Australian partner visa answers


Welcome to the first edition of Thursday Answers! Thursday Answers tries to answer all your partner visa questions that you’ve been too nervous to ask. These are the responses to questions submitted by readers on our regular Ask Mondays posts.

Every Monday I ask people to send in their questions and concerns and I select one to answer. In doing this, I hope you will see that a) you’re not alone in this, b) there are no stupid questions and c) we’re all here to help!

Last updated: January 2020

So let’s launch into our very first question and answer session!


My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for 11 months. Do I have to wait for another month before I can apply?


Our very first edition and it’s a tricky one, you guys don’t make it easy for me. I think you are asking three questions here and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.

The first one is: “Can I apply for a partner visa when I’ve only been in my relationship for 11 months?”

The answer is yes you can apply even though you’ve been in a relationship for 11 months. You technically can apply at any point in time in your relationship. You can apply in the 1st month of having met your partner, you can apply in the 2nd month of being in a de-facto relationship with your partner or you can apply when you have been married for 6 years. All 3 times, you are welcome to apply.

The second question is: “Do I need to wait 1 more month to make up the 12 months?”

The easy answer to this would then be no you do not need to wait in order to apply. As I’ve said, you can apply at any time. But this leads to the following implied question by the reader…

Third question: “Will I be successful if I apply for an Australian partner visa even though we haven’t been together for 12 months?”

The answer is no. Absolutely not because you have not fulfilled the basic requirements of the visa. The rules are clear that you must be in a de-facto relationship for no less than 12 months in order for the visa to be granted.

If you apply any time before those 12 months have been reached then you will most likely be refused and you’ll be gambling with your money. You cannot ‘make up’ those months when the visa is processing. You need to satisfy the visa requirements at the time that you apply so if you have not fulfilled 12 months then do not apply.

UNLESS (and there is always an exception…)

  • You have compelling and compassionate circumstances for granting the visa.
  • Your relationship is registered
  • Your partner held a permanent humanitarian visa and you were declared to be in a de facto relationship
  • Your partner is an applicant for a permanent humanitarian visa.

So as you can see here, this question is really a 3-parter and it’s a borderline one too. Yes you can apply before 12 months but no you won’t be granted a visa because you haven’t fulfilled those 12 months. The 12 months rule is not something to be messed with and the only ways to opt out of that are listed above.

If you’re not sure about how long you have been together, then take a look at the FREE worksheet I made for this particular purpose. It’s called the Relationship Timeline and this will help you figure out when you first started as a de-facto couple and when your 12 months is up. This is an invaluable resource and you shouldn’t risk your visa application fee by being just shy of the 12 months. Download it now!

That concludes this week’s Thursday Answers.

Until next time,


P.S Don’t forget to send me your questions! Use the contact form here or send us an email.

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Australian partner visa guides download 2019