Court decides that romantic love is not necessary to prove a relationship is genuine and continuing for a partner visa.


Romantic Love not necessary to show a genuine and continuing relationship? – The Federal Circuit Court thinks so.

Judge Riley of the Federal Circuit Court recently made an interesting decision recently in an appeal of a partner visa refusal.

The name of the case is Ali v Minister for Immigration & Anor [2018] FCCA 121 (22 January 2018)

A partner visa application had been refused by the Immigration Department.  That refusal decision was reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) who affirmed (agreed with) the department’s refusal decision.

The AAT’s decision was then appealed to the Federal Circuit Court.

Judge Riley set aside the AAT’s decision and sent the case back to the AAT to make a new decision on it “according to law”.

The Judge made the following comments as part of her decision:

78. I would add that the Tribunal in this case seems to have considered that a relationship can only satisfy the definition of a married relationship if it is based on Western notions of romantic love. Obviously, there are millions of people around the world who are in arranged and other marriages that are genuine and continuing, but which are not based on romantic love.

79. The Tribunal also seems in this case to have considered that a married relationship is genuine and continuing only if it accords with an inner suburban, middle class aspiration of equality and sharing of financial and other information. However, obviously, most genuine marriages around the world to this day have an enormous power imbalance and many genuine marriages, even in Australia, do not involve a complete sharing of financial and other information. That is apparent from sitting in the family law jurisdiction of this court.

Read the full case

You can read the full case here:


Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this. Cheers.

Ross McDougall

Immigration Lawyer

Tel: 08 8528 9187


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