will be moving in with me once we are married. I have the rental on my name as I have lived there for the past few years. I plan on changing the electricity bill to his name though. I also plan on including some bank statements/ bills that show our names and the address. We dont have a joint bank account but plan on opening one as soon as we are married.We will have five statements from friends and family. I have not taken too many pictures of our social life together, does that matter? And we are not having the actual wedding now (only the civil part of it ) but in october when we go to Bali, so we would not have any wedding photos. Is that going to be a problem? I am going to explain them everything in my statement. Would that suffice to prove that we are in a genuine and caring relationship?

    Many thanks :)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes that will be a problem. No it will not be enmough.
      If you have an initial civil wedding take photos and have an after function an take photos . Take more photos of social things.
      Make sure you use the joint bank account for all your expenses and day to day living. The joint lease is not necessary perhpas you can get a letter from the Real Estate to say he has moved into the rental.

  101. Okay thanks for the advice :)

    You are a good man.

  102. Just got a another question I did my husbands form 888 and one is by my father and one is done by my father in law. Is it the right way? or does both form 888 have to be done by Australian citizen.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Chunu Both should be by Australian Citizens or Australian permanent Residents and you should have two independent people – not relatives. By all means use the relatives but get independent witnesses. GW

  103. Hi Grant
    I applied for 885 visa on 21st June 2012 and case officer has been allocated on 28/08/2012, Case Officer has asked me for evidence of relation ship, Character Penal clearance and form 80.

    I was married on 25th April 2012 and 885 was applied on 28th June 2012, may be because of the short time between marriage and 885 application they are asking more evidences.

    I have already put my Marriage certificate, but still they are asking for more info.

    At this stage I have a letter from real estate, Marriage certificate, Joint account for savings, Partner’s name added in superannuation as a beneficiary and a proof of Flight tickets and hotel reservation for both of us in Bali and some photos.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Basically a Marriage Certificate means very little. You must prove you are ina genuine realtionship. Yes they are asking because the relationship is very brief. They see many bogus attempts to attach someone to a PR application in this way. Give them all this extra stuff and also both of you need to provide separate Commonwelath Statutory Declarations detailing the story of your realtionship. You could also get a couple of Australian Citizen friends to complete a Form 888 with proof of their citizenship attached as witnesses to your relationship.
      That should do the job!

  104. Thanks a lot Grant for your information.

  105. Hi Grant,

    Fantastic service you offer and much appreciated! I’m hoping you can help me.My partner and I have been in Australia almost ten months now on a WHV. Fortunately it looks like he is getting sponsored to stay on by his company and we’re hoping I can too as his De Facto partner. Here’s the thing…because we have been on a WHV we found it difficult to rent property on our own for many obvious reasons and thus have been living in shared accommodation. As this was the case we never had our own tenancy agreement and bills were always included in rent. At the time we never were thinking in terms of this been an issue as we are very much a solid couple for over 7 years. To cut a long story short we can prove our relationship in every possible way apart from any lease as such showing we are living together for 6 months. We can of course prove we were living together through letters addressed to us and we can get declarations from those we rented off stating we lived there as a couple but we are afraid this will not be enough. Would you see this as a major problem?

    Any advise is greatly appreciated.

  106. tarun
    hi sir how are i applied my partner visa in july 2011 now my case required another two stat decs from my wife side we are from different community and her side is against our marriage because of culture things and my case required evidence of our geniune marriage to which i already have so what problem my case officer give it to me if i dont provide stat declaration in next 28 days and i am still on bridging visa

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You need to provide 2 x 888 forms from anyone Aust Citizen or PR who can act as a witness to your relationship. If you do not they will refuse the application as they are mandatory.

  107. Hi Grant! Great blog! I know this is not related to the topic at hand but I don’t know where else to leave a comment or ask a question. I am an international student studying supply chain management at a uni in Victoria. Started my course in Feb 2012. I know my course isn’t on the SOL/CSOL, and I recently looked at the Knight Review of the student visas.

    I am interested in the bit about Post-study work rights. From what I understand this gives anyone who studies at bachelors/masters level for 2 years will be given work rights after graduation. The problem is that there are not much in terms of details, as they are coming out in 2013. Is this pretty much a done deal or is it all speculation at this point?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      That is waht we have all been told but the actual visas do not exist so it is hard for me to advise you.

      • Grant,

        I appreciate the reply. This seems to be what everyone else knows as well. I guess it’s just wait and see at this point. I just hope they give out details as early as January of next year.



  108. Hi Grant,
    im curious to hear your opinion on how long we should expect our defacto 820 visa to be granted. we will be applying later this month with a very organised “decision ready” app including form 80 police checks medicals etc and from a French applicant.

    our time line in short..
    met june 16, 2011,
    began living together july 1, 2011
    became defacto August 1, 2011
    joint bank accounts operating from september 19, 2011

    we have all the usual evidence (joint correspondence, travel, met each others family etc) and lots of fb/text/skype printouts to back up claims etc etc
    BUT i already owned our house and it has proved extremely hard to have him added to any of our utility bills etc. for a few he has been added but they cant give me paperwork to prove it.
    Car insurance has changed my policy.
    we claimed spouse on our tax this year, but it doesnt show up on our records as such.
    in addition we have not really made any large purchases together etc (we are not in the posiiton to do so) he has just bought a motorbike which i paid for half of but its been registered in his name

    we will apply onshore at the perth office and approval time seems to vary wildly!!! what should i expect? is there anyway i can expedite it ?(unlikely i know)

    lastly, id like to confirm once again, he is currently on a tourist visa 676 multiple entry with 3 month stays. he last entered australia on july 21st 2012. am i correct in my assumption that (provided we submit the application prior to this) he will transfer to bridging visa A on October 22nd and would then be able to apply for the nowork condition removal?
    he will not have to leave the country prior to october 21, correct???

    thanks so much for your time

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Holly Lots to read! In theory it should only take a couple of weeks if the application is complete. Surely if you satrated living together in July that’s when the de facto started?? Yes all that is correct pri=ovided his 676 does not have condition 8503 No Further Stay He gets a BVA and can stay and can ask to have the No work changed. That desision is up to DIAC> GW

  109. Thanks grant, sorry about the spiel! We think of ourselves as defacto from the very start but seeings as we met not long before we moved in together i figured it was safer to rule out any “period of dating” in their mind, plus i had a 2 week trip to bali in july so…. Figured we would play it safe

  110. Hi Grant

    My partner an I are applying for a NZ Citizen family relationship visa as a de facto couple. We want this so I can stay in Australia for longer but intend to return to the UK eventually, and will need a partner visa for there. As such it would be useful for us to have original bank statements, cards, photos etc. Once a decision is made on our application here. Can we get our folder of materials back from immigration?

    Many thanks


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Only give DIAC certified copies. If you send them originals they usually return them. Send the Cc copies.

  111. Hi Grant!
    Could you please advise on eligibility of another particular de facto case. My partner (on 457 visa) and I (international student) started our relationship in April 2011 (about 17 months) in WA. Since then we had a number of international trips together (tickets, hotels, pictures etc), in December 2011 we took a trip to my home country to meet with my parents and friends, and in in June 2012 another trip – to meet with group of friends from back home in an Asian country. We have numerous friends and colleagues who can witness our commitment. We send/receive gifts and cards to/from our families back homes.
    However around first 12 months of our relations my partner was working on mines on the roster 10/4, so there was no point for us to move in together. But when he was back off site we spent all our time together, from airport pick-up to drop-off (the proof for that also could be obtained from my landlord at that time). As soon as he moved back to the city we started leaving together, so far we’ve been leaving in the same apartment only for half a year. We dont have a joint bank account, but we share different expenses by transferring the money between our personal accounts for rent, travelling, plus sharing general expenses and house responsibilities.
    Next couple of months my partner is applying for sponsored visa with his company and we are wondering if our evidence is sufficient to add me to his application as a de facto.
    Thank you very much. Your time and advise are highly appreciated.


  112. Hi Grant,
    I have a few questions. My partner (an Italian citizen) and I have been living in a defactor relationship for 2 years in England. My working holiday visa expired in April this year and I had to leave the country. We decided it would be best for me to return to Australia and find a job before sponsoring him to come out here. I now have a job and have pulled together quite a large stack of evidence including our rental agreements, joint UK bank account statements, Skype conversations and phone call logs, photos etc. However, there are a few questions:
    1. Because we have lived in England, only one of my Australian friends has met him for long enough to provide a 888 statutory declaration. My father also stayed with us in England (but has know my partner for 5 years) and could complete this form however will this be adequate? There are no other Australian citizens that know us both well enough to provide a 888 form. Could we ask one of our housemates to complete the equivalent of a 888 form in England (even though he is Italian?)
    2. We are second cousins – should we say that we are blood relatives – even though we are not for the purposes of eligibility, only met about 5 years ago and are in a genuine and committed defacto relationship.
    3. Will this period of separation (since April this year) be an issue – if I could have stayed in England I would have – but I wasn’t legally able to (or able to afford to stay there as a tourist). While separated we speak everyday on Skype, we still have the joint bank account, and while waiting for the application to be processed so we can be reunited we are going to see each other in Asia for two weeks as we miss each other so much.
    I wish you were based in Melbourne!!!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. Get someone to meet him on webcam who is a close friend of yours and aslo use the 888 from your father.
      2. Not a probhibited relationship in Australia as far as I know.
      3. Just provide this evidence of ongoing contact and travel.

  113. Hi,

    We are applying partner visa offshore. We lodged application in early 5/2010. We sent second stage paper work in april. Do you know the month of 2010 that are processing? I mean now is September 2012 and they are processing the application in what month of 2010.

    Thank you so much

  114. Hello Grant

    I am so glad that I found your blog. There are so many useful information for many people who are in stressful situation.
    I am in trouble. I am Asian girl I need to know that the evidences of an unlawful applicant( student visa has been canceled) are the same with normal applicant or not? Or they need something more special? We can proof that we are together more than 12 months. We have joint account but My partner can’t put my name in tax return or do anything about will and superunuation because of his personal reason. Is that possible for us to apply for defacto? We are so very stressful about this. We don’t want to saperate each other. What can we do about this. Hope you can help me open our dark way. Please

    Your sincerely

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You need to go and have an experienced Migration Agent assess your situation.
      It may be possible to lodge an onshore application but it will depend on a number of factors including previous application and actual length of the relationship. Basically you need 2 years together to apply onshore but get some good advice before you do anything!

  115. Hi Grant,
    same like Wendy I’m so glad found your blog. I’m so confused what i have to do. I was hold fresh graduated visa ended on November 2011, on October 2011 I applied Partner Visa, at the moment I’m in relationship with my partner since 2009 but we live together just on May 2011 so only 5 months in de facto relationship, but we lost our baby on June 2011, visa ended on 2011 and wedding planning for Feb 2012, so many thing happened in the same time, in the end the immigration ask me for compelling reason for waiver 12 months relationship, question is we already explained what happened and what kind of letter we have to make?
    Thanks a lot

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You must reply even if you basically tell the same story in more detail. They want this because you have applied when you did not have 12 months de facto.
      I’d seek some professional help with the letter as it is quite difficult to get this requirement waived.

      • Thanks Grant, my conditions at the moment is we already married on February 2012, so what the worst think i will get if my visa refused? And what others options? Thanks

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Aby DIAC are considering your situation at time of application. Clearly your circumstances are different now but the law only allows them to look at what they were when you applied and that is what they will make the decision on. If refused you will need to reapply but that will have to be an offshore application. You can appeal their decision to refuse to the MRT but I’d say that is unlikely to be successful and it will take years (2 plus). GW

      • Thanks Grant, so what should I do now? I don’t want to go back because my son from previous married has to go to school (we been here for 6 years now). Anything your agency can do for me? Please, Thanks a lot

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Aby I went through you two options in my last answer. Respond + see what happens and then decide if you wish to appeal or depart and lodge offshore if it comes to taht. GW

      • Dear Grant thank you very much, i’m really appreciate, if i have to apply offshore, would you like to help me please?

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Get back to me if that happens Grant

      • Dear Grant, I just want to let you know, my visa have been granted, my 12 months relationship was waiver, after waiting for 15 months, I’m so happy.
        Thank you.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Aby That’s great. Congratulations. Grant

        On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 11:19 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  116. My word what a good man you are Sir for all the all straightforward unpaid brilliant advice, thankyou. A wonderful site and much appreciated by all I have no doubt.

    My name is Forrester (christian name) and after having read this site for two hours I am hoping that you might be able to spare a little time and offer some guidance that would possibly help me understand my position better with regards pursuing a 12 month living together waiver possibility.

    In short I have been engaged to a wonderful aussie citizen for the past two years and have been together for nearly three. The problem is although we have lived together for most of that time we dont really have any proof to show this time together living as man and wife so to speak. Not up untill I came to Oz in June that is. The reason being we lived and worked in Sharjah which is next to Dubai for most of this time. Although the United Arab Emirates is percieved by many as being quite westernised Sharjah is definately not, (only a bridge separates Dubai and Sharjah). However in Sharjah you cannot drink, there are no bars clubs etc amongst many other strict Sharia customs and laws and definately no cohabitating if you are not married. But me and my fiance did, and right under the noses of local arabs. They assumed we where married because we were together all the time, we did not hide from them, and kept ourselves to our selves. Also our age, my fiance is 38 and I am 53. Age is something Arabs respect especially in men and this gave credance if you like to our relationship. In truth there was only a handful and I mean a handful of people who new the situation and none of them locals, and none of them work colleagues. Too be caught would have meant instant imprisonment and then deportation.

    So to my question Sir, I am in the process of putting together an application as far as possible for a partner visa. We have decided to get married by civil ceremony as my fiance is now been back in Australia and working and I am here on visitors visa. The question(s) is:

    1. would we be elegible for consideration based on the marital laws of the UAE to pursue the waiver route regarding the 12 month relationship requirement? or

    2. would we be better served registering our relationship here in Queensland. We have rented an apartment here, but I have to leave the country next week because my 3 month visa runs out and although I have a 12 month visa it is only good for multiple entries during that time and no longer than 3 months at a stretch (Im a Brit citizen).

    Applying for the partner visa is something that has just been decided on by us, because of the goings on in the middle east and also because whats the point of being engage and committed to each other if we are at other ends of the world and dont need to be. My lady came back to Australia last February to pursue postgrad study, but left to work so that she could be my sponsor which was a commitment on her half to our relationship. So I need to make sure that I get things right and not shoot myself in the foot.

    Once again thanks for any advice you can offer, this really is an amazing thing you are doing and you have my deepest thanks

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I get 50 of these a day – not too long please!
      From what you say I’d register the relationship. I think you more than meet the 12 month requirement but if you can the registration makes the question of a qualifying relationship bullet proof.
      Sounds like you need to in and out once then register and apply onshore as soonas the registration certificate arrives.

  117. Hi Grant!

    This blog is amazing!

    I am here on a WHV and met my Australian boyfriend in March 2012. We moved in together in August 2012 and became Registered Partners in QLD last week, in September 2012.

    My current VISA expires in February 2013 and we want to apply for a de-facto spouse VISA. We will have lived together for 6 months to the day (!) when my VISA expires and had a relationship for approx. 10 months. The relationship will have been registered for a little over 4 months.

    Do you think we have a chance to get a de-facto spouse VISA? I am from Norway, have a good economy and am well-educated (PhD) and this is the man I am going to marry (should we include that in the application, or will that just complicate matters?). We want to apply for a de-facto VISA because we need time to save up for a proper wedding, my partner wants to get me a nice engagement ring etc.

    What type of evidence would you recommend we include/get to further strengthen our application?

    And how close to the end date of my current WHV should we send in the application for the de-facto and bridging (class b) VISA, to make sure I get my bridging VISA before my current VISA expires?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! ;-)

  118. Hi Grant,
    My Partner and I are about to submit our applacation, just a few questions brfore we do. We started our defacto in july 2011 I was working in a pub in the nt when my partner came to live and work with me, we didnt have any bills while we where there as we worked a extra hour a day for meals and board, I can get a letter for the people we worked for stating this ( will that help). I do have a few letters addressed to us both while there but only one name on each letter. My partner moved to NSW in November 2011 I did the drive down with him as we went and spent time with his family for a few weeks on the way. After that I went back to the NT as I had work commetments and moved down here in march 2012 When my partner moved down he got everyting set up and only put his name on the bills/ the first 6 monts lease of our house I am only on it since June 2012. We only recently opened our joint bank account as we want to start saving for our own house. We have our individual statments where we can hi light money coming out for bills, shopping , nights out , funiture we brought for the house ect Will this be enough to submit. We also registered our relationship last week and are waiting on the cert. How do you think we would go? Also do I need to get my medical before I submit the applacation. Thanks in advance for you help

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes get the letter.
      Yes it sounds OK
      Don’t submit until you have the Registration certificate.
      Get medical and police checks and include them.
      You can now make an appointment with DIAC to lodge the application in Sydney. I have lieterally just been informed of this system being reinstated.

  119. Thanks Grant, We where also talking about going to see someone before we submit our applacation to make sure we have everything, is this a good idea or not and is that something we could meet you about? Ps I have my police checks already.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Hi Sharon Yes I’ve actually seen three couples in the last wo days to review their applications so they can lodge themselves. Happy to help that way.

      Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  120. Thank you so much for your answer, Grant! :)

    One small question: I need to travel to Norway in February to finalize my employment in Norway (I am employed as a Research Fellow at a University in Norway, but have been staying in Brisbane to connect with the wonderful research environment within my field in Australia, build connections etc.).

