Help! i want to be with my gay partner !

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Help! i want to be with my gay partner !


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Old 06-25-2012, 11:51 AM
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Help! i want to be with my gay partner !

Hello,

I am a new member here and i desperatly need some advise. I have had a look in the forum and cant find a similar situation and was wondering if someone who has been in similar situation or anyone who might shed some light can help?

I am an Australian citizen/passport holder (28yrs old). I am currently on a 2 year working holiday visa in the UK, and I work as a corporate travel consultant. I met David (23 years old) on a trip I made to Jerusalem, Israel at the end of February this year. We hit it off instantly, and we have been talking every day since and I have made 3 trips back since then. And also seeing him again in July and in September.

David has a travel document which is called ' laissez-passer ' which allows him to travel on like a passport, but he needs a tourist visa for most places like the UK, Australia etc.. He did have an Israeli passport which he has applied for again and might eventually get, but this will take some time. Not sure if him not having an Israeli passport will dissadvantage him.

I cant live and work in Israel and David also cant in the UK, so obviously living together overseas and later applying for the defacto partner visa in Australia just seems like an impossible option. This seems to be the only partner visa that recognises gay relationships, as spouse visa is out of the question because Australia does not recognise gay marriage. I need help to find out what is the best way to bring David back to Australia with me?

Is student visa the best option? If he applies, would he tell immigration about our relationship and that he will live with me while he studies or will that raise concern?

Is a tourist visa an option if I and my family sponsor him? But will they give him longer then the 3 months? And if he was to leave after 3 months and come back in and out would this also raise suspision?

I am really stuck for ideas and dont want to obviously put a foot wrong.


  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2012, 02:11 PM
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Hi - if you go for a student visa, and you disclose your relationship, DIAC may request whether your partner is a genuine student, or just coming here to continue the relationship. If you don't disclose and then apply for a partner visa down the track, DIAC and put two and two together and ask why it wasn't disclosed. So, always disclose, always provide honest answers. Just because the applicant is in a relationship with an Aus doesn't mean that he isn't a genuine student. DIAC's booklet on this - http://www.immi.gov.au/students/_pdf...ry-entrant.pdf

Of course, it is easier to show that your partner is a genuine student if he is going to study a course that really benefits him, so you should do some research into the available courses. Plus, getting a student visa can give your partner work rights (probably restricted work rights).

Getting a tourist visa present similar issues, cause DIAC will ask is he a genuine visitor that only intends to stay in Aus temporarily? Maybe look into the Subclass 676, if granted, it can allow your partner to stay here for up to 12 months - but I don't think that its appropriate. You disclose your relationship and DIAC will pretty much know that you are looking to build up co-habitation with looking for your partner to stay here for the long-term (and certainly not temporarily).

Student visa may be the better option if he can find an appropriate course

__________________
Peng Cheng
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Registered Migration Agent - MARN 1172863
Sydney, Australia
http://myaccessaustralia.com

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2012, 02:24 PM
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Hi gsta12,

Having looked through the official information provided by DIAC, I think you are right and this is a legitimate and glaring hole in the system.

To confirm the conclusions you've already reached yourself:

As a same-sex couple, you can only apply for a Partner visa (previously called Interdependency visa for your case) on de facto grounds - that is, if you have been living with your partner for a minimum of 12 months.

Quote:
Family Members - Definitions

De facto partner

A person is the de facto partner of another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) if:
  • they have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • the relationship between them is genuine and continuing
  • they live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • they are not related by family.

For an application for a permanent, Business Skills (Provisional), Student (Temporary), Partner (Provisional), Partner (Temporary), or a General Skilled Migration visa the de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date of application.
An opposite-sex couple in your same situation would be looking at applying for a Prospective Marriage Visa, but you obviously don't have that option, as that visa requires you to marry your partner in Australia, and you as a same-sex couple don't have the right to marry in Australia!

Quote:
Family Members - Definitions

FiancÚ relationship

A relationship where a couple is engaged to be married or betrothed. In the context of partner migration, the term fiancÚ is used to mean a man and a woman who intend to marry each other.
Which leaves you, in your particular case, frustratingly without any options in the Family stream.

Quote:
Migration Changes Same-Sex Relationships (from 1 July 2009)

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 only encouraging thing I have been able to find is the following, from page 18 of the Partner Migration (1127) Booklet:

Quote:
Waiver of the 12-month relationship requirement
The 12-month relationship requirement at time of application lodgement does not apply if:
  • you can establish that there are compelling and compassionate circumstances for the grant of the visa, such as you have children with your partner or cohabitation was not permissible under the law of the country where you resided for the 12 months before you applied
But acceptance of this would be entirely up to the discretion of the processing case officer.

Now to your other viable options. If your goal is to be together permanently then you would be looking to make an application under the family stream eventually, that is, through a Partner Visa on de facto grounds. This means that you need to collect that 12 month minimum of living together. Normally, there would be two options to allow this.

1) Working Holiday Visa
2) Student visa

The Working Holiday Visa in not an option for David since he is not from one of the countries participating in the Working Holiday Program.

