Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Not open for further replies.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone can give practical advice over here, I'd be very very appreciative! I'm been so distressed (and stressed) over this matter that it's affecting my mental state.

I'm looking to apply for the Offshore Spouse Visa (subclass 100) pretty soon. What is perplexing me is the following criteria, taken from DIAC:

Financial aspects
Evidence will be required that you and your partner share financial commitments and responsibilities,
• evidence of any joint ownership of real estate or other major assets (for example, cars, appliances)
and any joint liabilities (for example, loans, insurance);
• sharing of finances;
• legal commitments that you and your partner have undertaken as a couple;
• evidence that you and your partner have operated joint bank accounts for a reasonable period of
time; or
• sharing of household bills and expenses.

The nature of the household
You will be asked to provide evidence that you and your partner share responsibilities within your household, including:
• your living arrangements;
• a statement outlining the basis on which responsibility for housework is distributed;
• joint ownership or joint rental of the residence in which you live;
• joint utilities accounts (electricity, gas, telephone);
• joint responsibility for bills for day-to-day living expenses;
• joint responsibility for children; or
• correspondence addressed to both you and your partner at the same address.

This part is SO hard to prove because:
1) house is under his mum's name and fully paid up (it's an old house and they've lived in it for the past 25 years)
2) same goes for family car (rich brother bought it)
3) it's irrational for us to get co-insurance when I don't live in Oz.
4) utilities & groceries are paid for by his mum
5) we don't have kids

There's no opportunity for us to co-own, co-lease or co-share anything because we've been in a long distance relationship for the past 4.5 years
Can anyone suggest how will DIAC look at this because there are HUGE holes in these 2 categories!

Now the next BIG question is, my partner is on carer's pension, which means he looks after his disabled mother full-time. What documents can he provide on his end? There is a HUGE hole in providing documents when putting him down as my Sponsor.

I have no problems proving the relationship aspect (how committed we are and how our family/friends have celebrated our relationship) but the rest is just... ugh!

It's nerve-wracking trying to see how I can get past all these, so if anyone can give some concrete advice, that would be so helpful!


Have you spoken with an agent? I really think it might be a good idea because it looks like you could waste a huge amount of money being rejected!

We sent, proof of him putting money in my account for bills, proof of each of us paying different household bills, tax credits notification showing us claiming together, my work pension documents showing him as beneficiary.

Along with proof of us being registered at the same address to vote, with the drivers agency, with the tax office, GP and employment.

We sent a huge amount of stuff and had actually been living together for a year and a half but they still requested more, which I eventually found.

194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hello shel! In your honest opinion, do you think I need the help of an agent for this?

We've been doing long distance for these 4.5 years, so when 2 of us are in different countries, it's near to impossible to add my partner's name to anything of mine! I did try to add him as my beneficiary for my insurance, but was told it's not possible as he's not a resident of Singapore.

Both of us hardly have heavy bills to pay. He only has mobile and net bills, both which can be easily afforded by him. I only have my mobile bills and I do'nt want him paying me money for my own phone usage.

What other stuff did DIAC want, if you've already proven cohabitation for 1.5 yrs?

Yes I do because despite the strength of your relationship on paper to a DIAC case officer it could look like you are just boyfriend girlfriend in a long distance relationship. Not a defacto couple in a comitted and exclusive relationship because you do not have evidence to show any more than that!

From us they wanted more financial proof of shared household.

Why do you not go for the PMV if you are planning on marrying anyway? Or wait until you are married?

Westly Russell is a good agent who I have seen help people who do not actually live together. Maybe you speak to him or another registered agent. They will tell you what your chances are in their profesinal opinion so you can make a decision on if its worth spending several thousand dollars without a high risk of being rejected.

8,429 Posts
Miss Swans
in India it is not normal for a couple to live together or share expenses till they are married. it is just not in our culture and DIAC understands that very well. the guidelines or paper work on their site is a general one, every case is different, if you can prove you are in a relation for as long as you ay you are in your application, they wont reject your visa. it is all about proving that you guys are together for 4 and half years and looking forward to being together finally.

your plan to get married in Singapore then apply for a visa would work as well or a PMV would work, another thing you can do is come on a visitor visa, get married here, apply for a spouse visa and stay on bridging visa. you have to decide between both of you, as to how you want to proceed. he wants to be in SG and get married or wants you to come to Au and get married.

and speak to a few agents, they might tell you what can be done, i am not saying go to an agent for the entire process, but take a few agents' opinion on it

974 Posts
The list of evidence provided in the handbook is only a guideline.

Although De Facto couples are supposed to have co-habited for 12 months before applying, you can waive this requirement if you can prove compelling circumstances - so if your families and/or cultural made it impossible for you to live together, you need to prove this.