    After I have recieved the BVA (I understand that this happens almost instantly?), how long does it take to get a BVB processed and approved? It is important that I have this in order before I travel to Norway, and my work in Norway wants me back to go over my thesis, finalize my employment etc. around the same date as my current VISA in Australia ends.

    Of course, we don’t want to lodge the de-facto VISA application too early either, because the longer we wait the longer we will have lived together/been registered partners when we file the application.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful help! :)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Linda The BVB is an over the counter visa grant if you take it in personally. Given your circumstances and provided they can see some documentation to support your need to travel they may be prepared to give you a longer running BVB to allow you to come and go or stay a little longer. You do need to be here to get the 820 visa granted. GW

  121. Thankyou Grant, thats much appreciated advice, so now Im off to NZ to watch rugby this weekend and then return and register the relationship and take things from there,

    once again many thanks :)

  122. Hi Grant,

    What a great blog! This is the only source that I feel can answer my question and get me out of my confusion. I’ve been reading your blog with people’s comments for the topic that I think related to my case. I just want to make sure that what I had in my mind as my answer is correct.

    So, this is my story. I came to Perth under student visa 572 that will expired 15Mar2014. Then I got married with my partner who hold Permanent Resident on Dec 2011. I’ve been in relationship with him for 2years before we got married.

    1March 2012 – I lodge application for Partner Visa 820/801.
    8March 2012 – I’ve got a letter from Immigration “acknowledgement of partner visa application”, and granted a bridging visa A upon lodgement of this application with visa condition 8105 : work limitation.

    Now I am pregnant and will due on Feb 2013, so I am planing to stop my study after this semester finish, Dec 2012.

    From the comments in this blog, I think have similar case as Adnan. Which mean I need to 1. Lodge the Partner application 2. Get the DIAC acknowledgement of the application in writing with the BVA granted on this letter. 3. Apply to cancel the Student visa voluntarily. 4. After DIAC agree and cancel the Student visa apply for the BVE.

    I’m just wondering is BVE still can get covered by medicare? Because my International advisor told me, after I withdraw my study, it also cancel my private insurance for international student. Is there any change that I still can get BVA after voluntarily cancel my student visa?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes to the Medicare as you will show them the Partner letter which is the Medicare key.
      No to the BVA as when you cancel you become unlawful for a short time and then have to apply for the only visa possible the BVE.

  123. Dear Grant,

    I just finished reading all of these past comments and amazingly still managed to be in a more complicated situation than the rest!! I went for a professional advice today and none of that was as useful as your blog advices. So hats off to you and your kindness. ! :)

    I will try my best to be brief. I am on BVA. I have 23 days to provide additional documents for my Graduate Visa and the chances are I will be rejected as I do not qualify the 2 year study requirement which I thought I did at the time of application.

    Now my only option IF I cannot apply for a review is getting married to my ‘non living -in’ partner of 2 years and 4 months. The problem is two fold.

    i) Sponsorship: My partner is a divorcee who sponsored his partner about 4 years ago. He was married overseas for a few years before that so his ex got a PR without the 2 year waiting period I believe. However, neither of them notified the department of their divorce status. Does that mean by law he is still sponsoring her? She came here for studies last year ‘using’ her PR status but now is back in her country. Can he still sponsor me if we show compelling reasons?

    ii) Relationship Status: Since I come from a conventional Hindu family, we did not live together. Plus he is a FIFO and I have no job, so not sharing household makes sense. We are thinking to get married next month and apply for Partner Visa. My only problem with that is, we will need to show ‘compelling reasons’ coz of his past sponsorship and the fact that I don’t comply with certain 3001 criteria. Also because of the time frame, we might ‘just barely’ manage to get a civil wedding done in time to put in the application in November. We plan to take a new lease of a house and joint accounts set up soon ( I hope that qualifies for long term commitment). We can show other proofs though i.e. 888, pics, cards, flights, meeting family etc.

    What chances do you think we stand? I have very less time to organise a wedding plus documents as Partner Visa was really a last resort. I do not mind doing a review if we have to, but I just hate the idea of leaving my partner :'( and going back. What other Visas do you suggest?

    I would really really appreciate any advice. Thank you !!

    Desperate Niknak

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Too long – not brief! YOu really do need to get face to face advice.
      i)There is a five year period between sponsorships.
      ii) I do not think you have a compelling case that DIAC will consider.
      Chances are very low.
      Once you have an onshore refusal for the 485 the problems and bars for an onshore partner application mount. You have 3 – s48 + Schedule 3 + Still within the 5 year period.
      I cannot see this working Sorry. Not every problem like this has a solution.

  124. Hi Grant,

    I cannot well express my gratitude for your kind advice. I have been running around gathering proof from every source to back up our genuine relationship for the past 2yrs+. May I ask what would the immigration take as compelling case? Also do you think I should withdraw my Graduate VIsa application rather than wait till rejection? And if he has not yet notified the department of his divorce does that mean by law he is still sponsoring her permanent residency?

    Thank you heaps in advance. I am really freaking out now :(


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Niknak You cannot sponsor Pr once it has been granted> A person who has PR is a PR not a sponsored person. DIAC has no interest in their divorce. The only issue here is the 5 years and that time period starts from the date of application for that sponsorship approval. Not the date of visa grant. If that helps which it usually does! In actual terms for a partner application the TR refusal and the s48 ban are the easiest thing to overcome provided you have not lodged a previous partner application. The schedule 3 from your BV status can be waived if your relationship is 2 years or more (so difficult) and the 5 years is might hard to get around unless you can show something, often medical or relating to an Aust Citizen child of the relationship. GW

  125. Thank you so much for the information Grant. You are a legend!

    Just a final dilemma.
    1)How long would it usually take the department if they were to refuse my partner visa application?
    2)And if I lodge a review (Partner) would I still be allowed to work/travel?
    3)Also the most critical question for now should I withdraw my TR or get refused?
    4)Is it wise to ask the case officer if I can be granted a review before any decision is made?

    Would really be grateful for your advice. Cannot thank you enough.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Niknak 1. There is no way to estimate this. 2. If you are refused and you go to the MRT and you were on a BVA you stay on the BVA and you can apply for a BVB to travel. 3. As I said before I see no benefit in withdrawing the TR as the s48 ban from a refusal can be waived for an initial partner application. 4. NO – you can lodge it is a basic legal right for all onshore applications and it is certainly not an indication I would give to a case officer. GW

  126. Hi Grant,

    Just two quick questions. 1) If my boyfriend and I are going overseas together for about a month for travel. Does that month still count into ‘living together for 12 months’ or if will be left out? 2) We rent a whole unit through family friends (i.e. we are paying rent and all the bills by ourselves) and we downloaded residential tenant agreement on NSW Fair Trading website, can we use that as official rental agreement when we apply for partner visa? Will this agreement and bills be sufficient to satisfy the 12 months living together criteria?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Katrina Yes it counts Yes if your relatives fill it in and you all sign it. No you need more look at the post on my Blog about relationship info. GW

  127. Thanks tons Grant. I am so grateful for your advice and this blog is awesome :)
    Well I don’t see much chances for me. But really appreciate your advice. God Bless You!

  128. Hi Grant!
    I’ve been in a relationship with my Australian boyfriend since January this year. I came to Sydney last month (August 2012), which means we had a long-distance relationship for 6 months, and since I’ve got my WHV till August -13 we can prove that we’ve been together for 18 months and been in the same country for a year. The thing is that we are both young and students, so we are living at his parents house. Is it still possible to apply for a de facto visa if you don’t share expenses like lease, but you can prove with letters and bills that you stay in the same address?
    Grateful for any advice!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes but it is a lot more difficult and the the 6 months you describe as long distance will probaly not be seen by DIAC as living together.
      You need to get some professional help to be in a position to lodge a Partner application.

  129. Hi Grant,

    First of all, great blog, your time putting this together I’m sure is massively appreciated.

    I am English and met my fiancee (AU) over 3 years ago, and have been together ever since, getting engaged on our 3rd anniversary this year. I lodged my application for a partner visa last september, and have just been in for an assessment interview. It didn’t go well, our CO was very cold, wasn’t interested in looking at photos, invitations, flight itineraries etc. She then said, and I quote: “We have had a vexatious allegation from the community that you do not live together. You have 7 days to change my mind or I am making my decision based on current information”

    We did live apart for 6months, but were still together, however it was after applying and we failed to declare this as the application was already made and we thought it would jeopardise my application which she says she understands.

    We only submitted 2 Stat Decs, as that’s all that was required, we haven’t got any joint finances as we have no loans or property, however we did straight away go and turn my account into a joint one after leaving the interview. She would not tell us what she wanted to see, and I don’t know what to give her, and we have until Friday.

    I have found receipts for food deliveries, more flight itineraries, her mother and a few of my friends are doing more Stat Decs, I have a receipt for a sofa from last summer which was delivered to our address. I have printed out her face book timeline which shows us at lots of events together, the date we got engaged, her statuses talking about me proposing etc. Also, a transcript of our last 6months facebook messages about finding a puppy, picking me/her up from work, meeting friends for dinner etc.

    Can you think of anything else I could produce or have overlooked?

    I will greatly value any help or advice you can give me!!!


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      That’s annoying people just amaze me at times when they decide to interfere in the lives of others. Happens all the time.
      Lots of Australian citizens filling in 888 forms is the first thing. As many relatives as you can find doing the same.
      All the rest of the evidence you have described sounds good.
      When you were apart were either of you in a relationship with anyone else? If so and if that’s who has contacted them this will not be good as it breaks the timeline for you relationship as they require continuity. Most reports to them are from anon folks.
      I guess you could both do new Commonwelath Statutory declarations and update them on engagement plans formally and if possible get relatives and friends to confirm this.
      Good luck

  130. No, of course not, didn’t mean that it would be seen as living together, just thought if emails, messages, phone bills whatsoever can be seen as proof that the relationship is genuine and real. So even if I’ve given his parents address to get my phone operator, TFN and so on, it won’t help since we’re not paying rent and don’t have a lease contract in our names?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Liu No there is nothing wrong with living with the in laws and not having a lease and utility accounts but it means you have to provide Statutory Declarations from the in laws and find other forms of evidence to support your application. GW

  131. Amazing blog, thank you for giving so much advice!

    My situation is quite simple. I’m at the end of my first WHV, I met my boyfriend in November 2011 and we’ve been together since April 2012, but not living together.
    November 2012, my second WHV will start, we’ll be working and living together but at friend’s. Next January we’ll be living at his mother’s house and we won’t be able to move in together until September of 2013, which leaves us only 2 months to live together before my visa ends.

    Does it mean we will have to register our relationship, then live together two months before being able to apply for the parther visa, or is it possible to apply when living at his mother’s?

    Thank you!


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Claire If you are living at a friend and then at his mothers place you are living together unless you are saying you have separate rooms. Sounds like Relationship Registration is a good idea.

  132. Hi Grant,
    I have 485 visa, my partner is PR so i am going to apply for spouse visa. I met my partner in 2009, have been living together from june 2010 and this year in august we got married. I just want to know what type of visa would i get like Bridging visa A or E . My 485 visa will expire in june next year so what would be best option for me to apply partner visa now or bit later as I don’t want BVE.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      From the brief info you provide you qualify to apply for an onshore partner visa 820/801 now. When you apply prior to your 485 expiring you get a BVA which sits behind your 485 substantive visa until that visa expires if 820 processing takes that long. The most likely scenario is that you will get the 820 before your 485 expires.

  133. Hi Grant,
    Thanks for all the info first of all. I am an Australian and I am sponsoring my de facto partner from South Korea. We haven’t any issues in supplying documents evidencing the significance and integrity of our relationship but I am unsure about who is able to witness our statutory declarations (Form 888) and other supporting documents (i.e translations, photos and whatnot). I have friends who are physios, doctors, dentists etc. If they are able to witness our supporting documents are there strict rules and guidelines they must be certain to follow or do they just simply print their names and provide a signature and date?

    Thanks Grant for your blog and assistance.

    Kind regards, Song

  134. Dear Grant,
    I am an uni student in sydney and have been here for around 3 years and half..My partner is uni student as well, holding permanent residents. she is going to sponsor me to get a PR. we have met in FEB 2010 and started our relationship in Feb 2012 but in china. I dont know how to prove our relationship while we were on holiday in china at that time. and we have lived together from 14th feb this year until now and registered our relationship in August 1 but we got the certificate on 29 aus. am i eligible to apply the partner visa? if yes, so which day should we write on the application form? and we have written many cards to each other but in chinese, should we need to get NATTI to translate it before handing it out? and do i need to get the good character from police in australia? also we have rented the room from the landlord instead of agent, so is the agreement valid?because, it seems to me very simple that we only get our signatures as well as landlord and the hand written of moving-in-date on it.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes you are eligible. As the arelationship is registered you can use the 14 Feb date. Tell them about the earlier period in your relationship declaration/story. If you want to give DIAC anything in a foreign langauage you must have it translated – just get a few done not all of them.
      Yes you need AFP and Chinese Police Certificates. Yes get a letter from the landlord.

  135. Hi Grant,
    If my husband is sponsored through an RSMS visa, would my kids and I be able to live and stay anywhere in Australia? Thanks.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Provided you were all included in the RSMS application yes you will all get visas.

      • Thanks Grant. Would my kids and I have to live and work in the regional area only or in any city?

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Angel I’m not sure that secondary applicants are the focus but you all get the same visa so the basic undertaking applies to the whole family GW

  136. Hello Grant,,,Just passing through your blog and i saw how you are helping people with their visa problem,i am so happy to see all this.
    i got a couple of question for you,can you please help me,my husband got PR already in last year, we got married august 2012 and start living together ,, my student visa will finish at the end of this month ,,within couple of days i m applying for partner visa,should i apply directly for PR or TR,we are really confused,,,
    we are doing all the paper works without anyone help & having trouble filling up statement by applicant & statement by sponsorship,are this two statement really important while lodging the documents,we are confused what to write down
    Any help will be appreciate

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      If you apply onshore your apply for both at the same time – you get TR now and in 2 years time after providing additional proof that your relationship is ongoing you get PR.
      Perhaps tyou should consider getting some professional assistance if you are struggling with the process. I really cannot sort this out with Blog posts.

  137. hi grant,
    i am from Philippines and my fiancee is an Australian..We applied for fiancee visa.i just want to know if there is a possibility to have the visa quick if i am pregnant, coz i want to give birth in Australia.

  138. Hi Grant, were applying for defacto visa nearly ready to put it it, im a little worried we have lease agreement for 12 months and letters from banks and the tax office that shows we have been living together for almost 2 years but we dont have a joint bank account and our cars we both own but not in both our names? we have got flights from visiting my family and his how important is the finacial aspect of the application

  139. Good evening Grant, your advice would be greatly appreciated. My partner was on a 457 visa and has recently applied for an 857 visa here in Adelaide. In his previous application for a 457 visa he failed to notify immigration to the extent of his past convictions (none of which would have detrimentally affected his visa application) we understand that there is a strong chance that his application will be rejected on character grounds and the fact he failed to disclose his past convictions. since his submission of his 857 visa application we have been advised it would be better for us as a De facto couple to go down the spousal application road so to speak, we fulfil all criteria for this. we were considering doing this onshore but now are concerned as my partner is currently on bridging visa A pending the decision of the 857 and whether an onshore application is a realistic option or would we have to do this offshore and my partner come back on a tourist visa. we will need to pull out the 857 application shortly and are worried if we time this wrong, and a decision is made not in our favour if we would still be able to put in a spousal application or is there a time span that has to be waited out before further applications can be made?

    any advise would be greatly appreciated
    kind regards

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      That’s a mess.
      I guess there are two points for initial considration.
      1. How serious are the criminal convictions? – The Character rules require there to be serious criminal conduct for a visa to be refused under this section (s501) and
      2. W
      How will DIAC view the false info provide in the 457 application. The 857 will require Police certificates of course and this will set them into a spin immediately as the no convictions box has previouslt been ticked. This is false or misleading information and may well lead to a refusal and an application ban under Public Interest Criteria 4020. It could go as far as s501 but that depends in the nature of the convictions.

      Trying to return on a Visitor visa and lying again to get that visa seems like a dull idea in the circumstances as it shows a pattern of premiditation to continue lying to DIAC.

      Lodging an onshore partner application from a BV can be a problem under Schedule 3 if he’s been on the BV for more than 28 days. Howver if your realtionship is more than 2 years old this can be a compelling reason to allow DIAC to waive this obstacle. Even an onshore refusal can be overcome for an onshore partner application.

      You seem to be getting advice form someone. I hope this is a competent and experienced agent or specialist laywer. You’re going to need one.

      • Howdy Grant, yes we get your point, we dont want to do anything illegal or misleading, a lesson has been learnt here! just wanted a realistic picture of our options, its seems each time we think we have a solution there is an obstacle in the way. would it be legal / ethical to gain BVB travel and apply offshore and return to australia, then retract the 857. we do have legal advice but having seen your blog and the sound advice you give we sought clarification.
        thank you for your time in replying, your work here is invaluable

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Doris Yes many people use the BVB this way. GW

  140. HI Grant, i am so glad i found you.
    I am an Australian citizen and my husband is German. my husband was granted A Resident Return Visa and this will expire on May 11,2012. Since he is working in Oman, he does not want to go to Australia yet to live there permanently. in short, he wants to continue working in Oman. We live in Oman for 19 years now and we just travel to Australia twice a year for holidays. I have heard that those who have been granted an additional 5 years of RRV are not given another extension. If he does not go to Australia when the RRV expires, is it possible for me to sponsor him later under the Family Migration because he is my husband?
    your thoughts on this matter will be very much appreciated.
    kind regards,

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      ? Will expire in May 11 2012. Has already expired?
      No RRV can be renewed every 5 years if a PR visa holder meets the criteria 2 years out of the last 5 in Australia. There is no limit to renewals.
      My thoughts … he cannot have it both ways – either stay and work and then yes you may have to sponsor him to get him back into the country OR qdo what he said he was going to do and live here. I know lives change but this system is set up to accommodate people who take PR and seek to live here.

