Partner visas require you to prove that you are in a genuine, and continuing, relationship. Initially you might think, well that’s pretty difficult! But when you break it down, it’s not too difficult at all. The key is making sure you have enough evidence, in the right categories.
Below is a checklist for what you can lodge as evidence for your relationship.
A detailed history of your relationship with your partner is essential
This history needs to be as detailed as possible, and it must include everything you can think of. Here are some basics:
- How did you meet?
- Where did you meet?
- When did you meet?
- When did your relationship become ‘serious’?
- When did you decide to marry, or become de facto?
- How do you support each other financially?
- How do you support each other physically?
- How do you support each other emotionally?
- When did that level of commitment begin for you?
- If you are living apart, in what ways do you maintain that level of commitment?
- Details of any times you’ve been apart: When, why, for how long, and how did you keep your relationship going?
- What future plans do you have?
As you can see, any serious relationship could easily run to three or four pages. And it must, if it is going to be valid. It’s never an easy thing to get right, so call us for help.
Evidence for partner visas falls into four general categories
There are four categories of evidence for partner visas. Those are financial, household, social, and commitment. You need to provide as much evidence in each category as you can think of. Anything that will support your claim about a serious, committed, and ongoing relationship, is valid.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Financial category
In what ways do you and your partner support each other financially? Think about:
- Major things that you own together. This might include cars, real estate, loans, insurance, credit cards, major appliances
- Shared accounts
- Any legal commitment that you have made as a couple. For example, maybe you appeared at a rental tribunal as a couple.
- Sharing of bills and expenses.
2. Household category
In what ways can you demonstrate the nature of your household? Think about:
- Your living arrangements
- Writing a statement that describes you share the running of the household. This might include how the housework or other chores (like shopping) is shared
- Joint responsibility or ownership of your home; you might have a joint lease or mortgage
- Any utilities that are in both of your names
- Any mail that you get that is addressed to both you and your partner
- How you take care of children together, and who has responsibility for what
- … and so on.
3. Social category
If you are asked to prove the social context of your relationship, it’s likely that nothing comes to mind. What this asks you to do is prove that, socially, you are accepted as being in a serious relationship. Here are some things you might include:
- Joint invitations
- Photos of you together at events and functions
- Common friends and acquaintances. Statutory declarations made by friends are acceptable.
- Evidence that you’ve told other government departments about your relationship, or public institutions or authorities. Maybe your partner is your next of kin at work?
- Statutory declarations made by family members
- Joint membership of clubs, organisations, or formal groups
- Joint participation in sports, cultural, or social activities
- Joint travel.
When you think about all of these things, consider providing photographs, copies of travel tags, invoices with both of your names on them, collective mail. Just providing statutory declarations will not be enough. The social aspect of life is able to be documented in a lot of ways, so think about all the things you could provide.
4. Commitment category
Mutual commitment is something that you need to prove, too. Think about:
- Knowing each other’s family, background, or other circumstances, that you could be interviewed about
- The intention of being committed long-term. To what extent have you combined your affairs?
- The terms of your wills
- Mail, email, and phone records that prove you kept in regular contact whenever you have been separated from each other
- and so on.
Gathering evidence for partner visas is a big task
This is why, although we can give you some lists, we interview couples and find out as much as we can about their unique situation, before we give any advice. Our lawyers know how much is enough, and when you are at risk from not providing enough evidence. We can also give you suggestions and alternatives.
There are about 20,000 partner visa refusals every year. Make sure you don’t fall into that statistic! Contact Richard now to make sure you’re doing it right.