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Overcoming the 12 month requirement for de facto relationships: relationship certificate and genuineness argument

The Applicant came to Immigration Solutions Lawyers for assistance with an application for a subclass 820 Partner visa. At the time, the Applicant was in Australia on a subclass 572 Student visa which was due to expire in two months. During the course of her studies in Australia she had met and entered into a relationship with an Australian citizen.

The subclass 820 visa is a temporary visa for people who are either married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian Citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand. When applying for this visa, applicants also apply for a subclass 801 permanent partner visa. If granted, the subclass 820 visa allows applicants to remain in Australia until a decision is made regarding a permanent partner visa (subclass 801), which usually takes two years from the date of application.

According to regulation 2.03A of the Migration Regulations 2014, de facto partners must have been in a continuing and genuine, cohabitational relationship for at least 12 months prior to the date of application. If this criterion is not satisfied, applicants must establish compelling and compassionate circumstances for the grant of the visa, unless the relationship has been registered under the law of the applicable State or Territory.

When the Applicant came to Immigration Solutions Lawyers, she and her partner had only been living together for seven months. Although they had been in a relationship for one year and one month, this meant that they did not meet the requirements set out in regulation 2.03A. In order to overcome this, Immigration Solutions Lawyers advised that the Applicant and her partner register their relationship with the relevant state body.

In addition to the relationship certificate, Immigration Solutions Lawyers compiled further evidence of the genuineness of the relationship. This included evidence of a joint bank account, shared utility bills, statutory declarations and evidence of joint social commitments. On the basis of this evidence, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection granted the partner visa.

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