How to Write a Statutory Declaration for Australian Partner Visas?

Statutory declaration in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application

Financial commitments

In this section, outline any shared financial commitments and arrangements.

Examples include:

  • Joint loan or lease agreements such as for your residence, cars, business etc.
  • Joint bank account and/or savings account which is used with reasonable frequency
  • Owning or operating a business together
  • Conferring financial benefits 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
  • Explaining that wages for your partner and/or yourself are paid into the same joint account
  • Your future financial goals, such as saving up to purchase a house, wedding costs, overseas trips etc.
  • Explaining your joint purchase of any significant assets or household items

 

Development of relationship

In this section, outline the initial development of your relationship.

Examples include:

  • How you and your partner were introduced to each other (e.g. friends, family, internet dating website etc.)
  • Date that you and your partner first contacted each other, and how you contacted each other: (e.g. text message, call, in person introduction etc.)
  • Date and place that you and your partner first met in person
  • Any significant events, holidays or personal matters leading up to your decision to enter into your committed and exclusive relationship
  • Events leading up to you and your partner starting to live together
  • Significant events in your lives during which you have relied on each other for support, such as personal or family illness, stressful periods at work or with studies, adjusting to life in Australia for the visa applicant etc.

 

Social aspects of relationship

  • 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

 

Nature of household

In this section, 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 chores such as cleaning, cooking, shopping etc.
  • Duties that you and your partner undertake in looking after any child or children of the relationship
  • Duties that relate to other household chores such as looking after pets, elderly parents or other relatives

Commitment to each other

  • Your future plans together such as buying a property, starting a family, moving to a bigger residence once your partner arrives in Australia etc.
  • Significant events in your lives during which you have relied on each other for support, such as personal or family illness, stressful periods at work or with studies, adjusting to life in Australia for the visa applicant etc.
  • Affirm the nature of your relationship

 

 

Important things to include in a Statutory Declaration for a Partner Visa 

  • Development of the relationship.
  • Financial commitments.
  • Nature of your household.
  • Social aspects of your relationship.
  • Your commitment to each other.
  • Referring to your supporting documents.

 

Are you planning to start a family? Booking a big trip? Include anything that demonstrates long term plans in your statutory declaration.

 

Who can witness your statutory declaration

Your witness must:

  • be on the list of approved witnesses, and
  • have a connection to Australia or
  • be a notary public (with or without a connection to Australia)

If you are not in Australia, you will need to find an approved witness overseas. 

Your approved witness can be a:

  • family member
  • friend
  • person related to the content in your statement

But you should check with the person that asked for the declaration if they will accept it.

 

What it means to have a connection to Australia

Having a connection to Australia means the person:

  • is licensed or registered to practice in Australia, or
  • holds an Australian membership to a professional organisation, or
  • is appointed in Australia

For example:

  • a doctor who is registered to practise medicine in Australia can witness your declaration (a doctor who is not registered in Australia cannot)
  • an accountant who has an Australian membership to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

 

What is a notary public

  • witness documents
  • administer oaths
  • perform other administrative functions

You can use a notary public to witness your statutory declaration even if they are called something different under another country’s legislation. For example, they may be called a notary or a public notary.

Before using a notary public overseas, you should check the person has been appointed by a government to witness documents.

 

Fees for witnessing a statutory declaration

It’s up to your approved witness if they want to charge you a fee for their service.

However, a Justice of the Peace cannot charge a fee to witness a statutory declaration.

 

List of approved witnesses

A person who is licenced or registered in these occupations

These people can witness your statutory declaration if they are licenced in Australia. Or, if they are registered to practice their work in Australia.

  • architect
  • chiropractor
  • dentist
  • financial adviser or financial planner
  • legal practitioner, with or without a practicing certificate
  • medical practitioner
  • midwife
  • migration agent registered under Division 3 of Part 3 of the Migration Act 1958
  • nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • optometrist
  • patent attorney
  • pharmacist
  • physiotherapist
  • psychologist
  • trade marks attorney
  • veterinary surgeon

 

A person on the roll of the Supreme Court of a state or territory, or the High Court of Australia

A person is an approved witness if they are on the roll of:

  • the Supreme Court of a state or territory in Australia
  • the High Court of Australia as a legal practitioner

This applies even if they do not have a practising certificate.

 

A person who is on this list

These people can witness your statutory declaration because they are a member of a professional body or organisation in Australia. Or, they work in a position connected to Australia.

