Collecting and organising evidence for your 820/801 Partner Visa is absolutely the most stressful part of the entire application, and this confusion is only magnified by the scarcity of information provided on the Home Affairs site. If you’re struggling with your evidence, know that you’re not alone! Callum and I had 3.5 years worth of documents and photos to include on this application and at times it felt like an impossible amount of information to convey to another human being.. Still, we managed to find a way to tell our story with this evidence and hopefully it will mean a successful visa application for us

Read my whole series on applying for the 820/801 Australian Partner Visa for more information about preparing your evidence, lodging your application, and the next steps. If you’re just beginning, start with this post to get an overview (and to read about our story). And, as always, please remember that I’m not a migration agent or affiliated with Home Affairs in any way, so all information provided in these posts in based on my own experience and my own understanding of the process.

Some background on us

If you haven’t been following along with all of my partner visa posts, Callum and I first started dating 3.5 years ago after we met at Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay. I’d already been living as a student in Sydney for nearly 3 years at that point (I’m originally from Seattle), but he was living in Melbourne, which meant quite a lot of long drives and expensive flights during the early part of our relationship. When I graduated a few months after we started dated, I eagerly moved down to Melbourne, rented an apartment with Callum in the city, and got a Working Holiday Visa. About 7 months after that, I got a scholarship offer to do my PhD in Sydney, so we packed up and moved back to NSW together.

Fast forward to present day, we’ve lived together for 3 years (most of it in Sydney, but some in Melbourne), travelled to more than 20 countries together, been on overseas holidays with his family and my family, been to visit my parents in Seattle 3 times, have a cat together, and have really intertwined our lives in just about every possible way. We are lucky that our situation is reasonably uncomplicated, but there is still no such thing as an easy partner visa application; I lost weeks of time just trying to organise documents and photos for our “straightforward” application, only to realise once I got to the upload screen that there was definitely a better way to do it! This post is an attempt to provide you with all the information I wish I had about uploading evidence so that you can actually organise things correctly the first time and be totally prepared to add documents after submitting and paying for your application.

Getting to the upload portal

Within your IMMI Account (on the My Applications page), select your partner visa application by clicking “View Details“. Under the “Actions” tab on the left hand side, select “Attach Documents“, which will take you to the upload portal. You’ll now see two different expandable sections, one with your name and one with your partner’s name.

To really give you an idea of the upload process and provide a bit more information about what you might want to submit, I’ve included all the evidence sections that are displayed as “Recommended” (even if I didn’t personally upload anything under that heading and even if they don’t apply to everyone), as well as the description provided by Home Affairs and some intermittent notes from me where clarification is necessary. Lastly, I’ve written out a complete list of all the evidence I uploaded to each section of my own application!

Important things to remember

  • You are limited to 100 documents, and even though that sounds like heaps, it will go far quicker than you think! Group similar documents into a single PDF, copy and paste photos into a word document rather than uploading them individually, and make sure you upload the essential stuff first before you get to all the fluff.
  • Give documents logical names, like “Joint Travel Photos 2015” so it’s easy for the CO to sift through your application (and also easy for you to reference specific documents in your statements).
  • Your documents need to be under 5MB, which means you’ll want to compress large PDFs (SmallPDF only allows you to compress 2 documents an hour, but just clear your cookies to reset the counter) and avoid submitting unnecessarily high resolution images. This might also mean that you have to split PDFs into multiple parts (e.g. “Financial Documents 2015” and “Financial Documents 2016”, etc.).

Applicant documents

Form 80 Personal Particulars for Character Assessment

Attach a completed and signed Personal particulars for character assessment form (Form 80).

My uploads

Character Assessment, Evidence of Intention to Obtain

Provide evidence of your intention to obtain the relevant character assessments. This may include a receipt for an application for a police check.

Notes from BB: You are required to supply a federal police check from every country you’ve lived in. Submitting this at the time of application is referred to as “front loading” or having a “decision-ready application”, but it seems to have fallen out of fashion as wait times have gotten longer and longer.. The original idea was that, by giving the CO everything they need to approve your application without any follow-up, you’d get a decision much quicker. Given that police and medical checks are only valid for one year and visa processing times often extend far beyond this, most applicants just wait for the CO to request the checks rather than risking expiration (and having to re-do the already inconvenient and expensive clearances). After giving a lot of thought to this, we decided not “front load” our application and instead wait for the CO to request the police and medical checks.

Citizenship – Not Australian, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your citizenship of any country other than Australia. This may include your passport or proof of citizenship certificate issued by the country. Provide a scanned copy of your original document.

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • PASSPORT BROOKE: Don’t worry about certifying this, a colour scan is perfectly acceptable for an online application

Photograph – Passport

Provide a recent passport photograph (45mm x 35mm). This should be of the head and shoulders only, and should show the person facing the camera, against a plain background and must be less than six months old. Print the name of the person on the back of the photograph.

