Anyone who is in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen can have a chance to become a permanent citizen of Australia. Under the immigration law, a de facto visa holder can be eligible to live and stay in the country provided he/she meets the application requirements.
However, to make this possible, you must first apply for a de facto visa. If you are an unmarried partner of an Australian citizen, you must first prove that you are in a real relationship for at least 12 months. Throughout this period, you must show proof that both of you are living in one house and you share the duties and responsibilities as a living-in couple. You must also have a mutual understanding of the circumstances that you were both in.
To support your claim, you must be able to show proof of your history as a couple. This may include your house rental receipts, letters and correspondence, money transmittal receipts, receipts of bills paid, copies of email messages as well as photos and other supporting documents.
Records of joint bank account and documents on the purchase of property or real estate are also admissible as proof that the relationship is real and may end up in marriage.
Although a de facto visa is usually valid only for two years, the applicant may still qualify for permanent residency as long as he/she can prove that they have a genuine relationship which is continuing or they have children born out of it.
To be granted permanent residency, an applicant is also required to undergo a strict health and medical examination as well as character check. The medical examination will be conducted by a team of doctors chosen by the Australian government. The applicant is also asked to submit clearance certificates from law enforcers of the country where the applicant lived in the last 10 years before the application.
Since a de facto visa is provisional, an applicant can file for a permanent residency application once the two-year period expires and the relationship is still ongoing.
Once you are granted permanent residency, you may also enjoy other privileges which include the right to work and study in the country. You may also be allowed to enter and travel in the country. Being a permanent resident, you will be entitled to medical benefits including hospitalization and Medicare benefits. You will also be eligible to receive social security benefits, and eventually, to apply for Australian citizenship.