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Who Can Apply For A Same Sex Partner Visa?
The Australian migration system has a number of different partner visas. All of the partner visas are in two stages. First, the visa applicant must apply for a temporary partner visa and then a permanent partner visa.

All partner visa applicants must be sponsored by their Spouse (the person they are married to) or a De Facto Partner. The sponsoring Spouse or De Facto Partner must be an Australian or eligible New Zealand citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident.

On 9 December 2017, Australian marriage laws were passed to allow for marriage equality, allowing two people, regardless of their gender identity, to marry. Thankfully, the changes in the law have meant that all partner visa options are now available to same sex couples. Under the old laws, same sex couples were prohibited from applying for some classes of partner visa.

In all cases, regardless of if the couple is married or in a de facto relationship, same sex or opposite sex, they must be able to prove to the Immigration Department that they have a genuine and continuing relations before the visa will be granted or approved.
What Does Spouse Mean?
To apply for a same sex partner visa as the Spouse of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you must be lawfully married to each other. If you were married in another country, your marriage must be lawfully recognised under Australian law.

To show you are in a genuine relationship as a same sex spouse, you must show enough evidence to prove each of the following:
  • You are legally married
  • When, where and how you first met each other
  • That you are mutually and exclusively committed to each other
  • That you live together as a couple, or if you are separated, why?
  • Have you told your family and friends about your relationship and can they attest to your relationship?
  • What arrangements do you have to share your household, financial or other family commitments together?
  • What legal obligations or commitments have you made to each other?
For many same sex partner visa applicants, it is extremely hard and can seem impossible to show enough evidence to prove that their relationship meets the De Facto requirements, even though they truly are a committed and loving couple.

Embark Migration has successfully helped many same sex couples coming from a background of cultural, religious or family beliefs where same sex relationships are not accepted. In many cases, the same couples do not have the support of family or friends and only have very limited evidence of their true love and commitment to each other. Our expert team of immigration lawyers and registered migration agents carefully work with these clients to ensure they can prove their relationship is genuine and can live together, in Australia permanently.

Our team are very familiar with the challenges of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or otherwise queer and proudly provide support with compassion, confidentiality and respect.
What Does De Facto Mean?
When it comes to applying for same sex partner visa, many couples will declare that they are in a De Facto Relationship.

For immigration purposes, there are very strict conditions that must be met before the Immigration Department will consider that a relationship is a genuine De Facto one, not just a couple who are dating each other.

To be in a De Facto Relationship, you must show enough evidence to prove each of the following points:
  • You are not married and not related by family
  • When, where and how you first met each other
  • That you live together as a couple, or if you are separated, why?
  • That you are mutually and exclusively committed to each other
  • Have you told your family and friends about your relationship and can they attest to your relationship?
  • What legal obligations or commitments have you made to each other?
  • What arrangements do you have to share your household, financial or other family commitments together?
  • You must have been in your De Facto relationship together for at least 1 year, or your relationship must be lawfully registered in Australia before you can apply!
How to apply for a same sex partner visa as a de facto couple
Family Visa Stream? What Does It Mean?
Australian Partner Visas are available in what is referred to as 'streams' - you could think of these streams similarly to a chain of rivers or roads where there are a number of different paths you could follow to get to your final destination.

Naturally, you would choose the river, road or stream which will get to your destination as fast as possible. Likewise, you would choose the Partner Visa stream which would get you Permanent Residence Visa, or PR as quickly as you can.

There are three Partner Visa Streams. All of them have a temporary visa stage before a permanent visa is granted.

In all cases, the person who applies for the same sex partner visa will apply for a provisional (temporary) visa and then a permanent visa.
How Streams Work - A Quick Guide
Same Sex Partner Visa Stages Explained
What Same Sex Partner Visas Are There?
Subclass 820 Partner Visa - Onshore
Subclass 801 Permanent Visa
Same sex couples apply for this visa in Australia.

This is the most popular partner visa because it allows the couple to stay in Australia together until the visa has been finalised by the Immigration Department.

Both applications for the temporary 820 visa and the permanent 801 visa are made at the same time.

In two years after making the application, as long as the temporary visa has been approved, the Immigration Department can finalise the permanent partner visa process
Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa - Offshore
A Prospective Marriage Visa (sometimes referred to as a ‘fiancé visa’) must be applied for outside Australia.

This Partner Visa can be applied for when the person applying for the visa intends to enter Australia to marry their same sex sponsor.

The Subclass 300 visa is only valid for only 9 months but does allow full work and study rights in Australia.

After arriving in Australia the couple must be married within the 9 month visa period. Once married, they can apply for a Subclass 820 Partner Visa.

Subclass 309 Partner Visa - Offshore
Subclass 100 Permanent Visa

Same sex couples apply for this visa outside Australia.

This visa is usually a suitable choice when the visa applicant is unable to be in Australia. This could be because of previous visa refusals, health, character or reasons affecting the visa applicants ability to travel.

Both applications for the temporary 309 visa and the permanent 100 visa are made at the same time.

Once the 309 visa is granted, the couple can live in Australia until the permanent 100 visa is granted or refused.
Visa Medical Examinations
For Same Sex Couples
Anyone who applies for an Australian Partner Visa will be required to pass health requirements to be granted a visa.

The health assessment includes a Medical examination by a Doctor who is approved by the Immigration Department and chest x-ray for all applicants who are 11 years of age or older. Children under 11 do not need a chest x-ray.
Partner Visa Police Checks
Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against the character requirements.
All same sex partner visa applicants and their sponsor will be required to provide a police clearance or other evidence to satisfy what is referred to as "good character requirements".

Police certificates are required for every country you have lived in for 1 year or more in the past 10 years since your 16th birthday.

Other Available Services For LGBT+ Migrants

We know the Australian visa process is confusing, stressful and expensive. Embark Migration provides a range of professional immigration assistance including 20 or 60-minute consultations and application checking services.
Our licenced and registered consultants can also provide start-to-finish services for all Australian visa matters. As part of our process, your consultant can advise which services are suitable to you depending on your needs and budget.
VisaHelp Consultations
Immigration Helpline
VisaCheck Reviews
Complete DIY Visa Pack
Our full representation service means we will do everything for you. Organize your documents. Lodge your application. Respond to department requests. Monitor your application until a decision has been made.
We organize everything for you.

We prepare and lodge your application.

We communicate with the government for you.

We monitor your application until you get a decision.
We are an Australian registered firm.

A principal agent with 25+ years government experience.

We have helped people from 43 different countries.

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Only your agent can access your information.
Extremely high records of successful outcomes.

All our immigration agents are licenced.

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Founded by former Australian immigration staff.
Specialist focus on partner and family visas
Our principal agent has 25+ years government experience
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Extremely high record of successful results
Founded by former Australian immigration staff
"Embark Migration provides the experience, expertise and compassion needed to guide you through the stressful immigration process."
Contact us for a free case assessment
Phone (Local): 1300 803 888
Phone (International): +61 2 8006 8388


Embark Migration provides specialist immigration and services to help our clients achieve their goals for Australian permanent or temporary residence through a variety of visa pathways.


Level 21, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Call 1300 803 888
MARN 1464180


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