Same Sex couples are now able to apply for the Partner Visa based on either their Marriage or on the basis of a De-facto (not married) relationship.
In addition, Gay and Lesbian couples can also apply for the fiancé visa (Prospective Marriage Visa) with the intention of marrying their Partner in Australia.
Couples in a De-facto relationship (not married) will ordinarily have to prove that they have been in Genuine Relationship for at least 12 months at the time that they apply, however couples may choose to Register their Relationship with a relevant State government and waive the 12-month relationship requirement if your circumstances are appropriate to do so.
Visa applicants in a Same Sex Relationship can also apply for the NZ Relationship Visa where they are sponsored by an eligible New Zealand Citizen who is either your married or De-facto Partner.
As with the ordinary requirements for the Partner Visa your Australian Partner will have to sponsor you. Couples will have to prove that they are in a genuine and ongoing relationship that is to the mutual exclusion of all others, that they live together and that they have a commitment to a shared life. In addition, Health, Character and Public Interest criteria will also have to be met.
There are various Departmental Policies that instruct Case Officers to interpret the law in numerous circumstances for Same Sex Partners.
Some issues Departmental Policy addresses when same sex partners are trying to prove their relationship include the following;
- An Inability to live together or prove living together as a couple due to discrimination and/or persecution in your home country.
- Inability to prove sufficient recognition of your relationship from family/friends or local community due to discrimination and/or persecution in your home country i.e. your relationship has been kept hidden from your family and or government authorities in your home country for fear of discrimination/persecution.
- Same sex couple where one of the partners was either in a previous heterosexual, married or De -facto relationship.
In such circumstances, it may be impossible to provide evidence of recognition of your relationship from family or friends or evidence to prove that you and your partner have been ‘living together’ as defined under Australian Immigration law. Departmental Policy addresses such circumstances and makes a number of concessions for Same Sex Partners.
Having represented same sex couples over many years you can rest assured that all your circumstances will be considered and addressed in our assessment, advice, preparation and lodgement of your application.