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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I am currently living in the United States with my Colombian girlfriend. We started dating and living together in Colombia and spent more than 5 months in a de-facto relationship before we came to the United States where she is doing an internship. We are spending 4 months in the United States living together, which gives us a total of 9 months as de-factos. At the end of these 4 months my partner will be going back to Colombia to graduate and I will be going back to Australia to start my masters. Depending on our visa situation we would like to be living together again in Australia this December after she graduates.

Initially we thought we'd apply for a tourist visa and then after the 3 months apply for a de-facto visa. Although we will have a total of 12 months living together, will our 4 months apart due to our studies reset the 12-month requirement? The other issue we have is our lack of financial records. Despite having landlords that can attest to our rental situation, mostly we have been using cash rather than shared bank accounts etc.

It appears our only other option is to get married in the United States and then apply for a spouse visa. I am also a U.S citizen, which allows us to marry here. Will our marriage in the United States be recognized in Australia and if so, what do we need to do to acquire a spousal visa?

If anyone has any advice for our particular situation or tips on any other options we may have we would both be extremely appreciative!

Thanks.
 

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Hi there,

If you're thinking about marriage, why don't you apply for a prospective marriage visa? She would apply offshore and go to Australia once granted where you marry within 9 months of arrival. Then she would apply for the spouse visa.

Or, you could get married and apply offshore. The requirements for married spouse visas don't require the 12 months, but all other evidence is basically the same. I suggest these two options since DIAC is not very lenient when it comes to the 12 months and your time appart may be too much so soon before applying. A marriage that is legal in the country it is registered is usually recognised as legal in Australia as long is it's not to a cousin or not with multiple partners.

As for financial evidence, try using bank statements and highlighting any payments made to eachothers' accounts or for things you did together, or purchases of gifts etc. You could also wrtie in a statement the reason you lack joint accounts and how you share the finances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your advice, very helpful and informative.

Seems like the de-facto visa is off the cards for us. From what I understand, applying for a spousal visa off-shore requires an interview of some sort. If this is the case and my partner is living in Colombia where there is no Australian embassy, what has to happen?

Is it possible for her to come to Australia on a tourist visa to see if she likes it and would like to live there and for us to then apply for a spousal visa on-shore on the basis that we married in the United States?

Thanks again.
 

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