  141. Hi, this is a great resource. I have a quick couple of questions if you could find the time. I am Australian, girlfriend is British. I have been living in the UK for 8 years have been dating her for 3 years living together for two.

    1) We have recently become engaged but dont plan to marry until 2015. Is is it ok to apply for defacto and use our engagement as futher evidence of our commitment. Or if we admit the engagment are we forced to apply for the engagement visa which forces you to marry within a set time period.

    2) My girlfriend is a science teacher which I believe is in demand in Australia so she could apply under her own steam (though I havent looked at it since the July 2012 changes) but we decided defacto as the easiest way to go.

    From reading your comments on here it may be even easier to just turn up in Australia and apply from there. If we went down that route, how long until my girlfriend would be able to work as a teacher in Australia?

    We want her to be able to start work in Australia in Jan 2013 with the new school term and hope to move in about 12months so should have time to apply from UK.

    3) We are both working full time here in the UK, but would have to give up work to go to Australia. I guess this is the same for 99% for people but how can I be her sponcor when I wont have a job, the application forms to me sound like they are written for people already in Australia. Asking questions about how many bedrooms our house has…obviously we dont have a house. The plan will be to live with Mum and Dad until one of us finds a job we then rent in that area while the other finds a job.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. Yes it is OK to apply for partner
      2. The teacher application may be possible but from this info I cannot assess her chances.
      Yes it may be easier to apply from within Australia.
      3. You have been working and can prove that and I assume you plan to work once you get here. Living with family is perfectly fine.

      • Thank you for the quick reply, yes we will hopefully find work when we arrive and parents will make sure we are not on the streets, just worried there was some means test I would fail as have to give up my job in the UK to move back.

      • One more thing grant I’m filling out the form and it asks relationship status do I tick engaged de facto or both ? Thanks

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        De Facto Tell the engaged story in your relationship declaration. GW

  142. Hi again, Grant, and thank you for all your help!

    To sum up: I am applying for a de-facto spouse visa, we have not lived together for 12 months, but are registered partners in QLD as of September 2012. We have lived together since August 2012.

    The problem is that my current WHV expires about the same time as I *HAVE* to go back in Norway to finalize my employment there. I am worried that if I apply onshore I might not get a BVB, or that it won’t be for as long as I need (ideally 2 months).

    We were considering to apply offshore (from Norway) instead, but now I have been told that this might not be a good idea considering we will not be living together when I send in the application (Though my partner will be coming with me and staying in Norway for a few weeks in February/March).

    What is our best option?
    A. Apply offshore from Norway as soon as I get there in February?
    B. Apply onshore close to my current visa’s expiry date (February), and just cross our fingers that I get the desperately needed BVB?
    C. Apply onshore asap, so that I might get my visa sooner/have more time to organize a BVB?

    My other concern is that if I apply for an onshore visa now, we will not have lived together etc. very long when we send in the application.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Linda You will get the BVB you have a solid reason. Apply onshore and then travel on the BVB. It will take at least 12 months to process your application and they will want additional evidence of the genuine nature of the relationship given you short period together so the BVB will be no problem. GW

  143. Thank you for the quick reply Grant.

  144. Hi Grant,
    What a brilliant blog – you’re helping so many people – I wonder if you can help us!
    I’m a NZ citizen (not eligible) who’s been offered an excellent job in Sydney from December, and I will move there on the SCV subclass 444. I very much want my Brazilian boyfriend to join me there in May on the subclass 461 partner visa. We met in May 2012 and became very serious very quickly. We’ve been travelling between each other’s countries ever since, but have been unable to live together due to work and family commitments. We can provide evidence of airfares, witness statements, skype/phone records, photographs – but no joint financial commitments. What sort of evidence must we accumulate between now and May 2013 (when we will have been together for 12 months) to prove our relationship is genuine and qualifying, given that he can only come to Australia on a tourist visa for 3 months? Thank you!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Proving a genuine de facto relationship to DIAC when you don’t actually live together is difficult. Clearly you have periods of cohabitation in each country, travel evidence and evidence of ongoing contact I assume by emial, phone, sms, skype, facebook etc…
      Provided you can fill in all the gaps with evidence for the times you are apart and that you can get perpahs some declarations from friends who know about your relationship (it would be ideal if they were Australians) it should get through.

  145. Hi Grant,

    Firstly let me tell you how immensely helpful your blog has been. I appreciate all the work you put in and I will try and keep my message as succinct as possible.

    My partner is an Australian citizen and we got married in May 2012 and applied for my spouse visa in May 2012 itself. My partner was in Australia from 2002-2009 and then he was in India from 2009-late 2011 which is when we met.

    He was asked for taxation papers for the last two years and since he was in India for the concerned last 2 years when we applied he submitted the same, He didn’t submit any of the Australian NOA since he hadn’t filed any taxation in Australia in that time period. Now since he is in Australia he has filed his taxation for Oct 2011 – June 2012 in Australia. In July our file got queued for final decision. We have been in touch with our CO and we asked our CO if we should submit the latest NOA and we were told that we will be informed if it is required.

    Now here is what worries me: During 2007-2009 my husband had a girlfriend who was a student and on consultation with his tax consultant he claimed tax benefit though they weren’t living together nor were they in any de-facto relationship. Also when we filled in our 40sp and 47sp we didn;t mention of any de-facto relationship since there wasn;t any but the taxation has been filed that way and wrongly so.

    We checked the ATO website for applying for re-consideration of our NOA since we thought we should inform the ATO of the wrongly filed taxation but we got to know that this can be done only for the last 2 years and our folly is in 2007-2009.

    There isn’t much we can do as I understand to rectify this but it worries me immensely and I wonder if the Australian High Commission will raise an objection. Our CO so far hasn’t asked us anything about it and I wonder if they have an access to my partner’s taxation history though we haven;t submitted it.

    I’d appreciate if you could let me know what happens in such circumstances and what is the best we can do in the current scenario.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I think you are overthinking this. They do not have access to this detail of tax records. I cannot see how this will be a problem unless you keep annoying it and make it one by drawing it to their attention. Even then it’s not really a problem.

  146. Grant, thank you so much for this blog and your advice. I’m hoping you can help me with some advice.

    My partner is from the US and is here on a WHV that expires on 3 November 2012. We will be applying for a partner visa (820/801). We intended to lodge a month early because my partner has full time work which she will have been at for 6 months in early October. We thought that applying early would enable her to request permission to continue to work at the one employer for longer than 6 months, but in reading your blog and comments I suspect that our understanding is flawed. The six months work permission is the only reason we intend to lodge a month early.

    We have been living together here since 3 November 11, and I was staying in her house in the US for 2.5 months prior to that. We have evidence of joint finances from December 2012 but only shared finances before then (as money paid for joint expenses from our individual accounts).

    We have not registered our relationship and are in Victoria. We also do not yet have all of the police check info returned. If we lodge in early October our application will be an incomplete one.

    1) If we lodge in early October, will my partner be able to get permission to keep working at her current job before her WHV expires on Nov 3?
    2) Or should we attempt to register our relationship, wait the month to receive the certificate and lodge a complete, ‘decision ready’ visa application just before my partner’s WHV expires?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      These are options. When the WHV expires she will go onto the BVA and that basically gives another 6 months as it is a new visa with the same condition / work limitation. I’d lodge decision ready as processing can take more than 12 months and the 6 month problem will just happen again later. Yes I’d register the relationship.

      • Thank you for your response. We tried registering our relationship this morning in Melbourne and our application wasn’t accepted because my partner does not have evidence of being a Victorian resident for 12 months.

        One more question: My partner arrived in Australia on 3 Nov 11, when will her 12 month WHV expire — 2 or 3 Nov 12?

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Caroline midnight on 2 Nov 2012 GW

      • Thank you Grant.
        As an update, this morning we submitted our application to register our relationship. After we were told on Friday that we would be refused, I happened across a blog of another same-sex couple who attached a cover letter to their application because, as with ours, one partner didn’t have the full 12 months of Victorian residency. Now we wait 28 days and see what happens.

  147. Hi Grant,
    Just trying to get together all of the documentation needed for our application. I have a question regarding the writing of statements from people who are not Australian citizens who will be providing evidence of our relationship. It says that the statements made by non Aus citizens are not Stat Decs under Australian law but does this mean that these people cannot use the 888 form? I was thinking they could still use it as it was a good structure to follow and that way they could ensure they had all the necessary information.

    It’s a small detail, I know, but something I was hoping you could help me out with.

    Steve Sliwinski

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Steve You need a minimum of 2 x 888 forms from Australian independent (non-relative ) witnesses and perhaps additional forms form a couple of near relatives if possible. Yes O/s people can use the 888 form provided you meet the basic requirement. GW

  148. Hi Grant,
    fantastic blog! wish i had come across to your blog much earlier. I am recently planning to apply my partner visa. I am from Taiwan and my parnter is Australian citizen. We met in Taiwan in mid 2006 and moved in together in Jan 2007. In December 2008, my partner’s father’s partner passed away. So since then my partner was taking frequent trips back to Australia to spend time with his father. And in mid 2010 we talked and decided that we would move to Australia permenantly and therefore applied our partner visa in Sept 2010. However at that time we were adviced by our case officer that we did not have sufficient evidence for cohabitation. Main reason was that I did not change my correspondance address so all my mails were posted to my parents’ place where I lived before I moved in with my partner. And my partner’s mails were posted to where he worked. So we could not have any items that were addressed to us in the same address. Plus that joint bank account was not available in Taiwan. Our gas/water/telephone bills were all in the name of our landlord. So at that time we had to withdraw our application. and alternatively I came to Australia in Jan 2011 as a student.
    We are trying to apply again very soon and believe we have had evidence in the four main catogeries that the department is looking for such as joint bank account statements, joint gas/electricity account bills, and etc. I have a couple questions tho, I have my life insurance policy in Taiwan that stated that my partner is the beneficiary. and it was translated in Taiwan by accredited translation agency and then was notarised by the court in Taiwan. Do you think this can be seen as a legal document? or must I have it translated here?

    thank you,

  149. Hi Grant,
    sorry another question that I forgot to put in. My partner has previously sponsored his ex in 2005. Do you think this would affect our application in any way?

    yours sincerely,

  150. Hi again Grant,
    Thanks for the great information and rapid replies to posts. With the 888 Stat Dec forms, if we are outside of Australia can these be scanned copies of witnessed documents or do embassies require originals?
    Steve Sliwinski

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Originals are best. If they are copies you will have to have them certified in any case. So it’s speed post I’m afraid.

  151. Dear Grant. Me my Australian partner have been together for almost 1 and
    1/2 years we have been living together for over a year and lodged our de facto visa application in August. Now we are on the bva and we are planning to get married in the snow in Austria on 28.12.2012 when do we have to change our visa? And let the immi department know? When do I not count as a international student and am I alloys to start a traineeship or apprentecipe? Can a lac of educational degrees infact the aproval of our visa? Thank you for your help. X

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Sounds like a nice plan.
      You would normally apply for a BVB about 2 weeks before you want to travel. Form 1006 + Visa fee + flight booking + some proof of reason for travel. If you are now on a BVA your student visa must have expired (?) You remain a foreign student until you hget PR however most institutions regard your 820 TR Partner visa as a residence visa. This may just be because they can’t tell the difference. Apprenticeships require PR. Traineeships may not. No your qualifications have no impact on your partner application

  152. Hello Grant

    You are clearly providing a wonderful service here, and I hope you can offer me some small advice to…
    In short, I am from the UK, and my wife is from Perth. She is my ‘spousal visa’ sponsor. We married in the UK in Aug 2009, and moved to Perth 12 months later. We have lived in Australia since Sept 2010, and have supplied Immigration with all the details proving our loving relationship. I am currently waiting on the next phase of paperwork to come through to finalise my permanent residence. However, over the last six months our relationship has become severely strained, I am concerned that if my wife were to leave me, I would not only lose her, but the life we have built together, and my sponsorship. I suppose my question is, should this occur what legal position am I then left in?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      If your relationship breaks down prior to the grant of Pr your position in Australia is difficult as your immigration status depends on the relationship. You would need to move onto another visa eg. work.

      • Thank you Grant, it’s what I feared. I have a further question regarding my circumstance…
        If I am only a short period away from obtaining Pr, and I then try to obtain it through a work sponsorship, do I have to start the process from the beginning again?
        I ask because it was my intention when coming over with my wife to study as a teacher, but because the visa has taken longer than expected I have had to delay applying for the course till mid semester next year, as I wanted to be a ‘domestic’ student, due to fees.

        Many thanks


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Simon A new application via work sponsorship is exactly that – so yes you begin again. Time depends on which work application pathway you can follow. GW

  153. Hi Grant,
    Thank you so much for for your response – you are very kind. This is a complicated and emotional process for many people, and your counsel is invaluable.
    I responded to you a few days ago to clarify a few things, but I think there as a problem with my internet, so I will resend it now. Firstly I wanted to say that I arrive in Sydney in November and so would like to make an appointment to meet with you in person, if you have any availability. In the meantime, we are looking into registering our relationship in NSW in December, during the first week after I move there from New Zealand, while my boyfriend is in the country. It appears we are eligible, however I had a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to, which is – would I be considered a resident of NSW, even though I will have only been there for a week or so? We think registering our relationship could be a good option, as I understand it can help if you have been together for less than 12 months? Also, I wanted to clarify – I mentioned in my first blog that
    I am not an ‘Eligible NZ citizen’ – ie, I have never lived in Australia before – but I gather I would still be able to sponsor him on the subclass 461 family relationship partner visa because as a NZ citizen I automatically get a SCV subclass 444 – is that correct?
    Thank you once again

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Anna Really can’t remember this post from before so maybe you did have an Internet failure. To register in NSW you need to be able to demonstrate you are usually resident here. So they ask for things like a recent utility bill / residential lease. So you’ll have to wait a little while to do this. The partner on a 461 will need to demonstrate a genuine relationship. It’s all the same test basically – 12 month cohabitation for de facto and yes registered overcomes this but does not prove genuine. Yes happy to see just call during business hours to make a time. GW

  154. Hi Grant, I have read with care your very useful information and it helped me a lot to organise my visa application. I am applying for a partner visa (my partner is an australian citizen). We have been together for 2 years and have proof of it (pictures with both of our families, travel together, invitation to weddings at both our names). However, we don’t possess anything together (house or car) and we have been leaving in a hotel room for a year as we were working as consultant oversea (So no bills). We now want to settle in Australia. I am on tourist visa and still have 45 days to go. I want to lodge a decision ready application. I have got granted a partner visa in New Zealand last year (but didn’t used it as we received offers to work oversea). Are there any restriction for me to apply onshore on a tourist visa? I have been in Australia many times, on a WHV, student visa (did my postgraduate here) and tourist. Cheers, Louis

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Confused … sponsored in NZ same sponsor does this person have dual citizenship?
      Generally yes provided the Tourist visa does not have condition 8503 – No Further Stay.

      • Thanks Grant, it is a basic ETA visa so it should be ok. My partner is an Australian citizen, that allowed her to sponsor me in New Zealand. Will that help to have already obtain a visa on the same basis (De-facto relationship) in NZ or no? Cheers, Louis

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Louis Yes of course it will it is very good relationship proof. GW

  155. Hi Grant
    My husband arrived February of this year, we are currently filling in the application for permanent residency. at the moment we are living with my auntie and are not paying any rent, and do not have a joint bank account although we do contribute to household expenses. i was wondering is this going to be a problem for our application?

  156. Ok, Thank you so much for your help.

  157. Hello :)

    Amy advice would much appreciated regarding my situation………

    I have been with my partner for nearly 2 years, I am on a Working Holiday Visa and he is a PR (we knew each other in Scotland as well) We have been living together since 01/01/2011 and have bills etc in our name and a joint bacnk acc….but I moved out for a couple of months Feb/March this year as I had no friends etc and felt I needed to do this to make everything work. So I have another address for a little, even though my name is still on our lease etc. We can still proove that we were really still together such as phone records etc. The tricky bit is my visa expires soon and I will be on a bridging visa as my employers sponsored me, but now I am getting badly bullied and very unhappy at work and want to leave. We only went for the business sponsorship because they offered to sponsor me and we didnt have to pay anything. Anyway I hope someone out there can help me because im a little lost :( thank you

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I guess the solution is to lodge a Partner application and to ignore the brief period of separation. As you are still together I’d simply ignore it as if it never happened. It is no different to one of you going to work somewhere for a short period. YOu will need to do this before the WHV expires though.

  158. Hi Grant,
    I am applying for a partner visa(de facto) in Australia. I am currently on an ETA tourist visa – which visa fee applies to me?
    Also, my partner is currently a uni student and is “unemployed” because he receives cash in hand. I understand we might be required to hand in his tax invoice or pay slips – which we may not be able to. Would this be a problem?
    Thank you so much for your blog, it’s been such a big help. We appreciate all your time and effort :)
    Cheers, Mon

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      If you are applying onshore the VAC is currently $3060
      Yes it will be a problem as a sponsor must be able to demonstrate that they can support the applicant for the two years of the TR 820 visa.

