As part of an Australian partner visa application, both the sponsor and applicant will be required to write their own personal relationship statements which will be included with the partner visa application. This is a very important part of the partner visa process as it will allow the sponsor and applicant to detail to the decision maker all of the circumstances of their relationship.
Whilst there is no set length to how long or short a personal relationship should be, generally 4 to 5 pages is considered adequate enough. If a statement is written in a language other than English, then it must also be submitted with an English translation. A personal relationship statement can be hand written or typed, but must be signed and dated. There is no requirement that a personal relationship statement be in statutory declaration format. Supporting witness statements are however done in statutory declaration format using the Form 888.
The applicant and sponsors personal relationship statements will help to evidence that the relationship is one that is both genuine and continuing as required by the Migration Regulations. This is the opportunity for the sponsor and applicant to outline their relationship in their own words.
Handy tips for applicants and sponsors writing their personal relationship statement
- Explain how and when you and your partner met, including the exact date your relationship commenced. Let the case officer know how your relationship developed over time. Did you start off firstly as friends? How long did you know each other before you committed to a relationship? Make this part as detailed as possible. It is not expected that you will be a perfect speller, but do your best to ensure that your spelling and grammar is correct . Ensure that place names, your partner’s name and family members names are spelt correctly. Attention to detail is very important when writing your personal relationship statements.
- Have you and your partner been separated for any periods of time during the period of relationship? If so, not only explain the reasons for the periods of separation, but how you kept in contact and how frequently during this time. Did you keep in contact through phone calls, text messages, instant messaging apps or emails etc?
- You should explain how your relationship developed and became more serious over time. Have any significant events occurred? For example pregnancy or the birth of a child. Perhaps your partner helped you through a difficult time or did something to really demonstrate a commitment to each other. Provide details of the development of your relationship and let the case officer know when your partner was first introduced to friends and family. It is important to note, how family members, friend and acquaintances view your relationship is also taken into consideration. Being jointly invited to events shows that your relationship is recognised by your family and friends. Any invitations you have, perhaps to a wedding or a birthday party, be sure to save these for the application. Anything you have with both your names on it is very important.
- It is very important that you use your personal relationship statement to demonstrate the nature of your household. For example, who does the cooking and cleaning? Perhaps you equally share these household chores. Do you do the grocery shopping together?
- Your personal relationship statements should also explain how you share your finances and meet your expenses as a couple. Explain how you deal with financial commitments such as rent or mortgage payments, credit cards, car loans or food shopping. Do you share a joint bank account? Are your salaries paid into the same account? How do you pay utility bills? Have you prepared a joint will or named your partner as your superannuation beneficiary? Have you purchased joint insurance policies? Sharing financial commitments is a major part of proving that you’re in a genuine relationship, so this part should be fairly comprehensive.
- Not only do you need to show that your relationship is genuine, you also need to show that it is ongoing and continuing. Your plans for your future together are very important. Use the personal relationship statement to detail any future plans. For example, perhaps you have a holiday coming up, or you are going to purchase some property or a car for example. You should also explain what your plans are in terms of having children or perhaps getting married if you aren’t already.
- You need to evidence the length of your relationship, so ensure that your personal relationship statement has accurate dates. Remind the decision maker about the length of time you’ve been together and make sure you mention important dates such as when you began living together on a full time basis.
- When preparing your personal relationship statement, it may be helpful to do a draft first. Work off a timeline of events. In fact use whatever method helps. Remember, it is your own personal relationship statement. It is also very important that the applicant and sponsors statements do not contain any contradictory information. Always check your names, dates and places.