In Australia the law states that if you have been in a relationship for 1 year then you can apply for what’s called the Defacto Partner subclass 820 Visa. Here’s how I applied for the defacto partner visa 820 to Australia.

(Please note I applied for this visa in 2014 so I’m sure a few things has changed since, but as an outline, this is my story and how I applied for defacto partnership visa 820 to australia.)

A bit of back story if you are reading my blog for the first time – I am a British woman who met my Australian boyfriend Steve whilst travelling through India back in 2011. We moved to Sydney a few months later and lived with his mum for 1 year in Australia. With no intention of moving to Australia permanently at the time, we didn’t have bills stating that we were actually living together for that year. We had always planned to live in Sydney for just one year and then travel to move to who-knows-where.

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We left Sydney in Feb 2013 and embarked on a year travelling the world and then spontaneously moved back to Australia in Feb 2014 permanently. After numerous calls to immigration I was told  in around about way (not directly because they won’t ever tell you what to do, I think as a way to back themselves up if anything is said wrongly), I could come into Australia on a tourist visa for 3 months and then apply for defacto partner visa.

During the 3 months in Australia on a tourist visa, I couldn’t work so I started to prepare my application during that time. It was certainly full on and I’m sure you will understand that you want to make sure you submit everything that is needed with the hope that you won’t get kicked out of the country because you’ve forgotten to include something (which won’t happen btw!).  My biggest worry was to prove that we had actually LIVED together for at least one year because we didn’t actually have any rental documents or bills to include in the application. Even though we had been together over 2 and a half years and the majority of that time was spent travelling, I was told that I could submit the application as long as I could prove that we had spent a whole year together through submitting flight details, hostel bookings etc.where-to-live-in-sydneyRead more: Where to live in Sydney

So here’s a quick bit of advice if you are going to go down the partner route:

1. Make a start on the application as soon as you are sure you are going to apply for the visa. Do not wait until the last minute as it will take you way way longer to get all the documents together than you think. It took me 3 whole months and I wasn’t working at the time.

2. Make sure you do the following straight away:

  • Book your medical as you could be waiting a few months to get an appointment
  • Get your relationship certified as that takes a good 4 weeks before you get the certificate
  • Apply for police clearance in the countries you have lived in as well as Australia, can take a good 4 weeks
  • Apply for birth certificate from home country as that can take a food 5 weeks for delivery to Australian address (I had no idea where mine was back in England)
  • Ask family and friends to fill out the 888 forms (which they need signed by a JP too) and make sure you get them back in time to submit. I included six, that was 4 of my Australian boyfriend’s family, one of his family friends and one of my school friends who is now an Australian resident.

3. Find a JP (Justice of the peace) who will happily sign all your stat decs and any forms needed signing which basically means copies of your passport, can confirm photos of you. They stamp the copies of the documents and sign it. We found one on the net that lived nearby who I called and they happily came round twice to sign everything for us. You can find your nearest JP here.

Now you probably know by now that there isn’t a lot of info out there on how to actually apply for this visa. It is confusing and Immigration certainly make it more confusing with the many phone calls you’ve probably already been making.  I’ve decided to list the contents page from my application to at least give you a starting point in getting all your documents together.


Whilst you’re waiting for your Visa to be approved, you’ll be on a Bridging Visa. The question is, can you work on a bridging visa? Answers here

How To Get All Your Forms Together

The first section (Folder 1 – 4) is dedicated to forms and ID. Folder 1 – 4 is where most of it needs to be signed by a JP




FOLDER 4 – PERSONAL DOCUMENTS OF SPONSOR – that’s my boyfriend Steve

Then there’s the next section dedicated to show how you are in a genuine relationship where you include house bills, photographs, etc below (Folder 5 – 8)


Folder 5 –  Financial Aspects: table of contents and documents

Folder 6 – Nature of the household: table of contents and documents

Folder 7 – Social Context of the Relationship: table of contents and documents

Folder 8 – Nature of Commitment to each other: table of contents and documents


We found that the Australian Forum was really helpful in finding out exactly what was needed.  Below is the contents page we provided for our application. I thought it might help for any of you guys wanting to apply and are finding it hard to learn of what is exactly needed. Oh I’ve put a few **** just to regain a bit of privacy for Steve & I. I don’t think you want to know EVERYTHING  about me.

The stat dec’s in folder 5 – 8 were written to say what it was we were submitting – so eg ‘In folder 7 we have submitted as much information of us being in a genuine and loving relationship and share an active social life together through emails, cards, letters from each other’s families, photo evidence of gifts together and social activities of us going to see Coldplay in Sydney’ you get the idea…


Need more answers? I’ve put together your top questions here

So here we go with that contents page…


1.1 Subclass 820 Application Document Checklist
1.2 Form 47SP – Application for migration to Australia by a partner
1.3 Form 40SP – Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia



2.1 888 Form – Statutory Declaration by a supporting witness (x6)
2.2 Statutory Declaration by Applicant on the history of my relationship with Sponsor
2.3 Statutory Declaration by Sponsor on the history of my relationship with Applicant


3.1 Certified copy of the biographical data page of the passport
3.2 Recent passport size photographs (2x)
3.3 Certified copy of birth certificate
3.4 Certified copy of UK Driver Licence

