Last updated: 16 March 2020
The Nature Of The Commitment The Applicant And The Sponsor Have To Each Other
In today’s post we’re going to discuss the nature of the commitment of the applicant and the sponsor.
When you love someone, you know you love them. They know you love them. But now you have to prove to the Department that you love each other. And on top of that, you have to provide tangible evidence around something so intangible as human emotions.
How do you prove the nature of the commitment that the applicant and the sponsor have for each other?
Well for starters, this is where the statutory declarations or the personal written statements of the applicant and the sponsor will matter the most.
Because you have to prove something so unquantifiable as emotions, one sure fire way to do this is to write about your relationship and how much you love each other and how you are committed to each other.
This is also the reason why you need statutory declarations or personal written statements for Australian partner visas. The case officer will be assessing your relationship based on how you describe your relationship development. That is, the case officer wants to hear your relationship story in your own words.
Now if we look at the Regulations, there is a general guidance on what they’re looking for but not necessarily an exhaustive list. The case officer must consider the below as a minimum but the case officer can consider any other information that they have on hand to make a decision on whether the applicant and sponsor are committed to each other.
The definition under Spouse and De-facto relationship states that:
(d) the nature of the persons’ commitment to each other, including:
(i) the duration of the relationship; and
(ii) the length of time during which the persons have lived together; and
(iii) the degree of companionship and emotional support that the persons draw from each other; and
(iv) whether the persons see the relationship as a long-term one.
The duration of the relationship
The duration of the relationship is often an indicator of how committed the applicant and sponsor are to the relationship.
If you’re applying for the Australian partner visa under a de-facto relationship then you must demonstrate that you are not merely boyfriend or girlfriend, that your relationship is more than that. That’s why there is the 12 months rule for de-facto relationships.
Similarly if you’re applying for the Australian partner visa as a married couple and hence spouses, the duration of the relationship is still an important criteria that you must meet. This is because a marriage certificate does not legitimise your relationship. That is, a marriage certificate does not automatically guarantee you an Australian partner visa or else everyone would be getting married to the next Australian person that they meet.
The case officer, whether the applicant and sponsor are applying as a de-facto relationship or as spouses, must consider the 4 aspects of the relationship as dictated by the Regulation.
The length of time during which the persons have lived together
Once again this goes towards proving that your relationship is more than dating. For de-facto relationships this means having lived together under one roof for at least 12 months and for married couples, once again, is not an automatic given.
Have a read of these posts for an idea of how to prove this or how to write about it in your statutory declaration or personal written statements.
Married couples still need to prove that they have lived together and if they can’t then they need to provide reasons why that is the case.
The book has more scenarios and how to answer those tricky questions – namely how to prove living together if part of that time was in another country, not being able to prove 12 months of living together and/or specific reasons as to why as a married couple you have not lived together under one roof.
The book also provides samples of how others have written about the nature of the commitment and what to provide as evidence aside from a lease, mortgage or certificate of title.
The degree of companionship and emotional support that the persons draw from each other
This one’s a tricky one and it’s often the one that trips up a lot of applicants and sponsors. When I review statutory declarations or personal written statements, this is the one aspect that most do not know how to write about or give examples. That’s why in the book, I’ve provided very specific explanation on what this part means and how you can answer it adequately.
The keys are companionship and emotional support.
Do not forget to write about how your partner provides you companionship and emotional support. You love your partner so now is the time to demonstrate to the case officer how you love them. This is often overlooked when you’re writing about how your relationship developed up until the point that you submit your visa application.
Whether the persons see the relationship as a long-term one.
This one seems self-explanatory yet most couples do not address this. I think most couples are too busy just retelling their story and hoping that it’s enough to satisfy the case officer, but remember, you have to meet the 4 aspects of the relationship and there are minimum criteria that the case officer must consider in order to make a decision.
I usually get my clients to imagine a future state in Australia and what that would look like. Otherwise you could also write about what you hope for the future. What better way to show that you think it’s a long term relationship by envisioning the future together?
How the Australian Partner Visa Guide can help you with your answers
The 4 aspects of the relationship are explained in detail and I provide you with many examples to illustrate the points. I also go through what successful applications look like and even provide you with samples of statutory declarations so that you can see how they have incorporated all 4 aspects of the relationship.
In the book, I provide prompting questions that will help you write the details of the nature of the commitment to each other and show you some other pieces of evidence that you can provide to support your application.
Yes, even for this particularly tricky aspect of showing your commitment to each other, there are other pieces of evidence that you can provide and it doesn’t just have to be your personal written statement.
Download the sample for an idea of what’s in the book or get your copy today and get see what others have written in the 17 different samples of statutory declarations and Form 888s.