• Alberto Fascetti

Together Less than 12 Months – Can we Lodge an Australian Partner Visa Application?

Applying for a Partner visa is often a case of playing a frustrating waiting game. Compared with other Australian visas, the rules seem bewilderingly complex and strict.

Here at FastVisa, we’re often asked if it’s possible to lodge an Australian Partner visa application if you’ve been with your partner for less than the 12 month minimum required. Well, the answer isn’t entirely straightforward and we’ll cover it in more detail in this post...

Can I lodge a Partner visa if I’ve been with my partner for less than 12 months?

The answer is yes – nobody will stop you from applying and it’s certainly possible to lodge a Partner visa application. However, your application will fail to satisfy the basic requirement for those applying as a de facto relationship – you must show proof of being in a relationship together for a minimum of 12 months. Your application will most likely be rejected and you’ll waste a significant amount of money.

It’s important to show that you’ve been in a relationship with your partner for at least 12 months before the date you lodge your application. You cannot make up extra time whilst you wait for the application to be processed.

Are there any exceptions to the 12 month rule?

There are a few exceptions where you may be able to bypass the Partner visa 12 month rule, including:

  • Your de facto relationship is registered under a law of a state or territory prescribed in the Acts Interpretation (Registered Relationship) Regulations 2008. This is a way of officially registering a de facto relationship, but it isn’t available in all Australian states and territories and eligibility for registration differs depending on the state or territory.

  • Compelling and compassionate circumstances for granting the visa, such as having dependent children with your partner

However, even if you obtain a relationship registration certificate, this is only one part of the process and you’ll also need to supply evidence of your genuine, committed de facto relationship, or your Partner visa application may be refused.

Ultimately, unless you feel you can fully satisfy one of the exceptions listed above, it’s best to wait until you and your partner have been in a de facto relationship together for a minimum of 12 months before the date when you lodge your Partner visa application.

Before applying, take time to consider when your relationship really started as a de facto relationship. Periods of ‘dating’ do not count towards a de facto relationship. You’ll need to provide solid evidence that your relationship is more than just a casual arrangement and you are committed to each other for the long term.

Do you have questions about the Australian Partner visa and relationship timing?

Partner visa applications are far from straightforward and circumstances differ for every couple. FastVisa can help you to navigate the Australian Partner visa landscape and avoid wasting time and money. Our experienced legal experts can guide you through the Partner visa application process and put your mind at rest.

Feel free to contact us for more information.