  159. Kirsty McGregor

    HI Grant,
    Quick question: I am an Australian and my partner is English. We have been in a relationship for 4 years. We are currently living together in the UK (since June 2011) – I am on an Ancestrey Visa here in the UK. We are applying for a De Facto Relationship Partner Visa. We have Witness Statements from 3 unrelated Australian citizens and 2 from my family.
    As we are living here in the UK, most of our friends are British. To demonstrate the ‘Social aspects of the relationship’ you mention we should provide ‘testimony from friends and acquaintances’… Can these be from British citizens or do they also need to be Australian citizens? What form should these testimonials be – the same as the Witness Statements (certified etc.)?
    Many thanks,

  160. hi grant!
    I just have some silly questions i would like to ask

    my partner and i have been in a relationship for about 6 years now. it’s quite long now, however, i can’t barely provide the part of “how did we keep in touch”. you see, my partner has been living in japan most of those years and we only get to be together every few months for a few weeks each year. so the only communication we’ve had is through e-mails and skype. and so the questions are:

    1. should i print it all out? [it’s 6 years of long distance relationship, mind you it’s quite a lot. and i dont wanna overwhelm them. :)) ]

    2. and if i print it off, do i need to print off the trend of the WHOLE conversation or the actual log with dates on it will do?

    3. her family is mainly based on Japan, they’ve already filled in the forms 888 [statutory declaration] but can not get the form signed by somebody there as they said that they can’t understand it and needs to be translated. will it be possible to have their forms sent here and be signed by the JP here instead?

    any help or ideas will be of much help!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I think you will struggle to convince DIAC that you have a qualifying relationship.This long distance thing does not really fit with thier definitions of relationship. The 888 forms need to be from Australian citizens or Australian Permanent Residents who can be witnesses to your relationship. The ones from family memebers are of little real use. No a JP here will not do what you suggest.

      • hi grant! thanks for a quick reply!

        well, in addition to those, we have proof of travel (visa, pictures, passport labels) that we did together for that period and had our relationship registered at NSW BDM this february. she has been living with me here in australia since then as she is on student visa at the moment. and we have a formal letter from NSW Fair Trading regarding the tenancy bond we have in our current apartment, and a share bank account in our name as well.

        you think that will suffice though? considering that though we had the relationship registered already we only have only been living for about 8 months though.


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Hi Nina That’s better more info always helps as it is difficult to read minds. Your first info basically had you in different countries still with odd bits of contact over a long period. She’s here which is great. It will be fine. GW

  161. Hi Grant, I applied PR on 21 June 2012 and Case Officer allocated on
    29 August 2012 asked for Evidence of relationship and I have submitted following documents on 16 September 2012

    a) ATO statements of both Applicants of last 3yrs with same address
    b) Bank statements of both Applicants of last 6 months with same addres
    c) Vodafone mobile bills of both Applicants last 4 bills with same address
    d) Joint account statement
    e) Overseas Bank statement
    f) Proof of beneficiary in Superannuation Fund (Spouse name added)
    g) Holiday to Bali (Hotel booking receipt and Bali Visas)
    h) Photos
    i) Wedding Invitation from a friend
    j) Greeting cards
    k) 2 * 888 forms by permanent residents
    l) Statutory Declaration forms
    m) Marriage Certificate

    It is more than two weeks that I have submitted all the above documents but still no response from case officer.

    Do I need to submit any more documents ?

    Do I have to wait for 1 more week or should I give a call to Immigration ?

    Please suggest me.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      They don’t move that quickly. It may take them months to get back to you. Contacting them will not help.

  162. Thanks Grant for replying, final question did I submit enough documents for Immigration or I have to submit some more proof of documents.

  163. Thank you Grant.

  164. Hi Grant
    I am going to apply my parntner sponser visa. But before that i just want to ask couple of thing from you. Actually i got married in 2008, came to australia on student visa but my marriage broke down in and we had divorce in sep.2011. Now i got married in aug. this year and we are living together (me and my husband) since june 2011. Here are my question
    Does my previous relationship would effect my application of partner sponsership?
    And what visa would i get and when it will come into effective.
    I am currently on 485 visa which is expiring next year

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I assume you did not lodge a Partner application in relation to the previous marraige? Is that correct?
      IF no then it has no effect on this new application at all.
      You apply for 820/801 TR/PR You get TR first and 2 years later you are invited to apply for PR.

  165. Hi Grant,

    I know you get asked a lot of questions but every case seems so different that I would love some advice on my own situation.

    I met my current Girlfriend in January 2010 but we did not start our relationship until I moved to Sydney on my Second year working visa in November 2010. I lived in Sydney until June 2011 the whole time I was there we were in a relationship but not living together. I continued my planned travels into NZ and SE Asia with friends after my allotted 6 months work period expired with the company i was working for in Sydney.

    I traveled NZ and Asia until October 2011 and at the same time my girlfriend was traveling Europe with a friend of hers.We stayed together the whole time and continued or relationship through Skype and Facebook until We met each other in KL in October 2011 and I travelled Asia again with her and her friend until December 2011 when we both returned home for Christmas (London for me).

    I flew out after Christmas to spend new year and the whole of January in Sydney with her and her family. I returned to London on 1st Febuary 2012 and my girlfriend came out to live in London on the 14th February on a ancestry visa. We lived together at my parents house while she got settled and found work etc… We moved into our own place in June 2012. We were planning to apply for a de facto visa in February next year as we would have been in a relationship for over 2 years and living together for a year.

    Do you think we are eligible for the de faco visa? Would the time spent living together at my parents house count towards co-habitation?

    Im sorry for the length of the email and the amount of dates I have added its just the rules are so strict that i’m worried the time we spent apart traveling will go against us or the time living at my parents will not be seen as living together.

    Thank you for your time and any advice you can give would be great.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Joe Yes I do and brevity is really important as I just don’t have the time to sit about reading an essay.
      Learn to summarise please.
      Yes once you have lived together for 12 months. DIAC only count cohabitation and then periods where you have been cohabitating but are apart temporarily before returning to live together. You can sometimes get away with a bit more but it is best to be cautious as no one likes being refused.

  166. Hello Grant,

    I have a few questions and hope you can answer them for me as I have been spending way too many sleepless nights trying to scour the internet for clear answers.

    I am American. My boyfriend is Australian and we are both in our mid to late 30’s. We have known each other for three years. His sister is my best friend of twelve years and introduced us to each other shortly after my divorce in early 2009.

    He and I developed a very close relationship emotionally, mentally and intellectually. We only met this year for the first time in person though. It was also the first time meeting my best friend in person. I flew into Brisbane on May 29th and he picked me up at the airport. Our first hug and kiss, though we were both terrified and nervous, was so nice. Our plan originally was for me to stay with his sister who lives 20-30 minutes from him and he could come and visit us so we can get used to each other then we could decide if we wanted to spend whatever was left of my three month stay with him. Turns out that my friend’s husband got a job offer twelve hours north and they had to move two weeks before I was to arrive. I had already gotten my tourist visa and my tickets and could not back out so went full steam ahead. I lived with my boyfriend the entire time I was in Queensland.

    It was so wonderful. We already know so much about each other so really all we were doing was making sure that we are fully compatible and we absolutely are. Three days before I was to leave to come back to the states and finish my last year of university, we sat on his front porch and had “the discussion.” We decided we definitely cannot imagine not being together. Knowing that I had to come back to the States at all hurt us both but I made a prior commitment to myself to finally earn a degree and I am only one year away from that. If I had quit here and tried to transfer to a school in Australia, I would have had to find a way to pay for it and not all of my credits would have transferred which means even more school. We had looked at and though about trying for the Partner Visa.

    After returning to the States and delving deeper into the word of Australian visas and laws and rights and such, I discovered that we don’t actually qualify for the Partner visa because we do not have a de facto relationship. We have not lived together for 12 months. I am too old to try for the Working Holiday visa after graduation, I could not afford additional school time even if I wanted to as my student loans are nearly all maxed out for my present course of education so Student visa is out of the question and my new career would be as a Graphic Designer which is on the CSOL list but is no longer supported for the State or Government nomination or for the Queensland Migration Plan nor does it appear that many companies want to hire and sponsor a foreign Graphic Designer when they are swimming in local talent these days.

    We do not want to apply for the Prospective Marriage visa as we both have been divorced and do not want to be rushed into it nor feel like we are being forced into marriage for the wrong reasons. Marriage is definitely in our future but only when we say, not when anyone else says.

    Because of our dilemma, we are at a loss as to what other routes are available to us. We have been trying to figure this out and my two questions are these:

    1.) Can I use a Tourist visa (Subclass 676) to enter Australia for 6 months, leave for a few days to NZ then return for another 6 months on the same visa in an attempt to gain the 12 months for de facto….


    2.) Can I use a Tourist visa (Subclass 676) to enter Australia, register our relationship THEN apply for the Partner Visa?


    Is there a third option that could work?

    I have been back in the States now for just over a month and I have spent nearly every night trying to figure this out. I am a natural worrier and like to have things planned out well in advance and this not knowing what to do or how to go about doing it is driving me absolutely bonkers with lack of sleep and the ability to keep myself focused on my studies.

    • Okay, three questions. LOL! :)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      This is an essay not a question. I have a really business business to run and I do this for free. It is impossible to read and answer posts that are this long. Try again and give me the summary.
      Sorry but it just not possible.

  167. Hi, Grant,

    I am a big recent fan of your work and I really appreciate all your time helping laypeople.

    My situation is that I am going to apply for the 885 before 31/12/12 and I want to apply with my girlfriend as my dependant. The problem is that she just cancelled a de-facto relationship one week ago with her ex-boyfriend and we would like to marry formally in early December. We will live together from 05/10/12 (next Friday), change all her addresses to mine, and we will open a bank account together very soon This is not a problem.

    So do you think my application will be considered suspicious from the DIAC’s perspective? I mean, it could be suspicious because she will marry someone 2 months after she finished her de-facto relationship and then apply as my dependant.

    We know each other for 6 months (we have pictures together) and actually we got much “closer” 1 month ago, while she was still in the de-facto relationship. This is indeed a genuine relationship, but also recent.

    Thank you very much.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Try to look at this as if you where DIAC, who see every scam possible almost every day. Yes they will be suspicious. If you are married it is possible but if I was them I’d ask lots of questions and ask for plenty of relationship proof.

  168. Hi Grant,
    Once again you so much for your response. Just wanted to double check that it’s worth us going through the whole process – I’m not an Australian citizen, and I’m not an Eligible NZ citizen either – I’ve never lived or been to Australia before. However as a plain old NZ Citizen, just wanted to double check that it is possible to enter Australia on the automatic SCV subclass 444, and then sponsor him on the subclass 461 family relationship visa as my partner?

  169. My apologies Grant, was just trying to provide as much information as possible and I tend to ramble.

    My boyfriend and I “met” three years ago through his sister who is my best friend. We fell in love so this year I went and lived with him for three months while he and his family showed me around Queensland. Before I left we talked about our relationship. We want to remain together indefinitely but do not want to have to get married within 9 months. We want to go at our own pace towards that.
    We wanted to try for the Partner visa but we do not qualify for de facto relationship as we have not lived together for 12 months. I will graduate next May from my university in the States as a graphic designer but the job is not on the SOL, it is on CSOL and I don’t think I will able to qualify for any work visas. I have nearly maxed out my student loans so will not be able to pay for school in Australia so student visa is out. I am too old for the Working Holiday visa.
    We have thought about two possible solutions but I fear the amount of risk that might be involved.
    Can I use a Tourist visa (Subclass 676) to enter Australia for 6 months, leave for a few days to NZ then return for another 6 months on the same visa in an attempt to gain the 12 months for de facto? Or can I use a Tourist visa (Subclass 676) to enter Australia, register our relationship THEN apply for the Partner Visa? Or Is there a third option that could work?
    I do understand that with the tourist visa, I will not be allowed to work nor will I be able to claim medical. These will not be issues.

    Sorry about about before. Is this summarized enough?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Wyntarra Thanks! I think the ETA and register the relationship. Come to see someone like me as soon as you arrive and get a solid plan for developing relationship evidence and it will all go through quite quickly. Get your FBI Police Certificate before you enter Australian to save time. Don’t mention the relationship when you apply for the ETA Grant Williams JP 195363 Registered Migration Agent MARN 0854799 Immigration Pty Ltd Suite 35 / 647 – 649 George St Sydney 2000 PO Box K1221 Haymarket NSW 1240 Telephone: +61 2 92114694 Mobile: +61 (0) 430351877 Email: Blog:

  170. If you were in front of me right now grant, I would surely have hugged you and kissed your cheek. I feel a huge heavy weight lifted off my shoulders. I will get the FBI certificate as well as a certified copy of my divorce papers before I leave the states. I am taking note of your contact information now. You are 12 hours south of Caboolture so going down to see you might be a stretch of a visit but I’ve several friends down there so maybe we can come and see you as we go to visit them. :)

    If I send an e-mail to you, would you be able to send me your basic pricing schedule?

  171. Hi Grant, I been following your blog before and after you help me with my visa status. i would love to get more information from you about my critical situation with my boss who doesnt want me to lodge the spouse visa onshore. currently holding visa 426, i got married with my partner sept 15,2012, my contract now will expire on end of november, my boss doesnt want me to do onshore coz it will affect their status as diplomat in australia they told me its gonna be a big problem if i start applying my visa onshore so they recommend me to do it offshore and ending the contract on en of nov. my questions are is it true that they’ll be affected if i lodge my visa onshore ( one thing I noticed they didnt issued me a medical insurance which seems to be seen in immigration if i do onshore), if i do offshore can i apply for tourist visa onshore or offshore and what type of tourist visa and how long will it take to grant and will it help be grant knowing im married with my aus partner and be with him live together for the period of that visa? Pls help us Grant, me and husband wants to live peacefully. I dont know what to do :( confuse :

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Please list out for me the conditions you have on your 426 visa.
      These are the four digit numbers startin with 8 on the middle section of your visa label or listed on your visa grant letter.

      • Thanks for the quick response Grant.
        I have 8516 – must maintain eligibilty and 8110 work limit. I dont wanna sound bad to my boss but just not comfortable with the situation. I have faith in you that you can give me clarification in this matter. Thanks heaps!!

  172. Hi Grant
    Thanks very much for the reply.
    I did not lodge partner sponser visa on my previous relationship but my ex was in my student visa file and when we got seperated, after some period, i lodged for my 485 visa and in that application i had mention my relationship status as separated .

  173. Thanks a lot Grant for your help, it sounds like it is going to work! I have 2 last quick questions for you:
    1: I am translating my police check record from France with a NAATI certified company. However, I also have a statement from my saving account stating that I am financially independent (We have been traveling quite a bit lately with my partner and so she is yet to be back on full employment). Is it necessary for me to have this translation NAATI? It is mostly numbers. Can I do the translation myself or it wouldn’t be considered then?
    2: To make an application ”Decision Ready”, do you only have to write it in Capital letter on your application envelop?

    Thanks again for your GREAT help!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd


      If it is a translation it must be an accredited translator. I’m not sure you need to translate a bank statement if it has your nome on it.

      DR is more an assessment by a DIAC officer which makes closer to a state of mind than a process. If it’s offshore it will take the usual time at that post, if it’s onshore there is some hope it will get processed quickly. But yes make it clear in the cover letter to the application not the envelope they’ll throw that away. GW

  174. Hi Grant,
    been reading ur blog w keen interest and would like ur advice
    – im an offshore applicant n will apply for the Skilled provisional sponsored family visa and adding my defacto partner as secondary applicant. But i still need to prove our relationship..

    In fact, one of the main reason we want to migrate to australia is that here in our country -people do not really accept same sex relationships with no recognition at all whereas in Aust it is more open minded and samesex relationship can be even registered etc..

    u think we can clearly state that reason in our statutory declaration?

    Also it is quite difficult to gather evidences such as invoices in our joint names etc as in our local context it is better we hide our relationship to the general public. do u think the DIAC might be bit more flexible regarding the evidences?

    We’ve been together for9yrs now- with the last 4yrs living together but all rental, utility bills were on her name only. I did not change my address for my correspondences until recently as from January 2012.

    Our mobile phones are on prepaid services so we cant extract any call logs, and never been apart so we dont have exchange of mails/skype.

    Below a list of proofs what we have:
    1. Joint bank a/cs from Jan 2012
    2. Will add her as my beneficiary to my life policy.
    3. An invoice on my name(with address of where we lived together) for purchase of our double bedroom when we moved in together in Sept 2009
    Also purchased TV & home cinema but cant find the invoices..
    4. some text msgs saved from yr 2005 but all in French, u think its worth translating?
    5. Ive also taken loans personally from the bank to help her family business when in difficulty- in my bank statements u can see transfer of funds to the business’ bank a/c and monthly refund of loan payment by standing orders to my bank a/c. Can also get statement from her dad which is the director of the company.
    6. I will get statements from neighbours that we lived together at the current address as from Oct 2010.
    7. Statements from family & friends about our relationship. 3 family + 3 friends enough?
    8. 2Greetings cards from Jan 2012 content addressed to both of us (but recipient postal address on envelope to only one of us)
    9. Wil try to get statement from the local LGBT association to confirm that each year we come as a couple to the annual party celebrating Gay Pride and other private parties which they organize.
    10. Photos – how many can we send?
    Would above be sufficient? I would be soo grateful to have ur comments..
    Many thanks,

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Tracy This is an essay not a Blog post … too much – I don’t have time to read all this I have a business to run as well as doing all this for free. Please summarise and give me a chance . I get more than 50 of these every day!
      Yes of course you can state this. Yes DIAC appreciate this sort of problem.
      You have more than enough for including a secondary applicant in the application as a de facto partner.

