Family Violence Evidentiary Requirements Amended
The Department recently announced changes to evidence requirements for victims of family and domestic violence seeking visa assistance. The announcement came after Governmental consultation with legal specialists surrounding challenges that victim-survivors have been facing with regards to providing the required evidence to support a claim of family violence.
In Australia, certain visa applicants may be eligible for a permanent visa if they experience family violence during their relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. To be considered for the family violence provisions, a valid claim of family violence must be made. This includes satisfying the applicable evidentiary requirements set out by the Minister.
If you have applied for, or been granted one of the following visas you may be eligible for a permanent visa if you have experienced domestic and family violence:
- Temporary Partner (subclass 820) visa
- Provisional Partner (subclass 309) visa
- Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa
- Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa (as a dependent where the visa-holding parent has applied for the family violence provisions)
- Global Talent (subclass 858) visa (as a secondary visa applicant where the primary visa holder has been granted their permanent visa)
A new legislative instrument under the Migration Regulations 1994 aims to reduce the evidentiary burden on victim-survivors to make a non-judicially determined claim of family violence.
A non-judicially determined claim is a claim made by an applicant who have not had the same claim tested in a court of law.
New changes to the evidentiary requirements include the following:
- The list of medical professionals who can provide medical evidence has been extended to include midwives;
- Social workers, psychologists, family consultants and educational professionals are no longer limited to providing evidence by statutory declaration only. Evidence provided by the mentioned professionals is now also valid if it is provided through letters and/or reports;
- Letters have been included as an extension to items of evidence for:
- Eligible medical professionals; and
- Child welfare officers;
- Risk assessments have been included as an extension to items of evidence for:
- Police officers; and
- Family consultants;
- Family consultants can now support evidence by making a statutory declaration;
- It is no longer necessary for professionals to outright identify the alleged perpetrator of family violence if the evidence can ‘provide information from which the identity of the alleged perpetrator can reasonably be inferred. ‘
These changes are currently in place with the new instrument taking effect from 31 March 2023.
If you would like further information on new legislative changes, your eligibility for the additional permanent residency pathways or wish to schedule a consultation please contact our team of immigration lawyers and registered migration agents on 1300 083 843 or contact us online.