The Unofficial Partner Visa (Subclass 309) Guide for Singaporeans

I wrote this post to help genuine couples who are applying for this subclass and are finding difficulties understanding what you need to do. It is not intended to help bogus couples who intended to cheat though the information could very well help, but don't be an asshole and misuse the information because it is people like you who cause it to be so tough to get this application done properly.

If you are an Australian citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident and would like to apply for a Permanent Residency for your spouse and don't want to screw up your application, read on......

The folks handling spouse visa are a sharp bunch of people. They reject spouse visa applications for breakfast. They start off handling the application suspecting your relationship with the applicant is not genuine - unless proven! You will get a rejection the moment they are not convinced. There is a reason for this paranoia and a very good one. Too many couples with a fake relationship had made it past the gantry illegally and it is almost impossible to stop this. The immigration department could only make the guidelines as stiff as they could so filter the cheats. Despite that, a handful of them probably still made it through. At the same time, the guidelines are so elaborate that many genuine couples get rejected as well. These are the people I want to help by writing this guide.

Genuine relationship - that's the key.

Yeah we know your relationship is legit but how can you prove it? A single marriage certificate means nothing. Anyone knows that with a little budget, you could get a wife, get some bridal photo shooting done and you will be recognised as husband and wife in the eyes of the law. The immigration department knows that too. Do you expect them to approve your application by submitting a marriage certificate? Put yourself in their shoes.

We'll get straight to the point from here. Immi folks want evidence. Lots of them. If you can't provide them, you're getting a rejection. These are what you need to provide:

1) History of your relationship
You and your partner must each provide a statement regarding the history of your relationship, including:
• how, when and where you first met;
• how your relationship developed;
• when you decided to marry or commence a de facto partner relationship;
• your domestic arrangements – how you support each other financially, physically and emotionally and when this level of commitment began;
• any periods of separation – when and why the separation occurred, for how long and how you maintained your relationship during the period of separation; and
• your future plans.
The statements written by you and your partner can be on ordinary writing paper or a statutory declaration form may be used. 

It sounds cheesy. Your spouse and yourself may even break out in giggles reading these. Trust me, when you get down to writing this statement, you'll crack your head. Please follow instructions. There are no compromise. Points to take note:

1) Each partner are to write one statement each. Your output would be TWO statements and they are supposed to be totally different in terms of writing style but matching in terms of details. We are all intelligent beings, so use some intelligence to ensure this happens.

2) When they say how, when and where. INCLUDE how,when and where. You may not be comfortable revealing your love story but that's the way it is, if you want to get this done. Exclude your sexual stories. Though they may be happy to read it it wouldn't score you extra points.

3) It is difficult to elaborate how your relationship develop. Sometimes you didn't notice it yourselves! Love and first sight with each other and deciding to get married the next week obviously is not going to work. You want to display the foundations of your relationship are set. You may want to include the difficulties along the way and how the relationship strengthen.

4) Your domestic arrangements - Same as point 2. Include every aspect they demand without fail.

5) Provide a simple photo list consisting of photos both of you had taken together every year since you know each other. You don't have to provide a lot of pictures per year. It is more important to provide at least one each year than many pictures of the recent years.

2. Evidence of your relationship
There are 4 broad categories of evidence that you need to provide:
• financial aspects;
• the nature of the household;
• social context of the relationship; and
• the nature of your commitment to each other.
Be creative. Be imaginative. You could think of many ways to prove your relationship. Don't cheat. There are many things you may have done together but have absolutely no way to prove it due to the lack of evidence. That is a pity and that's why this guide is created. Be aware what you need so you can prepare and collect them as early as you can.

Financial aspects

This list includes some suggestions. The items are neither exclusive or inclusive. You should provide more if you can think of any. Evidence will be required that you and your partner share financial commitments and responsibilities, including:

1) evidence of any joint ownership of real estate or other major assets (for example, cars,
appliances) and any joint liabilities (for example, loans, insurance).
If you have a HDB flat or something, that's a strong one. Include it. Insurance with each other's name as the beneficiaries is also a strong claim. You don't put your million dollar insurance claim under a bogus wife's name even if you want it to look convincing. She'll just kill you for the money. Screw the visa. 

2) evidence of sharing of finances such as:
• legal commitments that you and your partner have undertaken as a couple
Such as business partners, sharing of cars, house ownership, pet ownership registration etc

• evidence that you and your partner have operated joint bank accounts for a reasonable period of time
Start early. start now!

• change your spouse's address to your home address or vice versa.
Keep and provide this document.

• sharing of household bills and expenses.
Get your partner to pay the bills such as utilities or car loan with Internet Banking, print it and present. The more backdated the documents, the stronger your case. If you provide only 1 month history of these, ha ha. I'll thrash it into the bin if I am the case officer.

The nature of the household

You will be asked to provide evidence that you and your partner share responsibilities
within your household, including:

• your living arrangements;
If you could, move in and live together. Yes with the in-laws. If you have a place of your own, that's great. If not, consider moving out renting a place. You've got to bite the bullet, unless you can write an account how you guys manage your lives living apart, such as living nearby or bunking over during weekends, proving you are living apart with own parents due to convenience of work location etc.

