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Registering Your De Facto Relationship in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re asking this question, you are worried that the Department might think you fall short of the requirements of a ‘De Facto’ relationship for your partner visa application.

This is a legitimate fear; you don’t want the Department to scuttle your application on the basis that you didn’t provide all the evidence you possibly could have at the time of application!

The basic principle is that, to be eligible for a Partner Visa you must be either:

  • Married, or
  • In a ‘De Facto’ relationship – defined as having lived together, as a couple, for a minimum of 12 months preceding the application.

If you aren’t married and don’t meet the 12 months’ requirement, it can be an uphill battle to demonstrate that you are De Facto.

However, it is not impossible. A number of exemptions now exist, defined by legislation and the courts, as well as the Department’s own policies.

One such exception is where it has been impossible for a couple to live together for logistical or cultural reasons. For example, where a couple’s family or religion forbids it.

A second exception applies where the couple has a formally registered relationship with the State or Territory Government in which they live.

What is a registered relationship?

The States/Territories in which you can currently register your relationship are:

  • New South Wales
  • The Australian Capital Territory
  • Queensland
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • South Australia

If you have evidence of a registered relationship (relationship certificate), policy dictates that the Department will consider you to have met the 12 months’ cohabitation requirement for your visa application.

Note, however, that this does not guarantee you a visa – you still need to prove your relationship is genuine and ongoing. But it sure makes it a lot easier if you haven’t yet lived together for 12 months.

Back to the original question – should you register your relationship? Well…

Register Relationship NSW

If you would like to Register your de facto relationship in NSW you can find more information here.

Register your De Facto Relationship QLD 

Instructions on how to register your civil partnership in Queensland can be found here.

Register Relationship Victoria

All the information you need to register your de facto relationship in Victoria is here.

Register Relationship South Australia

Details on registration in South Australia are here.

Register Relationship Tasmania

Find the relationship registration information for Tasmania here.

Register Relationship ACT

Civil partnership registration information for the ACT can be found here.

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