      • Hi Grant,
        a big THANK YOU for ur patience and precious advices..!!
        and my sincere apologies for exposing my situation in such a long essay, didnot mean to abuse -i guess got carried away and wanted to be reassured – seeing as i could not find help anywhere except on ur blog…
        Indeed ur blog is unique: Very professional , detailed and very generous of you ,
        Cheers Tracy

  175. Hi……
    I saw your blog is Preety much useful,
    In my case, I’m Neplese and my wife is from Ghana, (she is resident of Australia)
    We applied our visa in April 2011,
    We had interview in April 2012,my case officer treat us Preety badly,
    Seems like she tried to discover our relation is not genuine,
    I’m Preety much sure, my partner visa will reject,
    Any suggest will you provide in this case?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Any suggestions… I’m sorry but unless I could see your application I have no way of knowing anything about your case. Impossible question for me to answer.

  176. Hi Grant, I chanced upon your blog a couple of days after I lodged my PMV Subclass 300 in Manila. I am now on ‘patiently waiting’ mode. I truly admire your compassion and understanding in dealing with all the questions presented to you. I felt the utter sense of relief as well as the peace of mind that you had given so many in our situation. I do believe that it is ideal to be guided by an immigration lawyer/migration agent throughout the visa application process to prevent time-consuming second-guessing or even costly, if not fatal mistakes. It is a worthy investment in exchange for a lifetime of happiness and security. I wish you good health and good tidings always. ~ Nina

  177. Hi Grant, i am here now in perth for a tourist visa and going back to Manila on 15th this month. Im married to australian citizen and planning to lodge together the partner and tourist visa. But as what you said its impossible for them to approve my tourist visa. So what i planned is to lodge first my tourist visa 12 months multi entry then once they will approve that i will lodge my partner visa. what you reckon is that possible? Thanks..

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I did not say it was impossible I said it was generally policy not to grant current Partner applicants a Tourist visa. There are exceptions.
      Many people apply for tourist and the then lodge the partner for the obvious reason to avoid being refused if they are lodged in the other order.

  178. Thank you, your such a wonderful person giving advice for free. Not like other agent per consultation they will charge you $160.

  179. Hi grant .i need ur advice nd I want to ask u am I elegible to join wife on 187 visa while am on mrt bva .i went to a lawyer in goldcoast he said u be fine u can lodge file togather . Bcoz after 1st July there is no onshore or offshore visa . U can apply 187 visa coz my wife is main applicant nd m secondary and she is able to complete all the requirements. So is this true that I can apply or join my wife application while m living in aus

    • Immigration Pty Ltd


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Cannot advise you about this from this disjointed info. I’d need to see all your paperwork.

      • Hi grant
        I and my wife Came over here together on November 2008. Unfortunately, We have got Divorce Order on thursday 4th November 2010 by Family Court of Western Australia. Our marriage has broken down and has been terminate the marriage on Fifth day of December 2010. She is gone back to Home Country and married with another man. After that, I also went my home country last March 2012 and married with another Girl as a social and traditional style making all of picture and videos. I would like to Bring my new wife as a dependent visa. Can I do that and what sorts of Document do I need. I am now On student visa 572 valid until 01-july 2014. So, could you please give me proper Suggestion it will be great help and appreciated. Thank you Grant.

        Raj Kumar

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        My Blog is not here to give out doc lists for applications. Yes it is possible if you have time left on your student visa (12 months) – you need to get some professional advice to help you do this.

      • Hi grant I applied for secondary visa 187 .my wife is main applicant .but I I was on mrt when i applied .now mrt finalized nd decision is negative .i got 28 days but m waiting for bridging visa acknowldgement .it has been 6 weeks since I applied .but some said to me u cannot apply for 187 secondary visa when u r in u have any suggestion for me plzzz

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        You have a s48 bar to lodging an onshore application. As I understand it you cannot have lodged this application even as a secondary applicant

      • Hi grant I was on mrt nd decision is negative . i got 28 days .2months ago I lodged 187 application as a secondary applicant .i call the immigration office they said you have to go offshore or lodge the application .but I already lodged application 2months ago .so the question( 1) is I have to lodge it again as secondary applicant when i go offshore or I have to wait on same application offshore ?( 2) if I apply again offshore can I join the same application with my wife .my wife is on temperory residency visa and waiting for 187 acknowldgement onshore

      • Hi grant ,thanx for last reply .i have one more question related to my last question .if my wife gets 187 visa nd m waiting offshore .do we need to apply for new partner visa application or its on the same 187 visa application in which I already mentioned as a husband . (you replied for this nd my question is related with this )Hi grant I was on mrt nd decision is negative . i got 28 days .2months ago I lodged 187 application as a secondary applicant .i call the immigration office they said you have to go offshore or lodge the application .but I already lodged application 2months ago .so the question( 1) is I have to lodge it again as secondary applicant when i go offshore or I have to wait on same application offshore ?( 2) if I apply again offshore can I join the same application with my wife .my wife is on temperory residency visa and waiting for 187 acknowldgement onshore

  180. Dear Grant,
    Thank you again for a great blog and your wonderful big heart. I wrote to you about a month earlier. I just have one question if you would be kind enough to advise please. Since I did not have additional documents to support my Graduate Visa I am expecting a refusal letter in next few days. I am planning to submit a review application just to buy time so that I can prepare for a Partner visa. However, as my partner previously sponsored in 2008, I have 6 months till his 5 year ban is lifted. We were thinking to get married and then lodge the application after April next year. However, I was wondering if we register our relationship now and move in properly, would we be able to apply for a de facto without having the 1 year live in? Next year in June is our 3 years together. I was advised by the MRT that it could take 6-12 months for them to open my file, So worst case if I get my application refused within 6 months, I would have lived with my partner for about 5-6 months, will that period be enough to apply for a de facto? Or would you suggest getting married for a better chance. Please advise me.

    Thanks heaps in advance.

  181. Hi Grant!
    So great to find people so helpful like you! thanks !
    Here is my situation. My partner and I are both French, I am applying for a 820. He was on a 457 de facto (his ex girlfriend was sponsored by her company) when we met. They split but he stayed on the 457 till he found another visa solution. In beginning of may he asked his company to sponsor him, they accepted but he didn’t got the 457 till mid-june. We started dating in mid may.
    For the beginning of the relationship date on my 47SP (and in my statutory declaration) should I put the right date (mid may) even if he was still officially on the de facto 457 ?
    And in his form 40SP he is asked if he “was sponsored/nominated to Australia as a spouse, de facto partner”, and at which date the relationship ended. What should he put?

    Thanks hips for your precious answers!

  182. Hi Grant, thanks for your help in advance, you seem like a good bloke.
    Quick questions
    1) How can you be sure an application is decision ready?
    2) I plan to go to the USA to marry my gf that I met in the States Oct 2010 on a visa waiver. We have spent time together, me in the States 6 weeks 2010, her 3 months in Oz Dec 2010 to Feb 2011 and her again Aug 2012 till now. We plan to get married first week back in the states. Will this be viewed as ok by immi.
    The reason we were apart so much up till now is that I had to stay and finish my masters degree and she was also studying in the USA.

    I have plenty of evidence of our relationship online. Emails etc. Sending her money, photos of our road trip etc. and 4 x 888 decs from neigbours.

    3) Would it be a mistake to put decision ready on the application? I plan to stay in the states until Jan 2013.

    Cheers and thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      1. By getting someone who knows what they are doing to check it.
      2. Yes
      3. Offshore applications are just processed in date order they have no DR process. You can put it I doubt it will cnahge anything and if it’s not it will serve only to annoy.

  183. Hi grant .i need ur advice nd I want to ask u am I elegible to join wife on 187 visa while am on mrt bva .i went to a lawyer in goldcoast he said u be fine u can lodge file togather . Bcoz after 1st July there is no onshore or offshore visa . U can apply 187 visa coz my wife is main applicant nd m secondary and she is able to complete all the requirements. So is this true that I can apply or join my wife application while m living in aus

  184. (Grant, forgot to mention, of course he is permanent resident today!)

  185. Thanks Grant for the prompt reply.
    Some other questions.
    1) For the passport photos the immi site just says to put the name on the back but you suggested having them certified, is it necessary to get them certified?
    2) I spoke to a panel doctor in Chicago and they said they could do the medical before immi asked, wanting the application to be complete, should I have my gf do that?
    3) Again seeking a complete application should I have her send a form 80 with the application too or wait and see if they ask for it?

    Thanks again for your blog and sage advice.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Cam 1. You read what i recommend. 2. That is not the current system but if they will do them and you can get the result go for it. 3. Send everything in at once. Waiting will only add months to the processing time. GW

  186. Plzzzz reply sir .Hi grant .i need ur advice nd I want to ask u am I elegible to join wife on 187 visa while am on mrt bva .i went to a lawyer in goldcoast he said u be fine u can lodge file togather . Bcoz after 1st July there is no onshore or offshore visa . U can apply 187 visa coz my wife is main applicant nd m secondary and she is able to complete all the requirements. So is this true that I can apply or join my wife application while m living in aus

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Js If you are at the MRT because of on onshore visa refusal or a visa cancellation there are two issues to consider. 1. Being on a BVA is not in and of itself a problem as you have been advised BUT 2. You cannot lodge an onshore application as you have a s48 bar because of your onshore refusal or visa cancellation. So the answer is no. If you read carefully on the DIAC website you will see a section that say certain people who cannot apply.. GW

      • Thanks grant for reply .is this same s48 bar applied on me when I applied as a secondary applicant as a partner or spouse

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Js Yes GW

      • Hi grant I was on mrt nd decision is negative . i got 28 days .2months ago I lodged 187 application as a secondary applicant .i call the immigration office they said you have to go offshore or lodge the application .but I already lodged application 2months ago .so the question( 1) is I have to lodge it again as secondary applicant when i go offshore or I have to wait on same application offshore ?( 2) if I apply again offshore can I join the same application with my wife .my wife is on temperory residency visa and waiting for 187 acknowldgement onshore

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Singh DIAC are correct and the application you have lodged will be refused or returned as invalid due to the s48 bar because of an onshore visa refusal. No you cannot just leave now. As it stands she will get the visa and you will not provided of course she meets all the criteria. You would then have to depart and she would have to sponsor you to return as a Partner. GW

        On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 1:10 AM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • So we need to apply for partner visa when she get her 187 visa or its automatically allow me same visa as my wife when I go offshore coz m already mention in application as a husband .

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Singh No there is no automatic visa. You must apply again to be sponsored as a partner. GW

        On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • Hi grant ,thanx for last reply .i have one more question related to my last question .if my wife gets 187 visa nd m waiting offshore .do we need to apply for new partner visa application or its on the same 187 visa application in which I already mentioned as a husband .

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Singh Already answered please just ask once GW

        On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  187. Dear Grant just another quick work
    Related question. After receiving a bva
    For a de facto application how long does it usually take to go from the bva to the
    Temporary visa? thank u!!laura

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Laura I cannot estimate it depends on your application. Onshore average time is quoted by DIAC as over 12 months. GW

  188. Hi Grant,

    how much is your fee for processing a spouse visa by sponsorship?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      This is not an appropriate Blog question. If you are interested in migration advice at this level please contact my office during business hours.

  189. Hi Grant,
    I left a message before which I think got over looked but now I already have answer to that. I have another question though, would appreciate if you would answer for me.
    Apparently I am not qualified to register my relationship either in Qld (as we moved) or in Vic (just moved in July so another 9 months to go). Basically I am stuffed and that means marriage is the only option now. However I was wondering if we lived together from November this year and register relationship in July next year and apply for de facto in August based on that how would it work out for us? Or do you suggest marriage to be on safe side.

    Please please need your kind advice. Thank you.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Niknak Message? Where? With whom? I really don’t have time to go back over all your other emails so these dates mean nothing to me. The rules are simple you can be married or you must be in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months. Nothing else works. GW

  190. Sorry about that Grant, Thanks for your prompt response.

  191. To give you bit of background info as you deal with a lot of cases. My partner is only able to sponsor me in April next year as he sponsored once before. I am going to be applying for a review once I hear from my case officer of my decision on TR. We haven’t lived together officially and are planning to in November, marriage is an option too. Depending on how long the review will take my plan is to withdraw and then apply for Partner VIsa.


  192. Hi Grant,
    first of all: Thank you for this blog. It was already a big help.
    I am German, my partner is Australian and we have been together for more than two years. We are currently waiting for the registration of our relationship to go through. Since I had to finish my degree in Germany, and he could not work there yet (his job here is really good and well paid, and his German is not really good yet) we have only a few months (by the time we apply altogether 5) of actually living together, but hopefully enough proof to go along with a partner visa application. I have been here for about a month now on an evisitor. By the time the registration comes through I should still have some time left on the Evisitor. It does not have “no further stay” conditions as far as I can see.
    So my first question is: Can we apply for the de facto visa on my evisitor?
    The second question is: What would be the best option for me?
    As I see it i have three options to stay here:
    I could find a company that wants to employ me (for example one of the many German ones). Aside from the visa I reckon my job chances are pretty good. I am not sure about the visa chances though, it seems to me more confusing than the partner visa.
    I could apply in a month for the partner visa, but then all the time while I am waiting, which seems to be pretty long (12 months average??? really?), I would not be able to work yet. It is not a problem of money so much as I would really like to have a job.
    The third option would be that, as we go back on christmas to visit my family, I could apply for a working holiday visa, and then as we get back apply for the partner visa. that way, while we are waiting, I could work already. But I would need to apply for two different visas in a short time.

    I hope this is not too much of a bother to you, and that you can maybe give me some advise on what you think is best to do at the moment.
    Thank you very much in advanc!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes you can apply.
      You say your partner has a well paid job which may make it difficult to prove financial hardship which is the only criterion in your case to get work rights.
      All these options are possible.
      I’m of the view the Working Holiday Visa option may be the best however if you acknowledge the relationship in this application they may not grant this visa. So while this is the best option in theory the safest option is probably the onshore partner application in if possible a decision ready format.

  193. Hi Grant,

    I would like to ask if my partner sponsors for me, is it okie if he just works part-time at the moment and he used to receive benefits from Centrelink. Does it effect on his sponsorship? He used to work full-time in the last 2 years. I read the booklet about eligibility for sponsor, they didn’t mention much about the income of the sponsor, although they asked for the Tax Notice of assessment or payslip in the last 2 years. I am working full time and we have saving account together. Does it help?


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Siri Yes it affect sthe sponosrship requirement They ask these specific questions about benefits and current work. It is an historical chech so if he has records for the last two years provide them and it may not be a problem at all. You should provde evidence of your work – it cannot do any harm and on balance they may then be happy. GW

  194. Hi Grant, Thank you for all the advise u share here.I’m getting married end of October 2012 here in Australia with my australian bf and I’m going back in Philippines early of November to finish my work commitment there and I am on tourist visa here with no further stay condition. All the supporting papers and evidence are ready for the partner visa application because we lived together in Philippines last yr. We only wait for marriage certificate before lodged..
    I’m confused if we will lodged 820 TR visa onshore since im leaving 2nd week of Nov 2012and inform the DIAC that i’m leaving or i is it better if we apply offshore in my country? Is there no possibility to extend tourist visa until christmas if have 8513? Thank you very much for all the help.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You cannot lodge any application in Australia with condition 8503. You will have to lodge your partner application in Manila.

  195. Hi Grant, Thank you for all the advise u share here.I’m getting married end of October 2012 here in Australia with my australian bf and I’m going back in Philippines early of November to finish my work commitment there and I am on tourist visa here with no further stay condition. All the supporting papers and evidence are ready for the partner visa application because we lived together in Philippines last yr. We only wait for marriage certificate before lodged..
    I’m confused if we will lodged 820 TR visa onshore since im leaving 2nd week of Nov 2012and inform the DIAC that i’m leaving or i is it better if we apply offshore in my country? Is there no possibility to extend tourist visa until christmas if have 8513? Thank you very much for all the help.


  196. Thank u Very much Grant, Thats a big help.

  197. Hello Grant.

    I came to your blog following the link from myaccessaustralia. I have been around various forums trying to look for an answer and would really appreciate some guidance into the prospect fiance visa.
    I have been in a 10 year relationship and in the past year we have been living at my parents home ( providing evidence for a de facto visa will be kind of hard, lease, bills etc..).
    Next year I am moving back to Australia, and want my fiance to come, would the prospect partner visa be the best option or a spouse visa?


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You provide limited info but I would say given the length of the relationship you should lodge a Partner application.

      • Sorry for the limit on information Grant.

        I am an Australian Citizen by birth and currently living in Portugal with my fiance.
        Our relationship started 10 years ago with a two year long distance gap ( me living in Australia ).
        For the past year and a half we have been living together at my parents home, so we could save money and later on invest in our own house ( we don’t pay electricity or water bills, but pay other bills like gas, cable tv and our own grocery shopping).
        We have been planning on moving to Australia and decided that next year was the perfect time, but we are a bit confused on which visa to apply and which one will be more successful.
        The prospect marriage visa or de facto?
        My concern and confusion for both visas:
        1. prospect marriage – we have been in a 10 year relationship.
        2. de facto – there would not be much evidence in the financial aspect because we are living at my parents house.

        Hope this information will be more helpful,
        Thank you.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        g3la I’d say you should make a Partner application. You will need to get help to develop the relationship evidence but with such a long term realtionship you will have a lot more than you think. GW

      • Thank you Grant for your reply. I only have one more question. I am planning on leaving to Australia at the start of next year, would it be possible for my fiance to lodge his visa onshore while on a tourist visa?