3.5 Form 80 – Personal particulars for character assessment
3.6 Original AFP Police Report

3.7 Original Police Report from UK
3.8 Proof of E Medical Examination

3.9 Certified copy of most recent Bank Statement

3.10 Applicant Curriculum Vitae


4.1 Certified copy of the biographical data page of the passport & recent passport size photographs (x2)
4.2 Certified copy of birth certificate
4.3 Certified copy of NSW Driver’s License
4.4 Certified copy of Payment Summary

4.5 Original letter of employment

4.6 Original payslips from ****


Folder 5 –  Financial Aspects: table of contents and documents
Folder 6 – Nature of the household: table of contents and documents
Folder 7 – Social Context of the Relationship: table of contents and documents
Folder 8 – Nature of Commitment to each other: table of contents and documents




5.1 Joint Statutory Declaration stating a summary of our Financial Aspects.

5.2 Original letters of joint bank accounts at ****.

5.3 Relevant purchases made for before/during our trip around the world ***.

5.4 Flights booked for our trip around the world ****.

5.5 Room bookings made for our trip around the world ****.

5.6 Bank statements of Applicant from ****showing all purchases made since the relationship started.

5.7 Bank statements of Sponsor from**** showing all purchases made since the relationship started.




  1. Joint Statutory Declaration stating a summary of the Nature of our Household.
  2. Statutory Declaration from landlord stating rental lease.
  3. Confirmation Emails for household purchases.
  4. Applicant proof of address living with Sponsor in Australia in ****




  1. Joint Statutory Declaration of the Social Aspect of our Relationship.
  2. Photos of Applicant and Sponsor together & with friends every month and every country visited from****.
  3. Joint cards from Applicant & Sponsor’s families.
  4. Personal cards to and from the Applicant & Sponsor.
  5. Photos of Applicant & Sponsor with both families.
  6. Photo evidence of gifts to and from the Applicant & Sponsor.
  7. Email confirmation of gifts to and from the Applicant & Sponsor.
  8. Gig tickets confirmation.
  9. Joint gym membership.
  10. Screen shot of mutual friends on Facebook.
  11. Cards from friends to Applicant.
  12. Screen shot of website both Applicant & Sponsor built in Malawi, Africa.
  13. Postcards of Applicant & Sponsor’s trip around the world to Sponsor’s mother.
  14. Personal Emails between Applicant, Sponsor and Sponsor’s mother.
  15. Personal Emails between Applicant and Applicant’s Sister re: Sponsor.



  1. Joint Statutory Declaration of our Nature of Commitment to each other.
  2. Certified certificate of Births, Deaths & Marriages – Relationship certificate.
  3. Screenshots of proof that Applicant & Sponsor are each other’s beneficiaries for their Super Funds.
  4. Applicant’s Application Form for working for **** company from **** stating Sponsor as the emergency contact (dated ****)
  5. Evidence that Applicant’s second year Working Holiday Visa was approved and sent to Sponsor’s email for confirmation.
  6. Time spent apart – Leaving cards, emails and postcards sent to each other whilst Applicant went back to UK for ****.
  7. Personal Cards to each other – Birthday, Valentines, Christmas and Anniversary Cards.
  8. Facebook status screenshots stating when Applicant and Sponsor made their relationship official on social media.
  9. Private Facebook conversations between Sponsor and Applicant.
  10. Emotional Support Emails and cards to each other.
  11. Applicant & Sponsor’s joint blog re: their trip around the world from ****.
  12. Proof of Applicant & Sponsor’s Will’s ****.


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I have also made a video of my application as I think it makes it easier to understand what you need to write and how to present it as I’m a visual learner so I think it’s good just to see how to lay it out. I have FINALLY put up on YouTube. It’s not the most exciting video I made on the day I submitted the application in May 2014 so I was a bit on the stressed side as I’m sure you can all imagine! See it below.

If you have any questions regarding the Defacto Partner visa, please comment below or contact me privately.

I have also recently written an FAQ post regarding the visa as I’ve had a fair few emails from some of you going through this process so I’ve answered a lot of questions you’ve been asking. Check it out here.

As I state in the disclaimer below, I can not tell you how to apply for the visa, I am just stating what I did. If you need questions answering that don’t relate to my situation, I would as always contact immigration or a migration agent.

Also, make sure you check out my other expat related posts here.

Good Luck!

Disclaimer – I do not work for immigration, I am just someone who has been through the visa process and have written this post to state what I did. I am not saying what I did is the correct way to apply for the visa, but it worked for me. If you have any questions, I do advise you to contact immigration or a migration agent. They are the only people who can give you the most up to date and correct answers. 

More posts about this visa:

How to apply for the 820 partner visa video 

Applying for the 820 partner visa Q&A

Can I work on a bridging visa?

What happens after you apply for the 820 partner visa to Australia?

What visa do I need to enter Australia?

How I applied for part 2 of the partner visa (801) to Australia in 3 days – This is really important!!!! There is a second part to this visa process!!!

Shipping your things from UK to Australia with Doree Bonner – For those of you moving from UK – this is the shipping company I used.

For those of you with questions, I’ve finally found a good migration agent here who can offer FREE ADVICE

I’ve finally found the best migration agent in Australia

And finally: How long does the defacto partner visa to Australia take to get approved? Yes, that’s right – my permanent residency has finally been approved!!!