If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend from Australia, it is possible to get permanent residency for Australia without having to get married. You basically have to have lived together for a least 12 months and have evidence of this. It is referred to as a defacto visa and allows a stay of two years which can then lead to permanent residency in Australia.

The main requirement is that you have lived together with your partner for at least 12 months. This can be anywhere in the world. The important thing is to have documented evidence that you have lived together.

Most couples form a relationship and then when they hear about the defacto visa and the requirements for obtaining the visa, often they realize that while they have been together for the appropriate amount of time, they don't have the proper evidence. The sooner you think that there might be a possibilty that you want to live in Australia, and you begin to make preparations, the higher the chance you will have of getting the visa.

The easiest way to prove that you have been living with your partner is to rent a house and get the lease or rental contract in both of your names. Once you have the property, get the utilities, such as telephone, electricity and water in both of your names, even though in reality only one person might be paying for all of the bills.

It is important to show that you have a financial commitment to the relationship. This can be shown by creating a joint bank account. You may still wish to keep your finances separate, but the joint account will need to show some activity.

You will need to get stat decs from your family and friends and you will need to write declarations yourself. It is important to show immigration that your family accepts you as a couple. Having photographs of you together as a couple, in a variety of different settings is also good evidence of your relationship. In the stat dec you should outline how you met, how you feel about your partner, the things you enjoy doing together and a little about your future plans in Australia.

Australia accepts same-sex relationships and the application process is similar to that outlined for a defacto visa. It is referred to as an "interdependency visa".

If you have spent any time apart, you will need evidence that you kept in contact during that time. This can take the form of printed email, and chat sessions from messenger or Skype.

Things You Will Need

- You need to have an understanding of the English language
- You have to follow the laws of Australia and respect the way of life in the country
- Your partner needs to meet the appropriate criteria to sponsor you
- You need to be committed to the relationship

The application can be completed fairly easily yourself. The migrating partner will also need to get a medical examination done and get police checks. You don't necessarily have to use a migration agent. Their fees are pretty expensive and the information in the application is fairly self-explanatory.

Tips & Warnings

While getting information from internet forums can be useful, it is important to only trust the information provided by Australian immigration, or a registered migration agent.