Applying for a Partner Visa is a challenging process and the fact that the partner visa has the highest refusal rate (37%) of all Australian visas doesn’t make it less stressful. For the Partner Visa the applicant needs to collect what feels like hundreds of documents to upload to prove that he/she is in a genuine relationship with his/her Australian partner. One of those documents is very crucial: the relationship statement. Before being able to start uploading all your evidence (photos, bills, etc.) you will have to write your relationship statement for the partner visa – a process that clients often struggle with as they are never quite sure how to write a relationship statement to support their partner visa application.
> What needs to be involved ?
> What language is used ?
> How long does it need to be ?
> Can we have an example of a successful relationship statement ?
These are some of the most frequently asked questions in our office when it comes to partner visa applications.
In this blog, we will go through the most important points you need to have in your partner visa relationship statements and give you tips on what information you will have to include.
Your relationship statement can be a simple word document explaining how your relationship developed. It will have to cover all 4 pillars, which are:
- shared financial responsibilities
- nature of the household
- social activities
- future commitment.
Before you start writing!
Partner Visa changes are coming in the next few months. Make sure you apply sooner rather than later!
Before you start writing remember this : Dates are a crucial part of your statement. The Department wants to when you’ve first met, what date you considered your relationship to be official, when did you move in together, when did you get your relationship registered (if applicable), when did you get married (if applicable).
Honesty, accuracy, structure and detail are the key factors to the perfect statement and though it sounds cliché reading those key points, it will ultimately decide on whether you will be able to live with your partner or not…..so no laughing matter, being genuine and honest is absolutely mandatory.
When it comes to the length of your statement, there really is no set limit. You just need to make sure to have covered all important aspects of your relationship. The average is usually between 2-4 pages but can be shorter or longer in another cases. Again, the partner visa is a visa that highly depends on your situation and circumstances.
Writing you relationship statement
If you follow our structure below and provide detailed answers to the questions and give relevant examples, you will be well on your way to writing a good relationship statement for your partner visa.
Beware: The examples below are purely examples and are not to be used as a template! It’s simply to give you an idea of how it could be structured and the tone of voice to use. All relationships and people are different and the case officers know that. If they feel you are using someone’s statement or are making up stories, they will investigate further. Be honest and state your stories and its facts. Try and provide as much evidence to support your story. (e.g. phone logs, screenshots, social media messages, etc.). Write in your own words. Your English does not need to be perfect. Case Officers know that not everyone speaks English as their first language. Just write the truth, give details and provide documents to support your statement.
How, when and where did you first meet each other?
Try to write the exact date, time and place you first met each other. What made/him or her stand out? What were the circumstances? Where you at a party? Did you know each other from work? Simply tell your own story in a few sentences here).
Sample: I met my partner in 2017 at a Christmas party we were both invited to. We were introduced to each other through a common friend (name of friend and how you both know the friend). We started talking and exchanged numbers. After the Christmas party we stayed in touch through phone calls, messages and facebook.
What were the activities you did together/ are still doing together as a couple?
Here you can mention the places you went to, what you like doing together. This can include cooking together, taking long walks, going to the gym together etc.
Sample: XX and I both enjoy travelling, which is why we have traveled together to Spain, the US and England. We stayed at a number of different hotels (write down the hotel names if you can remember). While in the US, we went to a baseball game (see if you can find the tickets to the game, showing seats next to each other). In Spain we went to …. and …….. In England, we visited some of his/her family members (if applicable!, you can attach photos later if you have some).
How the relationship developed into something stronger/closer (marriage/de facto)
When did he/she meet your family and friends? Was there an incident that brought you closer as a couple? When did you first move in together? How did you decide on that? Have you made any big purchases together (applianced, car, insurance etc.)? This part might be longer than the others for some couples. It all depends on your own story and the longer you have been together, the more likely it is that you have shared many experiences together.
Sample: We decided to move in together after having dated for XXXX months/years. He/She has met my family after XXX months for the first time at my birthday. He/she was immediately accepted and welcomed into my family. He/She has been there for me when I was struggling to find a job and has supported me both financially and emotionally….. This part might be longer than the others for some couples.
Nature of the Household: Who does the dishes ?
This part is probably the toughest to prove with evidence, so explaining in your statements how you run your household can be a crucial factor.
Sample: XXX is usually the one to do the dishes while I am in charge of vacuum cleaning. When it comes to grocery shopping, that’s something we do together most of the time as we decide on what we will have to get for the upcoming week. We also both look after my partner’s dog and take turns on walking him or go for walks together when time allows so (most often on the weekends).
Financial Aspect: Details of any shared financial and other responsibilities you both took on
Grocery shops, gyms, clubs shared accounts in any form can be useful etc. Provide proof such as bills (addressed to both of you), bank account details, maybe emails to your real estate agents or bank.
Sample: XXX and I share financial responsibilities for our rent/apartment/loan. We also share our grocery and utility bills. We go grocery shopping on a regular basis and we use our joint bank account to pay for those bills and other utilities such as gas and electricity bills.
Social Aspect: Details of family and social events with friends and relatives
List as many events as possible with dates that he/she has been in constant contact with the people closest to you, times where he/she has assisted with family or friend issues that helped strengthen the bond between you both).
Sample: We visit each other’s families as often as we can and we spent all big events such as birthdays or Christmas at either his/her parents place or we meet with my friends/family. He/she is very comfortable around my family and they have accepted him/her as a family member so have all my close friends.
Details of how one partner is supportive of the other partner’s lifestyle choices, social activities, sporting and recreational activities, friends and family.
List hobbies or sports that you know that he/she enjoys and detail how you have supported or assisted in his/her choices.
Sample: We both like to go to the gym and do so together regularly. Given that I have a background in Personal Training, I often support him/her in regards to exercises and or dietary decisions. After activities we enjoy doing together is just having a nice dinner and watching a good movie in our living room. We try to balance it out when it comes to who does the dishes what time and/or cleaning up afterwards.
Any periods of separation ?
Here you can write about the reasons for being separated, such as : was there a sick parent back at home? Work opportunities? If you have been separate for long periods then make sure to mention that.
Sample: While I was finishing my studies in XXXX (name the country), I was not able to move to Australia, which is why X and I lived separately for XXX months/years. During that time I visited him/her multiple times and vice versa. When I graduated from University, I was able to to move in with him/her. During that time we kept daily contact through numerous skype calls, phone calls, whatsapp messages and facebook messages.
Future Commitment: Details of how you intend to live together (if you haven’t moved in together already).
Be very specific and detailed, how you have come to the decision, what it means for you both, why this country and not the other one, have you got a house in mind, what is the realistic plan? Again, later you will be able to attach evidence such as emails with realtors, real estate visits etc. to support your statement.
Sample: When I move to Australia, XX and I plan to live together in XXX (city, suburb). We have organised our finances accordingly and are actively looking for houses/rentals already. We’re discussing the size of the apartment, the rent and the location and making sure we both agree on all these major factors.
Details of your commitment to each other
Future possible marriage plans if not already married, having children, family involvement, what is your 10 year plan? Be long term on everything.
Sample: X and I are committed to a shared life with each other to the exclusion of all others. We have combined our personal affairs and have also made each other beneficiaries of each others superannuation account. We further plan to get married/have kids when the time is right (financially stable, settled down, etc.)
You want peace of mind?
Having to prove to a stranger (in this case the visa officer) that you are in a genuine relationship, can be harder than it sounds. Our partner visa service includes proofreading your statement to make sure it fullfils the visa requirements and represents your genuine relationship in the best way possible.