Case Study 8 - Partner Visa Approved For Same Sex Couple Who Have Never Lived Together
Our client, a Citizen of Saudi Arabia, was in a same sex relationship with an Australian female who was resident in Lebanon at the time of their courtship.
Applying for a Partner visa in this type of scenario is never an easy task. Issues we have to consider, include, but were not limited to, the following:
- How is our client able to meet the definition of a De Facto Couple in accordance with Australian Immigration Legislation and policy and more specifically, s5CB(2)(c) of the Migration Act which requires the partners not to be living separately and apart on a permanent basis.
- In addition to the above, we conducted a rigorous assessment of our clients circumstances and compiled a detailed submission that helped address Regulation 1.09(A) of the Migration Regulations. More specifically, the financial aspects of our clients relationship, the nature of the household, social aspects of the relationship and the nature of our clients commitment to her sponsor.
- We relied heavily on DIBP policy that allowed for the 12 month living together requirement to be waived if compelling and compassionate circumstances for granting the visa could be demonstrated. DIBP policy states the threshold for compelling and compassionate can be reached if the applicant’s relationship was illegal in the country where they both resided.
- The compelling and compassionate circumstances associated with this case are as divided between two issues, the illegality of living together and women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.
- The primary source of law in Saudi Arabia is the Islamic Sharia which is derived from the Quaran. The legal system of Saudi Arabia is exceptional in the world of Islam, in that Muslim countries that retain or adopt Sharia usually determine which parts of the Sharia are enforceable and codify them. In Saudi Arabia, the state regards uncodified Sharia in its entirety as the law of the land and does not interfere with it. The system of Sharia implemented in Saudi Arabia is said to be the closest system in the modern world to the form of Sharia adopted at the advent of Islam.
- In 2010, the US State Department stated that in Saudi Arabia, ‘freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice’ and that ‘government policies continued to place severe restrictions on religious freedom’. No faith other than Islam is permitted to be practised, although there are nearly a million Christians, nearly all are foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. There are no churches or other non-Muslim houses of worship permitted in the country. Even private prayer services are forbidden in practice and the Saudi religious police reportedly regularly search the homes of Christians. Foreign workers must observe Ramadan and are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter. Compensation in court cases discriminates against non-Muslims: once fault is determined, a Muslim receives all of the amount of compensation determined, a Jew or Christian half, and all others a sixteenth.
- Under the religion of Islam, particularly in Saudi Arabia, living in a same sex and de facto relationship is considered adultery which is a crime according to the strict interpretation of the Islamic faith. The Quran expressly and unfairly dictates what must happen to those who are considered adulterers and fornicators.
Applying for a Partner visa under these circumstances is never an easy task and the help of a highly experienced Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer will increase your chances of success.
We are pleased to confirm that our client's Partner visa has since been approved.