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Domestic Violence and Partner Visa Cancellation Issues

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

'Can my husband cancel my visa?

Can my partner cancel my visa?'

Can a permanent partner visa be cancelled in Australia?

The above questions are often asked by those who suffer some kind of family violence while holding a temporary Partner visa (either subclass 820 or 309) or a Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa in Australia. They hold their visas because they were 'sponsored' by their Australian partners in the first place. They often fear that if they tried to escape the family violence by leaving their abusive sponsors then their visas will be cancelled and they will eventually be forced to leave Australia.

Well, the short answer to the above three questions is: NO!

Your sponsoring partner/spouse cannot cancel your Partner visa. The most they can do is to withdraw their sponsorship if you hold a temporary Partner visa. Withdrawal of sponsorship of a temporary Partner visa may create serious problems for you. However, you may still be able to lodge a permanent Partner visa if you can prove, among other things, that before breakdown of your relationship you or your child(ren) suffered family violence at the hands of your sponsoring partner (see below).

If you already hold a permanent Partner Visa (subclass 100 or 801), then there is nothing much your spouse/partner can do about your permanent visa (unless you provided misleading or fraudulent information or bogus documents to the Department to secure your visa). That means, if you already hold a permanent Partner visa you do not need to worry. You are safe!

Ways To Apply For Permanent Partner Visa After Claims of Domestic Violence.

In any case, a temporary Partner visa holder in Australia does NOT need to tolerate family violence just to secure an Australian Permanent Partner visa. They do not need to stay in an abusive or violent relationship to satisfy the 2-years of genuine relationship requirement before getting their permanent Partner visa. Australian Immigration Laws allow a victim of family violence to apply for a Permanent Partner (Subclass 801 or Subclass 100) visa without worrying about satisfying the usual 2-years of genuine relationship etc., requirements. (However, they must still be able to prove that their marriage or de facto relationship was genuine, continuing and to the exclusion of all others at the time of making their temporary Partner visa application.)

Further, to satisfy a case officer regarding the genuineness of claims of family violence, the applicant must provide very specific kind of evidence prescribed by law. If the applicant fails to provide that specified type of evidence of family violence in required form and manner then their claims of family violence are likely to be rejected. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that if an applicant seeks to raise family violence claims in order to get their permanent Partner visa, they must seek professional legal advice and assistance. (Please click here to see the types of required evidence.)

What Is Considered Family Violence in Australia?

The term 'family violence' is a broad term that refers to any physical or psychological harm and abuse. It also includes forced sexual relationship, forced sexual activity, and 'marital rape'. Likewise, if you are forced to stay in isolation (for example, where your partner does not allow you to meet with your family and friends), or your partner controls your finances, or abuses you with regards to dowery - all of these acts fall within the definition of 'family violence'.

Where To Find Support And Further Information?

There is plenty of support for the genuine victims of family violence offered by the Australian government and other not-for-profit organisations in the Australian community.

These governmental agencies and community organisations can help you in finding suitable and free accommodation, food, and pay for your travelling costs, and so on so forth to protect you from violence. They can also assist you in exploring the options that can help you and your partner in salvaging your relationship. (You should genuinely consider reconciling with your partner if it is reasonable to do so, especially if there are children involved.)

If nothing works out for the better, these community centres and not-for-profit organisations can either help you in preparing your permanent Partner visa application (on the basis of family violence provisions) or they can refer you to another community centre that can take care of your Permanent Partner visa application without any cost.

These community legal centres are highly organised and are aware of the issues faced by victims of family violence. They strictly observe rules of confidentiality to ensure your safety and welfare. Further, they can arrange interpreters for you if you encounter any difficulties in communicating with them. In most cases, you will not need to pay for the interpreters' costs.

Australian Department of Social Services provides some very informative Family Violence and Partner Visas Factsheets on its website. These easy-to-understand fact sheets will help you find the help you need.

Please click on Australian Partner Visa, to learn more about Australian Partner Visas.

If you need assistance with your Partner visa or Visa cancellation or a Family Law matter (for example, Divorce, Parenting Order, or Property Settlement issues), please feel free to contact Ahmad Legal & Migration Services. You can see full range of our Immigration & Family Law services on our website.

Warning! Please note that Australian immigration laws and policies are highly complex and dynamic. Therefore, no information provided on this website is comprehensive and intended to be legal advice. Failure to receive professional advice - tailored to your specific circumstances - may prove costly to you in many respects. Please read our Terms and Conditions on our website.

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