Gay partners will be given immigration rights in a bid to recruit more doctors in regional areas of Australia.

The Australian Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone announced that the country is expecting more gay and lesbian doctors to work in regional areas after changes to immigration laws.

She said relationships of gay and lesbian skilled migrants and students would be recognised for immigration purposes.

Ms Vanstone said citizens and permanent residents would be able to sponsor same-sex partners. Ms Vanstone told Sydney MX, “Skilled migrants and students could list heterosexual partners on their visa application, but not same-sex partners this change will remove this anomaly.”