My uploads

Character, Evidence of

If you have lived in Australia for a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years (these 12 months are calculated cumulatively, not consecutively) you are required to provide an Australian Federal Police (AFP) clearance by completing a National Police Check Online Application Form. You also need to provide a similar police check from every country you’ve lived in for more than 12 months. See my earlier comments on “Character Assessment, Evidence of Intention to Obtain”.

Registered Relationship, Evidence of

Provide evidence that your relationship is registered under a law of a state or territory prescribed in the Acts Interpretation (Registered Relationships) Regulations 2008 as a kind of relationship prescribed in those regulations.

My uploads
  • RELATIONSHIP CERTIFICATE: A colour scan of our NSW Relationship Registration

Contact While Apart, Evidence of

Provide evidence of contact between you both while you were apart from each other.

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • STATEMENT OF CONTACT WHILE APART: Just a written statement about Callum and I living together uninterrupted for our entire de facto relationship, providing dates of when we were long distance prior to moving in together and when we travelled separately on a few occasions
  • CALENDAR OF VISITS: Print-outs from my iCal showing all the dates Callum and I saw each other before we moved in together as a de facto couple
  • MESSAGES WHILE APART: 120 pages of iMessages between me and Callum during the times we travelled separately

Form 956 Advice by a Migration Agent/Exempt Person

Provide a completed and signed Form 956 Advice by a migration agent/exempt person of providing immigration assistance.Access to complete this form online may be available from the ‘Update details’ section in ImmiAccount.

Notes from BB: We chose not to use a migration agent, so we had nothing to include here.

Form 956A Appointment or Withdrawal of an Authorised Recipient

Provide a completed and signed Form 956A Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient. Access to complete this form online may be available from the ‘Update details’ section in ImmiAccount.

Notes from BB: We completed the application on our own, so we did not need to submit this form.

Address – Residential, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your residential address. This may include your driver’s licence or utilities account.

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS BROOKE: Our current lease agreement with my name and two bills addressed to me at our address, combined in one PDF

Photograph – Other

Provide a recent photograph of the visa applicant (other than a passport photograph).

My uploads
  • RECENT PHOTOS BROOKE

Military Discharge, Evidence of

Provide a certified copy of your military discharge.

Notes from BB: This didn’t apply to me, so I didn’t submit anything under this heading.

National Identity Document (other than Passport)

Provide a certified copy of your national identity card/s (other than your passport). You must provide a copy of both sides of each card.

My uploads
  • SOCIAL SECURITY CARD BROOKE

Family Register and Composition Form (if applicable)

Provide evidence of your family composition. You can provide a copy of your family register book (if your country issues one). Applicants applying from China should provide a copy of their family register book (Hukou) and Form 54 Family Composition which can be found on the Department’s website. Applicants applying from Indonesia must provide a copy of their Family Card (Kartu Keluarga).

Notes from BB: It’s not common that people include this information, according to what I’ve read on the forums, so we left this section blank.

Travel Document

Provide evidence of your travel document. This may include a certified copy of the personal particulars/photo (bio-data) page. This is the page of the passport which shows the name and date of birth, passport number, issue and expiry date, and photograph of the holder. If you do not have a passport and are not able to obtain one, please provide a certified copy of your Document for Travel to Australia (DFTTA) or a Titre de Voyage (Convention Travel Document).

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • PASSPORT BROOKE

Length of the De Facto Relationship, Evidence of

Provide evidence of the length of the de facto relationship. 

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PARTNER VISA: Stat dec from my mum about her staying in our shared apartment in 2015 and 2018, travelling with us over the years, Callum visiting her without me in America, etc

Medical Examination, Evidence of Intention to Undergo

Provide evidence of your intention to undergo a medical examination. This may include a certified copy of your receipt for a medical examination.

Notes from BB: You are required to undergo a health check to make sure that you are not bringing any dangerous communicable diseases into Australia, but as with the police check, this is only valid for a year, so I decided to wait for our CO to request it.

Nature of the Couple’s Household, Evidence of

Provide evidence of the nature of the couple’s household.

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • EVIDENCE OF SHARED PET: Vet bills and receipt for the joint purchase of our cat, plus photos of us with our cat over the years
  • BILLS AND MAIL ADDRESSED TO SHARED ADDRESSES: 2x pieces of mail addressed to me and 2x addressed to Callum at our shared address during every 6 month period of our relationship (showing consistent cohabitation)
  • PHOTOS OF SHARED APARTMENT: Photos of our shared bedroom and other areas of our home on a single page

Form 888 Statutory Declaration by a Supporting Witness in Relation to a Partner Visa Application

Attach a completed and signed Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application form (Form 888).

