Sorry if this is going to sound complicated but I could really do with some advice please, I'm sending myself round in confusing circles atm!!
I was in Sydney 2015-2017, completed my 2 year WHV and had a boyfriend while there, met the family who came over for a holiday also. He was on a sponsorship and applying for permanent residency just as my visa was coming to an end. Unfortunately, due to this, our timings did not work out and I returned back to London. We kept in contact here and there but it was pretty much over. I returned to Sydney on a holiday in April and we spent all our time together and he invited me to his best friends wedding in Spain in July. We went to the wedding together and he also came on holiday to London with his grandparents, mother and uncle. We had a lot of photos together during this time (with the view to use them as evidence). He has since returned to Sydney but has asked me to move back with him.
Our main issue is the partner visa requires us to have lived together for 12 months which of course with me being in London has not been possible. I have been looking into student visas in order to get back to Sydney, move in together and get a joint bank account etc. However, I preferably would not want to take a 12 month student visa as this would mean a 12 month break from my career what with the working hours only being 40 hours every 2 weeks.
If I was to go out on a student visa (for 6 months) and applied for a partner visa after the moving in and bank account etc is it still likely to be rejected?
Would joining the relationship register allow us to not be rejected if I have been there 6 months? I'm trying to find the best way for this to work without 12 months of 40 hours work. We have Australian citizens that are able to write a statement of our relationship and of course have plenty of evidence of me meeting the family and from the time we were together previously. I'm just very unsure of what the next steps we are able to take are.
Any help would be so gratefully appreciated!