Residence permit can be obtained for a registered partner (in line with Danish Law) or cohabiting companion. Usually such permits should be applied for in the country of origin or the country of domicile, but if the partner is legally in Denmark in another category, then it is possible in principle to apply from within the country. Various conditions apply:
- Both partners must be over 24 yrs of age.
- Must have a greater attachment to Denmark than any other country (this includes proficiency in Danish, location of other family members, how long the sponsor already resident etc.)
- Must have accommodation available.
- Sponsor must be either a citizen of Denmark, Sweden, Finland or Iceland or have had a permanent residence permit in Denmark for at least 3 years.
- Sponsor must provide evidence of the ability to support the partner without recourse to public funds and must provide an economic guarantee of Dkr 50,000.
- Sponsor must not have received public financial assistance for at least a year prior to the application.
- Cohabiting companions who are not legally registered must prove cohabitation of at least 1½ – 2 years.
If you are cohabiting or intend to cohabit with a partner who is already resident in Sweden, you can apply for a Residence Permit by reason of family ties (anknytning) at the Swedish Embassy in your country of origin or country of domicile.
Residence Permits are normally granted for one year at a time for a period of two years. When you have lived together in Sweden for two years and the Migration Board decides that your relationship is still a serious one, you can be granted a permanent Residence Permit (PUT).
If you have lived together for a longer period of time (at least 2 years) prior to the move to Sweden, you may be granted a permanent Residence Permit right away.
On 10th March 2003, the Swedish Government announced that it wants its Embassies around the world to officiate at same sex unions, if the country concerned allows such unions.
If you have what is defined as a ‘serious and permanent relationship’ with a partner who has his or her ‘domicile’ and ‘habitual residence’ in the Netherlands, you can apply for a Provisional Residence Permit (MVV) as the first step to applying for a full Residence Permit. You can apply for the MVV in your country of origin or the sponsor can apply on your behalf to the regional Aliens Police. Usually Residence Permit will be given for 1 year and can be renewed twice.
- Intend to live together in a joint household in the Nederlands.
- Both be at least 18.
- Both be unmarried.
- must be in long term employment.
- must have a minimum net income at least at the family level set by the National Assistance Act.
As to foreigners marrying in the Netherlands – each couple that wants to marry in the Netherlands should have at least ONE partner who is a Dutch citizen or has his or her ‘domicile’ and ‘habitual residence’ in the Netherlands. In Dutch immigration law the position of married, registered and unmarried cohabiting couples is almost identical. Therefore it will normally not be necessary to marry, or to register a partnership, in order to obtain a residence permit for one of the partners.
Website of Kees Waaldijk – Research Fellow at Leiden University specialising in sexual orientation law, including immigration
Partners of individuals who have the right to reside in Belgium for more than three months (includes Belgian and EU nationals and all other persons authorized to remain in Belgium for longer than three months) can apply for a residence permit (Type D visa) on the basis of their relationship.
Both partners must be at least eighteen years old, and the relationship must be of a permanent nature. Partners must share a joint household, have lasting means of support and a contract under which the sponsoring partner assumes financial responsibility to support the other partner.
Although Belgium has recently (Jan 03) recognised same-sex marriage which is allegedly open to non-Belgian citizens, the residency requirements above still apply. For those intending to marry their same sex partner residing legally in Belgium, a Type C visa (visa “with a view to marriage”) can be applied for in the Belgian diplomatic post in the country of domicile.
Addendum: Belgians in same-sex relationships can only marry other Belgians, or a partner who is a citizen of a country which also permits same-sex marriage. That only includes the Netherlands, as of mid-2004.
A foreign-national partner in a “civil solidarity pact” (PACS) can obtain a permit to live in France (“permit de sejour”) if their partner is a French* citizen, subject to a 1 year waiting period. It is subject to annual renewal through the local Mayor’s office and permanent residence (a 10 year permit) is possible after 5 years.
The Minister of the Interior has stated that a PACS has to be at least 3 years old to be considered a defining factor for a permanent residency application. A PACS of less than 3 years can still be a contributing factor to whatever degree the individual area decides, but such decision will be affected by the recommendation (or otherwise) of your local mayor and an often variable interpretation of the rules by regional (departmental) immigration officials. It is only when the regional immigration office has decided that all the criteria have been met, that applications are sent to the Ministry for decision. This process can easily take 18 months.
