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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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