Applying for 820 Partner Visa, advice needed please
I'm currently in the middle of applying for my 820 visa and looking through this forum has been a huge help! While I'm not too worried about finding evidence to support the social context of the relationship, I'm a bit more concerned with evidence regarding financial aspects and nature of the household.
My partner (Australian PR) and I have been together for over 2 years now, but officially living together for about 11 months. We are planning to register our relationship with in NSW. However, my name is not on the rental lease. Reason being, at the time he had a full time job and income, while I was still a full time student in university. We thought it would make things easier to just have his name and provide all his proof of income to the agent to secure the house. For the same reason we also only put his name down for both electricity and gas. However, I do have a letter from the real estate agent stating that we did view the apartment together, and that I have been an occupant there from the very start. But I'm not sure if this is sufficient?
We have been sharing the rent (minus what our housemates pay) and I do have records of the transactions in my bank statement, however it is not consistent, as some weeks if I pay for an expensive meal or for a particularly large grocery bill my partner just tells me to skip a week's rent. Also with all the costs of applying for a partner visa now, my partner has taken on my share of the rent as well so that I can save for the application fee and other costs. Is this a problem or can I explain this somehow to immigration? A lot of this is simply because he is 11 years older and has a stable job whereas I am still a student with only casual employment sometimes.
We have just recently opened a joint bank account (1 mth ago) and are currently using it to pay for groceries.
We don't have joint ownership of anything (don't own a car/he owns a property but with his brother and his name on it)
I'm getting a little worried seeing how much evidence and proof other applications have, I'm not sure if ours is substantial enough. Does anyone have any advice on anything else I can do to make a stronger case? Thanks in advance
Maybe your housemates can write a stat dec to say that you and your partner have been living together since (a date)?
Bank statements would be helpful to highlight the expenses that you shared with your partner.
You can also write in your relationship statement regarding the household responsibilities, e.g. who do the grocery shopping, who pay the bills etc.
My situation had some similarities with yours. My partner and I lived in his parents house, we had no bills in either of our names (we paid the bills though so we just showed them coming out of the bank account), no rent was paid etc. We sent all bank statements and highlighted different things and put a little side note on the actual statement for each as a little explanation. Then in the statement about the financial stuff I explained how we did things, I told them about how before we had a joint bank account we did similar to what you do, one of us might pay for something, then the other will pay for something else. So we weren't literally splitting everything we spent 50/50 but what we spent would generally work out even. As far as the nature of household bit is concerned, I just wrote a short statement explaining what each of us did, explaining everything from who does the cooking, to who does the gardening etc...
I found that I was worrying about all these types of things, but don't be worried. Just explain everything! It may sound a bit silly telling them who does what around the house etc but that's what I did. It's really difficult explaining your relationship to someone, but just explain every piece of evidence you send. Good luck :)
Also with regards to not owning anything jointly, we didn't either, no car, no house... We did however have little things like a TV which we both paid half for so we sent in a copy of the receipt for those things. I also included photocopies of receipts (or print outs of online order confirmations) for gifts we had bought each other over the years for birthdays and christmas etc.
Another thing to maybe consider within the financial aspects section and possibly the nature of commitment part is appointing each other as the others death beneficiary on your superannuation accounts. This is pretty straight forward to do, maybe worth considering if you haven't done it already.
But you can prove living together in many more ways than just a lease.
It's completely fine that you sometimes pay the rent and sometimes don't. That's the nature of sharing expenses with someone. Sometimes one partner has to pay for something, sometimes the other partner does. DIAC understands this. In fact, if you were housemates, you would always pay the same thing every month, right? Him sometimes paying for things actually (in my opinion) helps show you're a couple rather than just housemates.
What I'd suggest in regards to your shared expenses is that in addition to providing bank statements, you write a statutory declaration that explains what they see on the bank statements. Outline who generally pays for what, but also notes that in the months you didn't have the money (because of a large grocery bill or whatever) your partner paid the rent during those months. Also note that you were saving for the partner visa application costs recently and that's why he's taken over paying the rent. They expect to see financial give and take between couples - it's a good thing!
With registration of your relationship it sounds like you actually have a pretty decent case. Let me know if you have further questions! :)
Thanks everyone for the advice/comments! It's made me feel a lot better and slightly more confident about the application. We're in the middle of writing out our statements about the history of our relationship at the moment. Should we include all these explanations with bits of evidence in these statements? Or in a separate statement (e.g. one for financial aspects, one for nature of the household).
Also, how should we present email correspondence in our application (how do we get emails certified?) Do we just print them out, or are screenshots better?
I think email correspondences or Skype chat log need not be certified true. And you only need to provide a selection of important conversation, e.g. discussion of future plan, wedding arrangement etc.
For email, probably a print out is better than a screenshot.
I think you explain everything about your relationship in one statement, but of course you will write them in different paragraphs.
Thanks for that!
Regarding the requried health checks, it says on the immigration site:
"If you are booking an appointment with MHS, you must provide your HAP ID*. This number will be:
shown on the health examinations referral letter that you can download when lodging an online visa application or using the My Health Declarations service
given to you by your case officer after you have lodged a paper visa application."
Does this mean I can't do the health examination until I have lodged my application and got a HAP ID?
* A personal statement each regarding the "History of Relationship", using headings to address how/when/where we met, how the relationship developed etc. I included a timeline with my personal statement, my partner didn't.
* Joint statement regarding financial aspects, including a short summary of the evidence provided to address this aspect
* Joint statement regarding nature of household, including summary of evidence
* Joint statement regarding social context, including summary of evidence;
* Joint statement regarding nature of commitment, including summary of evidence.
Our personal statements were about 3 pages long and progressed through our relationship in detail. They touched on financial/social/nature of household/commitment aspects as well, but we ultimately thought it would be helpful to have separate (brief) statements addressing those facets of the relationship directly.
We have only just submitted our application so I can't say whether our way is better/ or as effective as any other, but that's what we felt comfortable with.
I agree with what the rest are saying. Don't worry you're case seems pretty strong. I am in a similar situation as you the only difference is my partner's mum owns the unit my partner and i live in and i do have bank statements with evidence that i have been paying weekly rent to his mum.
Every relationship is different. there is no set rules on how a relationship goes. The immigration can penalize you just cause your relationship is different from others. :) what matters is all the tiny details and explanations that you gather from your own relationship.
I will probably be doing the same thing as you next year get my relationship registered in NSW and apply for 820.
Good luck and hope to hear good news from you soon!:D
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