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atoau

820/801 Evidence Questions

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My partner and I are planning on applying for the de facto partner visa shortly and I am just wondering if the consensus is that we will have enough evidence as every situation is different and it can be confusing/scary. I know this will be a lot to read/digest but appreciate any help!

We started dating in late 2017, after meeting online and really hitting it off. We called and chatted every day throughout the day during this time. I have records of money transfers and gifts that I sent to her during this period for support, and also things that she sent me. She visited me in my home country for 3 months in 2018 at which point we would be at the "partners with the exclusion of all others" de facto criteria(?). She lived with me exclusively at my house that I owned at the time during this period, obviously there was no lease but I have heaps of text messages etc about household chores, grocery lists, buying things and "hurry home I cooked this for us" type of messages. During this time we went on many trips also which I have tickets and hotel bookings for. Some of the tickets display both names, but things like hotel bookings are only really able to be booked in as one name, but they all show two occupants so I assume this would be enough? We again have plenty of message strings during these trips. We have heaps of pictures of different places we went on the trips however we really only have a handful from one night that include us both in them. This is also the norm throughout our relationship as a whole as she just doesn't like being in pictures frankly, hoping this won't be a problem and can just be included in statutory decs from us(?). 

As her esta was expiring after the 3 months were up, I applied for a WHV in Australia and was granted it. We drove cross country to LAX for one last trip and she flew back to Australia and myself back home to get my affairs in order such as renting my home out and giving notice to work. This period of separation was roughly a month, again during which I transferred some money for support and we messaged and called constantly which we have heaps of record of. I then entered Australia on my WHV. We lived with her mum and siblings after this for around 1 year so we could save money. My partners name was on the lease along with her mum, however I was not as we weren't sure if I could be on it with my visa. I have plenty of mail sent to ME at the address during the period, rego/bank statements/tfn/medical bills etc, along with family group chats, so I assume that would satisfy and draw the conclusion that we were all living together(?). Her mum will be writing a stat dec that will go over any time that we had lived with her also.

During this time I did my 88 days to extend my visa, so I did that and was granted my 2nd year of the WHV. Work dried up and the lease was coming to an end there, so I started looking for work elsewhere and attained employment about two hours away. We lived with her mum for a few more weeks and we then took over a break lease through the real estate in town. We have the lease and bond lodgement/refund from this rental that has both of our names on it however we couldn't get bills in joint names for whatever reason, along with messaging etc again. As this was a break lease takeover the initial terms were 3 months, and that ended up being as long as we stayed there. We moved back in with her mum at a new address around Oct 2019 that she was renting and I just drove to work. We do have emails from her mum to the real estate asking for us to be added to the lease there as proof but they never returned her emails so this never happened. Again we have family messaging and mum's stat dec to prove that we resided there together in addition to these requests to add us to the lease. I quit the job I was at and landed a new job and we were in the process of renting together exclusively again. Covid hit around this time and the company that I was going to start for in a few weeks had to stand down workers so of course we never got the chance to proceed any further, and we moved with her mum to another rental which we don't have our names on again as we were planning on leaving.

Will we be ok presenting this as a de facto partnership with the evidence we have?

Also I am the bread winner so I'm a bit confused what to present as joint financial obligations as again every situation is different. I have filled out the online portion but not submitted it yet, and explained in the financial questioning that she doesn't work and that we both agreed with this long before we even started to get serious. In more words, I explained this and that she carries my bank card with her for purchases, that any big purchases we discuss before buying, but routine shopping is agreed that she's free to get what she wants. There is some messaging in this regard ex "I went to the shop!" me "oh no let me check the bank" ha. The bond refund for our 3 month rental shows both our names and the split bond being put into my account in full. She is the beneficiary to my super and vise versa from hers from when she was working, but we never got a joint account because it's just my income for the time being at least. Should we open a joint account so close to applying? I would think this would look suspicious to have a joint account opened but only a few weeks of transactions..

Thank you heaps in advance if you take the time to read and give me a second look at this all.

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This is a very long and detailed post - it's a challenge to read and as such you'll probably not get many/any replies.

Maybe consider instructing a professional advisor?

Best regards.

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Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas - www.gomatilda.com

Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534; Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

Chartered Accountant (UK, and Australia)

T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com and acollett@bdhtax.com

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I think a clear timeline (i.e. "August 2018: this" and "September 2019: that") would make it easier to work out if you meet the requirement! The main thing about the defacto partner visa is that you need to prove you have been living like a married couple for +12 months and I can't really work out if you have. You seem to have pretty good evidence to back up the fact you guys have been living together even though your name isn't on a lease, but it'll depend if you meet that 12 months requirement. And also if "second-hand" evidence (i.e. text messages implying you live together) is as good as "prime" evidence (i.e. a tenancy with both names on it) in the eyes of Immigration. That I have genuinely no idea.

