Defacto Relationship

De facto Relationship is when you and your partner are in a genuine domestic relationship and live together as a couple.

What is a Defacto Relationship

A de facto relationship is when you and your partner, are in a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis. However, your relationship will not be considered a de facto relationship if you were legally married to one another, or if you are related by family.

Defacto Relationship for the Purposes of Partner Visa Australia

De Facto Partner

A person is the de facto partner of another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) if, the person is in a de facto relationship with the other person.

De Facto Relationship

A person is in a defacto relationship with another person if they are not in a married relationship with each other, but they have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others; and the relationship between them is genuine and continuing; and they live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis; and they are not related by family.

Two persons are related by family if one is the child (including an adopted child)of the other; or one is another descendant of the other (even if the relationship between them is traced through an adoptive parent); or they have a parent in common (who may be an adoptive parent of either or both).

Prescribed Minimum Age Requirement

Minimum age requirement on persons claiming a de facto relationship for visa purposes is 18 years.

Prescribed Minimum Length of Relationship Requirement

Minimum length of relationship requirement on persons claiming a de facto relationship is 12 months. However, this minimum length of relationship requirement is not applicable where compelling and compassionate circumstances exists.

Assessing De Facto Relationship

(a) Financial aspects of the relationship: Any joint ownership of real estate or other major assets; and any joint liabilities; and the extent of any pooling of financial resources, especially in relation to major financial commitments; and whether one person in the relationship owes any legal obligation in respect of the other; and the basis of any sharing of day-to-day household expenses.

(b) Nature of the household: Any joint responsibility for the care and support of children; and the living arrangements of the persons; and any sharing of the responsibility for house work.

(c) Social aspects of the relationship: Whether the persons represent themselves to other people as being in a de facto relationship with each other; and the opinion of the persons’ friends and acquaintances about the nature of the relationship; and any basis on which the persons plan and undertake joint social activities.

(d) Nature of the persons’ commitment to each other: The duration of the relationship; and the length of time during which the persons have lived together; and the degree of companionship and emotional support that the persons draw from each other; and whether the persons see the relationship as a long-term one.

Compelling and Compassionate Circumstances

The 12-month minimum relationship period requirement, imposes on visa applicants to be in de facto relationship for atleast 12 months, unless the applicant can establish ‘compelling and compassionate circumstances’ for granting the visa. ‘Compelling and compassionate’ is a high threshold as the applicant’s specific circumstances must be both compelling and compassionate.

Compelling and compassionate circumstances may include but are not limited to cases where the applicant has a dependent child of the relationship; or de facto relationships are illegal in the country in which one or both the couple reside or; a same sex couple has married overseas. In these cases, the couple is prevented from registering their relationship under a prescribed State/Territory law.

Not Meeting 12-Month Relationship Requirement

The 12-month minimum relationship period does not apply if the relationship is registered under a State/Territory law prescribed in the Acts Interpretation Act (Registered Relationship) Regulations.

The 12-month relationship criterion is to be met at the time of visa application, however, an applicant who registers their de facto relationship after the application is made but before it is decided is taken to have met the requirement.

De Facto Relationship Victoria (VIC)

A registered relationship that is registered under Relationships Act 2008 s10(3)(a). You can apply to register a domestic relationship in Victoria if you are a couple and:

You're both at least 18 years old and at least one of you lives in Victoria. 

You're not already: Married, in a registered relationship, or In another relationship that could be registered. 

You provide domestic support to each other, and You're committed to each other both personally and financially.

De Facto Relationship Tasmania (TAS)

A registered relationship is a relationship that is registered as a significant relationship as defined in s4 of the Relationships Act 2003. You can register a significant relationship in Tasmania if you are a couple who: both live in Tasmania and are not married or related by family.

De Facto Relationship New South Wales (NSW)

A registered relationship is defined in s4 of Relationships Register Act 2010. To register a relationship in NSW, Adults who are in a relationship as a couple can apply for registration of their relationship provided at least one of them lives in NSW.

A couple does not have to live together to be eligible to register their relationship.To apply to register your relationship in NSW both partners must be:

Over 18 years of age and not married to each other or anyone else.

Not already in a registered relationship under this Act or in another state or territory in Australia, not in a relationship with another person, and not related by family.

De Facto Relationship Queensland (QLD)

A relationship as a couple between 2 adults who meet the eligibility criteria is mentioned in s5 of the Civil Partnerships Act 2011, for entry into a civil partnership.

Your registered civil partnership notary must see proof of ID for both of you, evidence that at least 1 of the partners lives in Queensland; and evidence of any previous divorce or death of any former spouse, if applicable - such as an original divorce or death certificate.

De Facto Relationship South Australia (SA)

A relationship that may be registered in accordance with Part 2 of the Relationships Register Act 2016 (SA). You can register your relationship if you are 18 years of age or older and in a relationship with another person as a couple. At least one of you must live in South Australia. Couples may apply irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

Your relationship can't be registered if you or your partner are:

Married, or already in a registered relationship or corresponding law registered relationship.

In a relationship as a couple with another person or related to each other by family.

De Facto Relationship Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Civil Partnerships Act 2008 - a relationship as a couple between 2 adults who meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in s6 of that Act for entry into a civil partnership.

Both partners should be unmarried, no less than 18 years old and should not be in a civil union or partnership.

One applicant must be a resident in the ACT, the other can be overseas.

Both partners should not be related by a linear ancestor, linear descendant,brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister.

Note: The ACT’s Civil Partnerships Act 2008 has been repealed and relationship registration certificates issued in the ACT are now issued under the Domestic Relationships Act 1994. The Domestic Relationships Act 1994 is, however, not prescribed in the (Commonwealth’s) Acts Interpretation (Registered Relationships) Regulations 2008. As this situation is a circumstance outside the applicant’s control, it is the department’s policy to accept registration certificates issued under the Domestic Relationships Act 1994.

Disclaimer: ‘Atlantis International Pty Ltd’ and its associates are independent consulting entities which are not associated in anyway with the Australian ‘Department of Home Affairs’ (DOHA). Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.

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