Introduction – The purpose of the family violence provisions
The family violence provisions have been implemented by the Department of Home Affairs to allow people applying for Permanent Residency in Australia to proceed with their application despite a breakdown of the relationship with their partner.
On the 24 November 2012, the provisions were amended to streamline the process involved for applicants wishing to make family violence claims.
The provisions have been introduced to ensure partners do not remain in abusive relationships in order to keep their residency in Australia and do not believe that they must stay in relationships to avoid being forced to leave Australia.
What is the eligibility criteria for the family violence provisions?
The family violence provisions are currently only available to applicants who have applied for a Partner visa with both onshore and offshore partner visa applications being eligible. There are a range of provisions for partners of primary applicant business visas as well, however these visas are now closed to new applications, and only applicants who already hold these visas are eligible to access the family violence provisions.
Prospective marriage visa holders are also eligible to apply for permanent residency in Australia under the family violence provisions if the visa holder married their sponsor before their prospective marriage visa ceased.
The family violence provisions do not just apply to the partner of the sponsor, but can also extend to the members of their family unit (such as children) if they have been the victim of family violence which has been committed by the sponsoring partner.
The two streams that you can apply under – Acceptable judicially determined evidence & Acceptable non-judicially determined evidence
When making a claim of family violence to enable the grant of your permanent residency visa in Australia, you must provide evidence to support your claims. There are two forms of acceptable evidence that can be used to assess your claim by the Department.
Acceptable judicially determined evidence
If you are relying on judicially determined evidence for your claim you can submit any of the following pieces evidence as part of your claims:
- certain court injunctions under the Family Law Act 1975
- certain court orders against the partner made under an Australian state or territory law
- evidence that the partner has been convicted (or has recorded a finding of guilt) of an act of violence against the visa applicant or members of their family unit (such as children)
Acceptable non-judicially determined evidence
If you are relying on non-judicially determined evidence for your claim you can submit any of the following pieces of evidence as part of your claims:
- a statutory declaration using Form 1410 which is a Departmental statutory declaration designed for visa holders who have experienced family violence or you can provide a generic statutory declaration which outlines the allegation of family violence and names the person alleged to have committed it.
- at least two documents from the list of evidence specified in the legislative instrument**
**As of 5 October 2018 the industrial instrument in force is IMMI 12/116 which outlines the type of documents that you must provide in support of your non-judicially determined family violence claim.
Getting the right advice and assistance
At Ethos Migration we have carefully assisted many visa applicants and holders in Australia who have been victim’s to family violence commited by their partner. If you have suffered family violence and would like to understand your rights and what options are available to you please contact us for a confidential consultation with one of our immigration lawyers for further assistance.