A de facto relationship is defined in the Migrations Regulations (at R1.09A) as existing between two people of the same or opposite sex, who are not married and can demonstrate
- a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others; and
- the relationship is genuine and continuing.
If they do not live together they must not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
R2.03A also states they need to be in a de facto relationship for at least 12 months immediately prior to application for their visa. Policy now stipulates that in some cases, registration of the de facto relationship with State Government authorities can reduce this 12 month requirement.
When compiling a submission for a partner sponsorship, documentary evidence of the following are required. (NOTE: Quality, credible and verifiable documentation will often help to bring about faster determinations)
Financial aspects of the relationship:
- joint ownership of real estate or other asset classes;
- joint liabilities;
- the extent of financial resources pooling, for example in relation to major financial commitments;
- whether legal obligations are owed to one another in the relationship;
- sharing of day-to-day household expenses;
Nature of the household:
- joint responsibility for the care and support of children;
- the living arrangements of the persons (for example in sleeping together or apart);
- any sharing of the responsibility for housework;
Social aspects of the relationship:
- whether the relationship is represented to other people as de facto;
- the opinion of friends and acquaintances concur with the view of it being a de facto relationship;
- previous, present and future evidence of joint social activities;
The nature of commitment to each other:
- the duration of the relationship;
- the length of time of living together;
- the degree of companionship and emotional support evident in the relationship;
- whether both people see the relationship as a long-term one.