New Australian partner visa legislation sees step towards equality for same-sex couples

Legislation updates are set to make the
Australian partner visa application process
faster for onshore same-sex couples.

From the 9th of November 2009, a new piece of legislation will be introduced to help expedite the onshore Australian partner visa application visa process for couples in de facto / same-sex relationships.

Current migration legislation allows married couples to be granted a temporary Australian partner visa without having to provide evidence of cohabitation, while those in de facto / same-sex relationships must still demonstrate evidence of cohabitation for the previous 12 months in order to be granted the visa. 

However, from the 9th of November, these same de facto / same sex couples can forego this evidentiary requirement when applying for a temporary partner visa, with the only obligation being that they register their relationship under one of the following prescribed Australian states or territories:

  • Victoria

    For more information on the process of registering your de facto / same-sex relationship with the Victorian state government and to see the official application form, click here.
  • Tasmania

    For more information on the process of registering your de facto / same-sex relationship with the Tasmanian state government and to see the official application form, click here.
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

    For more information on the process of registering your de facto / same-sex with the Australian Capital Territory government and to download the official application form, click here.

Australia has typically been one of the world's more progressive countries when it comes to recognising and acknowledging same sex relationships, and by introducing this new piece of legislation, the Australian government takes another step towards equality for couples from all backgrounds.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau