The Australian migration program does not discriminate against people in same sex relationships.
In 2009 the Australian Government passed legislation equalising treatment of same sex couples and families. These reforms eliminated discrimination against same sex couples and their children in a wide range of areas including taxation, superannuation, health insurance, social security, aged care, child support, and Immigration.
In 2017 the Australian people voted with an overwhelming majority to permit same sex marriage. The effect of the vote is that people who are in a same sex marriage overseas can apply for an Australian partner visa based on the marriage. People who are in Australia, can also marry there same sex partner.
Same sex partners can also be included in applications for all visas including Skilled Migration visas, Student Work visas, Employer Sponsored visas, and Business visas.
Australian permanent residents and citizens can also sponsor their same sex partner for a Provisional or Permanent Partner visa. Applications from same sex partners in de facto relationships are assessed against the same criteria as people in a heterosexual de facto relationship.
To meet the visa rules you need to prove you have lived with your partner in a genuine de facto relationship for at least 12 months before applying for the visa. You are considered to be in a de facto relationship with another person if the following apply:
- You have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others;
- The relationship is genuine and continuing; and
- You live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
While the legal criteria are simple the evidence needed to prove the relationship is genuine and that you are committed to a life together can be complex. Decisions are not made based on any one document or on the amount of evidence but rather involve the Case Officer forming a subjective opinion on the genuineness of your relationship based on the documentation you include in the application.
While the list is not exhaustive, evidence addressing the following matters should be included in your same sex Partner visa application:
- the financial aspects of the relationship;
- the nature of your household;
- the social aspects of your relationship; and
- the nature of your commitment to each other.
Given the potential issues in migrating to Australia with your same sex partner we strongly recommend you arrange an initial Legal Assessment with VisAustralia.
At the Legal Assessment we will assist you decide which visa is best for you taking into account the special circumstances of your relationship. We will also discuss the kinds of evidence you need to make a successful application with your partner, the time frames for applying, and the cost implications of your different options.
The Legal Assessment can be by teleconference if you and your partner are in different locations. At the end of the Legal Assessment we will confirm our advice in writing.
On signing the VisAustralia Agreement we will work closely with you to prepare high quality sponsorship and visa applications. We will assist you compile evidence of your relationship demonstrating you and your partner meed the visa criteria. A professionally prepared application is the best way to ensure your application will receive favourable consideration by the Australian Government.
For more information about applying for a visa with your same sex partner we invite you to contact VisAustralia and book a Legal Assessment with one of our lawyers or migration agents.