Preparing Your Statutory Declaration – Spouse or De-facto Partner Visa

 

The Department does provide template statutory declarations for the visa applicant, and the sponsor. I suggest that you do use these for the purposes of your application. The considerations which are raised in the Department’s template statutory declarations are in fact the factors which the case officer needs to take into consideration when assessing your relationship.

We will look at each of these considerations, and provide you with examples which may be applicable for your relationship.

Financial commitments

In this section, you can outline any shared financial commitments, such as the following examples:

  • joint loan or lease agreements such as for your residence, cars, business etc.
  • joint bank account which is used with reasonable frequency
  • owning or operating a business together
  • conferring financial benefit on each other such as having your partner as a beneficiary in your will or insurance policy
  • how day to day household expenses are paid and shared (e.g. these expenses may be paid from the joint account only)
  • the wages for your partner and yourself are paid into the same account
  • your future financial goals, such as saving up to purchase a house

Nature of your household

In this section, you can outline any joint responsibility for the care and support of children, your living arrangements and sharing of the responsibility for housework. Examples include:

  • who is responsible for various household chorus such as cleaning, cooking, shopping etc.
  • the duties that you and your partner undertake in looking after any child or children of the relationship
  • duties that relate to other household chorus such as looking after pets, elderly parents or other relatives

Social aspects of your relationship

In this section, you can outline important social aspects of your relationship. Examples that you can raise include:

  • holidays that you have taken together
  • weddings, baptisms and other significant social events that you have attended together
  • important family and friends who know about the relationship, and who are supportive of your relationship
  • sporting, cultural, social or other activities that you both participate in

Describe the nature of your commitment to each other

The Department’s template instructs that you may want to consider writing about: the degree of companionship and emotional support you draw from each other and whether you see the relationship as a long-term one.

I generally start by writing a few statements about the initial development of your relationship. I suggest that you write a few brief statements in relation to

  • when and how you first met
  • when you decided to enter into an exclusive relationship
  • when you started to live together

The following are just some examples of what you can describe in this section:

  • your future plans together
  • significant events in your lives during which you have relied on which other for support, such as emotional and/or financial
  • affirm the nature of your relationship

The purpose of your statutory declaration

When I prepare a statutory declaration, I always keep in mind the goals that I am trying to achieve with this document: I want to provide the case officer with a factual account of the relationship.

I think that the task of preparing a statutory declaration is made a lot easier (and less daunting) once you have established in your own mind that what you’re trying to achieve is actually the relatively straight forward goals that I have stated above.

Secondary purpose for writing your statutory declaration

When I prepare a statutory declaration, as I make various statements of fact about the relationship, I often refer the case officer back to the supporting documents which support and evidence the statements made. This may unnecessary for your application. And plenty of people have had their partner visas approved without adding such references into their statutory declaration.

I think that the main benefits of doing this is that:

  1. You are reaffirming/evidencing the truthfulness of your statement
  2. You can let you case offer know how you would like them to interpret the supporting documents that you’re providing. This is particularly helpful if you think that the evidence that your providing isn’t particularly strong, or clear in relation to what it is suppose to demonstrate

If you want to add this to your statutory declaration, then you should clearly mark the supporting evidence that is referred to and relied on. It’s unnecessary to refer back to the supporting evidence for every statement that is made in the statutory declaration. Once you have made a series of several related statements, you can conclude these statements by referring the case officer to the supporting documents that relate to these statements.

Example: Please refer to documents marked “A” which evidence the above statements. Then mark the top of the relevant documents with “A”.

Suggested way to write your statutory declaration

I prefer to write statutory declarations in a very factual and objective way. I try to avoid the use of long descriptions and subjective statements unless it is necessary (e.g. you can include subjective statements in the ‘Nature of the persons’ commitment to each other’ section).

Remember, it is pretty much assumed that you and your partner are in love. I don’t think that your case officer wants to read a ‘love novel’. He or she will expect you to provide a factual account of your relationship, as well as explanations in relation to how the considerations under 1.09A apply to your relationship. If you bear in mind the purpose of this document, and keep your writing style very simple, factual and objective, I think that you should be able to prepare a statutory declaration that will be of real assistance to your case officer.

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229 thoughts on “Preparing Your Statutory Declaration – Spouse or De-facto Partner Visa

  1. Thao

    Hi Peng,
    My husband is Australian and I am Vietnamese, we are preparing for 309 Visa. I wrote the History statement by myself, do I need it be witnessed by other people and if yes, who can do it, can Australian consular officer do? My husband filled the stat dec – Sponsor, do I need to fill stat dec – applicant, too?
    Thanks very much for your help.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Thao,
      You can go to your nearest Australian embassy to arrange for swearing of statutory declarations.
      PC

      Reply
  2. Hopauline

    hi Peng, my sponsor filled-up the statutory declaration for partner visa 309 but he filled-up only two pages. instead of signing the last page by the JP and dated.. what my hubby did is he forgot to include the last page and he signed by the JP the two pages only at the bottom with my hubby’s signature but no date.. is that okay?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      I suggest that he just signs and uploads a properly signed declaration if you have concerns. It doesn’t matter if you upload this again but with proper signing.
      PC