  • accountant who is:
    1. a fellow of the National Tax Accountants’ Association, or
    2. a member of:
      1. Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
      2. the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants
      3. CPA Australia
      4. the Institute of Public Accountants
  • agent of the Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) who is in charge of an office that provides postal services to the public
  • permanent employee of the Australian Postal Corporation with 5 or more years of continuous service who is employed in an office supplying postal services to the public
  • APS employee engaged on an ongoing basis with 5 or more years of continuous service who is not specified in another item of this Part
  • Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer under Consular Fees Act 1955
  • bailiff
  • bank officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • building society officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • chief executive officer of a Commonwealth court
  • clerk of a court
  • Commissioner for Affidavits
  • Commissioner for Declarations
  • credit union officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • permanent employee of a Commonwealth authority– external site with 5 or more years of continuous service who is not specified in another item in this Part
  • engineer who is:
    1. a member of Engineers Australia but not a student
    2. a Registered Professional Engineer of Professionals Australia
    3. registered as an engineer under a law of the Commonwealth, a state or territory, or
    4. registered on the National Engineering Register by Engineers Australia
  • finance company officer with 5 or more years of continuous service
  • holder of a statutory office not specified in another item in this list
  • judge
  • Justice of the Peace
  • magistrate
  • marriage celebrant registered under the Marriage Act 1961
  • master of a court
  • member of the Australian Defence Force who is:
    1. an officer, or
    2. a non-commissioned officer within the meaning of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 with 5 or more years of continuous service, or
    3. a warrant officer within the meaning of that Act
  • member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • member of the Governance Institute of Australia Ltd
  • member of:
    1. the parliament of the Commonwealth
    2. the parliament of a state
    3. a territory legislature
    4. a local government authority
  • minister of religion registered under the Marriage Act 1961
  • notary public, including a notary public (however described) exercising functions at a place outside:
    1. the Commonwealth, and
    2. the external territories of the Commonwealth
  • permanent employee of a state or territory, or a state or territory authority, with 5 or more years of continuous service, other than such an employee who is specified in another item of this Part
  • permanent employee of a local government authority with 5 or more years of continuous service, other than such an employee who is specified in another item of this Part
  • person before whom a statutory declaration may be made under the law of the state or territory in which the declaration is made
  • police officer
  • prison officer employed by the Commonwealth or a state, territory or local government authority with more than 5 years of continuous service
  • registrar, or deputy registrar, of a court
  • senior executive employee of a Commonwealth authority
  • senior executive employee of a state or territory
  • SES employee of the Commonwealth
  • sheriff
  • sheriff’s officer
  • teacher employed full-time or part-time at a school or tertiary education institution

 

Who cannot witness your statutory declaration

You cannot witness your own statutory declaration, even if you are an approved witness.

A person who was an approved witness but has retired or changed to an occupation that is not listed above is not an approved witness. For example, a retired teacher cannot witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration.

This does not apply to someone who is on the roll of the Supreme Court or the High Court. They will be on the roll for life unless they have been removed.

 

Find an approved witness overseas

You can make a Commonwealth statutory declaration if you are overseas. But it must be witnessed by a:

  • person on the approved witness list who has a connection to Australia
  • notary public appointed overseas
  • employee of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission who is:
    1. in a country or place outside Australia, and
    2. authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, and
    3. exercising his or her function in that place
  • employee of the Commonwealth who is:
    1. in a country or place outside Australia, and
    2. authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, and
    3. exercising his or her function in that place

You may be able find an approved witness at an Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade– external site or Smartraveller– external site for contact details.

Approved witnesses who are overseas are allowed to charge a fee for being a witness.

 

Ask an approved witness to witness other documents

It is not regulated who can:

  • certify documents
  • witness documents that are not a statutory declaration

If you need to get a document certified, you should ask the person that requested it if they have rules about who can certify it.

Usually a witness can be anyone who:

  • is 18 years or older
  • knows the person whose signature they are witnessing or has taken reasonable steps to verify their identity
  • isn’t a party to the document
  • if the document is a trust deed, isn’t a beneficiary of the trust

If you are unsure who can witness a specific document, you should check with the person that asked you for it.  ‚Äč

 

Get help from a Migration Lawyer for your Partner Visa

The Partner visa application can be a delicate process and it’s incredibly important to have a strategy in place, to avoid rejection. 

 

At No Borders Law Group we work with many people who are wanting to live their dream life here in Australia, with their beloved. We walk you through the process, step-by-step.

 

Everyone’s story is different, and each situation demands a unique strategy. To obtain your very own step by step free consultation, we invite you to book an appointment with us.

 

Are you looking for help with applying Australian Partner Visas?

NO BORDERS LAW GROUP: #1 TRUSTED MIGRATION LAWYERS

Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000

Consultation:  https://www.noborders-group.com/form/free-consultation

 

We will help you by exploring visa options and securing applications. We will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa, and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry or book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected]

 

 

Credit:

Attorney-General’s Department 

https://www.ag.gov.au/legal-system/statutory-declarations/who-can-witness-your-statutory-declaration

 

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