My husband applied for the spouse visa and it was granted even though we were living in my mother's house and not paying any bills. What is important is that you show how you are a genuine couple: money spent on each other, emails, phone calls, visits, photos, family and friends are aware of your relationship, etc.

That said, you need to be very careful, if you haven't lived together for 12 months you need to explain why - make it obvious, give compelling evidence or else you risk having your application rejected.

Also consider the Prospective marriage visa - it gives you 9 months to get married after which you apply for a spouse visa (you can get married in Australia or overseas), and you can apply for the spouse visa onshore.

You might also need to keep in mind that since your partner is on a carer's pension (I'm assuming he doesn't have another job), then DIAC may ask for an Assurance of Support - this doesn't mean that your visa will be rejected but you might need to find someone (a family member - AU citizen or PR), who has the financial means to promise to support you if your partner cannot.

194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much, shel and anj!

You've provided very good tips and advice and I'm on the same page with you for some of those pointers.

sarah, you're absolutely right. My partner doesn't hold another job because although he can work, and has tried working, his mum's needs made it very hard for him to maintain employment.

I've mulled over my decision and have spoken to my partner. This is what we'll be doing:

- I did speak to a few agents and all said defacto will be a hard case to prove

- We will get married in Oz apply for Spouse visa. it really cuts down on a lot of hassle and paperwork. The main reason reason why I'm against PMV (prospective marriage visa) is because I will end up applying for 2 visas - PMV and Spouse - and this will involve submitting the same mountain-high stack of paperwork/documents twice. Partner visa applications are usually document-heavy because of all the evidence the applicant has to provide and easily takes up hundreds of pages. It's a nightmare to photocopy those and double-notarise. I've also been told that applying for spouse visa after PMV does not shorten the waiting time one bit. The same waiting time still applies.

- based on what i've written so far about my relationship, would you advise me to engage an agent? Or is this something I can do on my own?

When you apply for the spouse visa after PMV you won't need to send as much evidence but yes you'll have to pay again :(
People who are married don't need to send the whole 12 months worth of documents but you do need to send evidence that you are now married and living together since getting married. So sending proof such as marriage certificate & wedding photos, invites etc. Drivers registration, centerlink letters, medicare letters etc as proof of living in the same house, declarations from family and evidence of a joint bank account should do it.
When applying for the PMV send a stamped addressed envelope so they will return your documents. You can then use them again for the spouse application along with extra bits as mentioned.
It will still take time but you will be in Australia that whole time with your partner instead of overseas and the chances of rejection smaller.
Unless you have issues with your health or police check you could do it yourself, save money for the 2 applications. It isn't that hard and we are here to help if you post up your document list we can suggest what else you might need.

194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the great tips shel!

My plan was to (hopefully) get married in Brisbane while on a week's trip there, return back to Singapore, start my Spouse visa application and wait for approval (hopefully). Based on what you said about needing cohabitation evidence, does this mean my plan/visa application won't work out?

974 Posts
One thing to note is that the Partner visa onshore costs less if you are on a PMV - so that PMV + Partner visa onshore = the price of the partner visa for someone who didn't use a PMV. BUT applying for a Partner visa offshore is the cheapest option.

For a married couple, co-habitation is not a prerequisite in itself, but you will need to have ample evidence so that the case officer will be left without a doubt of the genuineness of your relationship - that said, when I mean ample, I really do mean a lot, since not having co-habitation takes away a lot from your evidence I find. You have to think of everything: many statutory declarations from family and friends, evidence of calling each other, emails, Skype conversations, letters, reasons why you have to stay in Singapore (job contract), photos, etc. just to give you an idea....

If you feel in any way that your evidence is lacking, by all means consider getting a professional opinion. It's hard for us to say what is sufficient and what isn't, because although technically your visa won't be refused simply for not living together after marriage, it really detracts from the strength of your application and you have to look at the application as a whole to assess the effect of that (eg: sorry for the random hypothetical situation, but a case officer wouldn't reject an application if the couple didn't live together after marriage because one of the spouse's parents died and he/she had to return home to care for them, etc.....just to give a legitimate example). Sorry for rambling, I know this is stressful but do be well informed before applying.