About finances: you don't have to be on equal footing (with both working, with a joint account etc). They only want to know whatever arrangements you have (with evidence to back it up). If you're the sole bread winner and you support her financially by mutual consent, then fine, just say that, and provide bank statements showing that you transfer money so she can buy groceries. The fact you don't have a joint account makes sense if only one is earning money, so I wouldn't worry, but do spell it out in your statement so if the case officer does wonder about it, then the answer's there (as a rule, remember that your case officer doesn't know you, so make their life easier and spell. Things. Out. 😉 ) . You are each other's beneficiary, which is good evidence!

I take it you're not considering a Prospective Marriage Visa?

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On 05/05/2020 at 16:48, TheWayOfThePony said:

I think a clear timeline (i.e. "August 2018: this" and "September 2019: that") would make it easier to work out if you meet the requirement! The main thing about the defacto partner visa is that you need to prove you have been living like a married couple for +12 months and I can't really work out if you have. You seem to have pretty good evidence to back up the fact you guys have been living together even though your name isn't on a lease, but it'll depend if you meet that 12 months requirement. And also if "second-hand" evidence (i.e. text messages implying you live together) is as good as "prime" evidence (i.e. a tenancy with both names on it) in the eyes of Immigration. That I have genuinely no idea.

About finances: you don't have to be on equal footing (with both working, with a joint account etc). They only want to know whatever arrangements you have (with evidence to back it up). If you're the sole bread winner and you support her financially by mutual consent, then fine, just say that, and provide bank statements showing that you transfer money so she can buy groceries. The fact you don't have a joint account makes sense if only one is earning money, so I wouldn't worry, but do spell it out in your statement so if the case officer does wonder about it, then the answer's there (as a rule, remember that your case officer doesn't know you, so make their life easier and spell. Things. Out. 😉 ) . You are each other's beneficiary, which is good evidence!

I take it you're not considering a Prospective Marriage Visa?

Yes we are going to come up with a general timeline from first interactions, relationship devoloping, meeting, heaps of trips, moves etc. so that's good to hear we're probably on the right track. We will have 888 stat decs from my former employer that I am good friends with and her mum (which this one will be in great detail) plus emails that her mum sent asking for us to be put on as approved tenants for other leases also. Just worried how they would look at living with family instead of just the two of us really. We just have goals and it lets us save money and help her family out heaps too so works for everyone, explaining this in both of our stat decs should make that clear for a CO though I would think?

I am already here in Aus so the defacto is really our only course as far as partner visa's go as she's not interested in marrying just yet for personal reasons and we have been living together under "defacto terms" for all but one month anyways since early 2018. I could extend my WHV a third year, but we have firmed up that we want to be in Australia so it'll let me job seek much easier than I can on my WHV and all that. I will keep in mind being as detail oriented as possible when putting together our evidence pile 😂.

Thanks for your reply!

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On 06/05/2020 at 18:32, atoau said:

Yes we are going to come up with a general timeline from first interactions, relationship devoloping, meeting, heaps of trips, moves etc. so that's good to hear we're probably on the right track. We will have 888 stat decs from my former employer that I am good friends with and her mum (which this one will be in great detail) plus emails that her mum sent asking for us to be put on as approved tenants for other leases also. Just worried how they would look at living with family instead of just the two of us really. We just have goals and it lets us save money and help her family out heaps too so works for everyone, explaining this in both of our stat decs should make that clear for a CO though I would think?

I am already here in Aus so the defacto is really our only course as far as partner visa's go as she's not interested in marrying just yet for personal reasons and we have been living together under "defacto terms" for all but one month anyways since early 2018. I could extend my WHV a third year, but we have firmed up that we want to be in Australia so it'll let me job seek much easier than I can on my WHV and all that. I will keep in mind being as detail oriented as possible when putting together our evidence pile 😂.

Thanks for your reply!

Yeah, sounds to me like you two are doing the reasonable, level-headed thing by living with family and saving up for a future together... and it was not so long ago in the Western culture that generations were living together under the same roof after all! I would think that explaining that would be okay but... But I'm not an agent so I can't say what will or won't float the Immigration boat, and I wouldn't want to mislead you by saying "yes, it's fine for sure" or "no, it defo won't work"... best of luck!!

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