The 12 months is meant to be continuous or the separation is limited. So if you come for 3 months and then apart for 3 months that would not be limited.I have been in a relationship with my partner for 7 years and I have been here in Australia to visit him 5 times and the months we have lived with each other are almost 12 months. The only doubt we have is the 12 months required for the defacto relationship. I come from Africa, can we register our relationship or is it like marriage?
Where in Africa are you from? And are you looking at applying onshore or offshore?
Registering the relationship depends on which state you are from. Some do not allow it. All it does is waive the 12 month requirement you still need the evidence to back it up.