Same Sex Couple Migration?

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Same Sex Couple Migration?


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Old 04-07-2013, 08:48 AM
jDv jDv is offline
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Same Sex Couple Migration?

Hi

My partner has had an overseas internal job opportunity come up in Sydney which he has applied for. We are based in the UK & have both been looking into spending a couple of years living and working in Australia for a while now when this opportunity came up. We just wondered if anyone knows how easy / difficult it is or if anyone has experience of emigrating to Australia as a same sex couple? We both have British nationality / passports, have been in a relationship for almost three years and have lived together / paid bills at the same address for the past two and a half years.

My partner is not open about his sexuality at work as he would rather keep his professional and private life separate. If he gets a transfer within his company then I assume they will organise his visa and it will be difficult for me to go with him on that work visa. If I travel with him to Australia on a tourist visa, will I eventually be able to get a defacto visa as his partner against his work visa or will his employer have to be made aware of his sexual orientation if I do that? Or do I apply for the defacto visa once his work visa has been granted and do this separately from his application before leaving the UK? My partner has the old fashioned view / opinion that gay people don't do as well and are overlooked for promotion in the professional workplace!

Can someone advise on the best options we should consider? I would even consider a student visa if i really had to! What are the best options / visa's for us? Any info or experiences with this would be appreciated! Look forward to any advice that can be provided!

Many thanks

J&C

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Old 04-07-2013, 01:21 PM
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Hi J&C -

Fortunately Australia has a very open and liberal immigration policy regarding same-sex couples. That being said, I cannot argue with the perception that discrimination still exists in various ways and shapes.

As a British national, it's likely that he would be applying for a subclass 457 temporary work visa for Australia. A defacto partner (that's the term here for partners of the same sex or opposite sex who are not married) can be included in the 457 application, however the employer must sign a letter extending the nomination for the position to cover the partner and support the partner's inclusion in the 457 application since the sponsor has certain obligations for everyone that company sponsors (including dependents such as defacto partners).

It gets interesting when a visa applicant requests that sponsorship be extended to cover "his partner" (or "her partner") but chooses not to disclose the partner's name or gender to the employer. It is possible to extend employer sponsorship to a defacto partner without having the employer name that partner, but there could be fallout issues at the employer if they believe the employee has "something to hide".

As far as when to apply if he had a 457 visa, you could apply as a dependent on the original application, or could apply later. Here's more info:

Temporary Business (Long Stay) - Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457)

Fortunately it's been my experience that most employers in Australia are progressive and do not have issues with same-sex couples - I hope that's the case in your situation. If the employment visa situation does not work out or you don't want to use that route, another option could be a student visa, but those have severe work restrictions (40 hours per fortnight), and you would need to convince the immigration dept (DIAC) that it was your genuine intent to only be in Australia temporarily for study.

Please advise if I can assist further, and good luck! Australia's a great place to live and work - I hope you two make the trip.

Best,

Mark Northam

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Old 04-07-2013, 03:18 PM
jDv jDv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkNortham View Post
Hi J&C -

Fortunately Australia has a very open and liberal immigration policy regarding same-sex couples. That being said, I cannot argue with the perception that discrimination still exists in various ways and shapes.

As a British national, it's likely that he would be applying for a subclass 457 temporary work visa for Australia. A defacto partner (that's the term here for partners of the same sex or opposite sex who are not married) can be included in the 457 application, however the employer must sign a letter extending the nomination for the position to cover the partner and support the partner's inclusion in the 457 application since the sponsor has certain obligations for everyone that company sponsors (including dependents such as defacto partners).

It gets interesting when a visa applicant requests that sponsorship be extended to cover "his partner" (or "her partner") but chooses not to disclose the partner's name or gender to the employer. It is possible to extend employer sponsorship to a defacto partner without having the employer name that partner, but there could be fallout issues at the employer if they believe the employee has "something to hide".

As far as when to apply if he had a 457 visa, you could apply as a dependent on the original application, or could apply later. Here's more info:

Temporary Business (Long Stay) - Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457)

Fortunately it's been my experience that most employers in Australia are progressive and do not have issues with same-sex couples - I hope that's the case in your situation. If the employment visa situation does not work out or you don't want to use that route, another option could be a student visa, but those have severe work restrictions (40 hours per fortnight), and you would need to convince the immigration dept (DIAC) that it was your genuine intent to only be in Australia temporarily for study.

Please advise if I can assist further, and good luck! Australia's a great place to live and work - I hope you two make the trip.

Best,

Mark Northam
Thanks Mark

Really useful info to get things moving! Got a few questions to pick your brains a bit further if that's ok!?

Firstly, my partner isn't comfortable 'outing' himself at work as he has been with his company for a while and they have no idea of his sexuality so that leaves me with only a couple of options really.

Can you confirm that if I apply later for a defacto visa once he has his 457 and we are in Australia that this will still need to go via his employers as the sponsors?

If I decide to travel to Australia on a Tourist Visa / ETA, can I apply for a defacto visa or student visa while in the country?

The student visa option may be suitable as I work in the travel industry which is a) not well paid and b) not a sponsorable profession so it would be an ideal opportunity to learn for a new career / industry in I.T. which is something I'm interested in doing. When you say I would need to convince the DIAC that my genuine intent is to study, do you mean I should not mention my partner and that he will be on a 457 visa while I am studying as they may question the motive for the application.

Look forward to hearing from you with some info. It may be worth us contacting a migration agent for advice - can you recommend any?

