Another Visa Type
Инээдтэй ч юм шиг, гэхдээ үнэн. Монголчууд гэлтгүй олон орныхон ижил хүйстэнтэйгээ явалдахыг гаж үзэгдэлд тооцдог бол Австрали иймэрхүү хүмүүст амьдрах эрх олгож, бүх төрлийн тусламж үзүүлдэг байна. Үнэнгээсээ тийм зуршилтай эсэхийг нь мэдэхгүй ч нутаг нэгтнүүд маань энэ түүхийг ашиглан барууны өндөр хөгжилтэй оронд байнгын оршин сууж, ажиллаж амьдрах эрх авдаг нь нууц биш болоод удаж байна. Энэ талаар expert биш тул сонирхогчид өөрсдөө ийм төрлөөр виз хэрхэн хөөцөлддөг талаар нь бусад эх сурвалжаас хайж олоорой. Энэ чиглэлээр хуулийн зөвлөгөө өгдөг хүмүүс зөндөө байдаг юм байна.
Эх сурвалж: http://www.adam-carr.net/bnews/2002/bnm5.txt
Coming to Australia (Melbourne Star, March 2002) In 1984 OutRage magazine ran a feature story on Australia's immigration policy towards gay men and lesbians, ominously headlined "When your lover has to leave." The story, by Danny Vadasz, made it clear that what it called "the Straight Australia Policy" was still alive and well. The story quoted Terry Goulden and Betty Hounslow, two Sydney activists who made the first official approach to the then Immigration Minister, Stewart West, asking for a review of the policy. "The Department's position is based solely on negatives," they said. "A person's homosexuality will not be the basis on which entry is refused. Yet the Department refuses to extend to homosexual relationships the same positive weighting accorded heterosexual relationships." They noted that gay men and lesbians did not quality under the Family Reunion Program, nor was a same-sex relationship acceptable grounds for applying for a change of status - such as from tourist to resident or from student to resident - whereas marriage or a de facto heterosexual relationship was. "The only way a male homosexual or lesbian partner of an Australian resident can be granted permanent residence on the basis of their relationship is by making an application under the section that covers persons with 'strong compassionate and humanitarian grounds,' a catch- all section allowing Ministerial approval for exceptional cases," Goulden and Hounlsow said. This state of affairs had led to the formation in Sydney of the Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force (GLITF) in early 1983. For eight years GLITF's handful of activists, led mainly by Hounslow, pestered a series of Labor immigration ministers, asking for a review of the policy and changes which would remove the bias against gay men and lesbians. Ministers such as Chris Hurford and Robert Ray remained unresponsive. In 1989 Ray came close to accepting that a "long-standing homosexual relationship" be accepted as a ground for immigration, but he lost his nerve as the 1990 election approached. It should be said in defence of these ministers that one reason for their caution was that the Liberal opposition, led alternatively by Andrew Peacock and John Howard, jumped on any suggestion of relaxation as a sign of the Labor Party's anti-family, pro-pervert policies. The other problem ministers have had is that they have to be constantly alert to new schemes for getting around Australia's immigration laws. Australia is one of the most desired immigration destinations in the world, and, as we saw in 2001, many people are willing to do just about anything to get to Australia. Australia has long had a problem with fake marriages for immigration purposes, and ministers were undoubtedly advised that creating a new category of eligibility would only create more scope for abuse of the system. But in 1991 a courageous minister, Gerry Hand, finally grasped the nettle. A new category of eligibility for immigration, interdependency, was introduced, for people who were not related, not married and not in a de facto relationship, but who had a personal relationship as the basis for their desire to settle in Australia. The policy did not mention the words gay or lesbian, but in practice it was designed to facilitate same-sex relationships. Since 1991, GLITF estimates, between 350 and 400 same-sex partners of Australians a year have been allowed to settle here - about 4,500 in all. The story of gay and lesbian immigration needs to be seen in the context of Australia's overall immigration history. Although all non-Aboriginal Australians are either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants, immigration has always been one of the most politically sensitive subjects in Australia. In the 1850s, a time of mass migration to the Australian colonies, there were anti-Chinese riots on the Victorian and New South Wales goldfields. The first act passed by the new Commonwealth Parliament in 1901 was the Immigration Restriction Act, which enshrined - largely on the insistence of the unions and the Labor Party - the White Australia Policy. From Federation to the end of World War II there was very little migration to Australia. Migrants, it was said, stole jobs from Australian workers, they brought diseases, drugs, immorality and subversive ideas. Australia became a parochial and isolated Anglo-Irish country. But in 1945, after Australia's narrow escape from Japanese invasion, Arthur Calwell became Immigration Minister, and proclaimed that Australia must "populate or perish." A million migrants were brought from Europe, but none from elsewhere. "No-one wants a chocolate- coloured Australia," Calwell said, reflecting his "old Labor" background. From the 1950s to the 1970s, White Australia was gradually broken down. Al Grassby, Immigration Minister in the "new Labor" Whitlam Government, launched multiculturalism as official policy in 1973. Today immigration from all parts of the world is widely accepted. But illegal immigration, as recent events have shown, still hits a public nerve. Australian immigration policy has always had a strong "pro-family" bias, and this lasted even longer than the racial bias. Australia wanted married couples with children, and single women to provide brides and babies. Naturally, at a time when homosexuality was illegal and unmentioned, it did not want sexual deviates. Only in 1983 did the Immigration Department announce that it would no longer actively discriminate against gay men and lesbians in