To apply for an Australian Partner Visa based on a de facto relationship (aka “live in” relationship), you must of course BE in a de facto relationship. It is NOT a visa that allows you to form a de facto relationship. You need to be in one already.
What about Registered Relationships? Can you get one of those instead?
Depending on what state you reside in, yes you can generally do that.
Registered Relationships exist in the following states of Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
So if you’re from SA, WA or NT, at present you miss out.
Is this Registered Relationship Certificate all we need?
Is the registered relationship certificate all you need to apply for an Australian partner visa based on a de facto relationship (aka a de facto visa)? No, definitely not!
You still need to show that you are in a genuine, committed and shared-life to the exclusion of all others. You need to live together, or not apart on a permanent basis. The difference that being in a registered relationship makes is that you can shorten the usual 12-month relationship length to 6 months. That’s basically it! Yes, it’s a good bit of evidence, but it’s not a replacement for the proof and the relationship evidence that you would ordinarily have to show.
So please ask Down Under Visa to assess your case via the free online visa assessment form on the Down Under Visa website to see if your relationship IS in fact a committed de facto relationship, or if you are just boyfriend and girlfriend.
What are the requirements to be in a Registered Relationship?
They differ between states. There is no national standard. They all require that at least one of you resides in the particular state, and some require that you both reside in the state. Some are OK with your partner residing overseas.
They will ALL require that both of you are in an exclusive relationship together. That means that whilst it’s not a marriage, it IS a recognition of commitment. It also means that if one of you is still married to someone else, even if you’ve been separated and estranged for a very long time, you cannot enter into a Registered Relationship until you are divorced or annulled. So be aware of that!
You need to contact the state Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages to organise this. You just need to Google this, and you’ll find the information and forms you need on the individual websites.
Can same-sex couples (gay couples) enter into a Registered Relationship?
As long as you comply with any other rule that your state has, yes you certainly can. These relationships are for any gender mixes.