Thanks & Regards

J&C

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Old 04-07-2013, 08:28 PM
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Mark is actually a migration agent (and a good one). Another option for you to go over there would be less than ideal and take more time -- but if your partner's employer will sponsor him for Permanent Residency after he's been there two years, after he receives it you could then apply for a defacto partner visa without the involvement of his employer. Of course, like I said, it's not optimal, not only because of the time you'll have to wait, but because you'll have to explain to DIAC why, if you were already defacto partners when he came over, he did not include you on his 457 as his defacto partner. That will make things complicated for sure. I really feel for you - I hope Mark can assist you.

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Old 04-10-2013, 11:56 PM
jDv jDv is offline
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Hi Mark

Not sure if my response to your excellent advice at the weekend got through as it doesn't seem to appear here yet CollegeGirl seems to refer to some of the content of it!

Basically my question is this :

On the rules of the Temporary Work (Skilled) - Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457) Visa it states that ...

Family Members (Secondary Visa Applicants) Eligibility
Your family members can apply:
•at the same time on the same form as the worker, and pay the one visa application charge for the entire application
•at a later time, in which case they must complete a separate visa application and pay another visa application charge.

With reference to the final point of applying at a later time, would this be possible if I travel with my partner to Australia (him on a 457, me on an ETA) help him get set up with an apartment etc and then apply for a defacto visa a month or two later while within Australia or does it have to be applied for outside Australia? Finally, when applying at a later time, once my partner has his 457 visa, is it definitely the case that my defacto application will have to go through his employers and cant be done independently? It seems to mention it being a separate visa with a separate charge. Do you think arranging it at a later time will just make it more difficult and cause complications?

Just trying to avoid my partner having to 'come out' to his company as he has lived a very private personal life in his job for the past 4+ years.

I believe there are new ETA rules than mean you can look for work while on an ETA visa . . .is that right? Does the same apply for arriving on an ETA Visa and then changing to a student visa, as this is my second option!?

Look forward to hearing from you with your advice!

Regards J&C


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Old 04-11-2013, 04:10 AM
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Hi J&C -

As you noted, the application by a defacto partner to be a secondary applicant on the partner's 457 visa can be made either at the same time the primary 457 holder applies for his visa, or can be added on later. In either case, the primary 457 holder's employer must agree in writing to extend the nomination to the secondary applicant (ie, the primary visa holder's partner - you). The primary difference is that there's a charge if the partner is added on later, vs being included at the time of application. This however may change on 1 July as DIAC has been threatening to introduce per-applicant charges for visa applications.

Re: looking for work on an ETA visa, that's a very tricky area. Technically you cannot work on an ETA (or any other visitor visa), however the new visitor visa regulations have brought the business visitor stream under the Subclass 600 visitor visa, and that stream does allow for exploratory business trips under certain circumstances. You should review the business visitor stream info carefully on the DIAC website at Department of Immigration & Citizenship to see how it may apply to what you want to do.

Hope this helps -

Best,

Mark Northam

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Old 04-11-2013, 04:47 AM
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How old are you? If you are below 30, could you apply for a working holiday visa?

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Old 04-11-2013, 11:31 PM
jDv jDv is offline
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Yes unfortunately we have both done our WHV's already, 30 & 35 years old now.

I am kind of stuck now as my partner is 99% going to be offered the job in Australia but he 100% isn't comfortable with 'coming out' to his company so I am unable to go on his visa, which I understand. He wants me to go with him to Australia on a tourist visa so we can then spend the first few weeks getting set up with an apartment etc and he seems to think I should then easily be able to find a job offering sponsorship during the first couple of months.

The problem is that I work in the travel industry specialising in luxury travel to Australia, New Zealand & Canada so it is highly unlikely that I will be sponsored as I would imagine that any Australian could do that job, so why would a company want to sponsor me? I would imagine some of my skills are transferrable to other roles but why would someone take me on and sponsor me for a role I have never done before?! Frustrating!

The other option would be for me to go over on a Student Visa and train for a new career, which I have wanted to do for a while as the travel industry isn't the best paid industry in the world, and my partner is willing to pay for the cost of studying and I will also be able to work 20 hours per week. Can anyone recommend any study options that will qualify for a student visa in Sydney but not as expensive as TAFE?! Or is that the best option?

Its just a big risk, opportunity of a lifetime for him, a big risk for me going out there with no job and no income. He does earn enough to cover both of us but I would be keen to earn my own money. The only other risk for me is that if it didn't work out finding work and we had to come back to the UK, I would be returning unemployed. Difficult situation! Worst case scenario my partner has said he will tell his work and try to get me on his visa but only once we are there when he knows his boss better! Personally in my experience its always harder once you know someone better. Hmm!

Having read all that, any suggestions or ideas would be very very welcome! Feel like we have hit a brick wall!


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Old 04-12-2013, 12:09 AM
jDv jDv is offline
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Is it possible to arrive in Australia on a tourist visa and then convert to a student visa while in the country?

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Old 04-12-2013, 02:57 PM
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Hi -

Yes, for Assessment Level 1 students (UK). You'd need to apply for a new student visa, which can generally be done online in these circumstances.

Best,

Mark Northam



Quote:
Originally Posted by jDv View Post
Is it possible to arrive in Australia on a tourist visa and then convert to a student visa while in the country?

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Northam Lawyers http://nlaw.com.au [email protected]
Co-Host, Coming 2 Oz live video show: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coming2oz/

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