To apply for a partner visa on defacto grounds you, 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:
Business Skills (Provisional)
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 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.
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.
Relationships are registered through Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria. Both partners need to have been resident in Victoria for the last 12 months. It takes a minimum of 28 days for the registration process to be finalised.
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.
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.
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.