nature of the commitment to each other partner visa guide australia

Last updated: 11 December 2023

The Nature Of The Household

When evaluating your Australian partner visa application, case officers are evaluating your application against the following 4 criteria that are otherwise known as the 4 aspects of the relationship:

  1. Financial aspects of the relationship
  2. Social aspects of the relationship
  3. Nature of the commitment to each other
  4. Nature of the household

Today, we’re continuing our series on the 4 aspects of the relationship (or also called 4 elements of a relationship, 4 pillars of a relationship or simply 4 things depending on who you talk to) and I’m going to show you how to write details of the nature of the household.

Giving details of the nature of the household is one of the easier aspects of the relationship that you need to prove. In short, you need to write about how you live together, what you do together and if you share responsibility of the housework.

As the Regulation states, the nature of the household, including:

(i)  any joint responsibility for the care and support of children; and

(ii)  the living arrangements of the persons; and

(iii)  any sharing of the responsibility for housework;

Any joint responsibility for the care and support of children

For some reason, the Department assumes that all couples, married or de-facto, have children and therefore has listed this as criteria for the case officer’s consideration when it comes to the nature of the household.

Although you might not have children, I have seen some couples write about how they care for their pets – which let’s face it, some people call their furbabies. This is OK and although doesn’t directly address this criteria, it does help towards establishing how your household is set up and run.

If you have children, then of course write about how you share that responsibility and what you do in the support of those children.

During the pandemic, care for children took centre stage with all the online schooling duties that parents had to assume. This is a routine that you should include in your personal statements or statutory declarations. This applies to pets (new or old) during this time.

In the book, we go through a few specific scenarios regarding the care of children and how you can incorporate that into your statutory declarations. We also have some prompts for supporting witnesses to write about this particular point in their Form 888s.

Remember, although the statutory declaration of the applicant and sponsor are key pieces of evidence in an Australian partner visa application, the case officer must and will consider other evidence in support of your application, including statements from witnesses.

The living arrangements of the persons

This one is also self-explanatory in that the case officer wants to know where you and your partner live. Do you and your partner own your own home? Do you rent? Do you live with other people? If so, who and why? These are just some of the questions that the case officer will be asking and then they will make a determination on how those living arrangements are and whether your relationship is a genuine one.

For example, if you and your partner live in a share house with 6 other people, how do you prove that you are actually partners and not just housemates? This is why the case officer needs you to write about the nature of your household and how you live together.

Another example would be if the sponsor lives in the main house and the applicant lives in the granny flat out back. How do you prove that this is a genuine relationship between the applicant and sponsor? Naturally these scenarios will reveal themselves to the case officer when you explain to him/her about your living arrangements in your statutory declaration.

I go through these exact scenarios and some user submitted ones in the book with some examples on how to show the case officer that you’re more than just housemates. That being said, it’s OK if you do live in a share house with other people, especially as a result of financial difficulties during COVID-19, so I’ll also talk about how to answer this situation in the book.

Also, it’s important to note that as part of the Australian sponsor’s obligations, the Australian sponsor needs to provide housing and be financially responsible for the applicant (foreign partner). This point is further discussed in this post and in the visa application form there is a question that asks about the type of housing you two are living in.

Any sharing of the responsibility for housework

Similar to the point above, the case officer would like to assess how you share the responsibility for housework to determine how genuine your relationship is.

The case officer is not looking to make a judgement on how you conduct your relationship, but whether your behaviour in sharing responsibility for housework, conforms with a committed and exclusive and genuine relationship. That is, case officer doesn’t care if one partner does all the housework and the other does the bare minimum – it’s not to pass judgement on relationships, its to understand how you go about your relationship and to determine if it’s a genuine relationship.

The case officer wants to know that the applicant is your partner in life, either married or in a de-facto relationship with the sponsor, and not a live in cleaner paid to do the housework every week.

Remember, there are many other relationships that two people may have: friendship, colleagues, employer-employee etc so what the case officer is looking for specifically is whether the applicant and Australian sponsor is in an exclusive, committed relationship that matches the legal definition of a spouse or a de-facto partner.

In the book I go through examples of how to write the nature of household. I also answer the question of whether it matters if one partner does more than the other or how to answer when one partner is responsible for all housework.

There are also more evidence types than just writing about it in the nature of the household and I go through what these could be in the book. I also provide you examples of what these look like.

How can the Australian Partner Visa Guide help you give details of the nature of the household

The nature of household is a broad and general topic that you could write about for days on end. You could go really detailed and write an hourly account of what everyone does in the household or you could be extremely general and organise your statutory declaration around tasks and responsibilities. But in order to tie it all together, you need to know what the case officer is looking for, otherwise you end up with a long boring laundry list of tasks that could make you and your partner look like you’re housemates – particularly if you share the house with other people (as most younger couples do these days).

The book will explain to you what the case officer is looking for and prompt you with questions to ensure that you are accurately describing your relationship so that it doesn’t appear to be just a housemate type relationship.

The resources that come with the book, particularly the 17 samples of good and bad statutory declarations and Form 888s will show you how to address the criteria so that you can put forward the most successful Australian partner visa application.

Download the sample to have a look at what’s inside the book or get access to the book instantly and start your partner visa journey today!



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