If you are registered as a couple or married under the laws of another EU country, it seems this can be helpful to obtain a family entry visa to France, but not a family permit. The permit will depend on the existence of a PACS and it is currently unclear if you can have a PACS without first dissolving your existing registration or marriage (which might well be giving you more legal rights in the other country).
*In principle, as long as one of the couple in a PACS has the right to a 5 or 10 year “permit de sejour”, or has permanent residence in France, the legal position for nationals of other countries is the same as for French citizens. In reality it is more complex as more government departments are involved.
The introduction of “Registered Life Partnerships” has given the opportunity for Resident status to the foreign partners of binational couples.
Foreign partners staying legally in Germany, even non-visa nationals staying as visitors for more than 3 months can, in principle, change status to resident from within Germany. Otherwise it is possible for the foreign partner (visa or non-visa national) to apply for a “long stay visa” at the German Embassy in their country of residence or domicile with the intention of registering their partnership after arrival in Germany.
If the sponsor is a German citizen or has an unlimited right to reside in Germany, their partner has a legal right to a residence permit. If the sponsor is a citizen of another EU country, living and working in Germany with an “EU Residence permit” (Aufenthalts-erlaubnis-EU/5 years duration), the granting of a residence permit to the partner is discretionary. In the case of registered partners, however, it is now usual for the rules to be interpreted as if the couple were married, so that residency is likely to be granted.
The sponsoring partner has to prove that he or she can pay for the livelihood of both partners. Non German sponsors cannot be in receipt of social help.
[Important: Please note that since the federal law allowing same-sex couples to register is expected to come into force in mid-2005 after the upcoming referendum, the following may not be valid thereafter anymore. The registration law will give couples most of the rights married couples enjoy, including the right to permanent residence for foreign partners.]
Under Swiss law, the foreign partner of a Swiss citizen or a foreign national who has a right to permanent residence in Switzerland (C class permit holders and all EU nationals gainfully employed or retired in Switzerland) has the right to live with his partner and also work in Switzerland provided that:
- There is evidence of a stable and committed relationship of at least one year.
The nature of the relationship is confirmed by other criteria, such as:
- Registration as domestic partners in Switzerland (possible in Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Zurich only) or legal recognition under foreign law such as registration etc.
- Foreign partners’ willingness and ability of integration in Switzerland.
- Recognition of the relationship by family members, friends or co-workers.
- Refusing the foreign partner a residence permit would lead to de facto separation of the couple.
- The couple has sufficient means to live together in Switzerland without recourse to public funds.
- Both partners are cohabiting in Switzerland if already in Switzerland, or else plan to do so.
- The foreign partner has no criminal record and poses no security threat to Switzerland.
In Zurich only there is an established practice of allowing Swiss citizens or foreign nationals who have a right to permanent residence to bring their foreign partners into the country regardless of the relationships’ duration, by first applying for a short term permit in order to register as a couple under local law. Local and federal government will subsequently waive the one year condition, provided the other conditions are met.
Foreign partners receive B class residents’ permits and are therefore exempt from all labour market restrictions applying to foreign nationals. There is a legal right to renewal provided the relationship still exists, and it is converted into a C class permanent residents’ permit after ten years.
Processing time from applying until permit issue is two to three months in straightforward cases.
Please note that there is very little information available in English. Even many Swiss LGBT organisations are not familiar with the current legal situation as gay/lesbian immigration isn’t such a big issue in Switzerland, given the small number of cases. LGBT organisations in Geneva and Zurich, though, are able provide knowledgeable legal advice on immigration matters.
(LGBT organisation in Geneva, French language only)
Thanks to our correspondent in Switzerland for this update in October 2004
On 1st. October 2004, the Spanish government approved a draft law to legalise same-sex marriage. This officially passed into law on July 2nd., 2005 and gives the same rights as opposite-sex couples in the areas of inheritance, pensions, adoption (Spanish children only) and immigration.
Uncertainties have since arisen about whether a marriage license can be issued where one of a couple is a citizen of a country that does not itself permit same sex marriage. In late July 2005, however, an official ruling was published to allow this. In July and August 2005, two separate judges refused marriage licenses to same-sex couples and mounted constitutional challenges against the law.
It is not certain whether non-resident foreigners can visit Spain to marry. At present, the only country with same-sex marriage known to permit this is Canada; Belgium and the Netherlands will only marry their own residents or citizens.
Acknowledgement to Wikipedia August 2005
Has a similar arrangement to the PaCS in France. Same sex couples who have lived together for 2 years have the same legal rights as married couples.