Changes to Immigration Act for Same-Sex Couples

March 25, 2009

The government has announced changes to the Immigration Act, in order to eliminate any discrimination against same-sex couples and their children.

These changes will result in same-sex couples receiving the same treatment as opposite-sex de facto couples, both as partners and parents. Currently the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIBP) recognize same-sex relationships within its migration and citizenship programmes. The proposed changes will result in same-sex couples being eligible for a greater range of visas, as well as citizenship provisions. Changes will include same-sex couples included in the definition of "de facto partner" and a new definition of "spouse".

The changes will simplify the visa framework, along with making it more equitable. All visas that currently include provisions for "spouse" will be available to opposite-sex and same-sex de facto partners alike. The key dates in which legislation will change are as follows:

From 15 March 2009, changes will be made to the Immigration Act 1946 and the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.

From 1 July 2009m changes will be made to the Immigration Act 1971, Migration Regulations 1994 and the Migration Act 1958.

If you are interested in Visas to Australia, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our Visa Assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Australia.