Navigating Nature of Commitment: The Trickiest Pillar Made Easy

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by Rofia Mavaddat - LL.B - Registered Migration Agent [MARN 1467678]

February 28, 2024

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Nature of Commitment – one of the four pillars of relationship and arguably, one of trickiest to ‘evidence’. 

From my previous blog about the four pillars of relationship, you would know that what when it comes to assessing whether or not your relationship is genuine and continuing, the Department will assess you against ‘the four pillars’. 

So what do I mean by trickiest to evidence? Well for the other three pillars of relationship (financial aspects, social aspects and nature of household) the evidence can seem relatively ‘straightforward’ and there can be an ample amount of documentation to provide. That’s not to say there is no evidence to put forward under the nature of commitment pillars because there definitely is! However, in my experience, I have seen lots of couples skip over this pillar or not give it the attention it needs, simply because they didn’t understand what was actually required.

In my opinion, the nature of commitment pillar is the one you should give the most attention to. Why? Because it paints the entire picture of your relationship and importantly, the fact that you and your partner view your relationship as a long term and ongoing.

But when it comes to evidencing the nature of commitment, there are a lot of questions around what this means and how do you best evidence it. For the nature of commitment pillar, it’s not just about documents like bank statements and photos, but the Department gives weight to what YOU have to say about your relationship. 

Let’s break it down. 

The Department wants to know whether you and your partner view your relationship as a long term one. Remember that the evidentiary threshold for a partner visa is high, and you need to differentiate your relationship from that of a ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ type relationship to a ‘de-facto or spousal one’. 

It’s consistent across de-facto and spousal relationships that the couple would view their relationship as long term. 

What about the length of your relationship? This is also an important consideration. The Department wants to learn about how you and partner first met and how your relationship developed. Have you been together for 3 months, or have you been together for 10 years? Similarly, are you living together? If you are, then you should be sharing information about how long you have been living together and what your life looks like as a couple.

For those couples who don’t live together, it’s equally as important to explain why you are not currently living together and to of course provide additional documentation around why you aren’t living together and your intention to live together permanently in the future.

Demonstrating that you and your partner are aware of each other’s backgrounds, families, goals and ambitions is important to evidence. And do you share the same goals and values? Are your outlooks on life aligned? For example, if you intend to marry and start a family in the future, then you should be sharing this information with the Department.

Again, it’s equally important to share information to the contrary. Not all couples want to marry and have kids, and that’s totally fine! If this is something you and your partner have spoken about and are on the same page on, then you should be sharing this information with the Department. It demonstrates that you have spoken about your future and your vision is aligned. 

So how else can you demonstrate the nature of your commitment to each other? By providing more insight into your relationship and sharing details on the level of emotional, physical, and financial support you have provided each other throughout your relationship. 

For example, if one of you has experienced the loss of a family member or a change in career, how did you rely on each other for support during that time? Or maybe either you or your partner had to spend some time in hospital or have surgery, leaving you more physically dependent on the other.

To recap, you want to be talking about the following when it comes to the nature of your commitment:

  • The length of your relationship; 
  • The insight you have into each other’s goals and ambitions; 
  • Whether you share the same values and outlooks on life; 
  • The level of support you have provided each other throughout the course of your relationship 

Remember your relationship statements? This is where you are going to be detailing all of this information.

Your relationship statements are important for so many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that you get to ‘speak’ to your case officer. And where physical evidence might be limited (such as under the nature of commitment), the decision maker needs details and information when assessing whether or not you and your partner have a commitment to each other. 

Here is an example of the type of documentation you can provide under the ‘nature of commitment’ pillar. Remember that some of these documents could fall under a couple of different categories, and that’s okay. But the key is to upload one document only once to your Immi Portal:

  • Relationship Statements 
  • Evidence of communication between you and your partner. You should focus on samples of communication while you may have been apart or periods where you have provided emotional support to each other
  • Wills
  • Tax file declarations
  • Listing each other as emergency contacts with your employers/doctor/university 
  • Plans to marry such as booking a wedding venue
  • Plans to start a family such as taking out health insurance that includes pregnancy, health check up with the GP, fertility treatments 

Depending on your relationship you may have so many other documents you can provide. 

If you’re not feeling confident about the evidence you have, then it’s always a good idea to get advice from a migration agent. Or if you think you have put your application together and want it checked before you lodge it, then reach out to us and we can help. 

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Rofia Mavaddat - LL.B - Registered Migration Agent [MARN 1467678]

Rofia was born in Perth, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Law and has been a Registered Migration Agent since 2014. Rofia chose to specialise in Partner Visas because of a deep-seated belief in the power of love and family unity. She has seen firsthand the joy and fulfillment that comes from reuniting couples and keeping families together. Her work in this area allows her to witness and be a part of the beautiful stories of love and togetherness - what could be more rewarding? 

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