The Australian Partner Visa program requires that visa applicants and sponsor applicants both prepare a relationship statement. This post will explore what’s required in these relationship statements.
The two main purposes of your statements are:
- Firstly, to explain the nature of your relationship, how you met and the narrative of the key dates in your relationship development, and;
- Secondly, to cover the gaps in your evidence, explain any inconsistencies, and provide context to your evidence.
Each statement should be around 2-3 pages long. The primary purpose of this statement is to assist in proving that you have a genuine and ongoing relationship. This is an important opportunity to explain your relationship in your own words and demonstrate to the case officer that it is genuine. So it’s worth taking time to edit and review it to ensure that the statement is as strong as possible.
Here are the top nine tips for writing a persuasive and powerful relationship statement.
1. You should set out key dates in your relationship. Explain how you met, where you met and when you met, and make sure that you provide the exact date and location that you committed to a relationship.
Let the case office know how your relationship developed from that point. Was there a period of friendship at the start? How long did you know each other before you formed your relationship? Were you introduced? Did you meet via a dating site? It is important to articulate all the dates in chronological order so the progression of your relationship from meeting to your current de facto or married status is as clear as possible to the case officer.
2. You should print and proofread your statement several times to ensure that your spelling and grammar are correct. It is important to take your time to provide the correct spelling of important places and people’s names. Particularly, it is important that your partner and family names are all spelled correctly. We suggest that you have a family member or a close friend review the statement before you finalise it.
3. Were there any periods of physical separation? All relationships have periods of physical separation for one reason or another, whether it is because one party is either overseas, has to visit family, or perhaps there is simply a family emergency that required travel.
This is an opportunity to explain how you kept in contact, and how frequently. You should talk about the frequency of your communication during this period and if possible, provide supporting evidence. You should clearly explain why the period of physical separation happened. If this was a period of actual separation of your relationship, you should be candid in your statement about that.
4. You should clarify how your relationship developed and the key dates when it became more serious. Typically, the Department is primarily interested in the date you met face to face, the date you consider you became a serious and mutually exclusive relationship, and the date you consider you became de facto or married.
You should also set out the significant dates like funerals in the family, other marriages, key birth dates, or family crisis. If your partner has assisted you through an emotionally difficult time or supported you, then you should elaborate on that. Provide details on how the relationship developed and the periods of time when the partner was introduced to friends and family. You should not use overly emotional language but rather you should set out how you felt at each stage of the relationship progression.
5. You should also use the statement to demonstrate the nature of the household you share together. This is a criterion that specifically looks at how your household is run since you began co-residing. You can clarify who does the cooking, who does the cleaning, how other responsibilities throughout the household are split, and how your financial arrangements support your household.
6. You should also talk about the recreational activities that you do as a couple and the things that you enjoy together. This should also describe any holidays and mutual activities (RSL visits, online gaming, family trips, hiking) that you undertake together. Use this statement to describe in detail the recreational activities you enjoy doing as a couple.
7. Your statement should also explain how you share your finances, and how you manage your finances together. This is particularly relevant if you’ve yet to share your bank accounts. You should also set out financial commitment such as car repayments, shopping, rent, and/or credit card repayments. But more than the specifics, you might also like to talk about your relationship differences.
8. Not only do you need to show that your partnership is genuine at the time of application but you should also prove that it is an ongoing relationship and you both plan to spend your future together. This can be demonstrated by discussing future holidays or major purchases. If you have a joint savings account, you can discuss this. You can also explain your plans in terms of having children or potentially getting engaged or married. What’s important is that you show there is a commitment to a life together.
9. You should ensure there are accurate dates in your statement. A case officer will be checking to see whether it is consistent with both your material evidence and your application form. You should also draw attention to the length of time you’ve been together and the most important dates, like the date your first met face to face or when you began residing together. We suggest you make a rough draft of your statement using bullet points before adding extra detail. It also assists many applicants to set out a timeline and confirm that timeline with your partner prior to drafting the relationship statement. It’s very important that the applicant’s statement and the sponsor’s statement do not contain any contradictory information. Lastly, you should double-check the dates and the timeline of events in your partner’s statement, so take your time and ensure that you get it right.
Need more help? Summit Migration offers a Partner Visa Statement Package. Get our comprehensive package to preparing your Partner Visa Statements here. Don’t settle for the standard Form 888 provided by the Department, but supercharge your application with our legal precedents. This package includes:
- The statement precedent we use at Summit Migration to prepare all our Partner Statements. This precedent is suitable for both the Applicant AND the Sponsor.
- The precedent we use to prepare all our Supporting Witness Statements.
- Example Partner Statements for the Sponsor, Applicant and Supporting Witness.
Get it here.
For personalised partner visa advice, contact Summit Migration and talk with a registered migration agent today.