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Same Sex Visa

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  • Same Sex Visa in Australia

    Same sex marriage is not currently legal in Australia, so many couples worry that it will be impossible for them to move there together.  Fortunately, this is not the case.  It’s possible to get a same sex visa, but there isn’t a specific visa that is dedicated as a homosexual visa (also commonly referred to as a gay visa, lesbian visa, or pink visa), so it is more challenging in certain ways.

    If you’re attempting to go through this process, it’s wise to talk to an immigration lawyer.  They can explain what options are available, help you determine what you are eligible for, and make sure you successfully complete the process in the shortest amount of time.  The Migration Place is quite experienced at obtaining these visas, and we would be more than happy to be of assistance.

    Interdependent Visa

    Until 2009, it was necessary for couples of the same sex to apply for an interdependent visa in Australia.  However, they changed the way that these relationships are recognized, so now there isn’t anything to differentiate unmarried couples based on gender.

    Partner Visa

    After the law changes in 2009, all unmarried couples simply apply for a partner visa, and this has made it a more straightforward process of obtaining them.  One big benefit is that a partner visa allows the holders to be considered as a family, even if they are the same sex.  Additionally, it allows for the partners to apply for all of the same visa processes that opposite sex couples can apply for, such as business, student, skilled, and humanitarian visas.

    Getting a Same Sex Visa

    In order to be eligible for a same sex visa in Australia, one partner must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand.  Unfortunately, the process for obtaining a partner visa has multiple stages, so it isn’t an extremely fast process.  The application process can be completed from both inside or outside of Australia, but the specific visas granted will be slightly different, so this strategy must be prepared for in advance.

    First, the partner who is applying will need to receive a temporary visa.  This will allow the holder to live, work, and study in Australia, as well as enrol in the Australian health system.  After about two years, the holder will then be eligible to receive a permanent same sex visa.

    De Facto Relationship

    While there is no such thing as a gay visa or a lesbian visa, same sex couples can obtain migration rights based on proving that they are in a de facto relationship.  These relationships can be for same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

    A rough definition of a de facto relationship is one where the partners have a mutual commitment to a shared life and an exclusive relationship together, and the relationship must be genuine and continuing.  They have to live together, or only be separated temporarily, and they must have lived together for at least 12 months.  Also, the partners cannot be related to each other.

    It helps to prove this if the relationship has been registered, but that’s not a requirement.  As mentioned before, de facto partners are considered family members if their partner is a primary visa applicant (this is relevant when neither partner is Australian, but one is applying for another type of visa to Australia).

    12 Month Requirement

    As previously mentioned, the de facto relationship requires that the couple has lived together for 12 months, and this can be a huge difficulty when attempting to get a homosexual visa for a foreign partner of an Australian because of same sex marriage not being legally recognized.  Unless the foreign partner is able to get another type of visa that allows them to stay in Australia or the couple can live abroad for a year, this can really be a really challenging obstacle.  However, there are ways to handle this situation and make it work.  Call us at The Migration Place, and we can help you figure out a way to legally fulfil this requirement.

    Bringing Children on a Same Sex Visa

    Under Australian law, the dependent children of same sex couples are recognized as family members, and the children of one partner are recognized as step-children of the other.  This means that it’s possible to bring dependent children with you to Australia when immigrating on a partner visa.