If you want to apply for an Australian partner visa, or apply for any other visa together with the main applicant as a partner, everyone needs to provide a proof of relationship between themselves and the main visa applicant to the Immigration Department.


Generally speaking, a birth certificate can be used to prove the relationship between parents and children, but for a spouse relationship, the relationship certification is relatively complicated. First, the partner relationship may vary, especially for partners who are in a de-facto relationship but not yet married; secondly, with the low degree of difficulty in applying for a partner visa in Australia in recent years, but a large number of ingenuine application has forced Immigration to be more strict in checking on the authenticity of the relationship. It is also because of this that when applying for the visa, the provision of relationship materials has always been the focus.


Different types of relationships


First of all, partner relationships recognised in Australia include marital relationships and de-facto relationships, but excludes romantic relationships. Because a purely romantic relationship has a lower degree of sharing in terms of economy and lifestyle than a de-facto relationship. In other words, romantic relationships can be unstable. However, in terms of de-facto and marital relationships, both parties have the obligation of loyalty to each other and the obligation to undertake life together, so they are also considered to be a longer-term stable and one-to-one relationship.


Australia requires all applicants who want to apply for a visa as a partner must provide proof of de-facto for at least 12 months, a joint bank account and evidence of your mutual loyalty to examine the authenticity of their relationship.


Partner relationship certificate and visa application


As far as the spouse relationship material is concerned, the marriage certificate is the most convincing proof. Once the marriage certificate is received, both parties are restricted and protected by the marriage law. In other words, during the continuation of the marital relationship, neither party can not re-establish a marriage relationship with another person, and both parties have the same right regarding the assets after marriage. If a marital relationship ends, both parties have the right to distribute the assets. Therefore, usually when we provide a marriage certificate there is less issues and you may not need to provide as much other supporting materials.


In addition to the marriage certificate, if you live with your partner in Australia, you can also apply for a de-fecto certificate. De-facto relationship is a legally recognised partner relationship in Australia. Compared to a marital relationship, a de-facto relationship recognises that both parties have a legal relationship, thereby granting legal protection to both parties; on the other hand, if the relationship ends, the related parties may not necessarily have the right to distribute the assets held during the relationship. Therefore, usually in Australia, if you have a partner but is not yet ready for marriage and the de-facto duration has not yet met the requirements. You can apply for a de-facto certificate to offset the 12 months rule.


Of course, if you have neither a marriage certificate nor a de-facto certificate, but you want to apply for a visa as a partner, you need to meet and provide proof of living together with your partner for more than 12 months to the Immigration office.


Proof of partner relationship and legal rights


The difference between a de-facto certificate and a marriage certificate

Whether it is a de-facto certificate or a marriage certificate, the legal significance behind it must not be ignored. As far as Australia is concerned, the de-facto certificate and marriage certificate are very similar in terms of legal protection; but their main difference is the difference between inheritance and the right to divide assets after the ending of the relationship.


In other words, in a marital relationship the assets can be shared with the marriage certificate, but the person in the de-facto relationship needs to prove whether the relationship still exists at each critical time. Not only that, the related person in the de-facto relationship is legally recognised as: "non-family". In other words, every time when a "family member" is required to make a decision, the person in the de-facto relationship needs to provide a de-facto certificate again to prove the continuation of the relationship.


Immigration is a major event in life, so is marriage is. AC&T is willing to provide tips along the path to immigration, and hope that everyone can be prudent when making every decision.