Partner Visa – Living Separately and Apart


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Living Separately and Apart Definition.

When applying for an Australian Partner Visa, you might come across a question that asks something like this:

Has the applicant lived separately and apart from the sponsor for any periods of time since committing to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others?

What does Living Separately and Apart really mean?

The most relevant definition for this post would be:

Immigration Definition of Living Separately and Apart:

Partners who are currently not living together may be required to provide additional evidence that they are not living separately and apart on a permanent basis in order to satisfy the requirements of a de facto relationship. (https://germany.embassy.gov.au/beln/Partner_FAQ_en.html)

You and your partner are in a de facto relationship if (amongst other things) you live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis. (homeaffairs.gov.au/…/temporary-820#Eligibility)

Note the wording “on a permanent basis” in the statements.  Also note, that phrase is not mentioned in the question.


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So, if you have been spending time apart, for work etc., how do you answer the question: Has the applicant lived separately and apart from the sponsor for any periods of time since committing to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others?

You could answer: Yes, and give an explanation.  Such as; “my partner works away for 4 weeks at a time, then 4 weeks at home“.

Or: Yes, and explain “we are in separate countries but need this visa to be together”

That would be totally understandable, although the 2nd one would need more evidence to prove a real relationship.

Answer NO, if you only split up while one goes to work for 8 hours per day, etc.

There is room with the question to give a reason.

Lived Separately and Apart

 


The Australian government does have more definitions, such as:

Centrelink Definition:

Key to meeting the criteria of “living separately and apart” is the care needs of at least one member of the couple, meaning that they are both physically separated and no longer able to participate in a member of a couple relationship.

Family Law Definition:

The only legally accepted reason to get a divorce in Australia, is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This means that the court must be satisfied that you and your spouse lived separately and apart for a period of 12 months immediately before the date of applying for a Divorce Order.  This one gets more interesting, as you can actually live separately and apart in the same house.

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