Gay Partner Visa: A Guide To Same-Sex Partner Visas For Australia [Update 2021]

GTE Requirement

Can I get married or register a relationship with my gay partner?

If you are in a same-sex relationship and wish to make an application for a partner visa for Australia, things are a lot easier today than they were a few years ago. Australia recognises same-sex relationships. You can get married to your same-sex partner in any state and get a marriage certificate. 

If you do this you will typically be eligible to lodge a partner visa based on a married relationship. Such an application does not have any 12-month pre-existing relationship requirement. Simply get married and then lodge your partner visa. 

However, if you do not wish to marry, but rather you and your same-sex partner instead plan to register your de-facto relationship this is certainly possible in most Australian states and territories – BUT there is no system for gay partners to register as de-facto couples in:

  • Western Australia;
  • Northern Territory;
  • South Australia (although same-sex couples can register their relationship through a “Domestic Partnership Agreement” document).

The potential for registration of gay relationships in addition to hetro-sexual relationships in most states and territories is a significant development in partner immigration law.

Lodging a partner visa as a de facto partner can yield strategic benefits. 

Information on how to get married or register your same-sex de facto relationship is available at the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages.

How to get gay partner relationship registered

Time period – the long wait to get a certificate!

Please also check carefully whether any “waiting period” may apply between the date of lodgement of an application for registration of a relationship and the date of actual registration of relationship. This can be around 1 month but the timing may be very critical in relation to any application you wish to make.

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Genuine and continuing relationship?

Each and every temporary partner visa applicant, whether homosexual or otherwise, will be required to provide to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) evidence of a genuine and continuing relationship. 

The rules are that a person is the de facto partner of another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) if a person is in a de facto relationship with another person if they are not in a married relationship with each other but: 

  • they have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others; and
  • the relationship between them is genuine and continuing; and
  • They:
    • live together; or
    • do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis; and
  • they are not related.

If a person is in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident (or with what is known as an eligible New Zealand) you may be eligible to apply for a de facto partner visa now.

Do you need help with lodging a same-sex partner visa? Book in a consultation with me now. Together we can decide what should we do next. I have helped hundreds of same-sex couples get permanent residence visas granted so they can continue to live their lives in Australia. Can I help you do the same?

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How long do Australian partner visas take?

The normal processing time of an Australia partner visa whether is an onshore subclass 820 or an offshore application subclass 309 is around 20 months give or take 5 months. However, due to COVID-19, the processing time can be delayed. You can check the general processing time on the Immigration Department website here.

Partner visa changes in 2021

Do you know the laws relating to partner visas will change soon? The Department has announced that Partner visa application cannot be lodged without a Sponsorship application being approved first. This law is suspected to come with the force in 2021.

Also, the Government may introduce a NEW English language requirement for Partner visa applicants AND their permanent resident sponsors.

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How the partner visa law changes may affect you?

Does your sponsor have any criminal record or family violence history? Is the person who is not the sponsor in a partner visa application somebody who is currently in Australia without any visa or with a bridging visa held for more than 28 days? 

These are some of the reasons why you might not be eligible to make an application for a partner visa. If you are eligible, these issues may present difficulties for you in getting a partner visa granted.

Looking for an immigration lawyer to help. Book a consultation with me.

Your Experience?

Please share your comments with me.

I’d love to know more about your experience with applying for a partner visa for Australia!

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De Facto Visas: A Guide For Unmarried Couples

Family Violence Immigration: Guide To The Family Violence Rules For Australian Immigration

Partner Visa Australia: A Guide For Sponsors & Their Partners Seeking Permanent Residence

Nilesh Nandan is Australia's most sought after immigration lawyer for visa refusals and visa cancellations. Appeal your visa or get help to relodge your Australian visa application or citizenship application.
  • Hello Nandan, me and my partner have applied for a defector partner (paper application) since December 2016 in Pretoria. Up till now we are still waiting for approval. Haven’t heard from immigration. Only got a request for my biometric and medical which was done early February 2020 and submitted before the covid 19 pandemic lockdown and now we are still waiting for the outcome.

    We don’t know what could be the problem for the long waiting for us to get an answer. Thanks.

    • Unortunately this is not an uncommon situation.

      If you have not provided any false or misleading information and you are indeed in a genuine and continuing relationship than wait until immigration goes through it’s motions.

      If you are concerned whether or not you have met the “time of application” criteria, then you might consider contacting me but otherwise I would simply wait and save your money.

      I know that this is not particularly satisfactory for many visa applicants wanting to be with their partners in Australia however it is what it is.

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