Australian Same Sex Marriage Laws and Migration Update

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On 9 December 2017 laws legalising same-sex marriage in Australia, and recognising same-sex marriages having previously taken place overseas, came into effect.

Until now under Australian migration law, same-sex couples could apply for a partner visa as de-facto partners. This option is distinct from heterosexual couples who have had the option to apply for either a partner visa as de-facto partners or married spouses.

The Australian Migration Act, 1954 (Cth) takes its definition about marriage from the Marriage Act, 1961 (Cth). For new applicants, as a result of the amendments to the Marriage Act, 1961 (Cth), same-sex couples’ options for migration together to Australia will increase.

Regulations associated with the ‘Member of the Family Unit’ will also be impacted. This legislation applies to those defined as a member of a family unit (i.e. a spouse) applying as a secondary applicant or as the sponsoring partner.

For further information about how these changes may affect your migration options, contact IOM on 1300 921 811.


NOTE: Information is current at 11 December 2017.


International Organization for Migration

Migration Services to Australia

© International Organization for Migration, 2017.

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