What happens if you break up on a partner visa? If you are in Australia (under one of several kinds of partner visas) and experience a relationship breakdown, whether or not you can stay will depend on several factors. This includes the current status of that visa and some other life circumstances.
There are also two things you must do right away. First, you must notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that your relationship has ended. Second, you should get legal help from an immigration lawyer.
Notwithstanding the brief summary that follows here, Australian immigration law is extremely complex, and small distinctions may make all the difference. Keep reading to learn what happens if you break up on a partner visa.
- The status of your spousal visa (Australia)
- Family violence
- Shared parenting responsibilities
- Death of partner
What happens if you break up on a partner visa & can a spouse visa be revoked? It depends on…
1. The status of your visa
As a general rule, you can obtain a partner visa if you are in a married or de facto relationship with your sponsoring partner, who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen.
After a visa application is submitted, the Immigration Department will first grant a temporary visa; after two years, you will be eligible for a permanent visa. The entire process, with waiting times included, may take from three to four years. A lot can happen in a relationship during that time.
So, what happens if you break up on a partner visa that is temporary, can you stay in Australia?
If a permanent visa was granted
If you have been granted a permanent visa, either as a married spouse or a de facto partner, your chances of being able to stay in the country are promising.
Permanent means permanent, usually. If the Immigration Department determines that there was never a bona fide domestic relationship, however, even a permanent visa may be revoked.
If a temporary visa was granted
If you have been granted a temporary partner visa (sometimes called an 820 visa) or a provisional visa (also referred to as a 309 visa), your ability to stay in the country may depend on other factors discussed below. Otherwise, you may be advised to withdraw your visa application or your application may be denied.
If you have not yet lodged an application for a partner visa, you may be asked to leave within a relatively short period of time unless you are eligible for another kind of visa.
Remember, however, that each situation is unique and individual circumstances are taken into consideration. That is why expert advice from a partner visa lawyer is so important.
2. Family violence
What happens if you break up on a partner visa, but it was due to family violence?
No one is required to stay in an abusive situation to protect their immigration status. A migrant on a temporary or partner visa has the same rights under the Family Law Act 1975 as an Australian citizen.
Family violence is defined under the Migration Regulations as conduct, either actual or threatened, towards the alleged victim or a family member, or towards property belonging to the victim or a family member. The conduct must cause the victim to reasonably fear for their safety or well-being. It can include physical or psychological abuse or harm, forced sexual relations, forced isolation or economic deprivation.
The Department will request for evidence of domestic violence, including:
- Final Apprehended Violence Order;
- Police reports;
- Court orders; or
- Social worker report; or a doctor’s report.
It is also advisable that you get in touch with either an immigration or family lawyer to help guide you through this difficult time.
3. Shared parenting responsibilities for an Australian citizen child
If you and your partner have a child who is an Australian citizen and under the age of 18, and you have a temporary partner visa and you share parental responsibility for the child, you may also qualify for a permanent partner visa.
4. Death of partner
If you can satisfy the Immigration Department that the relationship would have continued if your sponsoring partner had not died, then a permanent visa may be granted.
However, there is an additional requirement that an applicant must prove that he or she developed strong cultural, personal or business ties to Australia. The Department may issue a permanent partner visa straight away instead of first issuing a temporary visa and then making the applicant wait two more years before the visa is converted to a permanent one.
How an immigration lawyer can help with partner visa break ups
Now you know what happens if you break up on a partner visa: depending on the status of your visa and other life circumstances, you may be able to stay in Australia even if your relationship breaks down, but it’s not necessarily going to be easy.
The personal lawyers at Owen Hodge Lawyers would be happy to assist you with your spouse visa if your relationship has broken down. We can also answer any questions about relationship visas (Australia), the skilled visa points test, as well as partner visa applications. Please call us to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.