In this case our client applied for a spouse visa after having been in a relationship with her partner for 17 months. For most of their relationship, however, the couple had lived separately and maintained separate households. The visa application was rejected by Immigration on the grounds that for the 12 months before the application, the couple had not actually been living together.
For the appeal, we drafted detailed statutory declarations for our client detailing the circumstances of the couple’s relationship and the reasons for their decision to live apart for much of the relationship. We made carefully argued submissions that the couple throughout their relationship held an adequate commitment to a shared life as husband and wife. The evidence gathered included statements not just from family and friends, but also from people who had known the couple in a professional capacity, such as their doctor. The tribunal accepted our representations that the couple had lived apart partly because of custody issues which the applicant was having with her ex-husband, and partly to ensure the wellbeing of her daughter.
The tribunal agreed that it was appropriate that the 12 month cohabitation requirement should be waived. With our help, the applicant won her case.