immigration. But all that meant was that people who met other immigration criteria would not be rejected solely because of their sexuality. It did not mean that gay men and lesbians would actually be accepted as such. Even after the reforms of 1991, Australia's overall immigration policy continues to be discriminatory. People accepted as skilled migrants, or as business migrants, or as refugees, have an automatic right to bring their husbands or wives with them - but not their same-sex partners. The present minister, Phillip Ruddock, is not interested in further changes. Historian Peter de Waal, who interviewed Ruddock for his new book on gay and lesbian immigration, says the minister's attitude is to "let sleeping dogs lie." The real problem is the lack of legal recognition of same-sex relationships in general law, and there seems little chance that the Howard Government is going to address that issue anytime soon. Under Ruddock, the number of people admitted under the interdependency category has been restricted to an annual quota - initially 200 a year, increased later to 300 and recently to 400. Since there are quotas for all immigration categories to Australia, this is not itself discriminatory, but it does mean that if you are the 401st applicant, you will be rejected no matter how good your case or urgent your circumstances. There are also suspicions that a racial bias still operates in the system. The Immigration Department, it is thought, views applicants from Asia, Africa and Latin America with greater suspicion than it does those from Europe or North America, seeing them as "high risk" for overstaying. But the greatest obstacle to successful applications under the interdependency category is still the requirement for twelve month's cohabitation. Almost by definition, Australians form relationships with non-Australians only when they are travelling overseas or when the non- Australian partner is visiting Australia. Twelve months cohabitation is often impossible with the available visa options. "It is a Catch-22 situation," says GLITF. "You need to live together in a relationship, but the Australian Government does not provide a visa which allows this." Sometimes people can go and live together for twelve months in the partner's country, but of course this is frequently not possible. The Sydney-based GLITF provides a full guide to Australian Immigration Law affecting gay men and lesbians at its website at www.glitf.org.au. GLITF Victoria has a separate website with details of mee tings at www.glitf.gaybookings.com, but this has not been updated for some time. The Department of Immigration's website gives the full regulations governing interdependency applications at www.immi.gov.au/facts/35relationship.htm. Our best-kept secret Peter de Waal has been active in GLITF in Sydney for ten years. Now he has written a history of the campaign to reform Australian immigration law, Lesbians and Gays Changed Australian Immigration, which he has published in a limited edition, launched by NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus at this year's Mardi Gras festival. The tireless de Waal has also compiled two volumes of documents relating to gay and lesbian immigration issues, dating back to 1975. De Waal interviewed all the former immigration ministers, the current Minister, Phillip Ruddock, and a number of former senior departmental officials. He also interviewed many past and present GLITF members, as well as the ordinary gay men and lesbians whose immigration cases were the basis of GLITF's work. The work of GLITF, says de Waal, is "the gay and lesbian community's best-kept secret." Given how difficult is had been to achieve equality for gay men and lesbians in other areas, he says, "GLITF's achievement of near-equality in immigration in eight years was an amazing achievement." De Waal points out that GLITF has a very high success rate in the applications it puts to the Immigration Department. "The ministers I interviewed all said that the quality of GLITF's applications was just amazing," de Waal says. "We think the success rate was 95% to 98%. Very few were unsuccessful." De Waal's book, Lesbians and Gays Changed Australian Immigration, has been initially published in a limited edition and is not yet available retail in Melbourne. But it can be ordered electronically via the GLITF website at www.glitf.org.au. De Waal hopes that there will a further edition and a Melbourne launch in the future. Waiting for Mr Wright When Steve Wright came to Australia from Saskatoon, Canada, in May last year, he was expecting to stay for a year, broaden his horizons, and go home to finish his university degree. Instead, he met Andi Zunica at the Xchange and "fell head over heels in love." Now he wants to be an Australian. The problem is that his application to be allowed to stay in Australia under the "interdependency" provision of the Immigration Act can't be considered unless he can show that he has lived with Andi for twelve months - the government takes the view that the only relationships which count are those where the partners cohabitate. But Steve's visa expires in June, and by then he and Andi will have lived together for only eleven months. Steve can't transfer his university course to Australia, because as an overseas student he would have to pay $10,000 a year in up-front fees. And he can't take Andi back to Canada, because Canada has no same-sex immigration provisions at all, and besides Andi is also a student. "So our only possibility is for me to go to New Zealand and apply from there to have my visa extended, so we can meet the twelve months' requirement," Steve says. "But then I will probably have to go home to Canada to finish my degree, then come back to Australia." As a further complication Steve had to do the guess-what-I'm-gay phone call to his parents back in Saskatoon, and then tell them he intends settling on the other side of the world. The course of true love never did run smooth, but the point here is that if Steve and Andi were of opposite sexes, they would have none of this trouble. Andi could simply marry his Mr Wright and they would have no trouble with immigration laws at all.