What does love look like on paper?
This is a question we get asked frequently by couples who love each other and are committed to their relationship – but are confused about how to demonstrate it with evidence.
To obtain a Partner visa to Australia, you will need to prove to the Department of Home Affairs that your relationship is ‘genuine and continuing.’
The issue here is, every couple is unique. So this can look different for everyone – and in some situations – for example if you’ve been living apart – Statutory Declarations become an important part of this evidence.
So what are the requirements for a Statutory Declaration – and what does it need to include for a Partner Visa?
Let’s start at the beginning, for those who might be new to this.
What is a statutory declaration?
A statutory declaration (or stat dec) is a legal document that contains a written statement about something that is declared to be true. It must be signed in front of an approved witness.
Any false declaration made is punishable by fine or imprisonment.
Why is a Statutory Declaration important?
When assessing a Partner visa application, the Department will consider four factors to determine whether a relationship is genuine and continuing.
- Joint Financial Commitment
- Social Recognition
- Mutual Commitment
As you can see, the first three are relatively easy to demonstrate through the provision of documentation. Bank statements, receipts, identification, shared bills, invitations, photographs can go a long way here.
But when it comes to the last point, ‘commitment to each other’, cultural differences and personal preferences mean commitment can look very different from one couple to the next.
This is why stat decs are often the best way to convey how your relationship works and how deep your commitment is.
What to include in a Statutory Declaration for a Partner Visa
There are several things you should include when putting together your stat dec:
These are important moments in your relationship that stand out. Obvious ones are marriage, children and other commitments like purchasing a house together.
But it’s the personal stories that make your relationship unique and they are worth including. How did you meet? Have you introduced your partner to your family? Who are the shared significant people in your life?
Snapshot of your daily life
Whilst your documents may address the factors mentioned above – imagine you are the case officer wading through all these documents! They can be like jigsaw pieces with the back side up!
In your declaration, you can put some meat on the bones of your evidence and make sense of them by explaining how your domestic and social life is organized.
Challenges overcome together
This is an important one, because it’s easy to stay committed when it’s all smooth sailing. It’s when you tackle life’s problems together that you learn what the relationship is made of!
Detail these challenges in your statutory declaration and outline how you supported each other through the difficult time.
Plans for the future
What are your shared dreams? Making plans together demonstrates you are in it for the long haul.
Are you planning to start a family? Booking a big trip? Include anything that demonstrates long term plans in your statutory declaration.
Consistency is key
We cannot stress this enough.
Your statements need to be compatible with each other – and they need to reflect other evidence presented as part of your application.
If you’ve got evidence of a house purchased together – the timeline needs to marry up to what you have stated in your stat dec. There cannot be any inconsistencies.
They also need to be based on fact -as mentioned above, it is an offence to lie in a statutory declaration. I
If there is any chance anything contained in the statutory declaration can be disputed, it’s not worth including it.
Get help from a Migration Agent
The Partner visa application can be a delicate process and it’s incredibly important to have a strategy in place, to avoid rejection.
At Aspire Australia, we work with many people who are wanting to live their dream life here in Australia, with their beloved.
With 30 years of experience and a 99% success rate, your future in this wonderful country is safe in our hands.
Everyone’s story is different, and each situation demands a unique strategy. To obtain your very own step by step MAP: Migration Action Plan, we invite you to book an appointment with our Migration SuperHero, Sarah Gillis.
Or if you’d like more information about a Partner visa to Australia, download our guidebook – Reunite With Your Loved One – and receive bonus material that will walk you through the process, step-by-step.
We look forward to working with you!