Migrants & Refugees

In some cultures, being LGBTIQ is actively discouraged by family, friends or community. The existence of gender and sexual diversity or intersex may not be acknowledged in some cultural groups. 

LGBTIQ people who come from a culturally and linguistically diverse, migrant and/or refugee experience may be at a higher risk of violence, homophobic or transphobic bullying or sexual assault by a family or community member for being LGBTIQ.

“Homophobia is present inside all communities, in all countries, it is also present in the Australian community as well, and the Arabic community is part of that community. Nevertheless, in the Arabic community we do tend to ignore and not to think about the issue of homophobia or homosexuality but when we talk about it [it is] usually in the negative because it is against our traditional and community beliefs.” (We Are Family Too: The Effects of Homophobia in Arabic Speaking Communities, Kassisieh et al, 2011.)

Immigration and LGBTIQ Domestic and Family Violence

If you have applied for residency in Australia on the basis of your relationship and you are experiencing domestic and family violence the family violence provisions of Australia’s immigration laws may apply to you. 

These provisions may enable you to leave the violent relationship and still be eligible to apply for permanent residency. 

You should not remain in an abusive relationship in order to obtain permanent residence in Australia. If you can show that your sponsor has acted or threatened to act in a way that made you fear for your wellbeing or safety, ending the relationship will not prevent you from obtaining a permanent visa. This will be the case even where it has not been two years since your temporary Partner Visa application was granted. 

You are required to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship when your relationship with your sponsor ends, and for other change of circumstance, such as change in address.

When providing this information, you should also inform the Department that you experienced domestic or family violence while in the relationship. If you do not let the Department know about the domestic and family violence, your sponsor may withdraw their sponsorship and your visa application may be refused.

If this applies to you, you should seek immigration and legal advice. For more information call the Immigration Advice and Rights Service (02 9281 8355). For more information go to www.iarc.asn.au.

'Outing' as a Method of Control

If the abused partner has not disclosed their sexuality, gender (identity, history or expression), intersex or HIV status to their family, friends, workmates or their cultural community the abusive partner may use 'outing' as a method of control.