We successfully helped two applicants, Laura* and John*, de facto partners, in their Partner visa application. The rules for de facto partners are stricter than those for applicants who are spouses. In most cases, migration regulations require the relationship between the applicant and sponsor to have been for at least 12 months when applying for the Partner visa as de facto partners, which doesn’t start until the two people start living together. Clearly it would be easier to apply as spouses, but many people in Australia are unable to do this because they cannot finalise divorce proceedings in their country of origin.
Laura married a foreigner in her former country and later came to Australia as student visa holder. Eventually the two separated because of their differences in disposition. The foreigner soon returned to his country of origin, and nothing was heard from him.
Laura later met her current partner, John, who is an Australian citizen. The two have a similar relationship, and lived together for more than a year. They had decided to be in a relationship together after living together for more than half a year, but Laura was unable to contact her former partner for her divorce application in her former country. Although the court accepted her application, the proceedings were heavily drawn out.
Shortly after this, Laura received a visa cancellation letter from the Immigration Department. The letter stated that because her husband’s visa had been cancelled, her visa was implicated, and she had to leave the country as soon as possible. Naturally, John did not want to be separated from his lover. Another migration agency stated that they could not apply without Laura being divorced, but we seriously studied the relevant regulations and considered that it would be feasible: the parties to a de facto partnership may also maintain marital status with others, as long as the corresponding conditions are met, the relationship can be recognised.
In order to ensure the validity of the application, we repeatedly called or personally went to the Immigration Department to submit the application. We were repeatedly told by customer service or reception staff that the application was invalid, but we did not give up. Eventually, the visa application was accepted.
This shows us that sometimes the response of immigration staff is not authoritative or completely correct. You will have the best chance if you seek professional migration agents and/or lawyers who can fully analyse the situation and study the relevant provisions of laws and regulations, in order to ensure that you are protected.
If you want to submit a visa application or want to know more, get in touch with the staff at Aussie Immigration Services and Aussie Legal Professionals in Parramatta, and we will be happy to help!
*Not their real names
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