What Partner Visas Are Available To Same Sex Couples In Australia

Updated: Feb 11



Criteria regarding Australian Same Sex Partner Visa applications are changing fast! The politicians are scrambling to get their version of the legislation enacted after the successful 'YES' plebiscite of November 2017.

Hopefully & most likely the legislation will be passed before Christmas 2017 allowing same sex couples & LGBTIQ community apply for the full range of partner visas available in the Australian migration program. Heretofore this was not the case!!

LGBTIQ Partner Visas - Australia

Same-sex couples in a relationship are now entitled to apply for all partner visas in the Australian visa program; there is no longer any discrimination in Australia.

In order to apply for a partner visa, generally the couple should meet criteria set out by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), this includes:

• De facto relationship with your partner for minimum 12 months

• Be over the age of 18

• Meet health and character requirements

• Demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and continuing

• Show evidence of joint financial transparency

• Show evidence of your relationship in a ‘social context’

• Demonstrate that you remained committed to each other even during periods of separation

Exceptions To The One Year Defacto Rule

If the same sex couple register their relationship, are in a civil union or are in a same sex marriage they may circumvent the 12 month defacto requirement. That is, the couple are not required to show evidence of their relationship for the whole 12 months.

What is the minimum term required for same sex couples who are maried?

This depends on the quality of your evidence to satisfy the partner visa criteria. Remember you should to meet the 'Four Pillars' criteria as follows:

  • The social aspects of your relationship

  • Financial transparency

  • Nature Of The Household

  • Nature Of Commitment & Development Of The Relationship.


What Visas Are Available To Same Sex Couples In Australia

Scenario 1 - Bill & Jose

Bill is an Australian Citizen. He met Jose while on vacation in Sitges, Spain. They immediately hit it off and have kept in touch since Bill returned to Australia. Jose continues to work in his home country and regularly calls Bill. They have linked Facebook accounts, which their family and friends comment on regularly. They do not have any 'real' relationship evidence but they are keen to get married and live together.

Relationship So Far - Bill & Jose

As Bill & Jose have not been residing together it is unlikely they can produce good, credible defacto evidence to meet Australian Partner visa requirements. They have however met in person and they have continued a distant relationship with the intention to marry.

Recommendation - Bill & Jose

As same sex marriages are now legalised in Australia; Jose may apply for a Prospective Marriage Visa in Australia. He will require an Australian sponsor, Bill is his partner and is prepared to do this. When the visa is granted Jose may come to Australia and marry his fiancé, they have 9 months to get married. After the marriage is confirmed the couple may apply for onshore partner visa (820/801). This pathway stage 1 & stage 2, permits Jose to obtain permanent residence in Australia.

Same Sex Visa Options:

Visa Class: > Prospective Marriage Visa - Subclass 300

Scenario 2 - Edel & Jana

Edel is an American citizen and has permanent residency in Australia. Her girlfriend Jana, is in America where they have both resided for over 12 months. Now they both want to be together permanently, Edel wants Jana to come to Australia.

Relationship So Far - Edel & Jana

The couple have lived together for over 12 months in America and are legally married as as same sex couple. They can produce good, credible evidence to meet Australian Partner visa requirements. Edel is willing to sponsor Jana for a spousal visa.

Recommendation - Edel & Jana

Janna may apply for an offshore partner visa; when granted this will entitle her to permanent residency in Australia. Their marriage is recognised under Australian Federal Law, they are not required to show full 12 month defacto evidence.

If however they wish to speed up the process Jana could first come to Australia on a Visitor visa, then lodge a partner visa in Australia.

Same Sex Visa Options:

Visa Class: > Prospective Marriage Visa - Subclass 300

Visa Class: > Partner Visa - Subclass 820/801

Visa Class: > Partner Visa - Subclass 309/100


Scenario 3 - Mick & Handra

Mick has dual citizenship, Irish & Australian, but usually lives in Sydney. He met Handra online; they communicated for a month or so before they met in person. Handra has a student visa but it is expiring in three months. Mick & Handra get along, they go out socialising, cinema, bush walks etc. They moved in together where Mick is renting a unit in the inner west, Sydney.

Relationship So Far - Mick & Handra

Mick & Handra will not meet the 12 month defacto requirement as Handra's visa is expiring in three months. To circumvent the 12 month requirement they could get married or register their relationship in NSW. Same Sex marriage is now legal so this is good option for the couple. They have good evidence of their relationship; joint account, travel together, rental lease, utilities, photos etc.

Recommendation - Mick & Handra

Partner visa must be lodged before Handra's student visa expires. It is essential they have good evidence to support the visa application, otherwise they risk a visa refusal. If they do not have they required evidence Handra could go offshore and apply for Prospective Marriage Visa, if they plan to marry. Mick will sponsor Handra for this visa application and accept the responsibilities associated with the sponsorship. As you can see the couple have several viable visa options.

Same Sex Visa Options:

Visa Class: > Partner Visa - Subclass 820/801

Visa Class: > Partner Visa - Subclass 309/100

Let Visa Crew Help You Too

Same Sex relationships are now treated equally in Australia, this opens additional avenues for potential visa applicants. Visa Crew are experts in Australian Same Sex Partner Visa; we have assisted many same sex couples realise their dreams of living with their LGBTIQ partner. Let us help you too...

Call Visa Crew | 0455 295 9988 • Send An Email | Click HERE

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Michael Dooley

Principal Migration Agent

MARN 1789997

Tel: 0455 295 988

CONTACT VISA CREW FOR GOOD ADVICE • WE WORK FOR YOU

#LGBTIQ #SameSex

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