Same-Sex Couples May Experience Enhanced Bureaucracy Abroad


Same-sex couples who wish to relocate may find that their relationship is not legally recognized abroad, leading to enhanced bureaucracy and legal problems.

An article that was recently published in UK newspaper The Telegraph, indicates that moving abroad can be much more complicated for same-sex couples than it is for heterosexual couples. While everyone may experience difficulties dealing with red tape after first relocating overseas, gay couples are likely to face more problems with bureaucracy and may be more likely to experience problems having their relationship legally recognized than their straight counterparts.

One of the biggest issues facing same-sex couples is that their relationship may not be legally recognized in many overseas destinations, even if they have had a marriage or civil partnership legalized at home. According to Fiona Wood, who explored the issues that gay couples face when moving overseas in an article for The Telegraph, many same-sex couples face continued uncertainty over their legal rights abroad and many of them are in a vulnerable position as a result of this.

Wood cites France as an example of a location where same-sex expatriate couples may experience problems. While France recognize gay unions through a civil partnership that is known as the Pacte Civil de Solidarite (PACS), they don’t recognize civil partnerships that were conducted in many overseas destinations, meaning that many gay expat couples are not entitled to the same legal and taxation rights as their heterosexual peers.

Wood found that even in countries where gay marriage is permitted and accepted, the unions of same-sex couples from overseas may not be recognized and valued. She recommends that gay partners who do wish to relocate ensure that they complete comprehensive research into the laws in their host country and seek advice where relevant to protect their assets and legal status.

If you’re considering relocating, make sure you arm yourself with all the facts with our expat destination guides.