Applying for an Australian Partner visa is an extremely detailed process designed both, to verify the legitimacy of the applicants’ relationship and to determine the acceptability of the individuals involved.
This extensive detail comes at a substantial cost. Australian Partner visas are among the most expensive in the world, with fees exceeding $7500.00 and additional costs adding several thousand to this figure; it is therefore imperative, at the application stage, to ensure accuracy, compliancy, consistency and (most importantly) honesty.
Partner Relationship Statement
One of many supporting documents required with a Partner visa application, but one with crucial implications, preparation of the matching Partner Relationship Statements must be approached with all due diligence and care. Both the applicant and his/her sponsor will be required to submit a statement detailing, in their own words, the nature, timeline and highlights of the relationship; information which will be closely compared as a part of the application process.
The statements should run between four and five pages, with accuracy and consistency as paramount considerations. In format, they should cover:–
How, when and where did you meet your partner?
For the reviewing Case Officer, this provides an introduction; a means of getting to know the applicant and sponsor. Information needs to be open, honest and entirely accurate. Where dates cannot be expressly recalled, they should never be invented; “early January, 2019” is far preferable to an estimated date in the same month.
Remember, it is quite possible that the application may lead to personal interviews some months down the track and details negligently applied may not always be accurately recalled.
How did the relationship develop?
Building on the introduction (almost like a developing love story) this chronicles the growing attraction. Write about trips together, special events shared, interaction with each other’s families and friends; the ripening of what you see as an enduring, caring relationship.
Significant milestones crossed
This could be a time when one partner lost a loved one and the other rose to the occasion, providing comfort and support, perhaps an illness or injury; milestones that bind relationships more tightly?
Your day to day household
Who cooks? Who cleans? Which partner does the grocery shopping? If there are children in the household, who makes their lunches and who takes them to school?
Write about how you each spend your day as a partner in the marriage or de facto relationship.
Integration with family and friends
The importance of this point cannot be overstated. In an open, honest and genuine relationship each partner is bound to meet, socialise and integrate with the other partner’s friends, family and colleagues. Invitations to significant events invite both partners jointly and most are known on a first name basis.
A Partner Statement should address this area and highlight any points of notable relevance, remembering however that, to confirm honesty, these may be further discussed at interview.
For Partner visa applicants, the department considers financial support to be one of the principle factors in demonstrating a genuine relationship.
A Partnership Statement must address issues such as:-
- Do partners support each other financially?
- Do partners have joint or separate bank accounts?
- If joint, when was the account established?
- Are utility bills in joint names?
- Have partners made any significant joint purchases?
- Has one partner remitted funds to the other, while overseas?
None of these questions are “deal breakers” but they can contribute markedly to the ultimate objective, a “deal maker”.
During the relationship, have the partners ever been separated?
This question doesn’t simply imply that one partner might be living offshore, whilst the other is in Australia. It refers to any periods of separation, whether two days, two months or longer; be it for work, family matters, holidays or emotional issues.
Essentially, the department is endeavouring to gauge how the partners dealt with the separation. Perhaps you kept in touch with daily telephone calls, perhaps regular text messaging? If an extended unavoidable separation, perhaps one partner visited the other from time to time?
Partners who have never been apart could advantage this section by mentioning that they text or call each other throughout the working day; a wonderful way of supporting genuine togetherness.
Future plans together
There’s no better way to conclude a Partner Statement than to anticipate a future together.
Do you plan marriage, children; do you hope to buy a house together or even to establish a business? Having an existing plan demonstrates to the department that you are committed to each other and to a genuine future in Australia.
Don’t be apprehensive, professional assistance is available
Dates and detail are all-important and must correspond across all statements and ancillary supporting information.
Structure is the key to relatively seamless processing; equally, an open and honest approach.
There is so much at stake. Consider not only a non-refundable investment of many thousands of dollars but also the life planned by you and your partner; a destiny yet unfulfilled.
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