In 1985 Australia became one of the first countries in the world to accept same-sex relationships as the basis of migration. Under the compassionate and humanitarian visa category, same-sex applications were assessed through ministerial discretion. In 1991 the “interdependency” category was introduced to recognize nonfamilial migration. Same-sex migration has been hailed as reflecting Australia's progressive sexual law reform and modernizing Australia's immigration history. Since 1991, more than 7,500 permits have been issued. Between 1991 and 2005, gay Asian migrants made up the largest group of interdependency settlers. This article analyzes the development of same-sex migration policy to show how official immigration policy discourses have transformed their visa codifications from humanitarian in 1980, to interdependency in 1991, and family stream same-sex interdependency in 2000. These categories mobilize different politics of intimacy to assimilate the queer migrant into the logics of transnational capital and new nationalism. Thus interracial gay Asian Australian migration functions as a buffer and tension between the nation and its others, government and people, policy and politics.

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