The scheduled Wednesday deportation of Ali Choudhry, a gay Pakistan-born man in a relationship with neuroscientist Dr Matthew Hynd is on hold and a bridging visa was issued to him. An appeal he filed with the Migration Review Tribunal led to the temporary respite from being kicked out of Australia.
If the deportation order was enforced, Mr Choudhry would have been sent to Pakistan, which frowns on homosexuality, and would place him at risk of harassment and even imprisonment.
On the same day that Mr Choudry was informed that he could temporarily stay in Australia while the tribunal is hearing his appeal, the office of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison received a petition signed by more than 120,000 people, asking the minister to allow Mr Choudry to remain in the country permanently.
The petition was initiated by Paul Toner, an Ipswich resident, who heard about the problem of Mr Choudhry four days ago.
Mr Choudry and Mr Hynd had their civil union registered in March 2012, but the immigration ministry still rejected his partnership visa application, insisting the Pakistan-born man is not considered in a long-standing relationship.
He has been living in Brisbane for the past four years.
In rejecting his partnership visa application, a spokeswoman for Morrison said Mr Choudhry failed to satisfy the requirement for that kind of visa since he entered Australia on a student visa in 2009, extended his student visa in March 2011 but was rejected because he was not enrolled in his course.
The spokeswoman pointed out that Mr Choudhry was unlawfully in Australia for four month before he lodged a partner visa application.