An overwhelming majority of Australians have voted yes for same sex marriage. Even though this is yet to pass through parliament into law, there is a very good chance that same sex couples will be able to get married by the end of 2017. So how does this affect Australian immigration?
Migrants in a same sex relationship are currently eligible to apply for a Partnership Visa on the basis of a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. However, to be deemed to be in a de facto relationship the couple either must have lived together for a minimum of 12 months, or register their relationship under state law, which isn’t possible in all states. The proposed change in marriage law will enable same sex migrants to apply for a Partnership Visa on spousal grounds.
Prospective Marriage Visa
Perhaps the most positive outcome of the same sex marriage yes vote is that migrants in same sex relationships should soon be eligible for a Prospective Marriage Visa. The Prospective Marriage Visa (or Fiancé Visa as it’s sometimes known as) is for couples that have met in person at least once and have committed to getting married within 9 months of the visa being granted. Once married, the couple is then able to apply for a Partner Visa. This option isn’t currently available to same sex migrants.
New Zealand Family Relationship Visa
The New Zealand Family Relationship Visa is a 5 year temporary visa that is available to members of the family unit of New Zealand citizens holding a temporary visa, this includes spouses and de facto partners. If the same sex marriage yes vote passes into law then same sex migrants will be able to apply for the New Zealand Family Relationship Visa on spousal grounds.
The proposed changes in marriage law will allow same sex migrants to apply for any visa that allows a secondary applicant on spousal grounds, this includes Skilled Visas, 457 Visas and many more. Currently same sex migrants only have the option to apply as a secondary applicant on de facto grounds, which isn’t always possible.
The proposed change in marriage law are a big thumbs up to equality not just for Australians, but also same sex migrants who will have more options to migrate to Australia.
If you would like to arrange a free consultation with a Migration Agent in Melbourne to discuss your situation please complete an online assessment or call us on 0449944991.