De factos can register their relationship until their partner visa decision.
When do you need to register your de facto relationship for registration to be considered in your partner visa application?
Some de facto couples who have not been together as de factos for 12 months at the time of applying for their partner visa choose to register their de facto relationship (with a State or Territory government). Registration can increase the chances of success of the partner visa application.
Migration Regulation 2.03A(3) states that if an applicant applies for a Partner visa on de facto grounds and cannot show compelling and compassionate circumstances for the grant of the visa, the Minister for Immigration must be satisfied that the applicant has been in the de facto relationship for at least the period of 12 months ending immediately before the date of the application.
However, Migration Regulation 2.03A(5) provides that r.2.03A(3) does not apply if the de facto relationship is a relationship that is registered under a law of an Australian State or Territory government.
Notably, there is no requirement in the Migration Regulations for the registration of the relationship to have taken place prior to the date of the visa application.
The registration of a relationship can satisfy r.2.03A(5) if it takes place at any time up until the time of decision, as long as it continues at that time.
The Immigration Department’s policy states the following in relation to Regulation 2.03A –
Unlike regulation.2.03A(3) which explicitly requires the 12 month relationship criterion to be met at the time of visa application, regulation 2.03A(5) is silent on when the relationship must be registered. As such, an applicant who registers their de facto relationship after the application is made but before it is decided is taken to have met regulation 2.03A(5).
So, it is best to register your relationship as soon as possible, if you need to register your relationship.
However, it can be worthwhile registering your relationship right up until the date that a decision is made on your partner visa application – that date of decision can be 12 to 15 months after the date you applied for the partner visa.
Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need information about this. This information is accurate at July 14th, 2017, but Migration law changes regularly.