What Evidence Proves a De Facto Relationship for a Partner Visa?
If you want to apply for a partner visa, but you and your partner aren't married, then you may have to make your application on the basis that you are in a de facto relationship. Typically, you need to have lived together for at least 12 months to do this; however, sometimes mitigating factors like dependent children may change this regulation.
In any case, you can't simply state that you have lived together for the right length of time. You may have to prove it by submitting evidence and formal statements.
What kind of evidence are you likely to need in this process?
Proof of Joint Finances
One of the easiest ways to prove that you are in a de facto relationship is to provide evidence of joint financial liability. If you live together, you should have some documentation you can use for this.
For example, joint lease or mortgage agreements are useful. They show that you have entered into a significant financial commitment together. It helps if you have at least one joint bank account, say to pay for household bills, even if you keep your finances separate to some degree.
Utility bills can also work here. If you have letters or online bills addressed to both of you at the same address, these can back up how long the relationship has gone on for. Letters and envelope postmarks have useful dates on them.
Proof of the Relationship
It can be useful to gather together relationship-based evidence that you've been a couple for the required amount of time. Photos, postcards and emails that span the course of your relationship will help establish its dates.
For example, you could provide the first emails or text messages you sent to each other. These will have dates on them. Proof that you've taken holidays together and attended social events like weddings and parties as a couple during the course of your relationship also helps.
Your family and friends can also help here by giving independent affirmation that you are a couple. You may have to find people who are willing to make statutory declarations that the two of you are in a relationship and that the statements you're making are true.
Knowing exactly what evidence you can and should submit for a partner visa isn't easy. However, this is something you need to get right. For initial advice and help with the application process, contact an immigration lawyer as soon as you can.
For more information on partner visas, reach out to an immigration attorney near you.