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 Post subject: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:48 am 
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After our surprsing experience in France where we thought that our British civil partnership would be recognised as the equivalent of the French same sex partnership PACS and in fact it wan't recognised at all until the French changed their law in May 2009, I did a quick search on the internet to see if there was somekind of list telling me whether the British civil partnership was recognised elsewhere.

I found loads of websites listing what foreign civil partnerships were recognised in the UK as the equivalent of the British civil partnerships but not the other way around.

Does anybody or have experience of where their British civil partnership was or was not recognised abroad as at least as equivalent of the local version. I'd realy like to know.


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:14 pm 
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i thought I'd start it off

New Zealand recognises the British civil partnerships as equivalent to their civil unions.
Frace recognises the British CP and gives them tax rights and social rights - doesn't necessarily give them the same rights as PACSed couples
Victoria (Australia) doesn't recognise the CP but alows you to do a registered partnership despite being in a CP (whether that is legal from a British point of view , who knows?)


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:18 am 
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Asked Stonewall , inter-LGBT and FCO this question and came across a brick wall

Found this out:

Belgian embassy
"Until legal proof of the contrary, a British civil partnership is regarded as the equivalent of the Belgian civil union/marriage"

Alternative family law - re Holland
" have heard that Holland now has statute about recognising foreign same-sex unions, but you would need to get advice from a local lawyer in Holland about whether the UK civil partnership is recognised and if so what rights that brings with it."

commission international de l'etat civil
convention no 32 - recognition of civil partnerships from abroad
Spain and Portugal only have signed - not yet ratified I think

Others:
In USA, Massachusetts recognises a UK CP as a “marriage”, I am told. The same goes for New Hampshire


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Location: Nuneaton
Quote:
Others:
In USA, Massachusetts recognises a UK CP as a “marriage”, I am told. The same goes for New Hampshire

As these are state laws they unfortunately carry no weight for immigration purposes into the US, in fact quite the opposite. Where an American is CPed to a UK citizen we have heard of US immigration officials denying entry as a visitor on the grounds that the CP was evidence that the non-US citizen intended to stay in the US with their partner.

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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Thanks for that..

Got some other replies from embassies

Dutch
"A civil partnership concluded on the basis of the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is recognized by the Dutch authorities. "

German
"According to our experience, British civil partnerships are recognized
by German authorities and institutions as an equivalent of the German
'Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft'.
However, depending on the case an individual decision would normally be
made by the authority dealing with your particular question. Therefore,
if you plan to move to Germany it might be helpful to take your
certificate of civil partnership with you, ideally one that bears an
Apostille (legalisation stamp, issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office: www.fco.gov.uk).

If one of you is a German citizen, you can also apply to the competent
register office in Germany to register you UK civil partnership with
them and to receive a German certificate."

Finland
"Thank you for contacting the Embassy of Finland. Your British civil partnership will be valid in Finland; you will, however, need to be able to produce the original, signed and stamped copy of your civil partnership certificate when you register at your relevant local Register Office (“Maistraatti”)."

Luxembourg
"I would like to inform you that the British civil partnership is not regarded as the equivalent of the civil union in Luxembourg. Several enquiries on the matter have highlighted the fact that whereas the British civil partnership concerns same sex partners and is equivalent to a marriage, the Luxembourg civil union concerns same sex as well as different sex partnerships and is therefore not equivalent to marriage.

A civil partner under British Law will therefore not have the same rights, for example for immigration, as a married spouse under Luxembourg law."


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:36 am 
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Some more positive news from foreign embassies that the British civil partnership would be recognisd in other EU/European countries as the equivalent of their own...

Hungary
"Yes, civil partnerships contracted according to UK law are recognised in Hungary on the same basis as the registered life partnership recently introduced in Hungary."

Norway
"Reference is made to your email of 16.02.2010. British civil partnership is equivalent of the Norwegian civil union/marriage "

Switzerland
"With regards to your inquiry I can inform you that a civil partnership that took place in the UK is recognised in Switzerland. If one of the two partners is Swiss, the partnership has to be registered with the Swiss authorities"

Denmark
"If you have a Civil Partnership Certificate your partnership will be recognized in Denmark.
As your e-mail address is in Australia, I would just like to point out, that you will only be able to live and work freely in Denmark if one of you is an EU national. The other will be able to apply as an accompanying partner."

