Many people ask us the question of how family violence affect their application for a Partner visa.
It is important to understand that you do not have to stay in an abusive relationship to stay in Australia.
The family violence provisions under the Migration Act 1958 mean that you could still be granted a visa if your relationship with your partner has ceased and there was family violence. The eligible visas are:
- Partner (temporary and permanent) visa (subclass 309/100)
- Partner (temporary and permanent) visas (subclasses 820/801)
If you are in Australia and hold one of these visas (or you have applied for visa subclass 820) based on your relationship with your partner, you might be able to be granted a permanent visa if:
- you or members of your family unit have suffered family violence committed by your partner, and
- your relationship has broken down.
What does ‘family violence’ mean in terms of your visa?
For a visa, family violence is defined as conduct, either actual or threatened, that causes you to fear for, or be reasonably apprehensive about your well-being or safety.
The conduct can be directed towards you or your property or your dependants or their property. Family violence is not limited to physical harm. It also includes other forms of abuse such as psychological and financial abuse.
How do you prove to the Immigration Department that family violence has taken place?
There are two ways you can provide evidence of family violence. These are known as judicial and non-judicial evidence.
Judicial evidence means you are providing evidence from a court. You can provide any of the following judicial evidence:
- a court injunction under the Family Law Act 1975 against your partner
- a court order against your partner made under a state or territory law
- evidence that a court has convicted your partner of assault against you or your dependant(s) (or has recorded a finding of guilt against your partner)
Non-judicial evidence means that you give evidence yourself, along with evidence from certain professionals you have dealt with. Where you have already reported the family violence or sought the help of a support service, you may be able to use documents you already have. You must provide a statutory declaration and at least two other forms of non-judicial evidence. You must provide one form of evidence from at least two of the following categories:
- doctor or nurse;
- police officer or a witness who makes a statement to a police officer during the investigation;
- officer of a child welfare or protection authority;
- staff from a women’s refuge or family/domestic violence crisis centre;
- social worker;
- Family Relationship Centre counsellor or family consultant; or
- school counsellor or school principal.
Family Violence is a very serious matter and your safety and well-being is our highest concern. If your life is in danger, please call 000 immediately. Otherwise, please call one of our lawyers at AH2 Legal at (08)6161 0243 to immediately discuss your concerns about Family Violence.