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        g3la Provided the tourist visa does not have a condition on it that prevebts ab onshore application – 8503 No Further Stay GW

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        That’s prevents an of course GW

        On Sat, Oct 20, 2012 at 7:13 AM, Grant Williams wrote:

        > g3la > Provided the tourist visa does not have a condition on it that prevebts ab > onshore application – 8503 No Further Stay > GW > >

  198. Thanks so much Grant. I really appreciate your reply.


  199. Hi Grant.
    My name is steffanny. I am from indonesia and im currently holding international student visa. Me and my partner are about to lodge the de facto visa, since now my partner is holding TR that has been granted on june 2012. We start our relationship since june 2010. but We have been living together since march 2011 until now. It means we live together for 19 months. My question is all the bills is only under my name, but for the rental lease agreement (2 rental lease agreement) is under our names. BUT, for our joint account we just opened it 4 months ago. We have all the evidence including photos,etc.
    but do you think it will affect the decision of DIAC since pur joint account just opened 4 months ago?
    And if its not, how long do you think the process to get DIAC final decison will take?
    Thank you very much.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Your partner has TR? I hope you mean PR if you are planning a Partner application. You cannot loidge a Partner application from TR.
      Do you mean something else? Confused?

  200. hi grant..
    im on a 457 sponcership visa and will have 2 years done in january.. i would just like some advice on changing sponcer or wondering if i could get my boyfriend who is an australian citizen to take over it… we will be together 2 years in march.. we have been living together for 6 months and he has been over seas to meet my family.. any advice would be great.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You cannot swap sponsorships from employment to partner. You can lodge a Partner application once you qualify – de facto living together for 12 months or if shorter your relationship is registered. Also after 2 years on a 457 your may be eligible for 186 Employer Nomination for PR.

  201. Hi Grant! Just a quick question regarding bridging visa. Can I still stay to Australia even my contract ends on dec 2012? My partner and I will lodge my PMV on first week of November and is there any possibility to get work legally even Im on bridging visa? Thanks!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Czaih provided your visa is still valid when you lodge your partner visa you will get a BVA with work permission. If you are on a 457 you will need to apply to change the work condition once the 457 visa expires. GW

  202. Grant,
    I’m a US citizen and have been living in AU since Feb. 2012 on a VV with a 8503 restriction. My fiance and I met in the US and have been in a relationship since Dec. 2008 and were married here in AU in May 2012. My VV expires in Feb. 2013 and I’m returning to the states next month to lodge my application off shore because we feel there isn’t sufficient time to get our application approved if we apply onshore. With the 8503 restriction, we were told an extension would not be granted, nor would I be eligible for a bridging visa. I have a couple of questions please…Can we prepare all the documentation here and I can submit it as soon as I arrive in the states, via the DC office? My understanding is I cannot get my medical exam done prior to submitting as I need to wait for the official DIAC “request with appropriate identifying application number”, is this correct? Also, I’m unclear as to whether or not I can have my police check completed prior to submitting the application and where exactly to go to have it done?

    My other question is regarding the Proof of the Relationship. We have moved 2 times since I’ve arrived in AU and have not had the opportunity to meet people and make friends yet. (One move was due to my husband’s employment) I’m not sure who to ask to fill out Form 888 as I don’t really know anyone in AU except my husband and his family. We met and dated in the US and do have friends there. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for an incredibly informative site and for taking the time to help so many!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes you can do that…it is what we do every day for people.
      You can do a medical here and put it in the application to save time.
      Yes you can get all the police checks prior to lodging the application offshore.
      Only sugggestion is find two people – get friendly. Also use a couple of the relations.
      You need independent 888s.

  203. Grant, thank you so very much for your help.
    God Bless,

  204. Good evening,
    My partner has recently moved to Australia on a 1 year 462 Work/Holiday Visa and will be staying with me for this duration in the hope of being able to successfully apply for an 820/801 Spouse Visa.

    I have own an apartment which I have a mortgage on (all in my name). Will this have any bearing on our application as both names are not on the mortgage? We will be hoping to arrange the registration of our relationship soon so I’m not sure if this has any impact.

    I located the below on the DIAC website which has me somewhat concerned:

    “The nature of the household

    You will be asked to provide evidence that you and your partner share responsibilities within your household, including:

    • joint ownership or joint rental of the residence in which you live; ”

    Can we get around this requirement by having a joint account paying household bills etc? My name is the only one on the title and mortgage so we certainly cannot meet this requirement.

    I am hopeful that you can assist as we would not like to be jeopardising our application when it comes time to apply for the spouse visa.
    Kind regards and thanks in advance for your assistance,


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      No it is not important. The fact that you live there together is what matters.
      You do not have to change this there are many other ways to demonstrate that you meet this criterion.
      Yes the joint account is good.
      DIAC cannot tell you haw to organise youyr financial affairs.

  205. Hi Grant,
    Really need some help here.My friend’s (Australian ) sponsorship for hisFilipino fiancée was rejected as he has previously sponsored another two persons.Is there possible way for him to get his fiancée visa approved ?thanks

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Never comfortable talking to someone about some else.
      Depends on the circumstances of the other two sponsorships but it sounds like DIAC have assessed them unfavourably.
      I’d need much more inf to be able to say and I assume he is going to the MRT over this. If so he really needs to get good professional help with this application.

  206. Good afternoon Grant,

    The information and comments you provide are great and I was looking for some feedback on my own situation.

    I’m currently in the process of putting in the 801 (permanent partner visa) and I spoke to DIAC who advised the information I have provided is not sufficient so they’ve asked for more evidence within a short timescale.
    I’m pretty confident in the statements we have written, the photos and other evidence we have (invitations date stamped to weddings, parties etc) as well as bank statements but I have discussed this with my work who have advised they’d be looking to keep me here no matter what!

    I am just wondering, if for some reason the DIAC still don’t authorise my permanent partner visa, what are the consequences? I’ve called DIAC twice now to confirm some information:
    Firstly I was told that if it’s rejected then I have 28 days to leave and Section 48 comes into play (I’d need to apply for the 457 offshore);
    However when I called back the following day DIAC told me that after they’d spoken to their policy area they have confirmed that if the 801 visa is rejected then I have 28 days to leave the country on my temporary 820 visa and that there would be no issues in me lodging a 457 visa?

    It’s all a bit confusing and I don’t know what to believe? I have also been told that if my work can get the 457 in before the 801 is reviewed then this will be ok too but they’ve given me less than a week to provide more evidence which I may not be able to get in time, so if I don’t get the 457 lodged before they review my 801 visa then does this mean I have to leave or…

    Your help would be greatly appreciated

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Are you still in the relationship? If so then just flatten them with as many letters, photos and new 888 forms as you can find people to fill them in. Drop the documents off and email the case officer telling them they are coming. If you are not in Melbourne send them by Express Courier and again email the section to tell them. They should not be rejecting genuine couples at this stage.
      If they do reject the 801 you and you are still in the relationship you’d immediately appeal the decisopon to the MRT so you will not have to depart until that decision is made making the 457 idea really not necessary.
      Yes the advice about the 820 to 457 is correct onshore but you’d want to apply before the 820 runs out and you have to leave. It’s no big deal applying from offshore it’s just annoying to have to trvel and wait there to get the new visa.
      Make very post a winner at the 801 though.

  207. Hi grant,
    Please can u send the answer to my mail,
    I have asked for your advice from my previous comment.
    Please can you recommend a migration agent in Adelaide to us.
    We are living there,
    Your answer is helpful

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Momo No I do not make recommendations as I cannot control what they do. I have answered your email. Don’t be so impatient – you want free advice and I do have a business to run… This is what I said Momo If you are on a BV you need to get a professional assessment of your application in relation to your Schedule 3 position before you make a Partner application. I cannot tell without seeing all your paperwork and details of relationship. That is not going to happen by Blog post either. GW

  208. Thanks Grant, your advice is greatly appreciated…I’ll let you know how I go with the visa. I just get the feeling the 801 is going to be refused but I suppose everyone gets a bit nervous when it’s the last part of the visa.

    Fingers crossed the 801 goes through but if not then at least I know my employer has the 457 ready to go. There’s obviously no point in them putting it in until a decision is made as it’ll cost them a bit of money but at least I have their backing as well!

    As for the offshore part, a little holiday wouldn’t go a miss :)

    Thanks again Grant

  209. Hi Grant!

    This blog is very helpful, but i need advice as well from you..

    I am currently in a de facto relationship for 9 months. I am planning to sponsor my bf in December – January, before his working Visa expires in Feb next year. He is Taiwanese and I am Filipino( Permanent Resident), rather having my bf go home and apply offshore next year.

    We are currently living together for 7months now, the other 2 months he was living in a different house. knowing that we won’t have enough 12month requirement would this not be helpful? or we can still use this proof living together for almost 9-10months on the month(Dec-Jan) that I will sponsor him?

    Other requirements I do have it. Photos, travel tickets together to New Zealand and with another couple to Sydney. Invitations. etc.. but we don’t share bank accounts. but we do share expenditures when it comes to travelling or heading out etc…

    I am not sure if registration of relationship in QLD will help. I just heard about it, but not sure if this can help to provide that we are in a genuine relationship.

    With this small info, is their a great chance of us to be successful? This would be my first time sponsoring someone whom will be my partner..

    Thanks Grant!


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You must be living together for 12 months to qualify unless you register your relationship or marry.
      Registration does not prove genuine it means you have a qualifying realtionship – they are different things.

  210. Hi Grant,
    I am trawlling through the migration booklet making a list of evidence and have come across a statement about “setting up a hosehold seperately from other people”. My partner and I have lived together for over 12 months but have never had a lease in our names as we have lived with another couple. We have joint utility bills and mail addressed to us at the houses we’ve lived for the 12 months and joint banks accounts showing combined finances and rent/bill payment . Not planning on apply for another few months so we will have over 18 months of evidence by the application lodgement. Do you think this will be acceptable evidence of living together in replacement of a lease?

  211. Hi Grant,

    First of all, Thanks a lot for taking your precious time to go through my quick request
    I was a student in Melbourne and my student visa expired in Nov 2010. Tried to get it renewed but unfortunately got refused ;(. They gave me 28 days to leave and I over stayed that period too. OMG!!
    Then I went to compliance center and got BVE with so many restrictions and BAR 40 ( if i am spelling it correctly)
    Luckily i was living with my australian citizen partner at that time and then we applied for defacto partner visa 820/801 early this year and provisional permanent visa got approved a few days back. YAY!!

    Now My question is, The Bar 40 they put on my visa status that restricted me from applying for other temporary and some permanent visas than Partner visa or Protection visa, has it been removed because of the grant of this UK 820 visa? Or is it still there?
    I know i shouldn’t be worrying about this so much as our relationship is genuine and ongoing and no one else knows about it more than two of us but I was just curious to know. That’s all.

    I sincerely hope that i would get a quick and easy reply from you.

    Thanks heaps!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes then application ban should be gone. Stick with the partner visa and don’t tempt fate any further!

      • Good evening Grant.
        Well thats a great news then. I am not going to apply for any other visas especially when I don’t need to. It was a just a general information i was curious to know ;).
        Thanks once again for your quick response.

  212. Hi Grant,
    This is my story I am waiting for my annulment to be null and void, do you think I can file a de-facto/partners visa while waiting for my annulment case?

    It would be a great help if I get your response?


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes if you meet the 12 month de facto cohabitation requirement it is possible.

      • Hi Grant,
        Yeah I am aware of that, actually we are more than 12 months, my worry is about my annulment do you think there is no issue about that, once I lodge my DFV? Because I asked my lawyer the same thing as what I have asked with you, he said I can lodge my application but might not approve, he insisted better wait for the annulment to be null and void before I lodge my DFV, do you think my lawyer advice is true? Thanks in advance

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Rachel True is not the question the lawyer is just being cautious. I have already answered this question. GW

  213. hello id be sooo thankfull for any help i met my australion fiance in januray 2011 i returned to the uk in the march to see my fam and plan a more long term visa but he purposed to me so we are now geting married in august ive been advised to go for marragie visa ..any tips on how we go for are visa we have no living arangements proof but we have testomonies from his siterinlaw who we will be living with who we will share the rent with and my sister who we lived with before

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Linz Get some professional help. There are posts on my Blog abour relationship evidence. What you have is not nearly enough. You need independent witnesses not relatives.

  214. Hi Grant,

    I have a question for visa 820. My partner (citizen) and I moved together in March this year, and we registered for a relationship certificate in VIC this April. Are we eligible to waive the 12-months requirement? Can we submit the application by the end of this year?

    Appreciate for your help.


    • Hi Grant, an additional Q. If we are eligible to submit the application by the end of this year, what date should I fill in for the question in form 47SP: When you start your de-facto relationship? The date we actually started our BF/GF relationship? or the date we moved tgt? or the date we registered for our relationship?


    • Immigration Pty Ltd


  215. hello thankyou
    i have 3 australion declartions to go with photos etc phone bills,skype,emails all weddng recepits in both are names and travel tickets flights etc

  216. Hi Grant,
    Just a quick question. My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 1.5 years but only living together for 10 months. Is it too late for us to register our relationship to be exempt for the 12 months living together? His 2 year working Visa is up the end of November this year and we need to lodge our partner visa ASAP! I would appreciate any information you could give us.
    Thank you kindly,


  217. Hi Grant,
    I’m on my student visa due 2014 and have been granted with bridging visa A (through Partner) since March 2012. I’m planning to defer my study after this year and continue in 2014, the reason is I will deliver my baby on end of January 2013 or early Feb 2013, and I need sometimes to take care of my baby and to gain back my power after giving a birth.. My question is, is DIAC will allow me to deffer my study? if yes.., during the period of my deferral (1year), am i still allowed to stay in Australia? or i have to go back to my country with my baby? And if i defer my study, is it gonna change or effect my visa (student/bridging/partner in the future)?
    Thanks Grant..

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Angel You need to get your College / University to defer your studies and get it in writing and then DIAC won’t care. If you do not do it this way you can get reported and your student visa cancelled which will cancel your Partner BVA and be a big mess. So get a letter from your doctor/OBGYN and get the Institution to give you leave in writing. Don’t ask for too much as they will not give it to you – most students study basically right up until the last few weeks unless there are medical complications and then you might get 1 semester after that. GW

  218. Thank you so much Grant. Also one more question from my partner. He is from Ireland, does he have to complete and english test before we lodge the Visa?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Kirby No they speak a sort of English over there. All my folks were Scots and they also spoke a version of English! GW

  219. Hi Grant,

    Just wanted to ask if you could explain to me what transitional Extended Eligibility temporary visa (EEtv) meant? There is a fee of $360 for people currently on this visa and wanting to apply for Partner Visa. While for others the fee is $3060. I have a Bridging Visa A as I am awaiting decision on my Graduate Visa and I am going to be applying for Partner Visa in the next 6 months. Just wondering if that would apply to me at all IF I got rejected for Graduate Visa?
    the link above outlines the following:
    Spouse with transitional Extended Eligibility Temporary Visa (EETV)
    Applies to people who:
    – currently hold a Transitional (temporary) visa; and
    – were granted this visa on the basis that they
    satisfied the requirements for the grant of an
    extended eligibility entry permit under the
    Migration Regulations 1989.

    Thank you for you help in advance. Niknak :)

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Niknak No this does not apply to you GW

      • hey grant can i ask some advice
        after the wedding my fiance was planning n returing to ozz to carry on preparing for are life as he has the rent on house etc there that i will move into he will be here for say 3 months then return to ozz but will return for a short stay hoildays again like he currently dose till i get granted the visa
        ive been informed that if we seprate after the wedding we will get a instant fail on the visa :(
        i hope not dont no what is best as we cant afford for adam to move to uk while we wait as the bills to pay in ozz and his work he would struggle to find a job here and we could loose the house if he was to move here temp

        am realy worried now just want to be settled with my man
        many thanks linds xxx

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Linz Not sure who told you this but it is not correct. If by separate they mean the relationship breaks down then yes it will kill the application but this is not your situation. GW

  220. Thanks again Grant. We’ve just had so many people telling us conflicting things ( even advisors helping us with the visa) some said he had to complete an english test, some said not to worry about it. It’s just been a stressful time with being told different things. We just want to cover all our bases. Thank you for this blog, it has managed to help us more than anything or anyone else!

  221. Hi Grant,
    Now a friend of mine is going to apply for 820 as well. Her sponsor is Australian Citizen. We four are good friends, so her sponsor will fill the 888 form for us and my sponsor(citizen) is going do the same for them. Will this be a problem or suspicious to DIAC?



  222. Hi Grant,

    What a great, informative blog you have here.

    My partner and I are currently preparing our application for partner visa subclasses 309/100. Our relationship began in April 2010, and we started living together on 1 July 2010. In February 2012. my partner was deported from Canada due to denied refugee status. We were expecting our first child at the time, so we made the decision to go to Mexico together, for the birth of our child and for to spend time with his family.

    I returned to Australia upon the expiration of my tourist days in Mexico. The plan has been to save and prepare for this visa, and to introduce our child to my family. Now I am living in Australia but currently not receiving any income from Centrelink or employment. I’m considering obtaining a job simply to qualify for sponsorship, which isn’t ideal as I am now the primary carer of our child and we have just discovered that we are expecting another baby in 6 months.

