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The Australian Government does not condone any forms of domestic and family violence against anyone including permanent or temporary visa holders in Australia. The Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) sets out provisions to protect anyone who is in a vulnerable position and to ensure they do not stay in an abusive relationship for the sole reason of retaining their visas.

Only the Immigration Department has the power to refuse or cancel a person’s visa. An alleged abuser cannot cancel the visa. The Immigration Department will not cancel visas of persons who are experiencing domestic and family violence if it can be proven that their relationship breaks down due to domestic and family violence. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, one may still be able to apply for a permanent residency visa.

What is Domestic and Family Violence?

Family violence is any action or conduct that creates fear, whether actual or threatened towards the alleged victim or the victim’s family. Family violence does not necessarily involve physical harm, for instance, mental and financial abuse. Some examples of domestic and family violence include:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual assault or forced sexual relations
  • Intimidation
  • Verbal, emotional, psychological abuse
  • Controlling behaviour or possessiveness
  • Stalking or harassment
  • Technology facilitated abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Religious abuse
  • Elderly or child abuse
  • Forced isolation or economic deprivation

The Evidentiary Requirements

When a relationship breaks down, either partner may notify the Immigration Department about the situation and may withdraw their sponsorship. For your application to be successful under the Family Violence provision, the alleged victim must provide sufficient evidence. The two types of evidence accepted by the Immigration Department include court documents and non-court documents.

Examples of court documents:

  • A court injunction against the alleged abuser
  • A court order against the alleged abuser under a State law
  • A court record stating a conviction of family violence by the alleged abuser
  • A court record stating a finding of guilt for family violence of the alleged abuser against the alleged victim or victim’s family

Examples of non-court documents (statutory declaration and official documents):

  • Medical report, hospital report or discharge summary
  • Police report, record of assault or witness statement
  • Psychological report from a registered psychologist
  • Assessment report or letter from a women’s refuge or family/ domestic violence crisis centre

Domestic violence can be a difficult and complex matter. If you would like to find out more about your options with regards to Domestic and Family Violence pertaining your Partner Visa, Straits Lawyers are here to help. Simply send us an email at info@straitslawyers.com or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.