"This important change will allow same-sex couples to take part in overseas marriage ceremonies, and be considered married according to the laws of that country," Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said.
Some foreign countries require foreign nationals to present a Certificate of No Impediment before they are able to legally marry in that country.
These certificates confirm there is no impediment to a person taking part in a marriage ceremony overseas and considers issues such as whether the person is over 18 or are already married.
"This change means the certificates, which were previously only available to heterosexual couples, will now also be available to same-sex couples.
"Yet again, this change demonstrates Labor’s strong commitment to removing discrimination in Commonwealth laws and policies.
"In 2009, we removed discrimination from 85 different laws that now provide equal treatment for same-sex couples in areas like taxation, social security, health, aged care, superannuation and more," Ms Roxon said.
The Government will still not issue these certificates in circumstances such as proposed marriages to certain close relatives, people under 18 years old or for people already married.
Same-sex marriages conducted overseas are not recognised as a marriage in Australia but may be evidence of a de facto relationship for the purposes of Commonwealth, State and Territory laws.
This change in Government policy follows the resolution of the 2011 Australian Labor Party National Conference to provide Certificate of No Impediments to same-sex couples.
Couples seeking to marry overseas can find information about applying for a Certificate of No Impediment to marriage at http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ from 1 February 2012.
For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on 0409 945 476