    I am concerned about his previous deportation. I have contacted his case manager in Canada, who has confirmed that he does not hold a criminal record there as a result of the deportation. I would like some information on how to build a strong case on compassionate grounds, as the circumstances are different. I am an Australian citizen residing in Australia, we have a child who holds dual Australian/Mexican citizenship, we have family here etc. Is it simply a matter of being honest about his deportation and providing an explanation and copies of any correspondence from immigration in Canada, as well as the bond lodgement form, detailing that was his bondperson for release from detention? We want to be honest, but also want a fair application assessment.

    Thank you so much.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You will need some means of support to get Sponsorship approval. So yes to the job.
      The deportation will not be a problem. Tell them about it and send them the basic paperwork – don’t go over the top as it cannot stop the application. under these circumstances.

  223. Hi Grant,

    What a wonderful, imformative blog you have here.

    My partner and I are currently in the process of preparing our partner visa application for visa subclasses 309/100. Our relationship commenced in April 2010, and we entered a de-facto living arrangement on 1 July 2010.
    We met in Canada — I am Australian and he is Mexican.

    In February 2012, my partner was deported from Canada due to refused refugee status. The border security agent who administered his deportation has since confirmed with me that he does not hold a criminal record in Canada as a result of the deportation.

    As we were expecting our first child at the time, we made the decision to leave Canada together, and went to his home country of Mexico, where we could both be present for the birth of our child, as well to spend time with his family. I remained in Mexico for six months, and then returned to Australia in August 2012 in order to save money, get our visa application underway, and introduce our child to my family.

    It has been a difficult time spending these last two months apart, and especially difficult as he is missing out on witnessing all our daughter’s firsts and I miss his company and support. We have also recently discovered that we are expecting our second child in six months, which simply adds additional difficulty to our situation.

    I am concerned about the fact that he has been deported from another country. We want to be honest about his immigration history, however we don’t want the application to be denied by default. Is honesty the best policy in this situation, with full explanation of his deportation and copies of correspondence with Canadian immigration and copy of our bond lodgement, listing me as his bondsperson?

    Thank you so much!

  224. I had one other question…given that we now passed 2 years of relationship status (18 months living together in Canada, 6 in Mexico), are we able to ask DIAC to assess for permanent residence straight away? Thanks!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      K Only if you have an Aust citizen child of the realtionship. 3 years for couples without children to be considered for PR direct. GW

  225. Thank you for your prompt reply, Grant! My apologies for the duplication…my first post actually got gobbled up!

  226. Hi Grant, thanks for helping us here and hopefully you can help me. It’s about superannuation, my partner did 6months job without tax, do you think IMMI will ask him about his past job? But now he has a proper job and can get superannuation but not good money. Do you hve any idea how we can get through this? Pls we need ur help. Thanks! More power to your career!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      czaih Not really an immigration question. They will only ask about any job you tell them about. If there was no tax etc you cannot claim this work experience. GW

  227. Hi Grant,
    For your good advice, since my partner is Australian born citizen where is better to lodge our application for DFV/Partners visa in australia or outside australia?

  228. hi grant,
    hope you are ok..i am in a student visa in australia from nepal . 5 months ago i had married with my girlfriend…and i had applied her as my dependent…without any response after 3 month her visa had been rejected by delhi high commission …i am not satisfied while i was shown all the document..can i re-apply ? and is it all right if i apply in australia??i m a student visa thanx in advance

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes you can reapply but it must be where your wife is overseas and you will need to address the reasons they gave for the refusal.

  229. Hi Grant,
    Just discovered your blog today and have spent the last couple of hours reading through! It is really helpful! Thank you.

    I thought you my be able to help me?

    I am on a 457 visa and I always thought that when I wanted to change job, I would just need to apply for an 820. I am engaged to be married with an Australian citizen, living together for the last 3 years, we registered our relationship 2 years ago, getting married next march. So I am not worried at all for the 820.

    My problem is I thought I would be able to work anywhere with a bridging visa and that I could quit my job to go work in another company while my 820 is being processed.

    But it seems that my bridging visa will be with the same restriction as my 457… So i’ll have to stay in my company? I’m very confused now…

    Can I apply to an 820 then quit my job and petition for a removal of work limitations? I just can’t stay in my current company anymore. But I don’t want to end up with a no work allowed bridging visa either…

    Thanks Grant!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      No it is not that simple as the BV will only start when the 457 runs out and then you can ask for a change of work on the BV. The only other way is to cancel the 457 wjich has many limitations, will make you unlawful and then you will have to get a BVE and then apply for unrestricted work.
      I’d lodge a perfect partner application and wait on the 457.

  230. hii grant

    i plan to bring my partner. we havent married but she is my fiance.. anyway could you inform me how i can do it. i am an international student in australia and both of us are indonesian.

    Could I just show the proof that she is my fiance and we have live together as partner ? or we need married document that we dont have it. I checked from the imigration website, my partner can be my dependent while i am in indonesia eventhough we only partner.

    but i dont know is the regulation for all country? since when I asked to indonesian office he said we should have a married letter. please advice me..


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You are asking about applying for a student dependant visa for your fiance. Generally DIAC will only grant this if you are married or can prove you have been living together for more than 12 months.

      • Rebeca Flórez

        Hello Grant,
        I will be an international student in Australia next year. I already have my visa, but I am planning to get married in December. I would like to know if my partner would be able to travel with me. I am not married in this moment, so my application says I’m single. Is it possible for me to travel with him if we get married after they gave me my visa? We have been together for 8 years. I am not sure if that might help.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        First problem is that you have lied to DIAC saying you are single.
        If you marry he must then make a Student visa application as a dependant and I’d be very careful about what you say given that you said sinfle jusrtb a little while ago. That was a really silly idea.

  231. Hi Grant , just come across this blog and its amazing ..
    thank you for helping so many people and hope you have place for me too.
    I have a question regarding the partner or spouse visa . my girlfriend and me( international student) we are planning to get married early next year and wanted to apply for spouse visa . she is an australian citizen but we have never live together . Another problem is she sponsored her ex husband but they are divorced now its been 2 years already . But we are afraid having any problem from immi . so if we get married can we apply for spouse visa , and what about the 12 months relationship. waiting for your replay and looking forward to see you next year if its possible to apply.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      No you are not eligible until you are married and living together.
      The previous sponsorship has a 5 year exclusion period from the date of application for the previous partner she sponsored.

      • Thank you for your advice .

      • hello grant
        so if we are out of the 5 year exclusion period (coz it will be 5 year end of this year) , then can we apply for the spouse visa after we get married , what about the 12 months living together …. do we need to show the proof even after getting married or not necessary .
        thank you

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Sunshine yes apply after the 5 years is up and no you do not need 12 months if you are married before you apply GW

        Sent from my iPad

      • Hi grant…. another question for you

        What if we registered our realation instead og getting married …can we still waive the 12 months realation and apply if so we will be seeing you early next year …
        Thank you

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Sunshine Yes that does the same thing. GW

        Sent from my iPad

  232. Thanks Grant! I will lodge a decision-ready partner application and hope they will grant it very quickly! Do you know if you can book an appointment in Melbourne? Reading through your post it is not possible in Sydney anymore but was hoping it could be in Melbourne? Thanks again

  233. Hi Grant,
    I was wondering if you would know what happens from here…
    to make a long (complicated) story short and easy ;) :.
    – October 2010 we applied for 820/801 (Partner visa Onshore)
    – November 2010 it was refused
    – December 2010 we applied for Review at MRT
    – January 2011 we moved overseas, I had the Bridging Visa B, which is just valid for three months
    – October 2011 we applied for 309/100 (Partner Visa Offshore) as I needed a Visa to come back to Australia
    – December 2011 it was granted
    – Feburary 2012 we moved back to Australia
    – October 2012 was the Hearing for first Partner Visa Application (820/801)
    22 Months later!!!!
    The Member remits our application back to the Immigration…so WE WON
    …he didn’t understand at all why it was refused in 2010…
    My question or what I wonder about:
    If the Immi would have granted me the Visa 820 in November 2010 I could have the PR this year already …
    But I applied 2011 again…
    which one will be considered now?
    I am in a de facto relationship for more than 3 years now, in some cases is that the requirement to get the PR straight away without having TR for two years.
    I honestly would prefer having PR now, as it provides me opportunities I don’t have with TR. E.g. finding a proper job, getting a loan to buy a house etc.
    What can I do, what are my chances or opportunities now?
    Thank you for taking the time to read all that.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You have the 309 visa and if they now grant the 820 that will replace the 309 and you will go back to the start of the. 2 year wait again. So do not let that happen. No you will no go straight to PR as They calculate this from the time you lodged the 8201 application. In my view you should probably withdraw the 820 and just see out your time on the 309. It may be worth going into see the Partner section for an appointment as this is an unusual set of circumstances and they may make some concession if you ask nicely.

      • Hi Grant,

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. I hope I get the chance to talk to the case officer in person at least this time.

  234. Hi, i’m john, thank you for the blog! i’ve a question, if is possible. ive lodged a de facto application with my partner. in february 2011, after, a period in australia on the road we settled in queensland . my gf Won a master in law in turin (my city, in italy). and we came to live here at my adress. the point is that during this period i had four month back in australia to work, because in wintertime i dont have much work in turin. She was stayng in my house with my family when i was away. We have the proove of my work and our communication during that period. And now we are continuing to live toghether at my adress.
    We dont have a lot of proove of financian commitment ( we dont have a account toghether) but she was studying and the home is mine.
    but prior evidence of shared expences yes.
    Im very worried about the result, an next week i will have the talk with my case officer, our case is genuine and we are living toghether for a long period now.. one year and eight months., but ive this lack of time really worring me.
    I think that the material we have collected is enough.. i really dont know.. what do you think? thank you so much..

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I do not see this as a problem. If you are having an interview just be honest,

      • Thanks! It’s really nice of you to take the time to respond to all the questions on this blog. Thanks so much for the great website too!

  235. Hi Grant,

    Quick Question. My partner is getting sponsored under a 457 Visa and we are applying for De facto also. When our current Visa expires and we go onto the bridging visa will this allow me to work or just him?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Not sure I understand your current visa status but generally applicants for 457 visas and their de facto partners (if that is what you mean by applying for de facto) will get work permission but it could depend on what visa you are currently on and may mean one of you has to apply to change the conditions on the BV once it is granted. Basically cannot tell from the info you have provided.

      • Hi Grant,

        I’m sorry I should have been more clear. Currently on a WHV. Would this mean I get working rights?

        Thanks so much for your help!

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Bernadette Yes but it will have the same work limitation but it does reset the 6 months when you go onto the BVA GW

        Sent from my iPad

  236. Hi Grant
    i would greatly appreciate your advice on my current situation. My husband applied for the partner visa 820/801 in Aug 2011 – while waiting for the 820 to be granted he was on a BVC. Last month he had to leave Australia to see his father who was in a critical condition – the 820 had not been granted as yet. We received an email, 2 days after his departure stating that his visa was ready for review, however, because he was not in the country it was unable to be processed. My question’s are: what type of visa would be the best type for husband to apply for to re-enter Australia- a tourist visa or the sponsored family visitor visa? Does his previous BVC status affect the outcome of applying for these visa’s and regardless of what visa’s he gets (if granted), as soon as he gets back in the country does our original partner visa 820/801 application get re-instated?
    Thank you

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Fraz Any visa will do and the usual visa of choice is the Visitor visa. However he is not really a genuine visitor so this application will need the support of the officer processing the application and I’d suggest the Case Officer processing the Partner application. I’d be talking to them and pleading the case on compassionate grounds. It sounds harsh but the more serious the illness the greater the chances of getting back. DIAC are under no obligation to give someone who left on a BVC a visa to return. If he gets back they will just process the partner application as before but he needs to get back soon or they will refuse the application as he is not here. GW

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  237. Hi Grant,

    With PMV300 (and some other visas) subject to capping and queueing, would it be more practical to lodge an application from July onward, over lodging one closer to June 30? Thank you, Grant.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      There is noncap and queue for TO300 visas. They have a waiting period which differs from o/s post to o/s post. The sooner you lodge the sooner you will getthe visa granted – it’s that simple.

  238. Hi, Grant,
    It is really helpful to read your blog here. Thanks you very much!

    I am married to my partner (PR of Australia) this January in China. Before we got married (and registered) I have already got my student visa, so I entered Australia by the student visa. Currently I am applying for partner visa onshore because my student visa will be invalid at the end of Dec. I have a question about the proof of genuine relationship. Because I study in Melbourne and my husband works in Geelong, we do not live together during the weekdays. But either he or I will travel to the partner’s city and spend the weekend together as well as the holidays. We may not be able to provide the rental-lease in joint names, ‘cause we live in our friends’ homes. We plan to move together after I graduate this December.

    Would that be a problem in applying the visa? What other ways can I use to clarify our relationship? We do have phone records/some travelling tickets/ bank transferring records / friends’ testimonies/ marriage certifications etc.

    Thanks a lot for your time. Looking forward to your reply!


  239. Hie Grant,
    I applied a 485 visa and it was denied because I submitted my eilts after I lodged the application. So Applied for a review and awaiting for the decision. At the moment trying to apply for a partners visa. I was wondering do I cancel the review first before I lodge the partners visa, or apply the partners visa with the review in process?

    Many thanks.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Mal No don’t do that apply for partner if you can and leave the MRT application in place until the partner is granted.

      • Hi Grant,
        Thanks for the reply. I have some more questions to ask.
        1. On the application form for partner visa it says are you or any person included in this application currently awaiting a decision on another visa application? I was wondering what do I say yes or no since I’m waiting for a MRT for 485?
        2. Have you or any other person included in this application ever been refused an entry permit or visa to Australia? For my situation what do I say since I was denied a 485 visa?


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Mal 1. Yes of course as you are waiyting for the MRT and you will need to explain in the space provided 2. Yes you were denied a 485 visa. GW

        On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • Hi Grant,

        Many thanks for all your replies I appreciate all you are doing.


  240. Hi Grant,

    My partner and I have applied for a skilled visa (ENS) and we have just been given a case officer. He has requested some more information (Form 80) which is a Character Assessment. I noticed this wasn’t on the checklist when I first submitted our visa application and thought it was odd that they requested it? There is one problem I have come across recently which I have now become paranoid about. There is an error on my partners passport, explanation: Her First Name Reads: Jane O’Connor and Surname reads: O’Connor … so technically her name is Jane O’Connor O’Connor when her actual name is Jane O’Connor. The passport office stuffed it up years and years ago and she never got it changed, I didn’t realise this error until recently and she used the same passport to gain our 457 visa almost 3 years ago. Is this an issue and should I tell my case officer the mistake? We have waited so long for a case officer and the last thing I want to do is jeporadise our application and would prefer to do the right thing. Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated.

    *I have edited names on this blog for privacy reasons.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      It was on the checklist just hidden in a hyperlink in the Character info.
      No it will not be a problem.

  241. Hello Grant,

    Wow! You da man! Thanks for all the advice you have given so many people.

    I really want to ask your advice but I am worried DIAC may read your site and thiswork against my wife and me.

    Can you comment on this please – as to give you my questions will easily identify both of us?

    Also, from reading your blog it seems there are migration agents and migrations agents.

    I can tell you that from reading most every post on your blog that it is now obvious that the Partner Visa Application (and then Tourist Visa Application) we lodged and whch were declined could never have succeeded the way they were lodged. Shouldn’t our migration agent have known this and either done the job differently or told us we could not succeed? Is there any come back for the $16,000 in fees to the agent and the actual visa application fees?

    I understand you may not want to comment (specifically) on another agent but a general “heads up” would help as they want another $15,000 for an Mrt and a new set of applications.

    Is an MRT worth it or should we just lodge a fresh and fuller Partner Application. It seems they trust me but not my wife in the general relationship question.

    Best regards and thanks

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Agents should know what they are doing but some knowledge as with all occupations only comes with experience.
      If you are unhappy you can speak with the Migration Agents Registration Authority MARA
      MRT can take years – more than 2 so in your case a new application may be better but get some better advice. this time.

  242. Dear Grant,

    Thank you for your time and for doing this. We read every comment and reply before submitting our 309 application.
    Our situation is Australian citizen sponsor, USA applicant, in relationship since 2008 (but with long periods of distance due to university). Since July 2010 we have only been seperated for a total of 9 months, the other times lived together steadily in Australia and then America with all the documentation. We were confident with the amount and quality of what we submitted. However the first email we received from the DIAC gave us three options a) submit more documentation in general b) continue as is knowing it may be rejected c) withdraw and submit again later.

    My question is: how often do they send this out and how bad is it? We are young (22 & 24) so don’t have combined things like mortgages or super or insurance but we certainly have leases, demonstrated shared financial responsibility, stat dec’s from housemates and have lived together 18 months in the last 2.5 years.

    Thank you so much,

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I have not seen what you have submitted or how you have told the story of your relationship but clearly they are not convinced that you have given them enough to meet the de facto test now. So no it is not good. Difficult to comment further without being able to see all the paperwork as DIAC have.

  243. Hi Grant,

    My partner(Japanese) and I(Australian) have been married for over 7 years in my partners country and have a couple of children. In that time we havent created a joint financial situation. Would length of marriage play a role in the relationship being genuine?


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes but you must have a heap of other stuff. Joint financial is not just jnoint bank accounts – this is a broad test of all things financial that are shared.

      • Thank you very much GW,
        My wife has got her Spousal Visa now.

        Your site is very informative. It also helped settle my nervousness at the time.


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Mike That is great news. Grant

        On Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  244. Hello Grant I am an Australian citizen, i was overseas for 2 years and got married. i was wondering to apply for a spouse visa do i need 2yrs tax return. i have a permanent job offer now….will that do to apply for the visa.