      Reply
  3. Rob

    Hi Peng,

    Could you give some information regarding 309 Partners Visa? My 309 Visa is cancelled due to not submitting the document for 100 Permanent Visa. We live in India due to our ongoing work and busy life we could not submit in time even after several emails received from the immigration. Now I am thinking to re-applying for the Visa soon. Can I apply again? What are the chances to get the same 309 Partners Visa? I have been married for 8 years with my Australian wife. My main goal to apply for the VISA to freely travel with my wife and son to Australia without applying for the tourist VISA without the waiting period. What is the best option for me? Eventually, we will settle in Australia but not near future. Please advice.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Rob,
      A partner visa would be the appropriate visa for your situation, or you can apply for this in the future when you are ready to settle in Australia. You can apply for a Partner visa to avoid applying for a Tourist visa for every visit.
      PC

      Reply
  4. Cate

    Hi Peng,

    Thanks for this very informative blog you have.
    We are now processing for the 2nd stage of my husband’s visa application. I came across item 4 of the STATUTORY DECLARATION – PARTNER VISA (SPONSOR) which states “That our relationship began in _____”. It is asking for the year our spousal relationship commenced. Is this referring to our wedding year (2015) or the year when we started to live together (2014, which is one year before we got married). In the first stage, there was a question “Date applicant and sponsor committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others:” and we answered the date when we started to live together (in 2014). I know that spousal refers to marriage but I just wanna make sure about this.
    Thanks a lot!

    Cate

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Cate,
      That is the day that you both decided to enter into your committed and exclusive relationship.
      PC

      Reply
  5. karine agredo

    Hi there!

    Can an australian citizen who lives overseas fill in the form 888 statutory declaration?
    I’m the visa applicant (onshore), my husband and I lived mainly overseas, so most of our australian friends are in another country (Colombia). Can they fill in the 888?, who would be the justice peace officer in another country?

    Thank you so much for your help

    Reply
  6. Ricarda

    Hi,
    My partner will be sponsored by the company under 457 Visa and she will be sponsoring me as a De Facto Visa. One of the requirements is the Statutory Declaration, I would like to know if there is a certain form to be used for this Declaration. We are both outside Australia.

    Reply
  7. Vew

    Thank you for your insight! I was wondering if you can tell me for a 461 visa for the stat declaration is it alright if we have new zealanders do them for us as we dont have any Australian citizen or permanent residents that know us enough to write about our relationship? Thanks

    Reply
  8. Sebastiaan

    Thank you so much for your informative and straightforward site! Its a godsend!
    We are in the process of filling out the Partner Visa application and are stuck at the “give details of your relationship” page. One answer we have written is more than double the 2000 character limit. Would we be better off to just submit the first 2000 characters of our lengthy story, and the rest in supporting evidence, or would it be better to write a potted summary in the form, and specify that the full story is provided in the supporting evidence?
    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Sebastiaan,
      Yes you can refer your case officer to an attached document which contains your complete statement.
      PC

      Reply
  9. Janey

    Hello Peng,

    I am looking to submit a partner visa for my partner. We are a same sex couple and are not out to anybody. How many witnesses would we need for the 888 form?

    Reply
  10. Duy

    Hi Peng,

    My partner (Australian) and me (German) are going to apply for a partner visa. I am still legally married in Germany (just waiting for the divorcing at the court). So my relationship status is what when I fill out the form? Married or De Facto? I think it is De facto as I am in a de facto relationship to my Australian partner, is that right?
    Thanks so much for your reply.

    Reply
  11. Belle

    Hi. I have three questions:

    1. Should the joint statements (household responsibilities, expenses and future plans) be in stat dec format?
    2. Can we just have one stat dec for the 2 joint statements mentioned above?
    3. Do we have to fill it out by hand? Can we type our reply on the stat dec temp, print, have it signed and scanned?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Belle,
      You can use a statutory declaration format.
      Suggest that you prepare separation declarations for yourself and your partner.
      You can hand write or use a computer.
      PC

      Reply
  12. Flora

    Hello all! I’m hoping to get some guidance in relation to my upcoming partner visa application for my husband. I’ve been conscientiously gathering documents for some months now, and I think we’re getting close to submitting it (just waiting on my new passport in my (new, yay!) married name). I had a question however about the statutory declarations my husband and I would need to prepare. I intend to submit a hard copy/posted application (I feel like it’s easier for me to compile documents that way and know what and how much I have), and I’ve so far prepared a single large binder folder, with each category (e.g. financial, household, nature of commitment) separated by tabs, and within each category the documents are further separated by different tabs according to different types. I had intended to have tabs at the front of the folder for “applicant’s documents” and “sponsor’s documents”, with our respective statutory declarations filed under those tabs. So my question is, is it necessary for me to attach the documents/evidence in support of the application to the statutory declaration itself (there are dozens of pages for some of the categories of evidence so the stat dec would be huge), or can we just prepare a stat dec covering all the categories (financial, household, etc), and not attach any documents to the stat dec but provide them in the folder under their separate tabbed categories? I’d certainly prefer to do it like that, it seems neater and more organised somehow! Thanks again for your help. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Flora,
      You don’t have to provide the same documents again with the declaration.
      PC

