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Same Sex Marriage and Partner Visas

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The recent legislative passing of the same sex marriage bill through the lower house of Australian Parliament brought with it a significant changes in migration options for Applicants and Sponsors who are in same sex relationships.

This opens opportunities for couples who may have previously been unable to apply due to strict de facto visa requirements. This is a significant shift for the LGBTQI community, and since the change has come into effect December 2017, now same sex partners from off shore outside Australia will be able to apply for partner and other visas on the basis of their marriage.

After same sex marriage was legalised in Australia, the Australian government took steps to expand the category of applicants. For Partner Visas, this means the category of married applicants has expanded to include same sex couples. As a consequence, same sex couples will now be able to use marriage certificates to apply for a Partner Visa.

It’s worth noting this is particularly significant for couples who have faced increased hurdles to apply in Australia.

For those who intend to migrate to Australia and who may not yet have been married in their home country, this opens up the pathway to apply through the Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300) which will allow them to enter Australia and within nine months legally marry under Australian Law. If you are into same sex relationship and your partner is unable to make it to Australia on a Visitor Visa, you should consider applying for Prospective Marriage Visa subclass 300 which will allow your partner to enter Australia and free to be married under the Australian Law.

Alternatively, they can now apply for a Partner Visa once the couple is married overseas.

Same sex couples who are already legally married are now able to lodge applications for other category of partner pathways since the new laws came into effect. Since 2017, new laws also extend eligibility of married LGTQI couples to temporary visas such as Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS Visas), the New Zealand Family Visas, and eligible Student Visas. Visa holders are now permitted to bring partners to Australia on the basis of their same sex marriage.

Notwithstanding these changes, every application involving a partner relationship must still satisfy Department of Immigration Border Protection that the relationship is genuine and ongoing regardless of whether they are married or in a de facto relationship. This will involve providing significant evidence that demonstrates the authenticity of the relationship so that the case officer can be satisfied that there is an authentic relationship occurring.

Contact Summit Migration today for an assessment of your prospects under the Partner Visa. We provide professional assistance with same sex marriage visas or any other visa application that allows you to bring a partner to Australia.

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