real life

This is a love story that shouldn't have to end.

Ali Choudhry and Matthew Hynd’s application for a partnership visa was rejected. Photo from Pozible.






Ali Choudhry and Matthew Hynd are a same-sex couple who have been together for four years in Australia.

But the Australian government has denied the couple’s application for a partnership visa, and that means that next week, Choudhry will be deported to Pakistan.

It is the country he was born in – but a country where he cannot read or write the local language, as he grew up in the United Sates. A country where he could also face imprisonment on the basis of his sexual orientation.

To gain partnership migration in Australia, you need to be able to prove a “genuine and ongoing relationship.” For de facto relationships, this can include the time that the couple has been living together, their financial interdependence, children, and their commitment to a shared life.

For heterosexual couples, they also have the ability to do a little thing called ‘getting married’.

Unfortunately for Choudhry and Hynd, that’s not a possibility for them – but they did get a civil union.

A spokesman for the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told the ABC that the visa rejection has nothing to do with Choudhry being gay – but that probably doesn’t provide much comfort for Choudhry and Hynd.

The story first came to the attention of the media when Choudhry and Hynd started a Pozible campaign to help raise funds to file an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal.

Choudhry wrote:

They say Cupid’s arrow strikes when you least expect it. He was a medical researcher in America and I was studying Zoology in Australia. He’s Catholic. I’m Muslim. He’s Caucasian. I’m Asian. He’s a guy and I’m a guy. And we’re in love.

In February 2014 we had hoped to celebrate our fourth anniversary with family and friends. But on January 8th 2014 I will be deported because the Australian Government has ruled that “(we) do not consider that you are in a long-standing relationship.”

January 8th is also my birthday. On a day that should be filled with laughter and joy I will be forced to leave my partner and everyone I love.

Choudhry and Hynd are no strangers to setbacks – and have already weathered so much through the course of their relationship.


In January 2011, Australia was in turmoil. Queensland was devastated by floods and unfortunately we were among those who lost everything.

The couple’s house after the floods. Photo from Pozible.

Within the next week, Matt found out that across the world he had also lost everything when his home in the USA was destroyed by flooding.

We had nothing.

But we were OK because we had each other.

Fast forward one year and with the support of family and friends we had a new apartment, we we’re engaged and in March 2012 we became couple six to get our Civil Union in Queensland…

Unfortunately our union was short lived due to the Queensland Government retrospectively making the unions null and void 12 weeks after our ceremony.

Nothing feels worse than when you’re told you can’t love someone.

Exactly one month after Matt and Choudhry had moved into their new apartment, Choudhry was notified by email that his student visa had been declined.

The couple then started the process of seeking a partnership visa. They met with immigration officials, dealt with piles of paperwork, spent over $15,000 on lawyer’s fees and visa filing charges, and exhausted their savings. They were told by one Queensland Government immigration agent, “Why don’t you just marry an Australian woman?” But they were certain it would all be worth it.

Choudhry wrote:

But we were certain we would be OK. Our relationship was real. We believed in the Australian right of being given a fair go. Believing that the government-appointed caseworker would do their job and objectively assess our application. We believed we would get a fair hearing.

If their application to the Migration Review Tribunal is accepted, Choudhry will get a Temporary Bridging Visa and be allowed to stay in the country until the appeal is heard in 2015.

Support love. Photo from Pozible.

If the application is not successful, the couple plans to enact an ‘emergency plan’ and get Choudhry a tourist visa to the US or Canada – countries where he grew up and studied – where he has friends and a support network.

To close their plea on Pozible, the couple wrote:

Today we are asking everyone to reach out to someone you care about and let them know that no matter what you’ll always be there for them.  #supportlove

That sounds like good advice to us.

To show your support for the love between Ali Choudhry and Matthew Hynd, you can sign a petition to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison here titled, ‘DON’T DEPORT ALI CHOUDHRY.’

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