Family Violence Provisions

The Migration Act includes specific provisions for partner visas in cases where family violence is a factor.

These provisions are known as the Family Violence Provisions and are designed to protect victims of family violence who are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Under the Family Violence Provisions, a victim of family violence who is in a genuine and continuing relationship with their sponsor may be eligible to apply for a permanent visa independently of their sponsor. This means that the victim does not need to rely on their sponsor to support their visa application, which can be particularly important in cases where the sponsor is the perpetrator of the violence.

To be eligible for the Family Violence Provisions, the victim must provide evidence that they have experienced family violence committed by their sponsor or a member of their sponsor’s family. This evidence is either judicial or non-judicial and must be provided for a claim of family violence.

It is important to note that the victim must still meet all other requirements for the partner visa, including demonstrating that their relationship is genuine and continuing, and that they meet health and character requirements.


Judicial evidence

A Judicial Family Violence Claim is a legal process that allows the victim to make a claim of family violence directly to the Court, which has the power to make orders to protect the victim and to enable them to continue their visa application.

Judicial evidence that may be provided to the Department of Home Affairs may be:

  • court injunction under the Family Law Act 1975 against your partner

  • court order against your partner made under a State or Territory law

  • record that the court has convicted your partner of a family violence offence against you or your dependant(s)

  • record that the court has recorded a finding of guilt against your partner of family violence offences against you or your dependant(s).


Non-judicial evidence

Non-judicial evidence refers to evidence that is not obtained through the court system, but rather through other means such as statements from support services, medical reports, or letters from friends or family members.

Acceptable forms of non – judicial evidence that may be provided to the Department of Home Affairs are:

One Statutory declaration (using Form 1410) by the Applicant PLUS Two pieces of additional evidence that may include reports/ letters/ statutory declarations from the following:

  • Doctor

  • Police

  • Child welfare office

  • Family violence support service provider

  • Social worker

  • Psychologist

  • Family consultant/ family relationship counsellor

  • Education Professional


Types of family violence

It is important to note that family violence can take many different forms, and victims may experience more than one type of violence at the same time. Recognising the different types of family violence can help victims to understand and identify the behaviours that are affecting them, and to seek the support and assistance they need.

The Australian government defines family violence as “violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family or causes the family member to be fearful.”

Different types of family violence may include:

  • Physical violence: This includes any form of physical harm or injury inflicted on a family member, such as hitting, punching, kicking, or choking.

  • Sexual violence: This includes any form of sexual abuse or assault, including rape, sexual harassment, or forced participation in sexual acts.

  • Emotional or psychological abuse: This includes behaviours that are intended to cause emotional harm or control, such as belittling, intimidation, humiliation, or manipulation.

  • Financial abuse: This includes controlling a family member’s access to financial resources, such as preventing them from working or controlling their income.

  • Social isolation: This includes controlling a family member’s access to social support or resources, such as preventing them from seeing friends or family or restricting their access to the internet or phone.

  • Spiritual abuse: This includes using religious or spiritual beliefs to control or harm a family member, such as preventing them from practicing their faith or forcing them to adhere to beliefs or practices.


Making a claim is complex and getting help is crucial

Making a claim for a family violence provision for a partner visa can be a complex process, as it involves navigating both the immigration system and the family violence legal system in Australia. 

Have more specific questions about your visa? Get in touch with Katsaros & Associates today.

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