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Perth, Western Australia, 6000

Different circumstances and requirements when determining a De Facto relationship

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For the purposes of the Department of Home Affairs, couples generally have their relationships recognised when;

  • You both are 18 years of age
  • You both met after turning 18 years of age
  • You are married or in a de facto relationship
  • You meet the four (4) pillars
  • Have a mutual and commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • Have a relationship that is genuine and continuing
  • Live together and do not live apart on a permanent basis

However, there are circumstances where we find that our clients do not completely understand the criteria for de facto relationships and find themselves overwhelmed on what they hear from friends or family.  Here are some aspects to consider when exploring de facto relationships and the different visa subclass.


Do I need to meet the 12-month requirement?

There are certain visas where a dependant or applicant needs to demonstrate that their relationship existed int eh 12 months prior to lodgement.  The following visas will require you to show the 12 months.

  • Any permanent visa
  • Student Visa (Subclass 500)
  • Skilled Migration (Subclass 189/190/491)
  • Partner Visa (Subclass 309/820)
  • Business Visa (Subclass 188)

This means that other temporary visas such as the Temporary Skills Shortage Subclass 482 visa does not require you to demonstrate you have been in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months at the time of application.

There is a misconception that you must live together for 12 months prior to lodgement. Here, consideration is required for you to demonstrate that you are not living apart on a permanent basis.

There are also compelling and compassionate circumstances to waive the 12-month requirements for de facto relationship such as having a dependent child or perhaps being in a same sex relationship which is illegal in your home country. We not that being pregnant at the time of application does not meet the requirements for compelling and compassionate as consideration is required at the time of decision. This also relates to when you need to see a schedule 3 waiver when you make an application for a partner visa while not holding a substantive visa in the 28 days prior to lodgement.

In some states, you are able to obtain a relationship registry which may be exempt from meeting the 12 month requirement.

Demonstrating that you are in a relationship could be difficult as every case has its own merit and circumstances. Booking in for a consultation will allow you to completely understand how the department processes your evidence and where you may be issues along the way.



Phone: +61 8 9329 6890

Address: Level 3, 12 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

Email: [email protected]

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