Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal in New Zealand and Uruguay in August

31 Jul 13


Employees wishing to sponsor same-sex spouses on their work permits will soon be able to do so in Uruguay and New Zealand. Uruguay is set to begin allowing same-sex marriages on Aug. 1, and New Zealand will follow suit on Aug. 19. Altogether, four countries have legalized same-sex marriage this year. France legalized same-sex marriage in May. Also, United Kingdom recently passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in England and Wales, which may go into effect as early as summer 2014. Now, including these four new countries, 16 nations recognize same-sex marriage.

While several nations recognize civil registration and domestic partnership for immigration purposes, both situations often require more documentation and time to process. Immigration authorities may also be less likely to approve them. The recognition of same-sex marriage provides a simpler and more efficient route for married same-sex couples to migrate together.

Below is a breakdown of the countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. Each has a brief summary of the nation’s policies for recognizing relationships for immigration purposes.

Country Marriage Civil Registration Domestic Partnership
Belgium Yes Possibly, if documented. Possibly, if documented.
Denmark Yes Yes Yes
France Yes No In certain specific situations, domestic partners who have lived together for at least one year may apply for a reunion and residence permit.
Iceland Yes Yes Under certain circumstances.
Netherlands Yes Yes Yes
Norway Yes Yes Yes
Portugal Yes Yes, if living together for at least two years. Yes, if living together for at least two years.
South Africa Yes Yes Yes
Spain Yes Under certain circumstances. Under certain circumstances.
Sweden Yes Yes Yes
United Kingdom Yes Yes Yes
New Zealand Aug. 19 Genuine, stable partnership must be proven. Genuine, stable partnership must be proven.
Argentina Yes No No
Brazil Yes Must prove “stable union.” Must prove “stable union.”
Canada Yes May be required to submit a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form. May be required to submit a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form.
Uruguay Aug. 1 Yes Yes

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