If you have a partner overseas (spouse or de facto) and you are
an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your
partner to migrate to Australia.
One of the common issues faced by visa applicants and their
sponsors, is demonstrating to the Department of Immigration and
Border Protection (DIBP) that they have a "genuine and
continuing relationship." If the DIBP doesn't believe you
have a genuine and continuing relationship, the application will
So, how do you prove that you're in one?
The factors the DIBP will take into account include:
Financial aspects of the relationship such as
joint ownership of real estate or bank accounts and whether
household expenses are shared by both of you
Nature of the household such as joint
responsibility for children, shared living arrangements, shared
Social aspects of the relationship such as
whether friends and family see you as a couple
Commitment to each other including duration of
the relationship, length of time together, degree of companionship
and emotional support, and whether you both see the relationship as
a long term one.
It is one thing to say that these aspects are evident in your
relationship, and it is another thing entirely to prove it
to a third party, because of course, most people don't formally
document all aspects of their relationship! If you've been
living together for some time, it will be easier for you to provide
documentation to demonstrate a genuine and continuing
However, sometimes it's difficult to prove a genuine and
continuing relationship, more so in the case of arranged marriages,
where the duration of courtship is sometimes considerably less than
a non-arranged marriage, and where it may be difficult to
demonstrate that the couple has spent time, alone and together, as
Does that mean that a partner application involving an arranged
marriage is doomed to fail? Absolutely not.
If a marriage is recognised in the country in which it took
place, it will most likely be recognised under Australian law, but
this doesn't automatically mean the visa application will be
approved, because the visa applicant still needs to demonstrate
they're in a "genuine relationship."
If a visa application doesn't contain supporting
documentation to demonstrate the factors outlined above (financial,
shared household etc), then it is vital that the visa applicant and
the sponsor explain to the DIBP why certain information or
documentation is unavailable. This would include an explanation of
the cultural practice of arranged marriages, and any cultural or
religious beliefs that may shape the nature of the relationship,
such as not being able to live together before marriage.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On 23 December 2015, The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton MP, announced an "Expert review of the 457 temporary skilled migration threshold ("TSMIT")."
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