The student visa is an option, as it is available regardless of nationality, and there are various course options here, including non-award study, vocational study, undergraduate study, postgraduate study, and even full-time English courses. Most of these enable study to continue for 12 months or longer.

If he were given a student visa, you and David could live together for the 12 month minimum and collect as much evidence as possible for your de facto relationship, and then apply for a Partner Visa based on this evidence. Since David would go from a student visa to awaiting a decision on another visa application, he would be given a 'bridging visa', which would allow him to stay in Australia legally until a decision were made on his Partner Visa application, and normally with all the same rights and privileges and obligations as the student visa.

If he were to apply for a student visa, it may not be a good idea to let the department know of your relationship, as they are adamant that visas should be used primarily for the purpose they are given. However, this is more often applied to visitor (tourist) visas, so that these are not used by people to circumvent the need to apply or to wait for a Partner visa. (See this link) Just be wary of this.

Another option you should be aware of is the possibility of registering your relationship on the National Relationships Register.

A registered relationship waives the 12 month requirement (as indicated on page 18 of the Partner Migration (1127) Booklet), but it does not negate the need to provide evidence of a genuine and continuing relationship.

Both Same- and opposite-sex couples are eligible to do this, although at this point in time only the Eastern States have a relationships register place (NSW, Victoria, ACT, Queensland, Tasmania).

One partner must be resident in one of these states to be able to register the relationship. This means that if you live in any of the other states you're out of luck, and would still need to do the 12 months.
(Take a look also at this link.)

Finally, to your question about a Visitor (tourist) Visa. Since David is not a national of one of the countries that are eligible for the grant of an ETA (i.e. electronic) Visitor visa, it is unlikely that the department would grant him a tourist visa for longer than 3 months. This visa would also likely have a 'No further stay condition', which would mean that he would have to leave Australia after those 3 months before applying for any other Australian visa. It is also unlikely that they would grant him another tourist visa quickly, as they require that a Visitor Visa be used for that purpose (i.e. visiting) alone. (See this link again, as already mentioned above.)

The Visitor Visa application form does ask if the applicant has contacts in Australia, and it is usually helpful if they have friends that can offer support during their stay in Australia, especially when they can prove their ability to offer such support through statutory declarations, copies of bank statements, etc. You might find this other post of mine useful, where I describe what my husband and I went through when we applied for a tourist visa for him from nearby Jordan.

I hope you can find a way to be together. I would also encourage you to write to your local MP or even the Immigration & Citizenship Minister, Chris Bowen, to show that there is a hole in the existing system which amounts to discrimination, and the DIAC has already gone to pains to remove discriminatory principles from same-sex migration options.


Last edited by Adventuress; 06-25-2012 at 02:30 PM. Reason: edited for spelling

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myaccessaustralia View Post
Hi - if you go for a student visa, and you disclose your relationship, DIAC may request whether your partner is a genuine student, or just coming here to continue the relationship. If you don't disclose and then apply for a partner visa down the track, DIAC and put two and two together and ask why it wasn't disclosed. So, always disclose, always provide honest answers. Just because the applicant is in a relationship with an Aus doesn't mean that he isn't a genuine student.
Didnt really think this part through! You have bought up a very good point...

It just seems like you are damned if you do and damned if you dont! I really dont know what to do and going to have to maybe seek proffesional advice I guess? I am guessing on the form it will ask how I know him, and will ask for details of what kind of relationship we have (friends, couple, family, etc..?).

Anyone been in this similar situation who can advise wether they disclosed their relationship when applying for the student visa?


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuress View Post

If he were to apply for a student visa, it may not be a good idea to let the department know of your relationship, as they are adamant that visas should be used primarily for the purpose they are given. However, this is more often applied to visitor (tourist) visas, so that these are not used by people to circumvent the need to apply or to wait for a Partner visa.
Thank YOU SO MUCH for your post. It made some interesting reading and was very helpful.

Interesting.. so you think dont disclose our relationship? What about down the track when applying for the partner visa.. as the previous poster said, wont they put two and two together?

Can you (or anyone) recommend wether I should and if anyone can recommmend a good immigration agent who wont rip us off?


  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:49 PM
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You're very welcome

I'm sorry it turned into an essay in the end (the interest in research ran away with me!) but I'm glad you found it useful

Hmmmm. I think myaccessaustralia has made a valid point, and I agree that it's possible that DIAC might want to know why you didn't disclose earlier. But you could always say either that he was a genuine student and you didn't realise that you needed to disclose your relationship, or come clean and admit that this was the only option available to you in order to be together, as the hole in the system is pretty big...

It's really quite tricky...

I've never had to deal with migration agents and a lot of people go without, but I know that in difficult or especially unique cases (such as yours) many people recommend them. Perhaps they will even be able to find a better loophole. However, as you've already realised they cost a pretty penny and no result is guaranteed.

I'm sorry I'm not able to help you further with your questions but it really might be a good idea in your case to seek professional advice. I just read on the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) site that some migration agents work pro bono, and they make available an agent finder service which allows you to tick this box.

Good luck and keep us posted!


  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:52 PM
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You might also find this useful - an indication of the average fees charged by migration agents from MARA.



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