What is family and domestic violence?
Family and domestic violence is not acceptable under any circumstances. Family and domestic violence is any conduct that makes you fear for your or your family’s safety and wellbeing. Physical violence includes any violent behaviour that is directed at you, your family, pets or property. Family and domestic violence can include: physical violence, such as: o punching o hitting o kicking o pushing o choking, sexual assault, verbal or emotional abuse, controlling behaviour, stalking, technology facilitated abuse, financial abuse, abuse of the elderly, forced isolation or economic deprivation, including dowry-related abuse.
If you or someone you know is in danger call the Police on 000. If you are not in a life-threatening emergency, you can ask the police or your local court about getting a protection order to protect yourself and your family.
Will I lose my visa if I separate from my partner due to family and domestic violence?
No, you and your family members do not have to remain in a violent relationship to stay in Australia. Under no circumstances does the Department encourage visa applicants to remain in violent situations for a visa outcome. You should notify the Department if you are experiencing family and domestic violence.
If you are a holder of a temporary Partner (subclass 309) visa granted outside Australia, an applicant or holder of a Partner (subclass 820) visa in Australia, a Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holder who has married their sponsor, or a dependent applicant for a Distinguished Talent (subclass 858) visa and you have experienced family and domestic violence, you can apply for consideration under the family violence provisions.
The family violence provisions of Division 1.5 of the Migration Regulations 1994 provide protections for an applicant to continue with their visa application despite the breakdown of their relationship, if they or a member of their family unit have experienced family and domestic violence committed by their sponsor.
To meet the family violence provisions, the family and domestic violence must have occurred while the relationship with the sponsor existed and the relationship with the sponsor must have been genuine prior to it ending.
Family and domestic violence claims must be supported by ‘judicial’ or ‘non judicial’ evidence. If your claims are accepted, you must also meet all other visa criteria, including health, character and security checks to be eligible for grant of a permanent visa.
For more information about making a family violence claim visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/partner-onshore/family-violence-and-your-visa
What can happen to perpetrators of domestic and family violence?
If the perpetrator of family and domestic violence is a visa holder, their visa can be cancelled. This will depend on individual circumstances.
If the perpetrator of family and domestic violence is a visa applicant their visa application can be refused under Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 and Ministerial Direction 79.
If the perpetrator is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can inform the police about your family and domestic violence situation. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to take out a protection order and possibly pursue criminal charges against them.
Can a perpetrator of family and domestic violence cancel my visa or any visa application I have made?
No, only the Minister or a delegated officer has the power to refuse or cancel a person’s visa.
People experiencing family violence will not have their visa cancelled if their relationship breaks down because of family or domestic violence. The Department is committed to working with victims of family and domestic violence to resolve your situation under the migration law framework. You can contact us to discuss your situation see Changes in your situation For further information see Cancelling a visa Unless there is an immediate threat to your life or an immediate risk of harm and where mandatory child reporting obligations exist, we will not refer the matter to the police (if you have not already done so) without your consent.
Will my visa be cancelled if I am on a temporary visa and leave a violent relationship?
People experiencing family and domestic violence will not have their visa cancelled if their relationship breaks down because of family and domestic violence.
The Department is committed to working with victims of family and domestic violence to resolve your situation under the migration law framework.
For further information, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/cancelling-a-visa.
For more information about how the Department can assist, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/change-in-situation
If you are the primary applicant, that is the main person that applied for the visa application, and the dependent or secondary applicant is perpetrating family and domestic violence against you, you can request they be removed from your visa application. If you are a secondary applicant, that is the dependent person on a visa application that has not made their own application, you may need to apply for another visa in your own right or make arrangements to depart Australia.