Agree with Sarah, a married couple who live together needs to provide information but not with the same pressures as unmarried couples. But not living together after marriage means the marriage could be questioned unless you have valid reasons for not doing so as in the examples she gave. So if planning on returning to singapore you may find you need to provide all those historical relationship documents to show it was not a marriage of convenience.
What visa do you plan on using to visit and get married? You may even run into problems there either getting a tourist visa or at immigration if they do not believe you are a genuine tourist.

8,429 Posts
shel she has been to australia almost every 10 months, I dont think getting a tourist visa should be a problem because she has never over stayed

Not necceseraly true, having had tourist visas before doesn't mean it won't be a problem in the future. She didn't previously intend to get married during her stay but was a tourist visiting friends (her partner) If immigration previously thought this person is a genuine tourist and this time realise they are there to get married without having applied for the visa they specifically make available for that purpose. Their first thought could be this person is going to overstay to be with their new husband and refuse entry. Unless they have evidence that they won't, such a a return ticket booked, an employment letter stating they must return to work etc

Just carry with you any evidence of your need to return. If you've passed through immigration that many times you'll know how they pick who to stop & may have even faced questions 'who are you visiting & why' if you have evidence of intent to return in case they get funny you'll be fine.
Glad you got it sorted re registering to marry :)

50 Posts
Help with partner "proof"

First off my apologies for hijacking your thread Miss Swan
also for the length of this post.

However, I am in a similar situation as Miss Swan...I'm posting mine below- in hopes someone can help

I am from the USA my defacto partner/girlfriend is from Australia

I should note that I have lived with and worked with her sister for many years- before meeting my girlfriend.
also I have meet and know her parents year before my girlfriend as well.

we have registered our relationship via NSW relationship registration - we got our certification on Jan 11 2011

now here are some of the issues...

-she rents a room from her flat mate- who she works with and has been friends with almost her whole life
we do have a NSW rental agreement with the homeowner- listing the 2 of us (my girlfriend and I) as tenants renting from him
so this might be of help??

-she does not have a car or a drivers license- by choice
uses only public transportation
so there is no way to have joint car payment, insurance, or any other related transport expenses.

We do have receipts from taxies, trains, buses, and so forth.

- we both work within the entertainment industry.
which has us traveling allot for work. Therefore, it just does not make sense to own any "major assets" such as real estate and so forth. As we would be paying for a place that we would not even live in.
all work is baed upon contracts- so you might be gone a couple months at a time- back for some time- and then gone again. Having to be ready to go where the work is- in a moments notice.
By nature of our work all expenses are paid for- housing, food, and expense perdium- when on a contract "working"

- use only pre paid mobile phones
again it does not make sense to be locked into a monthly contract- and pay for a service that you might not be using
so no phone records or monthly phone bills

- we use Skype and other FREE based apps to speak on a daily basis.
while we have hundreds of pages showing the skype calls and the duration (each day averaging serval hours at a time) We do not have "paid phone account records"

again why pay for something when you can do the same thing for free. Well skype is better as we can video chat- can't do that on your phone.
early on I did make some phone calls to her- then I got my phone bill...and that stopped quickly. As it was something crazy like $250 USD for the call

Should note- we have been told that Skype offers paid accounts- that allow you to call real landline phones/mobile phones.
we are looking into this...and might be shifting some of our daily talk time to this paid call service. Since this is more like a traditional phone account.

-she has virtually no expenses (other than food, and public transport)
no debit
no loans
no monthly payments

also food cost are split by us and our flat mate.

