2018 will see the first same-sex marriages take place in
Australia, which will also mark the start of same-sex spousal applications to
be lodged to the Immigration Department for Australian residency.
Under the changes, married same-sex couples will be eligible
for spousal visas. Previously they’d had to claim de-facto partnership status
and had to prove they were in long-term relationships.
This meant they had to submit extensive evidence showing that they’d lived
together and were in a committed relationship. The new Marriage Equality Law means easier access to visa options for loving, committed couples.
Australia says yes to same-sex
It was in November 2017 that 61.6% of Australian people who
responded to a postal vote said ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage. Almost 13 million
people cast a vote.
At the time of the result, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
said ‘It was a vote for commitment, fairness and love’ and that it demonstrated
that ‘Australia was a nation acknowledging fairness and respect’. It was, as Mr Turnbull emphasised, a vote
which was ‘unequivocal and overwhelming’.
Applying as a spouse rather than a
The legal acceptance of same-sex marriage means you can
apply for a visa as your partner’s spouse rather than a de-facto partner.
These changes apply to Partner visas (subclasses 100, 309, 801 and 820).
You can now also apply for the Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) on the basis of a same-sex relationship if you have a genuine intention to marry your spouse in Australia.
This Prospective Marriage visa allows you to travel to Australia and marry your same-sex partner within nine months of arrival in this country before applying onshore for a partner visa.
It also means that with certain other visas, you can include your married, same-sex spouse on your application, for example, on a student or work visa.
How a marriage certificate will help
Proving that a de-facto relationship existed within couples
of the same-sex had proved in the past to be time consuming and expensive. Many
couples claimed it was a stressful process.
Some even argued that for people in lesbian or gay relationship they
had to show more extensively than a heterosexual couple, that their relationship
was genuine. Same-sex couples claimed they were put at a significant disadvantage as there was
no legal acceptance of their status.
Now same-sex partners can prove their commitment with a marriage certificate. It's highly anticipated that the move will encourage more applications.
Overseas marriages will also be recognised under Australian migration
law, as long as they are recognised in the country where they took place.
Here at Visa Solutions Australia, we recognise that people are in a variety of different relationship. Marrage equality opens up new options for same-sex couples wanting to migrate. If you'd like further advice and information, pick up the phone and speak to one of our experts for a no-obligation chat today.