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You must meet the 12 month de-facto relationship requirement ( and not a day less) on the day the application is lodged. If you are going to lodge a paper application, it should be lodged at least a week, preferably 2 weeks, before your partner's current visa expires. Not sure how you think you will be able to lodge a paper application on the day her visa expires in order to meet the 12 month requirement, as they have to be lodged by mail or courier. Even lodging an online application at such a late stage is risky. You may have to re-think your strategy, as it is highly unlikely ( but not impossible) that your partner visa will be granted a tourist visa after 12 months on a WHV. Once she has lodged a valid application, there is no need to leave the country, as she would have been granted a bridging visa. Your problem is how to lodge an application that meets the 12 month de-facto requirement, before your partner's WHV expires.
 
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