      Reply
  13. Bella

    Hello Peng,

    We are applying on visa 461 for NEW ZEALAND CITIZEN FAMILY RELATIONSHIP , so can we use the STAT DEC of Partner visa for visa 461 of defacto relationship. I am the applicant

    https://www.border.gov.au/LegacyPagesandAboutUs/Documents/stat_dec_applicant.pdf
    https://www.border.gov.au/Visasupport/PublishingImages/Trav/Visa/Appl/Partner/stat_dec_sponsor.pdf

    And I would like to get STAT DEC from my mother oversea as letter of support for our relationship, is it possible? Which form and how to do it?

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Bella,
      You can use the same questions from those templates if you wish.
      And I would like to get STAT DEC from my mother oversea as letter of support for our relationship, is it possible? Which form and how to do it? Yes but I’m not aware of any standard forms from the Department. You can copy the questions from here if you wish: https://www.border.gov.au/Forms/Documents/888.pdf
      PC

      Reply
  14. Ivy

    Hi Peng,

    For partner visa, can I find a Australia Post staff to witness the form 888 and statutory declarations ?
    Also, do they accept Australia Post staff to certify our passport copies?

    Reply
  15. Ashley

    Hi peng
    Thanks for all the information.
    I have a question.
    Me and my partner (defacto)are applying for 189 visa . Do we still need to fill form 888?
    Hope to get back from you soon
    Thanks
    Ashley

    Reply
  16. Fiona Casey

    Hello

    I am applying for a subsequant entrant visa (de facto partner) to my partner’s 457 Temporary Business Visa.
    Do we still need to provide statutory declarations for evidence of our relationship?

    Many thanks

    Reply
  17. zimin zhuang

    Hi Peng
    I am applying a new student visa and want to include my partner in my application. I have been asked to provide two separate 888 form. I have friends who know us quite well (over two years) and willing to fill the 888 for me. However, they just got their PR three month ago. Can they still complete the form for me?

    Cheers

    Reply
  18. Hydree

    Hi

    My partner and I are going through the second stage visa process and I was wondering for the witnesses who fill out the 888 form for us have to be different people from the first stage or if they can be some of the same people.

    Thanks

    Reply
  19. Mitchell

    Hi Peng,

    Just a quick question, my Partner and I are applying for a the relationship visa and im writing my stat deck now. Do i need to get this verified if we are doing the online application. Or do you suggest sending via mail the application?

    Reply
  20. Amanda

    hello peng, great feed you have going here.

    Just a quick question,

    I have filled forms 888 out and have now been informed i need certified copies of the citizenship of the witnesses that filled out these forms (birth certificate or passport) and was just wondering what is the legal way to get these copies certified? And who can do this for me? Is it the same people that you get to do the statutory declartion? And also what do they need to write on the copy to ensure its ‘certified’ Thankyou.

    Reply
  21. Phil

    Hi Peng

    Just wondering, how do you fill out a 888 stat dec on an online Immi application? Do you fill it out by hand, sign it and scan it to your computer?

    Reply
  22. Dhiren

    HI Peng,

    Please inform as to whether form 40SP and 47SP needs to be filled and submitted during the phase 2 of the partner visa process.

    Also please inform as the statutory declarations needs to be submitted in the three page pdf format mentioned on the website or we can write declaration in a word document precisely covering all aspects(financial, social, personal commitment and nature of household) of the declarations.

    Please guide.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Dhiren,
      Please inform as to whether form 40SP and 47SP needs to be filled and submitted during the phase 2 of the partner visa process. No but other forms are required – DIBP will provide relevant instructions.
      Also please inform as the statutory declarations needs to be submitted in the three page pdf format mentioned on the website or we can write declaration in a word document precisely covering all aspects(financial, social, personal commitment and nature of household) of the declarations. Yes
      PC

      Reply
  23. Alex

    Hi Peng

    I am an Australian sponsor of my non-Australian and am one of the “prescribed persons” who is listed on the front of Form 888 as being able to witness stat decs by others. If we go through the partner visa process, am I able to witness my partner’s stat dec, as well as the stat decs of any of the other witnesses of our relationship?

    Thanks for your help

    Alex

    Reply
  24. rix

    hi peng

    Were applying for partner visa offshore,do we need to provide a written statement from us about our relationship???and do we need also to provide statutory declaration by applicant/sponsor???do we need that both??

    your help is greatly appreciated 😊

    Reply
  25. Khan

    Hi,
    My wife who is a US citizen , is currently in Australia on 462 Working and Holiday Visa. We are about to submit subclass 820 partner visa online. We have got all the required information and also two witnesses who attended the wedding overseas have also signed form 888 which we will attach to the application. We got married last year in December.

    With me being a Sponsor(AU Citizen) and she being an Applicant, do we both need to submit a separate statutory declarations, if so , can we use the common wealth format which is available online and what information should we be writing because we have already entered everything in the application ?

    I will look forward for your reply.

    Reply

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