Question of the Week

How to determine the correct de facto date for your partner visa application with the Department of Home Affairs?

Category: Partner Visa

Question asked

My partner and I were living together when we started our relationship (Aug 2013), then lived apart whilst going to the same school in 2014.

For 2015, I was finishing high school here and she started uni overseas, so we didn't see each other in person for 17 months (though Skyped every day)

We met in person again from June to October 2016 (I was at uni here, she overseas, so these were month long visits at a time rather than living together), this continued in 2017, with fortnightly visits.

From early 2018 until Aug 2019 we lived together overseas, then I came back to finish uni in Australia, and corona stopped plans for her to come last year, (though I visited her from February-March 2020) with her arriving here on an exemption in January this year. We also registered our relationship in the ACT in July 2020.

We lodged the 820/801 visa application in late February.

DOHA granted an exemption on the grounds of her being my partner so they've already recognised that and we're confident in the application, but what should our de facto date be? 2013, 2018 or 2020?
We want to get married soon but obviously need to wait if it's based on the registered relationship. We listed 2013.

Answer provided by Migration Agent

De facto relationships are governed under the Family Law Act 1975.

A de facto relationship is a relationship in which a couple lives together on a genuine domestic basis. This definition is the same across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

A person would not have a de facto partner unless they have lived together as a couple for two years without separation. Therefore, the length of time to be considered de facto is two years. However, if there are children or substantial contributions to joint property, exceptions are made to this rule.

For when the de facto relationship started, it's important to understand what a de facto relationship is to immigration: they don't count periods of dating as a de facto relationship.

Hence, it could be the start date would be when you started and your partner living together after you became a couple, I'd say explain the whole situation and provide as much evidence as you possibly can.

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