Same Sex Marriage and Australian Immigration: The Reality

Do you have a same-sex partner of your dreams? Are you married – or planning on getting married? Do you want to settle in Australia? Here are all the things you need to know.

Photo of a female couple: Same Sex Marriage in Taiwan, courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Same Sex Marriage in Taiwan, photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Australia does not recognise same-sex marriage

So you’ve met the same sex partner of your dreams. You eloped to New Zealand (or perhaps Amsterdam), or maybe have plans for Luxembourg when it comes online on 1 January 2015! But you’re wondering whether you can bring your same sex partner into Australia on the basis of your legally recognised same sex marriage overseas?

Whilst we would like to think so, the reality is sadly quite different.

Australia’s Marriage Act 1961 only views a marriage as being something between a man and a woman. Because of this, overseas marriages between those of same sex are not recognised here for immigration purposes.

Partner visas don’t apply to married same sex couples

What this all means is that after you come back from your nuptials overseas, you can’t get a partner visa application approved on same sex spousal grounds. The only way you can do this (at present) is through means of an assertion that the relationship is a de-facto partner one. 

De-facto sounds ok – but the visa requirements are different!

Applying for a partner visa on de-facto grounds sounds ok. But the requirements are a bit different and could trip you up if you weren’t careful.

Is it the same for transgendered partners?

For those of you who marry someone transgendered, the position is often complicated. It can depend on whether there has been a re-alignment procedure.

This is a situation we come across quite frequently. We always handle these situations with absolute discretion.

So – before you embark on any process of this nature, it is really important to make sure you get the best possible advice so you know where you stand.

Need a lawyer proud of Australia’s diversity? Call us.

We are proud of Australia’s diversity, and take pride in helping everyone regardless of their lifestyles. Get in touch for a confidential discussion.

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