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Exemption of de facto partners who have registered their relationship from the twelve month relationship requirement

9 November 2009 Legislation Change

Client summary

From 9 November 2009, the Migration Regulations 1994 ('the Regulations') are amended to exempt de facto couples who have  registered their relationship under a prescribed state or territory law from the requirement that their relationship must have existed for at least twelve months as set out in paragraph 2.03A(3)(b).

Affected legislation

The following provisions of the Regulations are amended:

  • Reg 2.03A.

Additional information

The definition of 'de facto partner' in s.5CB of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) provides that the Regulations may make provision in relation to the determination of whether one or more of the conditions going to the existence of the relationship are met. Under Regulation 2.03A, in relation to certain types of visas, one of the factors for the determination of a de facto relationship is that the relationship must have existed for at least twelve months.

This amendment inserts regulation 2.03A(5), which provides that the minimum relationship period does not apply if the de facto relationship is registered under a State/Territory law prescribed in the Acts Interpretation Act (Registered Relationship) Regulations (namely, regulation 3) as a kind of relationship as prescribed in those regulations. The following laws and relationships are prescribed (and so meet the requirements of regulation 2.03A(5)):

Victoria Relationships Act 2008 - a registered relationship that is registered under s10 (3) (a) of that Act.
Tasmania Relationships Act 2003 - a significant relationship as defined in s4 of that Act.
ACT Civil Partnerships Act 2008 - a relationship as a couple between 2 adults who meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in s6 of that Act for entry into a civil partnership.

Transitional provisions

This amendment applies to applications made on or after 9 November  2009.


Forms including 47SP and 1127 will be updated by April 2010.


PAM3: PAM3 will be amended to reflect these changes by 9 November 2009.