Deportation on hold for gay Brisbane man
Gay man Ali Choudhry who faced deportation to Pakistan has been granted a temporary permit.
Pakistan-born Choudhry has lived in Brisbane with his Australian partner Matthew Hynd, for four years but his application for a partnership visa was rejected.
A spokesperson for the Immigaration Minister said in a statement that same-sex partners are assessed no differently than de facto heterosexual couples but Choudhry did not satisfy the requirements for a partnership visa.
“Mr Choudhry came to Australia as a student in 2009. He applied for a further student visa in March 2011 but was refused as he had not enrolled in his course,” the spokesperson said.
He lodged an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal and was granted a bridging visa last week allowing him to stay in Australia while the appeal is considered.
Choudhry said he and his partner were not celebrating, saying now they were now in a “grey” area as they do not know how long it will take and were not able to get the decision for the bridging visa in writing despite asking several times.
In March 2012 Choudhry and Hynd took out a civil union in Queensland but 12 weeks later the union was retrospectively made null and void. Choudhry said that some of the information, such as the civil union, was taken into proper account in his partnership visa application.
“If marriage equality was in place I don't think we would have had to jump through as many hoops,” he added.
An online petition to the Immigration Minister demanding that Choudhry not be deported attracted 120,000 signatures.