-while the only debit I have is a student loan
which sounds like - we may want to consider having my girlfriend send me money to pay for the monthly student loan bill.

we are both very money/budget wise people.
and we don't like the idea of taking on some debit- just so we can get a visa.
since we prefer to live a debit free life.

also we try to avoid sending each other money. As it cost to send a bank transfer, then either party loses money due conversion to your currency, bank charges a fee/percentage of amount sent in order to convert foreign currency.
long story short...in order to do so you lose money- and we both feel it's just nuts to send money- when you lose hundreds of dollars just for the ability to do so.

we do have a joint bank account in Australia (though the account is viewed to us as a savings account to build our future together- majority of the money going in is automatic deposits from her pay.
again see above bank transfers and fees as to why I don't send money over from the USA
the account is rarely used to pay for any expenses. So I'm not sure if the joint bank account- supports the requirement to operate a joint account.

also we have a joint credit card in USA (both having our own card issues in our names)
we do use this at times

HOWEVER, we use cash almost 99% of time for any and everything
those of you in Australia know banks card a fee for debit cards and then the merchant sometimes charges you a % based fee of total purchase amount to use your card.
again without going into a long story- for budgeting cash in much easier- you have set amount- you spend it- it's gone.
where as using debit card and credit cards- you tend to not keep track and overspend. Which is why they were invented.

we do keep all receipts for any and everything we do together. Again most is cashed based- so how do you prove who paid?
we have just been noting who paid for it...or if we split the cost.

while we like to approach everything in a fair way- by this I mean splitting the cost for larger purchases.
I'm not sure that splitting the cost is a positive in the eyes on immigration.

I use the neat receipt scanner and program for your computer. Every receipt is scanned and entered into a computer database.
as of now there is over 500 pages of receipts for items related to us.

while we don't have any "traditional assets"
we have started a new business together.
we have bought a number of assets for use in the business - theatrical stage equipment/props (totaling over 100k USD)
could we use this as proof of joint ownership of assets?

so far we have 12 or so Declarations from Australian's who are supporting us and acting as witness that our relationship is real.
some are her family members and the rest are friends that we now share

We have also created a "timeline"
this a chronologic order of every day we have spent together- and what we did on each day
not sure if this would be evidence

Visiting one another:

I am more available to go and visit her
but she does travel to visit me as well

she has visited me in USA 4 times now (since 09)
I have visited her in AUS 4 times now (since 09)

we have taken many joint flights together (currently 12 flights together)
and have many joint hotel stays (currently 14 hotel stays at different hotels all over)

dates of separation are

july 21 2009 - Oct 1 2009 (73 days)

oct 21 2009 - dec 16 2009 (57 days)

jan 26 2010 - july 6 2010 (162 days)

sep 28 2010 - dec 14 2010 (78 days)

jan 31 2011 - june 12 2011 (133 days)

july 24 2011 - nov 11 2011 (111 days)

feb 1 2012 - april 8 2012 ( 68 days)

while I am sure the above dates of separation paper as listed above- don't really help us and they might work against us.

but do keep in mind that we have the NSW relationship certificate...which I have been told before- that this usually waves the 12 months consecutively living together.
I do know AUS has a one year working holiday visa. At present due to work commitments- I could not do this. Also I see you are not allowed to work for the same employer more than 6 months.
With my line of work- this would not be possible.

While I don't know who you are suppose to co live for constitute 12 months- when you can enter and stay in the country for that amount of time.

any periods of separation are for only 2 reasons

1) not allowed to stay in either country
Aus 3 months max
USA 2 months max

2) work commitments (not sure how you support this claim)
she only gets school holidays off- if she does not work- she does not get paid

I work in a live touring show - that travels all over the world
so we have periods where we are working...and then periods when we are not touring or doing shows.

neither of us have traditional jobs or work 8 -5 type hours.

so there is allot of information listed above to digest.

Any help, advice, tips, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
also any areas you think we need more/better evidence and why

We would like to apply in the coming months for an off sore defacto visa. While marriage is something we have spoke about- and is a possibility...we both feel that we should not jump into marriage for the shake of getting a visa faster/ or easier.
so the prospective marriage visa is plan "B"

I thank you once more for taking the time to read my plea for help!

194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
orion1285, have you talked to a migration agent about this? They'd be the ones who might be able to give you advice based on your current circumstances. Check out my other threads to view a list of what evidences I have and hopefully some of them might strike a bell with you.

I read somewhere that bus/train/taxi receipts don't mean much at all because they could have belonged to anyone.

However you did mention some strong points that could help you in your application, such as your joint travels and joint credit card. In your relationship statement, you could explain your situation as you have above so that the case officer understands why you're not able to put together as much evidence as she'd like.

Also I have a read at the Partner Migration Booklet (www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/1127.pdf) especially at pages 39-41. Those 3 pages helped me quite a bit in organising and preparing my documents.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Not open for further replies.