Family and Domestic Violence and your Australian Visa

The Australian Government and the Department of Home Affairs (Department) has taken a very strong stance in relation to issues surrounding family and domestic violence in recent times.

Some people believe this has long been overdue and it will certainly impact a lot of visa applicants and their sponsors.

The Department consider domestic and family violence to include:

  • Physical violence in any form
  • Sexual assault
  • Verbal or emotional abuse
  • Controlling behaviour
  • Stalking
  • Technology facilitated abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Forced isolation
  • Economic deprivation

The Department encourages anyone suffering any of these issues to seek assistance from the Police or seek advice from the many community based organisations who assist people in these situations. You do not and should not put up with any form of abuse.

The Department outline the various organisations and agencies that can assist on their website.

There are many types of orders that the police, lawyers, and the courts can assist with to prevent and restraint the abuser.

Visa holders are often concerned that they could lose their visa and as a result remain in violent and dangerous relationship. You should not remain in that relationship and either advise the Department or seek legal advice.

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.

It is important to note that a perpetrator cannot cancel your visa only the Department or the Minister can do that.

A person on a temporary visa will not have their visa cancelled if the relationship breaks down.

In my experience the Department is very understanding and sympathetic to people suffering either family or domestic violence.

It is important to know your rights.

Want to know more information on Family & Domestic Violence impact on your Australian Visa?

At FC Lawyers we have acted for lots of visa applicants in this situation. It is important you seek expert legal advice or notify the relevant authorities including the Department if you are a victim.

Contact our team today to discuss any issues you may have with family and domestic violence that can impact upon your Australian Visa and migration status.