Friday, March 10, 2006

Australia to Approve Migrant Same-Sex Couples

(Link) Got plans to move to the Land Down Under? The new ruling means you can bring your girlfriend along on the visa now -- as your partner.

1 comment:

LNewsEditor said...

From UK

In a move that could simplify the migration of lesbian and gay couples across the globe, the Australian government has announced it will recognise the same-sex partners of skilled workers moving there.

The decision, made this week by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, will mean that lesbian and gay people will find it easier to relocate to Australia if their partner has already been accepted by the country.

The changes are set to come into power on the 1st July and will ease an issue that has blighted many same-sex couples who are faced with relocation of jobs.

It will also mean that the country will be opened up to migrants looking to take their talents to Australia, but feared having to leave their partners behind.

The changes mean that temporary skilled migrants will be able to include their same-sex partners on visa applications and that the partners will able to stay in the country for as long as their partner has the right to work.

Previously lesbian and gay couples were forced to apply for visas separately, despite heterosexual couples being allowed joint entry into the country.

Speaking to the Sydney Star Observer, a spokesperson for Amanda Vanstone said the change would help ensure Australia did not lose skilled migrants.

“The fact that couples were not treated together in the same application created some uncertainty for them and a potential loss for Australia of highly skilled migrants,” she said. “This change will remove this anomaly.”

Campaigners say the change will remove one of the last obstacles to gay rights in immigration.

“It’s the single largest area of reform that we’ve been campaigning for, for over a decade,” Lachlan Riches, senior advisor at the Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force told the newspaper.