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Hi everyone

My name is Mat and from Melbourne. I've joined because no doubt like everyone else trying to get to get their loved one here to Oz, I stumbled across this forum through google searching, trying to make sense of the departmental requirements.
Briefly, I met Ian while on a holiday on Boracay island, Philippines almost 18 months ago. After very delightful holiday romance, I came home to Melbourne. Ian and I kept in contact, and 6 months later travelled Cambodia together for a month. After Cambodia we knew it was more than just a holiday thing and made arrangements to catch up in bali. And now, after another airport farewell, we have made the decision to make a life together. ( if someone had said to me that I would be searching departmental pages trying to get my Filipino boyfriend to Australia I would have laughed).
So here I am. I'm needing help from people who are going through the same process of visa applications to give me the heads up about how things work. My head is not one for forms, and easily confused with department lingo.
My biggest question in starting the visa process is the 12 months living together. How do other couples, living in two separate countries work through this?

I'm hoping people will read this and give me their experiences soi can make sense of what needs to be done.

Mat
 

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Hi Mat,

Technically it's a 12 month relationship requirement, not a 12 month living together requirement. Co-habitation is just one aspect of the relationship (albeit a very important one).

When assessing your de facto relationship the DIBP will look at co-habitation, joint financial commitments, how you support each other, how you present yourself to others, how you share responsibilities etc. From your post it sounds like right now is the moment you're considering entering into a 'shared life' so from this point onwards you should start setting up these joint responsibilities and gathering lots of evidence.

In terms of co-habitation you really need to show that you're living together as much as you can be and any periods spent living apart are necessary and accompanied by continued support, correspondence etc. It's not easy but you will need to find a way to live together for long periods (usually this is limited to tourist visas). Registering a relationship in Australia also helps but in VIC the co-habitation criteria is strict.

I have no knowledge of Filipino law, but if they prohibit same-sex relationships you also have an argument that you were prevented from living together in the Philipines so could only co-habit when he was permitted to visit Australia. This can help strengthen the case.

Hope this helps
 
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