living together partner visa

The basic answer is No – You do not have to be living together to apply for the partner visa. 

There is a misconception amongst many people that you have to be living together for 12 months before you can apply for the partner visa. This is INCORRECT

The legal requirements for a de facto partner or spousal relationship is that you EITHER:

  • live together; or 
  • do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis

In fact, we have had many successful experiences dealing with long-distance relationships or relationships where cultural or religious traditions means they are unable to live together until after marriage. The fact they have not been living together does not prevent them from applying for a partner visa. 

There have been cases where the courts have clarified this legal definition. In one famous case, the term ‘live separate and apart’ was interpreted not to mean ‘cohabitation’ but rather where the couple lives their lives together. There is no requirement that the couple physically reside in the same premises prior to the application. 

The factors that should be assessed for ‘living together’ in a partner visa application are:

  1. Physical and mental elements of living their lives together and combined; and 
  2. Whether there is any information indicating that they are living their lives separately as separate households.

These are then demonstrated through the 4 factors of the relationship; financial, nature of household, social and nature of commitment. 

If you feel unsure whether you qualify for the partner visa, you should enquire with us for a free assessment on your eligibility. If you do qualify, then we can book in a consultation where will then form an opinion on the degree of difficulty you may face with an application and provide you with further advice and strategies. 

You may consult with us to find out more. 

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