The one-year relationship requirement (de facto requirement) applies to people who are applying to settle in Australia as the de facto partner of an Australian sponsor. It also applies to the de facto spouses of permanent, student and temporary work visa applicants.

The requirement applies to all such applications made overseas and in Australia for the following Visa types;

  • a permanent visa;
  • a business skills (Provisional) (Class UR) visa;
  • a business skills (Provisional) (Class EB) visa;
  • a student (Temporary) (Class TU) visa;
  • a partner (Provisional) (Class UF) visa;
  • a partner (Temporary) (Class UK) visa;
  • a general skilled migration visa.
What is the relationship requirement?

Applicants seeking to demonstrate a de facto relationship with their partner must provide evidence that, for the period covering at least twelve months immediately before the visa was lodged that they:

  • are not married to each other;
  • have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others;
  • are in a genuine and continuing relationship;
  • live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis;
  • are not related by family.
Living together

Living together is regarded as a common element in most on-going relationships. Partners who are currently not living together may be required to demonstrate a high level of proof that they are not living separately and apart on a permanent basis. The one year relationship requirement does not need the couple to have physically lived together for the entire 12 months, but rather to have been in a de facto relationship for that period.

What evidence is considered?

It is important that a couple claiming a de facto relationship is able to provide evidence that their relationship is consistent with a ‘spouse-like’ relationship.
Some of the factors to be considered in deciding whether the partners satisfy the requirement include:

  • the history of the relationship
  • knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances
  • financial aspects of the relationship, joint financial commitments such as real estate or other assets, and sharing day-to-day household expenses
  • the nature of the household, including living arrangements, joint care and responsibility for any children of the relationship
  • the social aspects of the relationship, provided in statements (statutory declarations) by friends and acquaintances; and
  • the nature of the commitment, including; duration of the relationship, how long the couple have been living together and whether they see the relationship as a long-term one;

It is possible for the one-year relationship requirement to be waived in compelling or compassionate circumstances, for example:

  • in the case of a de facto spouse relationship where there is a child from the relationship; or
  • where cohabitation was contrary to law in the applicant’s country of residence

To determine if you meet the requirements or the exemptions contract our offices to make an appointment with one of the migration agents who will discuss this with you.