  245. Hi Grant,
    Thanks for such a wonderful blog. My situation is that i want to apply for an offshore partner visa,i have been with my partner for almost 3 years living in both our parents houses with our own space for most of this,will stat decs from them be enough evidence of us living together with also some addressed letters to both of us?

    we already have a de facto partner visa from ireland which requires us to prove we have been together 2 years but as my partners mother is unwell she has to return to australia for the forseeable future an i plan to join her asap.Will the de facto visa from ireland speed up our application?

    Also we have to apply through the high commission in london,is it acceptable to visit my partner in australia and then after that holiday visa is up, wait in new zealand for it to be granted?
    i plan on sending in my application early december,but plan to travel in febuary,will they ask me to get a medical straight away so i can have it done before i leave ireland??

    thanks so much,

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Yes that will do
      No but I guess you can show it as evidence that someone else has considered your relationship genuine. They will still have to do all their own checks and apply Aust’n criteria.
      You apply in the visa office designated for your passport country. You can be wherever want but you cannot be in Aust at the date of visa grant for a 309/100 offshore Partner.
      No they send out a letter requesting medicals now and you cannot get it done o/s without this letter.

  246. Hi Grant,

    Your Blog has been amazing. Thank you so much for all this information.
    I just have a question I have been with my partner for over a year now and will be applying for the de facto visa on Friday once we have everything together.
    I’m currently on my 2nd year working holiday which runs out on the 1st Dec, me and my partner booked tickets back in June to visit my family back in the UK for Christmas and we leave on the 4th Dec.
    I’ve just found out that when they put you on a bridging visa and are awaiting for the visa to be approved that you’re not allowed to leave the country?  I have added all this information as proof of our relationship as Im taking him home to meet the family of course is there any way to get around this as I am worried that when we come back I won’t be allowed in?
    We are going to take the application to the Sydney office to hand in do you know if they are taking them there or if I would have to send it off. Im hearing a lot of different story’s where I’ve heard that people have had a decision made there and then, or others where it’s been 6 months and they are still waiting.
    Thanks again

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Not correct about travel.
      You lodge before 1 Dec and they grant you a BVA which cuts in as your visa as soon as your WHV expires. You then immediately apply for a BVB (Form 1006) and you get that over the counter.
      No you cannot drop off applications anymore so get it in asap (registered Express Post or better by express courier) so you have the acknowledgement letter (agree to email communication) and can get the BVB which allows you to travel out and back.
      No decisons made on the spot for well over 18 months so that’s rubbish.
      Average time is well over 12 months today and for decision ready application (perfect and complete in every way) also a few months now.

      • Thanks for that, I’ve found BVB application so will get that filled in to.
        WOW I didn’t know it would take that long. how do I go about having a decision ready application?
        With proof of a genuine relationship, we have lease agreements, joint bank accounts, saving, mobile phone contracts, bills, club cards together but with the photos do I but the real thing in? Or do I print them on paper?
        Also do I have to print of Facebook stuff as well or do think this above would be enough?
        Thank you so much for your help, words can’t express how grateful I am of your help.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Katie Send colour photocopies of photos – certified copies.Yes give then Facebook stuff. GW

        On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:08 AM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  247. Hi Grant,

    I have lodged my partner visa applications and got the acknowledgement from the immigration. And now i am waiting for the decision of my temporary resident. my question is if i get my temporary resident and proceed to the next step which is permanent resident, do i have to provide some more documentation?

    Thank you

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You sure do they will send you an 801 PR pack with instructions telling you exactly what they want about 2 years after the date you applied.

  248. Hi Grant!
    I’m on bridging visa A ( sub 820) atm, and recently got employed but my employer want me to provide them some papers to prove that I can work fulltime! I know I am eligible to work because I just finished my uni! But how do I prove it to them as bridging visa is a bit complex. Are there any documentation that I can download to show my employer?

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Visa conditions work by ommission. In other words if it does not say ..NO WORK it means you are free to work full time. If you were on a student visa and it has now expired and the BVA still shows the work limitation as per student visa you are considered ‘out of session’ just like vacation time and you can work full time.
      No there is no place to find this out.

  249. Hi Grant,
    I am filling in form 80 (new version) now and I have two questions:
    1. Q14 requires for national ID I have had. Do I need to provide a certified copy of my Chinese national ID and English translation or just leave this question blank?
    2. I provided form 80 in 2011 for 485 visa application, at that time my sponsor and I had not started a de-facto relationship (its started in Mar 2012) so I put N/A at that section. Now for this form 80, I should fill in my partner’s details. Do I need to provide form 1222 to notify the change in circumstances with my application this time?
    Appreciate your help.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Ying Yes you do need a certified translated copy of this ID. No the relationship started after the last application they will figure that out. GW

      On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  250. Hi Grant I married my fiance of 4 years one month ago overseas however we have not lived together since the marriage because of my work commitments in australia and he is studying his last year at university in another country would this separation impact our application for a partner visa negatively as we have no joint bills or lease beacuse i am waiting for him to finish his course until we can live together, but we have evidence of holidays together during his semester breaks, we both waited so long so i could graduate from university and he was in his last year

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      It is always impoosible to predict what DIAC will do esp if this was an arranged marriage but it is my opinion that in these circumstances a Partner application would not be successful. You would need to be living together full-time before having any hope with a significant body of realtionship evidence. Just having a marriage proves nothing as the test is cohabitation in a realtionship that is genuine and continuing and mutually exclusive.

  251. Hi Grant,
    I hope you are doing well. I was wondering if you could please advise me about my future application.
    I am currently on a student visa and it will expire in March 2013. I have been living with my boyfriend for 1 year (we’ve been dating for 5 years) and we just registered our relationship last week. I’m going back to my country in January 2013 and will be back by the end of that month. Do you think it would be better for me to apply for my partner visa before I go back or I could just come back and apply for it in February 2013?

    One last thing, my boyfriend and I we don’t have any joint account and the way we share bills is that we buy things like groceries every week but we don’t really share equally the bills. He pays most of the bills as well since he said it’s ok as he has a stable job and I’m still a student. Do you think it will affect my application? We have both of our names on the rent lease, electricity bills though.

    Thank you for your time,


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I’d apply before you travel if it is possible. You still go and return on your current visa but it will stop them asking why you are returning when they see you have a Partner visa lodged and have a BVA granted.
      No it will not affect the applictaion.

      • Thanks again for your response, Grant. I just realised that I won’t have enough time to lodge my application since I am still waiting for my relationship registration certificate and my police check.
        Therefore, I will have to apply for my partner visa when I come back here by the end of January 2013. My student visa will expire in March 2013, do you think at the airport in Australia, they will prevent me from entering the country because I have only like 1.5 months left on my student visa? I got really panicked yesterday when I realised that it might be an issue.

        Thanks again,


      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        They should not as you you have a valid visa to re eneter. However you can always say that you are considering lodging a new student applicatiion to contibue your studies and then change your mind and lodge the partner application. Saying you intend to lodge a partner application may lead them to cancel the student visa. Harsh but just be careful what you say if they ask… which they may not.

  252. hi Grant, I’m going to apply for a 457 visa and I want to take my partner with me as a defacto . Should I use paper application or online application? which is much better since I have to also send all the evidences? Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Jennilee Co
      I assume you already have and approved Nomination?
      Online is best and you attach all the documents as scanned certified copies.

  253. Hi Grant,

    The information you provide is VERY helpful.

    My husband has lodged a decision ready Partner visa application offshore (OCT 12). (Medical & police clearance included – Evidence (all certified): Joint bank acct, 888’s from friends & family, marriage cert, emails, text messages, phone bills, money transfers, holiday tickets, photos, receipts for wedding rings, evidence of funds for sponsor, letters from employers, letter from Church pastor .… etc I seriously could go on – It felt like a whole ream of paper)

    A week after lodging the partner visa I applied for a family sponsored visa in Australia so that we can spend xmas together. (He had been over earlier on in the year on a FSV)

    I have been advised by the case officer for the FSV that I should inform our case officer and see what they say.
    We have been assigned a case officer, and we have asked her.. NO RESPONSE.

    What would your opinion be? Should we suck it up and wait? Or should I pay the $15000 security bond for my husband to come during the holidays.


    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      I do not understand. Have they asked you to pay a bond. It is not clear from your post.

      • Hi Grant,

        Sorry for not making it clear.

        We applied for both a partner visa and a family sponsored visa for my husband.

        I am required to pay a security bond for the family sponsored visa.

        My question is should we just wait for the partner visa decision.. or should i pay the bond for him to come for the xmas holidays…the case officer for the family sponsored visa said to advise our partner visa case officer although she has not responded to any of our emails.

        Hope this is clearer then my previous post..

        Thanksss :)

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Tai Clear now Really it is up to you I do not see how one affects the other. GW

        On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 9:08 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  254. Hi Grant, currently im holding 485visa, my husband is the main applicant (Skilled), he still keep trying with IELTS test to get 8/band since he will apply Permanent Resident Australia,but we a bit desperate to get Ielts 8/band, he plan to find a job in other state and get sponsorship from the regional State, but i will keep stay in Sydney because my job. the question, is it possible for me as a wife to apply PR attache with my husband if we not stay in the same state?
    Please advise.

  255. Hi grant ,thanx for last reply .i have one more question related to my last question .if my wife gets 187 visa nd m waiting offshore .do we need to apply for new partner visa application or its on the same 187 visa application in which I already mentioned as a migrating member as a husband.

  256. Hi!
    I have a query for the partner visa. My husband is an Australian citizen and he is in India from past 2 years but due to certain circumstances we wish to move back to Australia. We got married 2years back and after marriage he wound up the things at australia and came to India. I have never been to australia and wants to apply for a partner visa. Can he apply for partner visa while he is india and can my case be proccessed if he is employed in India at present. As he is planning to go by the end of Jan to Australia and presently he working in India in MNC.
    Please suggest me what to do, as I am going through various forms and at many points it asks for my husbands address, employment in australia.
    Please reply me ASAP.

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      It is possible but only if you can convince DIAC that you actually intend to reside permanently in Australia. This will be more difficult as he promised this last time and then left immediately.

  257. Hello Grant! Your doing an amazing job with your blog!! Helping a lot of people, thank you so much!
    I met my boyfriend overseas and now we moved to Australia. Unfortunately, I’m spanish so I can’t have a WHV and I can’t afford for studies to have a student visa. At the moment, I’m on a tourist visa (e-visitor visa – there is no “no further stay” as my conditions!).
    We move to Australia in September to apply for a Partner Visa but now I’ve been reading a lot about it and I’m stuck on the 12 month relationship living in Australia requirement!
    I know we can register our relationship, but we live in Victoria and apparently is really hard to get your relationship register here! Do you have any knowledge about relationship registration in Victoria? I was wondering if we could make my boyfriend parents to do a tenant agreement for us of their house – since my boyfriend still had mail sent to him to his home house! That would be my only proof of living in Australia for the last 12 months. We have opened a joint bank account this month, but that doesn’t help much!
    Thanks for your help! xx

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      You cannot apply onshore as you have 8503 on your tourist visa and given your circumstances thay will not waive that condition.
      Victorian relationship registration requires the 12 months together unlike NSW. All the details are on their website.
      No you can’t fake this as they will work it out given the dates.

      • Debora Sobrino

        Well, I’m pretty sure I don’t have the 8503 condition on my visa since I checked several times! But anyway, would you have any advices for couples coming back from overseas relationship? Is the student visa the best option for me to make the 12 month requirement? xx

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Debora The question then is how long have you been living together (cohabitation) in total overseas and in Australia? GW

        On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 9:29 AM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • Debora Sobrino

        No, we start living together once we got to Australia in Sep this year! His sister has a house in NSW, so we were thinking about trying to do a tenant agreement at her place for me and try to register our relationship in NSW? Do you think we could explain to DIAC later all my situation and the reasons we register our relationship in NSW even though we were living in Victoria? I really running out of options! :(

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Debora You cannot register in NSW if you live in Victoria and if you do you will need to use the NSW address for all aspects of your relationship which will be a problem if for example your sponsor works in Victoria. They will find this out and this will be a problem for the application. GW

        On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 2:04 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • Debora Sobrino

        Yeah, makes sense! I will probably apply for a student visa when my tourist visa runs out then so can complete to make the 12 months living together! I’m planning to go to my country for 2 months during the 12 months though.. it would be a problem? Also, we plan to register our relationship in Melbourne! I know it’s not the same as registering in the State, but do you think it helps? Thanks!!!!

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Debora No problem with the travel and yes the Registration is a good idea. GW

        On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  258. Hi Grant, my girlfriend and I will in the near future will be applying for an offshore fiance visa to the Moscow embassy. We were deciding if its better to put the photos on a thumb or print them off indivdually so the immigration officer will have all the information right in front of them. I also mentioned to her maybe we should get the pictures certified. Do you think thats over the top? Can you please provide some advise, it would be much appreciated

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      James DIAC will not accept the USB. Print them, colour copy them and have them certified. We certify everything. You can just send the original prints if that’s easier. They generally send them back. make it easier for them with certified copies. No one wants to annoy the DIAC officer assessing their application.

      • Hi Grant, thanks for the quick response. Well she is coming over on Tourist visa soon so we will get all the pictures printed and certified while shes here. So then she can just bring them back with her.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Way to go. GW

        On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 6:52 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • Sorry to bother you again but I have one last question that makes me nervous. Too make a long story short, I seperated from my ex -wife back in 2010 and the paperwork was done for the divorce. I just recently went to ask her for the divorce paperwork from the court so i can start to gather paperwork for the visa and I find out that she never submitted the paperwork due to her own reasons. So I had to rush out and do everything myself. Well I wont be getting the officcal divorce paperwork until end of Feb after my Jan 25th court date. So as you can imagine this is messing up our plans. Now my question to use, do you think the immigration will frown upon this as i am just getting a divorce and now applying for a fiance visa? I will write a letter explaining all if necessary.

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        James You cannot lodge the fiance visa until after the divirce is finalised and you have the final decree. Yes you will need to explain but no I do not think it will affect the application unless you mess up the explanation some how. GW

        On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 7:13 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

      • Hi Grant,

        Thanks for the advice, yep we are def waiting till all of divorce stuff is processed and finalized.


  259. Hi Grant,
    Thanks for sharing your time and knowedge with us! My question re: 12-months co-habitation. My partner (AUS) and I (USA) began our relationship Feb 2011. We were living in UK and both on work visas in different cities 1 hr apart. We decided to build a future together in Australia, in Aug 2011 I was granted a 12-month Work & Holiday Visa, I arrived in AUS 7/12/11 and that’s when we began living together. My visa expires on 7/12/12 and we intend to apply for a defacto partner visa a few days before my current visa expires. However, that means we will be a few days short of exactly 12 months cohabitation. Would it be better for me to make an appointment to submit my visa in-person on the day we have reached that 12-months (also the last day of my current visa)? Your input would be invaluable, many thanks!

    • Forgot to mention, the only reason we have not yet registered our relationship is I won’t have been in Australia for 12 months (the min requirement) until 7 december 2012 when my current visa expires. Thanks again!

    • Immigration Pty Ltd

      Did you live together for any time at all overseas?
      If so you can claim that.
      DIAC are really strict on the 12 months and short is short as far as the law is concerned. You may be able to do the appointment thing it seems to vary from office to office right now. Ia ssume you are in Victoria re relationship registration.

      • Unfortunately because my partner’s work was based in St Andrews and mine was in Edinburgh we didn’t live together in the UK. However, in August 2011 we did both ship off the majority of our possessions (5 large boxes of my things, including my work computer, clothes, jewelry, books etc) from the UK to my partner’s parents’ house in Melbourne, and I still have the shipping invoice and boxes on hand with their address as evidence. We are hoping this builds our case up though I realise that’s still not the same thing as cohabitation.
        Yes, I’m in victoria. I have scheduled an appointment to submit my visa the morning of 7 December when my W&H expires. But a bit disturbing was the migration person I spoke to on the phone while scheduling, she strongly advised me against submitting my application in person and said I should be fine to mail it in a couple days early–even it means submitting before my full 12 months. I appreciate that some of this may also come down to the case worker I’m assigned to. My partner are also thinking we will still register our relationship in January (after we have submitted our defacto application) just in case it becomes useful for the future.
        My partner and I have spoken to 2 different migration lawyers already (one of them advised me to go on a 2 month tourist visa to allow enough time to register our relationship, but I’m nervous about using that visa in a way it’s not intended to be used, and I’d hate to get an 8503).

      • Immigration Pty Ltd

        Emily If it is not cohabitation and you are in the same country DIAC will not recognise it. Go to the appointment the other advice is well’crap’! It will not be OK. They just want to make it easier for themselves and when your visa gets rejected they will just say well those are the Regulations and deny you were told it would be OK. No it does not come down to the individual case officer. It’s simple you either have 12 months or you don’t. No wiggle room. Yes Register and then send it to them once they give you a file number. The tourist visa is good advice if you can manage it as it avoids a possible disaster by a single day less than 12 months. I’ve seen it happen! GW

        On Thu, Nov 22, 2012 at 9:45 PM, Australian Immigration Blog – Grant

  260. Hi Grant,
    My partner is applying for the defacto permanent partner visa. We haved been in a relationship for over 2 years and living together for over 1 year. We do not have financial documents with both our names on them simply because I already had a home loan before I met her, with all my accounts tied up in the loan – and it is not so simple to change. Also, All my bills were already in existing contracts/arrangements and I did not see a need to change them. Will t