Registering your De Facto relationship – why? how? – who can and who can’t.


Why Register?

For de facto couples applying for a partner visa, it can be very useful to register your de facto relationship with a State government in Australia.

This is particularly the case if you have been in your de facto relationship for less than 12 months.


Most, but not all States and Territories of Australia allow couples to register their de facto relationship.  The state of Western Australia does not.


Not yet divorced from your former partner?

Can you register if one or both of you is not yet divorced from your former partner?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Neither of you must currently be married to be able to register your relationship.


Need to be in Australia to register?

Generally, only one of you needs to be living in the State at the time that you register your relationship in that State.  The other partner can also be living in the State at the time you register your relationship, but they don’t have to be – they could be living inter-State or overseas.  But, check the State’s particular requirements.


Is it expensive?

Not really.  It’s in the vicinity of $150 to register a relationship – costs vary from State to State.


How long does it take?

It takes a minimum of one month form the date you lodge a valid application to register your relationship until registration is granted – this is known as the ‘cooling-off’ period.

However, some States at times have a backlog of applications and because of this, it can at times take significantly longer than a month.


Do we need to register our relationship before we lodge the partner visa application?

Ideally, yes.  However if that is not possible Immigration will accept a Relationship Registration certificate after the visa application is lodged and up until the date a decision is made on that visa application.


Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.



Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at June 11th, 2021.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Comments are closed.