Czech Republic
"In the Czech Republic exists "registrated partnership", which is a recognition of same-sex couples relationships.
Foreign equivalents of registrated partnership are recognized. "


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:37 pm 
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Posts: 184
Yet more positive news, on the face of it and if you can believe what each of the foreign embassies say, the British civil partnership is recognised as the equivalent of another country's same sex civil union or marriage. With very few exceptions so far ... - I'm confused what is the issue of mutual recognition in Europe , is this for countries without a civil union yet???

Sweden
"Thank you for your e mail. If you register your civil partnership in Sweden it will be is regarded as a Swedish marriage. You can register it once you have moved to Sweden with the local Swedish tax office.
http://www.skatteverket.se/blanketterbr ... 08017.html "

Iceland - not quite sure yet but the 1996 registered partnership act says
Article 2 .....persons of Danish, Norwegian or Swedish nationality shall enjoy the same rights as Icelandic nationals. The Minister of Justice may decide by administrative provisions that nationals of other countries, where similar legislation on registered partnership is in effect, shall also enjoy the same rights as Icelandic nationals.]1)


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Great work Vinny, thank you. I'll put some of this on the UKLGIG website in due course.

Found it extremely difficult to follow Luxembourg's reasoning though. They seem to be accepting that CP is equivalent to marriage while the local Civil Union is not. Doesn't that imply that CP should have the same rights as marriage ?

I may be going bonkers, but I think their answer is nonsense isn't it ?

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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:24 pm 
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The Luxembourg reply doesn't sound correct to me. I sent the reply to the Luxembourg MEPS and 2 of them (greens and liberals) have sent the reply on to their counterpart MP with the hope of raising a parliamentary question in Luxembourg - may take awhile to get an answer.....


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Location: London
vinny wrote:
I'm confused what is the issue of mutual recognition in Europe , is this for countries without a civil union yet???


Yes, the provisions of the Directive on Free Movement are confused because of the same issue. You can only travel with "your partner with whom you have concluded a registered partnership on the basis of the legislation of a Member State – however, the registered partner has the right to accompany or join you only in the Member States which treat registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage".

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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Posts: 184
Thanks for that ...

Just had confirmation today that Felix Braz MP will ask a parliamentary question on the recognition of British CP in Luxembourg. Aslo found out that they based their civil union on French PACS so perhaps it isn't that surprising that they are being difficult .....


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:17 am 
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Reply from Europe about non recognition of the British civil partnership in Luxembourg , also article by Chris Bryant

http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/roller/bryant/e ... not_just_a

Thank you for contacting us.

We understand from your question that you are a British citizen and that you have contracted a British civil partnership. You contemplate the recognition of this British civil partnership in Luxembourg in order for you and your partner to live and work in Luxembourg.

Please note, firstly, that British citizens, as EU citizens, are not submitted to specific conditions to immigrate in Luxembourg in order to live and work there.

Civil partnerships (and generally speaking marriages or any kind of civil unions) are not harmonized in the European Union. Member States can therefore freely regulate such unions on their own territory and recognize or not unions celebrated abroad, for the purpose of their fiscal or social legislation for instance.

The Luxembourg legislation does not treat, from an internal point of view, registered partnerships as equivalent to marriages as their conditions and effects are relatively different.

Besides, the Luxembourg legislation does not currently recognize the effects in Luxembourg of partnerships validly concluded and registered abroad. However, a draft bill (Parliament document n° 5904, registered on 15 July 2008) is currently being discussed in the Luxembourg Chamber of deputies in order to recognize them in the future. The draft bill foresees that civil partnerships registered abroad may ask before the Luxembourg Public prosecution office to register their partnership (even those registered abroad before the entry into force of the new bill).

Until this bill passes, foreign civil partnerships could unfortunately not be formally recognized in Luxembourg.

If you feel that Luxembourg or any other Member State does not comply with European law, and, as anyone may lodge a complaint with the European Commission against a Member State about any measure (law, regulation or administrative action) or practice that is considered incompatible with a provision or a principle of Community law, you may do this as well. You may submit a complaint to the Commission by ordinary letter (including as much relevant information as possible) or using the form which Commission prepared on the website: http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/docs/ ... orm_en.rtf.

To be admissible, your complaint has to relate to an infringement of Community law by a Member State. You can send this form (or letter) by ordinary mail to the following address: Commission of the European Communities (for the attention of the Secretary-General), B-1049 Brussels, Belgium. You may also hand in the form at any of the Commission’s representative offices in the Member States, which in Belgium is at Rue Archimède 73, B-1000 Bruxelles, Tel: 0032-2 295 38 44, Fax 0032-2 295 01 66.

