Family Violence and Relationship Breakdowns

Family violence is taken very seriously in Australia.

For the purposes of migration, family violence refers to conduct that may have been threatened, or actually taken place, that causes the alleged victim to reasonably fear or to be reasonably apprehensive about his or her own wellbeing or safety.

Family violence is defined 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.

If the applicant becomes a victim of family violence and is in Australia, he or she may still be able to proceed to permanent residence if satisfactory evidence of family violence is established. This applies to both marriages and de facto relationships.

Evidence of family violence is not restricted to a court finding. Evidence may include medical reports, witness statements, statutory declarations form police officers, women’s refuges, child welfare officers, social workers, schools or psychologists.

If you have concerns about your family’s safety, the Australian Government’s Family Safety Pack is available in 46 languages. This pack will help you identify your rights and options.

The family violence provisions are available for the following visa subclasses:

Family stream
Primary applicants for:

*These visas have been closed to new applicants from 1 July 2009, existing applicants are covered by family violence provisions.

Skilled stream (business):

Partners of primary applicants for:

  • Established Business in Australia (subclass 845)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Regional Established Business in Australia (subclass 846)*
  • Labour Agreement (subclass 855)*
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 856)*
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 857)*
  • Distinguished Talent (subclass 858).

* These visas have been closed to new applicants from 1 July 2012, existing applicants are covered by family violence provisions.

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