• a statement outlining the basis on which responsibility for housework is distributed;
This is easy. Someone gotta mop the floor, bathe the dogs, water the plants, clean the windows etc. If only one spouse is doing all these and that spouse is not the applicant, it's time to split roles or don't even apply this visa for him/her.

• joint ownership or joint rental of the residence in which you live;
Straight forward. Get this sorted and it will be a strong claim.

• joint utilities accounts (electricity, gas, telephone);
In Singapore, we hardly have join utilities account. If the provider allows this, do it.

• joint responsibility for bills for day-to-day living expenses;
It is easy to present who pays for the internet with the billing address and receiver. Another spouse can be paying the groceries. (use nets and print out from Internet Banking to prove), etc. Be creative but don't cheat.

• joint responsibility for children;
Straight forward, if any.

• correspondence addressed to both you and your partner at the same address.
Bank joint accounts statement are a sure bet. Others would include properties offerings (register your interests are some condo sale and make sure they sent something to you addressed to both names) etc

Social context of the relationship
There are many things you can provide as evidence. However they should be prepared as early as you can. For example you can't go back 10 years where you first met and take photographs of yourselves again during that trip to Hong Kong. You can't reprint that 2005 tour air ticket that you discarded. Nor the resort stay 2 years ago. Not the online movie ticket booking either. If you kept all these, great. If you didn't, it's about time you start.

• evidence that you and your partner are generally accepted as a couple socially (for example, joint invitations, going out together, friends and acquaintances in common);
You would be invited to wedding of friends by now and both your names would be on their invitation card. That's a good one. Present this. Also present as many photographs of both of you with friends during outings. Please provide 1 picture per outing. 10 pictures for that single outing still get you 1 point. If I'm the case officer, I'll deduct points for spamming. You get the idea.

• the assessment of your friends and acquaintances about the nature of your
Get at least two mutual friends living in Australia to fill up a statutory declaration form, get a qualified person to sign and send it back to you.

• evidence that you and your partner have declared your relationship to government bodies, commercial/public institutions or authorities;
That would be your marriage certificate. If you are getting married, post a 3 liner advertisement in the newspaper to announce it as well. Provide the newspaper cutting as evidence. If you filled up any employment forms stating the name of your spouse, it helps too. Provide a sample of your wedding invitation card as well. If you could think of more, all the better.

• statutory declarations made by your or your partner’s parents, family members, relatives and other friends;
Get local friends to do statutory declaration as well. Get a JP or lawyer to endorse it in Singapore.

• joint membership of organisations or groups;
If you join any clubs or religious organisations or interests groups such as Football Clubs memberships with documentation to prove, show it.

• evidence of joint participation in sporting, cultural or social activities;
If you have not done it, do it. Married couples should have a thing or two in common anyway.

• joint travel
It is useless providing a hotel receipt unless it bears both your names as occupants. Air tickets of same flight with names printed should be kept. Photographs are useful as supporting documents but useless as their own. I could photoshop tons of it if you want me to.

The nature of your commitment to each other
Factors that could assist in evidencing mutual commitment between you and your partner include:

• knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances (for example, background and
family situation, which could be established at interview);
Normally the case officer would not call you up for an interview but it is good if she does. For it is your chance to prove your case. However if you present your case well with substantial solid evidence, the interview is normally not required.

• intention that your relationship will be long-term (for example, the extent to which you have combined your affairs);
If you have a property under the ownership of both of you, it will be a strong evidence to proof this. You could have a joint business partnership as well.

• the terms of your wills;
Very strong case, if you can provide any.

• correspondence and itemised phone accounts to show that contact was maintained
during any period of separation.
These are most likely lost in the virtual world. These days nobody writes physical love letters, no? Online emails can be provided but they are seldom strong evidence as they can be fabricated more easily than physical ones. But don't be discouraged, provide whatever you can and don't cheat. You know your relationship the best. There are bound to be special arrangements or unique actions you had done for each other over the years. Include them and these bits and pieces will form a good case for the approving officers to give you the nod.

Good luck.



  1. Whao, you wrote it so well! I went through it once for New Zealand's. It was pretty easy for me as they really see if you are a genuine couple or not.

  2. Clap clap clap....
    You really did a good one....

  3. @Peyning: thanks. hope it'll be useful to others

  4. It is important to know that you applying for the visa and with it the incidents involved with its issuance and the applicant can submit for permanent residency, thus allowing the individual to set roots in the country.

  5. Plenty of gay partners apply through this route as well to escape from a bigoted country.

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  7. what is it is an arranged marriage? u do kno that arranged marriage happen pretty quickly and lot of the evidences required might be difficult to provide.

  8. Is this the same as the online application? I did one for my spouse and its still in the midst of processing atm.

  9. very nice blog with deep informative information suimilr blog i have also want to read so click here Partner visa Australia

  10. to apply for partner visa you can hire the immigration agents from Education Embassy.