Before 2009, if you wanted to live with your same sex partner in Australia, you would have needed to apply for an interdependency visa. However, the new Equal Treatment Commonwealth Laws, in particular, the Same Sex Relationships Act of 2008 eliminated the need for this subclass. The legislation changes were designed to ensure no discrimination between heterosexual de facto and same sex de facto relationships within migration law. This means that people in a same sex relationship now have the entitlement to apply for an 820 or another type of partner visa.
The Criteria for an 820 Visa:
In order to apply for an 820 visa, you must meet the Department of Immigration and Border Protection criteria. This includes;
You must have been in a de facto relationship for at least twelve months with your relationship before applying. Applicants must be over the age of eighteen and meet the character and health requirements. Additionally, you need to show evidence of a "social context" of your relationship and joint finances. Finally, you need to demonstrate a commitment to each other even if there are periods of separation.
Since civil unions and same sex marriages are not recognised by Australian law, regardless of your status back home, you need to meet the Government requirements here.
There are some exceptions when applying for an 820 or temporary partner visa. Depending on where you are based, it may be a possibility that you could register your relationship formally. The rules for relationship registrations vary in different states and territories. It is not available in every Australian state, so you would need to check with your migration agent to see if this is a possible option.
In cases where there is a demonstration of "compelling and compassionate circumstances," the twelve month rule may be waived. An example is if you and your partner have shared guardianship of a child. Another example is if your home country laws prohibit same sex or other de facto relationships, making it impossible to live together before your application. Each situation is assessed on a case by case basis to determine if they are exempt, but the most straightforward applications are where you can meet the full requirement.
Partner visas tend to be costly and complex. In recent years the fees have increased significantly, which highlights the need to submit an accurate and watertight application. To avoid excessive fees and charges, it is important that you get it right first time. So, if you are unsure about your visa options or eligibility, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a registered migration agent. If you are considering applying for an 820 visa, Australia applicants should speak to us. The team at 888 Migration would be happy to discuss your case and provide our expertise and advice.