Do you include unmarried partners, including same sex couples, in your aims?
Yes. In promoting our aims, we support diversity and inclusiveness in employment and family life, so we include both married spouses and unmarried partners, irrespective of gender. In all our promotional materials, we use the word “partner” unless we feel that “spouse or partner” is necessary for context or clarity. We are also aware that some host countries do not yet recognise unmarried partners as being entitled to residency as accompanying family members. When approaching these countries, we seek advice locally on cultural sensitivities and may consider whether it is necessary to promote work authorization initially for the categories that are already entitled to accompanying resident status.
Our world map of mobile spouse and partner work authorisation indicates those countries where unmarried partners or same-sex spouses are recognized as accompanying family members.
Our 2012 global survey report confirmed that employers face mobility problems as a result of immigration restrictions for unmarried partners.
The recognition of unmarried or same-sex partners for immigration purposes may not correspond precisely with national legislation for wider purposes. For example, a country that does not recognize civil partnerships or gay marriages in its national legislation may recognize de facto partners as accompanying family members if they are recognised in their home country. By contrast, the USA recognizes same-sex spouses, but not opposite-sex unmarried partners even when they are recognised in their home country. In the case of diplomatic assignments, same-sex or unmarried partners may be recognized under bilateral agreements or de facto memoranda of understanding.
A landmark ruling at the European Court of Justice in 2018 resulted in improved rights for same-sex couples in the EU where one member of the couple is an EU citizen. Following the “Coman” judgement, in the context of enabling free movement of EU citizens for family reunification, recognition is given to the same-sex spouse in the destination Member State irrespective of whether that Member State allows same-sex marriage within its territory.
Several Wikipedia articles track country developments in this area:
Civil unions wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Same-sex marriage wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/