Please note that the European Commission ahs already launched an out-of-court (infringement) action against the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by letter dated 1 December 2008, for the non recognition of partnerships concluded abroad, compared to Luxembourg partnerships, for the perspective of heritage taxes.


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:24 am 
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Posts: 184
Received this reply from the Hungarian government today, looks like we are definitely recognised in Hungary!!

The Hungarian Equal Treatment Authority, the national equality body has received your email about the recognition and legal status of civil partnership registered abroad.

I hereby inform you that according to Section 41/A of the Law-Decree No. 13 of 1979 on International Private Law, as regards registered partnerships in terms of contracting, validity, legal ramifications and termination the provisions of Sections 37-40 (provisions on marriage) shall apply mutatis mutandis.

This means that Hungarian law recognizes a registered partnership as valid if the personal law of the parties (law of the state of which the person is citizen) also recognizes its validity.

If your civil partnership is valid under British law then in Hungary you enjoy the same rights as the Hungarian registered partners.

Should you further inquiries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Budapest, 26th February 2010

Still haven't had a response from Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. Also no response from the FCO and equalities office in the UK. Any help in getting responses from these would be most welcome.

Did notice this article in pinknews this morning so I should have though the British govt would now have a list of countries where we are recognised!!!

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/02/25/pu ... ss-europe/


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:15 am 
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Posts: 184
For info only

Luxembourg
letter by Mr Luc Frieden (2006), former Luxembourg Minister of Justice , confirming that Luxembourg would recognize foreign gay marriages and partnerships in as far as they correspond to the Luxembourg partnership.
But – the embassy of Luxembourg in 2010 says that since the British CP is more like a marriage and only open to same sex couples then it is not recognised – perhaps it is a mistake by them?

"Luxembourg, le 12 septembre 2006

Messieurs,

Me référant à votre lettre du 23 août 2006 à l’attention de Madame
Ketter, j’ai l’honneur de vous informer que, comme j’ai pu l’indiquer au
Parlement, depuis la reconnaissance du principe de partenariats
homosexuels par la loi du 9 juillet 2004 sur le partenariat, l’Etat
luxembourgeois reconnaît quant à leurs effets les mariages et
partenariats homosexuels légalement conclus dans d’autres pays ; les
effets à appliquer étant ceux prévus par la loi du 9 juillet 2004.

Par ailleurs, veuillez noter que la transposition des directives citées
dans votre lettre relève de la compétence du Ministre des Affaires
étrangères et de l’Immigration ; un projet de loi afférant semble être
prévu pour fin 2006.

Veuillez agréer, Messieurs, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués.

Luc Frieden
Ministre de la Justice »


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 Post subject: Re: Which countries recognise the British civil partnership
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:09 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 184
some further responses

AUSTRIA
"Fortunately I can tell you, that since January 1st, the Austrian Law finally offers a total legal equality for your official civil partnership (same sex marriage).
That means that - concerning your legal, social or tax rights - your official civil partnership will be recognised in Austra as an equivalent of a "traditional marriage" (different sex marriage).
(So, for example for the health insurance: the not working parnter will be insured with the partner who is working (for free). Concerning the tax law: Please consider, that there is no "family income tax" in Austria at all; every income is taxed seperately; there is only the possibility for a deductible amount if there is only one partner working within a marriage/civil partnership.)

You can find further informations in the net at: http://www.help.gv.at/Content.Node/HELP-FC.html and in the near future as well at: http://www.partnerschaftsgesetz.at/red.html "

PORTUGAL
conflicting/unsure
gay org says:
"HELLO, SORRY, IT IS NOT RECOGNISED.in short time it will be.It is in the Parliamente the bill now"
Portuguese MEP
"I can't give you an official opinion on this issue but I am almost certain that your British Civil Partnership will be recognized in Portugal. In our public Services we recognize any Civil Union for most legal, social and tax rights.
Anyway, for further official information I suggest you contact the Portuguese Ombudsman's. You can find the site at http://www.provedor-jus.pt/Ingles/Index.htm and e-mail him at provedor@provedor-jus.pt. "
- I've emailed the ombudsman but I suspect the gay org is correct - embassy foreign and British and FCO refuse to give an answer so far!


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