Obviously here at Lets Go Global we’re totally biased towards Australia being a superb place to live and work.
However, whilst this lovely Continent can be so progressive in many amazing ways, there are still aspects of society and Government that can, at times, be disappointingly backwards.
We were thrilled then, to see Australia finally vote to sanction same sex marriage in a long overdue move in November 2017. We remain unsure as to quite why it warranted a referendum although with a 79.5% turnout and 61.6% vote in favor the matter was been unequivocally concluded.
Whilst the legislation has yet to be enshrined into Law we expect this to happen certainly before the end of 2017 and the partner and skilled migrating experts at Lets Go Global are already examining the impact on our current and future same sex couples Immigrating to Australia on either temporary or Permanent Australia visas.
As soon as the legislation is enshrined into law then Australian Immigration will have to follow suit and we look forward to seeing the benefits this is going to bring for same sex couples moving to Australia.
Prior to the vote recognizing same sex marriage in Australia couples migrating permanently had only two options; the De facto Same Sex Partner Visa Australia and Independent Skilled Migration based on the non-Australian partner being able to secure their own Permanent Residency visa.
However, this is clearly set to change for the better in a matter of weeks with more same sex Australia visa pathways coming online.
De facto same sex Australia Visa
The De facto same sex Australia visa is often referred to as the same sex Australian partner visa although they remain one and the same.
Same sex couples pursuing the de facto relationship visa need to demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt that they’ve been in a de facto relationship with an Australian Citizen or eligible Permanent Resident for at least one calendar year prior to date of application.
In terms of Australian Immigration a couple is classed as being in a same sex relationship if:
They are not married to each other
Are not related to each other
Have a genuine shared commitment to a joint life at the exclusion of others
They are in a genuine and continuing relationship
They are cohabiting or do not live apart on a permanent basis.
Of course there are sometimes genuine reasons why a couple can’t or don’t cohabit and this can be taken into account provided the separation is temporary, and the couple have lived together at some point since the start of the relationship.
Do bear in mind though, that same sex partners who don’t live together will be required to provide much more evidence in support of their same sex de facto visa application.
If you’re currently in Australia and looking to apply for a same sex partner visa there are certain ways around the 12 month rule depending on where the Australian half of your partnership is based.
Certain States and Territories such as Queensland, Victoria and ACT allow same sex couples to formally register their relationship. Should you be able to register your same sex relationship in one of these States then only one eligible partner needs to have resided in the State for six months.
Applicants will be required to produce the following evidence for a same sex Australian Partner Visa
1. documented and signed history of the relationship showing how it stared and evolved.
2. details of how the couple support each other financially, emotionally and physically
3. the couple’s future plans for the relationship
4. joint financial aspects of the relationship
5. joint tenancy agreements, title deeds or mortgage statements
6. joint bills and liabilities
7. correspondence addressed to the couple at the address
8. roles and responsibilities around any children in the household
9. invitations received or issued as couple
10. social media
11. holidays and ticket stubs
12. sworn statements by family and friends of the couple
13. any mention of each other in wills
Prior to the referendum recognizing same sex marriage in Australia the only route for same sex couples looking to emigrate was the de facto visa outlined above.
However, many same sex couples were unable to satisfy all the criteria for the partner visa and in this instance the only option would have been skilled migration by the non-Australian partner independently of their relationship on either a 189, 190 visa (among other temporary visa pathways).
As soon as same sex marriage legislation is passed into law then the Prospective Marriage Visa becomes a viable pathway solution to many couples.
The prospective marriage visa is an initial temporary visa class designed to lead to a full spouse visa after marriage. It’s available to people outside Australia who intend to marry their Australian partner within nine months of entering Australia.
It will be available to those over 18 that have met their Australian partner in person since they both turned 18 and obviously they should be known to their sponsor with no legal impediment to the forthcoming marriage.
Same Sex Spouse Partner Visa
As soon as same sex marriage is written into the statute books in Australia then spouse visas also become a reality. Those married in Australia on a Prospective marriage visa will obviously qualify although crucially, by recognizing same sex marriage in Australia then formal marriage in other countries must be recognized by default.
The same sex spouse visa will be very similar to the de facto partner visa in that it;s valid for an initial two years allowing you to live and work in Australia without restriction. After this initial two year period you’ll be able to apply for full permanent residency as long as the relationship is ongoing.
Same Sex Spouse Partner Visa Two Year Exclusions
There are instances where the initial two year temporary visa can be forgone and full Permanent Residency can be granted from day one.
If you’ve been in the relationship with your spouse for at least five years at the time of application
You’ve been in a relationship for two years where there are dependent children of the relationship
You will be eligible for Permanent Residency from day one.
If you’re in a relationship and seriously considering applying for a same sex Australia Visa take our online assessment today for more information.