What are the elements associated with the one year relationship requirement?

Publish Date: Feb 04, 2013

Many Australians fall in love with a person from another country, and it’s only natural for couples to want to be together, and possibly live in Australia on a permanent basis. However, a de facto partner of an Australian citizen who wishes to sponsor a person, must also fulfill the one year relationship requirement, with the requirement being applicable to all permanent and student visa applicants. Although, de facto partners of refugee or humanitarian visas are generally exempt if the sponsor made a declaration regarding the nature of relationship at the time the application was made. Alternatively, if the relationship was not declared during the application process, the one year relationship requirement will be applicable.

How can the relationship requirement be met?

In order for an applicant to meet the relationship requirement, evidence must be shown that at least 12 months prior to the application of the visa:

  • the parties had a mutual commitment to a shared life with one another to the exclusion of others;
  • the relationship is genuine and continuing; and
  • the parties are living together, or do not live separately, and apart on a permanent basis.

In determining whether or not the relationship requirements have been fulfilled, some of the factors that may be looked into can include:

  • knowledge of the personal circumstances of the parties in regards to each other;
  • finances, and whether or not the parties have shared real estate or other asset properties are two examples;
  • the living arrangements between the parties, such as how friends and acquaintances view the relationship via statutory declarations; and
  • whether the parties see the relationship as a long term commitment,

may be a few of the features considered.

Can the relationship requirement be waived?

If the parties can demonstrate compelling and compassionate grounds for a visa to be granted, the relationship requirement may be waived, in particular:

  • if there are children resulting from the relationship;
  • during the application for the visa, the relationship was registered as a prescribed relationship in conformance with the relevant state or territory laws;
  • if the relationship was a same-sex de facto relationship, it was contrary to the laws of the country of residence of the applicant.

For anyone who needs any assistance with any immigration or visa matter, please contact a lawyer who will be able to assist.

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