Notes from BB: You are required to include the name and details of at least 2 witnesses when completing your online application, but as I mentioned earlier, more is surely not a bad thing, so we uploaded 9 total stat decs from family and friends (find the form here and read more about it in this post)

My uploads
  • FORM 888- Callum’s dad
  • FORM 888- Callum’s mum
  • FORM 888- Callum’s sister
  • FORM 888- Our mutual friend
  • FORM 888- Callum’s school friend
  • FORM 888- Callum’s work colleague
  • FORM 888- My friend
  • FORM 888- My friend
  • FORM 888- My work colleague

Relationship – Spouse, De Facto Partner, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your relationship with your spouse/de facto partner. This may include a certified copy of your marriage certificate, family book, household booklet or family composition evidence.

Notes from BB: There’s a little drop-box with options for this section, see the screenshot below.

My uploads
  • APPLICATION COVER LETTER: I wrote a nice letter to our future CO explaining that we were waiting to undergo background and health checks until required and that we were happy to provide additional information as requested
  • DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONSHIP: I wrote about 6 pages on the history of our relationship, from when we met all the way through to our future plans together
  • RELATIONSHIP STATEMENT CALLUM: Callum also wrote a similar statement (albeit much shorter) and signed it
  • SOCIAL ASPECTS STATEMENT: I wrote about all the events we’ve attended together and the travel we’ve done as a couple over the years, referencing specific dates and photos contained in other attachments
  • JOINT PHOTOS 2015: Collection of photos of me and Callum together in 2015, all with captions
  • JOINT PHOTOS 2016: Collection of photos of me and Callum together in 2016, all with captions
  • JOINT PHOTOS 2017: Collection of photos of me and Callum together in 2017, all with captions
  • JOINT PHOTOS 2018: Collection of photos of me and Callum together in 2018, all with captions
  • FACEBOOK SCREENSHOTS: Screenshots of statuses where we tagged each other, photos we were both in, posts between Callum and my mum, our relationship status, etc.
  • JOINT TRAVEL BOOKINGS: 40 pages of plane tickets, train tickets, and other travel bookings from the 20 countries we’ve visited together
  • JOINT EVENTS: A collection of Facebook invites, gig tickets, and invitations to events with both of our names on them
  • FINANCIAL STATEMENT BROOKE: Statement from me about our joint accounts and joint savings goals
  • FINANCIAL STATEMENT CALLUM: A signed statement from Callum about how we share finances, how he bought me a car, how he is saving for our house deposit
  • JOINT EXPENSES: A collection of bills, travel bookings, and other expenses paid for by one of us, showing that we each contribute financially
  • CAR: Receipt from the car Callum bought me, insurance policy with both names, receipt from the rego that I paid

Health, Evidence of

You are required to provide additional information as part of the health assessment process for your visa application. For more information about the exact documentation required, click on the Attach document link.

Notes from BB: See my earlier comments on “Medical Examination, Evidence of Intention to Undergo”.

Divorce/Separation, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your divorce or separation. This may include a certified copy of your divorce decree absolute or court documents.

Notes from BB: This didn’t apply to our situation, so there was nothing for me to upload under this heading.

Identity, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your identity. Provide a scanned copy of your original document.

My uploads
  • AUSTRALIAN ID BROOKE: I scanned my Australian Driver Licence, student card, WWCC, and healthcare card onto a single page

Nature of the Couple’s Mutual Commitment to Each Other, Evidence of

Provide evidence of the nature of the couple’s mutual commitment to each other.

My uploads
  • COMMITMENT STATEMENT BROOKE: Statement from me about our involvement with one another’s family and our long-terms goals together
  • COMMITMENT STATEMENT CALLUM: Signed statement from Callum about our mutual commitment and future plans
  • BENEFICIARY: Screenshot from both my Super and Callum’s Super showing the other as full beneficiary
  • EMERGENCY CONTACT: Screenshot from my Uni account showing Callum as my emergency contact
  • TATTOO PHOTO: Photo of the matching tattoos Callum and I got in Indonesia
  • STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PARTNER VISA: Stat dec from my dad detailing all the time he’s spent with Callum, either when we visited America or when we’ve travelled with him
  • STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PARTNER VISA: Stat dec from my stepmother about how she believes our relationship is genuine and how Callum is considered part of the family
  • JOINT FAMILY PHOTOS: Collection of photos of me with Callum’s family and him with my family throughout the years, all with captions
  • CHRISTMAS CARDS: Three years of Christmas cards sent out by my parents that have included a photo of me and Callum and have signed his name at the bottom as part of the “Brisbine family”

Change of Name, Evidence of

Provide evidence of any name change. This may include your marriage certificate or change of name certificate. Provide a scanned copy of your original document.

Notes from BB: This didn’t apply to our situation, so there was nothing for me to upload under this heading.

