Have you applied for your partner visa but are now experiencing domestic or family violence?
In Australia, family and domestic violence is not tolerated. If you experience family or domestic violence and are holding a temporary Partner visa or Prospective Marriage, you may be able to obtain a grant for your visa, even if the relationship has ended.
A 2019 report by Monash University found that out of 36,450 temporary Partner visa applications made by women, there were 9,112 that are assumed to be suffering domestic violence.
These family violence provisions apply to the following visas:
- Partner visa (subclass 100)
- Temporary Partner visa (subclass 309, 830, 300)
- Bridging visa (granted at the time of their Partner visa application lodgement)
- Partner visa (subclass 820)
- Other temporary visas (Student visa, Guardian visa, Tourist visa) if they have lodged a valid application for a partner visa
- Partner visa (subclass 801)
- Dependent Child (in the Extended Eligibility visa class) (subclass 445)
- Distinguished Talent (Subclass 858)
“Family Violence Provisions exist to allow eligible Partner visa applicants to leave a violent relationship without the risk of losing their right to residence in Australia” states a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson.
What is family violence?
According to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), family violence is defined as actual or threatened conduct, towards a victim or the property of a victim, which subsequently makes the victim reasonably fear for, or be reasonably apprehensive about their own safety and wellbeing. The definition of family violence is not limited only to physical violence, but also takes into account psychological and financial abuse. The DOHA state that family violence must have occurred whilst the relationship exists.
Family Violence also includes;
- Physical or psychological abuse or harm,
- forced sexual relations or,
- forced isolation or economic deprivation.
If you or your family are in danger, phone the Police on 000.
According to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), a partner, family member or people within your community are not allowed to threaten your visa status. For example, if your spouse or de facto partner threatens to have you deported then you can establish a claim of domestic violence. When a sponsor makes a threat to have the holder of provisional Partner (subclass 820) visa deported, in circumstances where the visa holder is reasonably afraid or otherwise unwilling to return to their home country and the sponsor is aware of this, then this is something that is capable of being ‘domestic violence’. Threatening to end the relationship in order to have the visa holder deported, is also a form of domestic violence, as the person is taking advantage of a power imbalance within the relationship by intimidating, belittling or frightening the partner.
If you are a victim of domestic or family violence, you do not have to stay within your relationship or marriage and still apply to stay in Australia on your own. According to the Migration Act (1958), if the marriage or relationship breakdowns from domestic or family violence, then the victim (the visa holder that is being abused) has the right to apply for permanent residency in Australia.
According to a DOHA report (2019), Indian nationals are receiving more visas under family violence provisions than any other nationality, which allows them to stay in Australia even though their sponsor has withdrawn their support for the visa application. Since 2013, 280 Indian nationals have obtained visas under the special family violence provisions of the Migration Law. Altogether, the DOHA has received a total of 3,547 visa applications under the family violence provisions, however only 2,733 visas have been issued.
You might still be able to obtain your visa grant if all of the following apply to you:
- You have married your spouse whilst holding a Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa and applied for a Partner (subclass 820/801) visa, or you are currently waiting for the outcome of your visa application for temporary Partner visa (subclass 820), or have been granted a temporary Partner (subclass 820) visa, or you have arrived in Australia as a holder of a provisional Partner (subclass 309) visa.
- Your family members or you have experienced family or domestic violence.
- Your relationship has ended.
In order to prove that you have suffered from family violence, you must show the DOHA that:
- You would have continued to be your sponsor’s spouse, but your relationship broke down (if you hold a Prospective Marriage visa).
- You would have continued to be your sponsor’s de facto partner or spouse, but your relationship has broken down.
- Family violence occurred took place in your relationship.
If you need assistance or advice with your visa application, Results Migration are the best in the field, with a team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents that are available to guide you through this complex area of law. Call Results Migration on 1800 808 717 or email us on [email protected] and book your free consultation today!