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Migration Changes Same-Sex Relationships

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From 1 July 2009 the following changes commenced.

Same-sex family relationships

  • same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples in a genuine and continuing relationship are recognised as de facto partners
  • opposite-sex married couples in a genuine and continuing relationship are recognised as spouses
  • the terms interdependent partner and de facto spouse are no longer used for new visa applications
  • spouses and de facto partners may be jointly referred to as partners
  • same-sex de facto partners and their children are recognised as family members when their partner is a primary visa applicant
  • parent-child relationships including biological children, adopted children, children born via artificial conception procedures and children born into prescribed surrogacy arrangements can be recognised for migration purposes
  • children of de facto partners (including same-sex partners) are recognised as step-children

Visa options for same-sex partners and family members

Partner visa options

  • Partner Visas have replaced Spouse Visas and Interdependency Visas for spouses and de facto partners (including same-sex partners) of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand Citizens.
    See: Partner Visa Options

Other visa options

  • Same-sex de facto partners and their children are recognised as family members of primary visa applicants and are eligible to apply for all visas available to opposite-sex partners, including student, business, skilled and humanitarian visas.

Questions and answers on migration changes

General information on the same-sex changes

More information about same-sex change changes is available on our general questions and answers information sheet.
See: Legislative Changes for Same-Sex Relationships: General Information – Questions and Answers (42KB PDF file)

Migration information on the same-sex changes

For further information regarding same-sex changes and migration, refer to our Migration questions and answers information sheet.
See: Migration Changes for Same-Sex De Facto Partners – Questions and Answers (69KB PDF file)

More information

Citizenship changes for same-sex relationships

More information about same-sex changes and citizenship is available on the department’s website.
See: Key Changes to Citizenship Same-Sex Relationships

Other Commonwealth law changes for same-sex relationships

More information about same-sex changes and other Commonwealth laws is available on the Attorney General’s website.
See: Same-Sex Reforms

General migration information

For more information about general migration, please contact the department.
See: Contact Us

Last reviewed Wednesday 27 August 2014