Couple are Living Together, Evidence of

Provide evidence that the couple are living together.

My uploads
  • EVIDENCE OF COHABITATION STATEMENT: Details from me about the addresses we’ve lived at together and when we moved in
  • BOND RECEIPTS: Official bond receipts with both of our names from all 3 properties we’ve lived at together
  • LEASE AGREEMENTS: Signed lease agreements in both names for all 3 properties we’ve lived at together
  • REAL ESTATE CORRESPONDENCE: A collection of letters and emails between us and the various agents we have had over the years
  • CURRENT ADDRESS: Mail addressed jointly to me and Callum at our current property

Form 1221 Additional Personal Particulars Form

Provide a completed and signed Form 1221 Additional personal particulars information for applicants aged 18 years and over.

My uploads

Birth or Age, Evidence of

Provide a certified copy of your full birth certificate. If your country of birth does not issue birth certificates, provide written notification stating this, and provide your country’s equivalent documentation, such as secondary school certificate, family book extracts or family census register.

My uploads
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE BROOKE: Colour scan of my birth certificate

Military Service, Evidence of

Provide a certified copy of your military service record.

Notes from BB: This didn’t apply to me, so I didn’t upload anything under this heading.

Marriage, Evidence of

Provide evidence of marriage.

Notes from BB: This didn’t apply to our situation, so there was nothing for me to upload under this heading.

Early morning light at Burleigh Hill

Sponsor documents

Form 40SP- Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia

Attach a completed and signed Sponsorship for a partner to migrate to Australia form (Form 40SP).

Callum’s uploads

Character Assessment, Evidence of Intention to Obtain

Provide evidence of your intention to obtain the relevant character assessments. This may include a receipt for an application for a police check.

Notes from BB: See my notes under this same heading in Applicant documents.

Citizenship – Australian, Evidence of

Provide evidence of Australian citizenship. For more detailed information on when and how you may have acquired Australian citizenship and the documents you will need to support your claim, use Tables A-E. You might be required to provide additional documents to those listed in the tables. Provide a scanned copy of your original document.

Callum’s uploads
  • PASSPORT CALLUM: A colour scan is perfectly acceptable for an online application

Australian Permanent Residence, Evidence of

Provide evidence that the person supporting your application is an Australian permanent resident. This may include a certified copy of a Residence Certificate or letter/statement from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Notes from BB: Callum is an Australian citizen by birth, so we didn’t submit anything under this heading.

Eligible New Zealand Citizen, Evidence of

Provide evidence that your sponsor is an eligible New Zealand citizen. This may include a certified copy of your sponsor’s New Zealand passport or proof of citizenship certificate.

Notes from BB: Callum is an Australian citizen by birth, so we didn’t submit anything under this heading.

Character, Evidence of

If you have lived in Australia for a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years (these 12 months are calculated cumulatively, not consecutively) you are required to provide an Australian Federal Police (AFP) clearance by completing a National Police Check Online Application Form. You also need to provide a similar police check from every country you’ve lived in for more than 12 months.

Notes from BB: See my notes under this same heading in Applicant documents.

Address – Residential, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your residential address. This may include your driver’s licence or utilities account.

Callum’s uploads
  • RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS CALLUM: Our current lease agreement with Callum’s name and two bills addressed to him at our address, combined in one PDF

National Identity Document (other than Passport)

Provide a certified copy of your national identity card/s (other than your passport). You must provide a copy of both sides of each card.

Notes from BB: We didn’t upload anything under this category.

Divorce/Separation, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your divorce or separation. This may include a certified copy of your divorce decree absolute or court documents.

Notes from BB: This didn’t apply to our situation, so there was nothing to upload under this heading.

Identity, Evidence of

Provide evidence of your identity. Provide a scanned copy of your original document.

Callum’s uploads
  • AUSTRALIAN ID CALLUM: Scanned copy of Callum’s Australian Driver Licence, Medicare card, trade qualification, and credit card showing his name, all on a single page

Change of Name, Evidence of

Provide evidence of any name change. This may include your marriage certificate or change of name certificate. Provide a scanned copy of your original document.

Notes from BB: Callum hasn’t changed his name, so there was nothing to upload under this heading.

Birth or Age, Evidence of

Provide a certified copy of your full birth certificate. If your country of birth does not issue birth certificates, provide written notification stating this, and provide your country’s equivalent documentation, such as secondary school certificate, family book extracts or family census register.

Callum’s uploads
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE CALLUM: Colour scan of Callum’s Australian birth certificate

What’s next?

Your application is now totally complete (for the moment), so celebrate and just wait to hear from your CO!!

I hope this information has been helpful and I wish you so much luck on your Australian Partner Visa journey! Feel free to ask any questions below and I will do my very best to answer them.