Victoria Relationship Registration Changes

nicole By Nicole Kirkwood
Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Recent changes to the Relationships Act 2008 (VIC) may make it easier for people seeking to prove they are in a defacto relationship for immigration purposes. This will affect people applying for partner visas as well as those seeking to be included in their partner's visa application.

What are the Changes to the Relationships Act (Victoria)?

The changes come into effect from 1 July 2016 and are as follows:
  • The previous legislation required both parties of a relationship to be living in Victoria. From 1 July, only one person needs to be living in Victoria in order to Register a Relationship.
  • Previously, 12 months of residence in Victoria was required to register a relationship. From 1 July, only 3 months of residence needs to be shown

What is the Effect of the Changes?

This is an important change for couples who have been waiting for 12 months residence in Victoria to register their relationship or have been unable to register their relationship because one party is overseas or interstate.

The change to relationship registration requirements does not only apply to partner visas and may positively affect the eligibility of partners of primary applicants for other visas to Australia.

How Will the Changes Affect Partner Visa Applicants?

In order to be eligible for a partner visa you must be in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. You must be either be:
  • Married
  • Living together in a de facto relationship for 12 months; or
  • Living together in a de facto relationship and have your relationship registered with an Australian State or Territory Government.
In other words, registering your relationship means that you do not necessarily need to show that you have lived together for 12 months to establish a defacto relationship

It is important to understand a relationship registration certificate is not sufficient to meet the requirements for a partner visa. In addition to this basic requirement you must provide evidence of your genuine, committed and ongoing relationship or your visa may be refused.


If you would like to discuss your eligibility for a partner visa or including your partner in your visa application, please book an appointment with one of our migration advisors today.


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