Relationship Register for Partners

To apply for a partner visa on defacto grounds , you would generally need to show you have lived with your partner for 12 months. The 12-month cohabitation requirement also applies when including a spouse for the following types of visa:
  • Permanent visas
  • Business Skills (Provisional)
  • Student visas
  • Partner visas
  • General Skilled Migration visas

However, you would be exempt from the 12 month requirement if you register your relationship in an Australian state or territory. You would need to show that you are living together and provide the usual evidence of relationship factors, but not necessarily for 12 months.

Registration provides legal recognition as a couple under the state law and as well as being beneficial for immigration purposes. Usual requirements include:

  • Both partners must be 18 years old or over
  • Must not be in a relationship as a couple with another person - in particular they must not be married, in a defacto relationship or in a registered relationship
  • Must not be related by family.
  • Same sex and different sex couples can register their relationship.
Registration is available in NSW, QLD, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania and the main requirements are listed below for these states.

NSW - Registered relationship under s.4, Relationships Register Act 2010

NSW residents can register via Registry of Death Birth and Marriages. At least one partner must live in NSW. It will take 28 days to receive your certificate after you have registered your relationship.

Victoria - Registered Relationship under s.10(3)(a) of Relationships Act 2008

Relationships are registered through Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria. At least one partner needs to have been resident in Victoria for the last 3 months. It takes a minimum of 28 days for the registration process to be finalised.

QLD - Civil Partnership under s.5 of Civil Partnerships Act 2011

At least one partner must have lived in Queensland for at least 6 months and you must provide evidence of this. You can apply by post and processing time to register relationships is 10 days. Cost of your registration certificate would be $43.50.

Tasmania - Significant Relationship under s.4 of Relationships Act 2003

You can apply by post or in person with the Tasmania Department of Justice. It will take 28 days to receive your registration certificate. Both partners must be residents of Tasmania. Application fees are $179.08.

ACT - Civil Partnership under s.6 of Civil Partnerships Act 2008

Civil partnership registration can be obtained via Access Canberra. At least one of the partners to a must live in the ACT. Two forms of evidence of residency must be provided. You can apply in parson or by post. However if you apply by post, at least one applicant would still need to present identification at the post office. There are no fees for civil partnership registration.

Western Australia (WA)

If you are resident of WA you can register your defacto relationship, however it is not recognised for migration purposes.

South Australia (SA)

Couples can register their relationship if at least one person in the relationship lives in South Australia. Couples may apply irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

Northern Territory (NT)

Relationship registration not available


The relationship registration process makes it possible to lodge with a shorter period of cohabitation than would otherwise be the case.

People using this option need to be aware of the various criteria which apply in the different Australian states and territories - particularly processing time and residence requirements.

If you would like assistance in applying for a spouse visa or including your spouse in an application, please book a consultation with one of our immigration advisors.


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