Over the last 20 plus years AR LAW SERVICES: Master Migration Lawyers has help victims of family violence find safety, happiness and a new life in Australia.
Not only are domestic or family violence cases emotionally draining, they are also highly technical, consequently to improve you chances of winning such cases we urge you to contact a law firm who is expert in such matters: a law firm like AR LAW SERVICES: Masters Migration Lawyers.
AR LAW SERVICES is a law firm that is not only expert in immigration law, but we are also specialist Crimmigration solicitors, consequently we assist with domestic violence in both the Migration and Criminal space including intervention/family law.
With the Covid pandemic we have seen a sharp rise in domestic violence, with many victims/survivors quite literally trapped with their abusers due to the rules around isolation and lockdown.
Often in partner visa relationships there can be a power imbalance because the visa applicant is reliant on the Australian sponsor for their visa status. In some abusive relationships, this imbalance is exploited by the Australian sponsor to control their partner and the threat to ‘withdraw sponsorship’ can make visa applicant feel like they have to stay in the relationship.
What follows is an overview of the ‘family violence exception’ that means partner visa applicants can leave their abusive partner and still be granted their partner visa. Be advised this exception also exists for distinguished talent visa applicants and dependent child (in the extended eligibility visa class), though it is most commonly applied for partner visas.
This discussion will focus on the family violence exception requirements in detail and the process followed in practice.
Eligibility for ‘Family Violence Exception’
The ‘family violence exception’ is available to most partner visa applicants, with the exception of offshore partner visa (subclass 309) or prospective marriage visa (subclass 300).
- Partner visa (subclass 100)
- Dependent Child (in the Extended Eligibility visa class) (subclass 445)
- Partner visa (subclass 801)
- Partner visa (subclass 820)
- Distinguished Talent (subclass 858)
Requirements for proving family violence
The Department will need to be satisfied that:
- you were in a genuine ongoing relationship to the exclusion of all others up until the relationship broke down
- the family violence occurred while the relationship was on ongoing
- you have provided evidence that meets either the judicially determined family violence requirements or the non-judicially determined family violence requirements (see below)
Judicially determined requirements
Meet at least one of the following:
- a court injunction under the Family Law Act 1975, or
- an Australian court order, or
- a conviction or finding of guilt against the alleged perpetrator in respect of the alleged victim.
In the alternative if you don’t “judicially determined” as listed above there may still be an argument pursuant to the requirements of the non-judicially determined family violence requirements. To do this you will need a statutory declaration around history of the relationship and the family violence AND at least 2 other pieces of evidence from this list:
- A medical report, hospital report, discharge summary or statutory declaration by a registered medical practitioner or registered nurse
- A report, record of assault, witness statement or statutory declaration by a police officer or witness statement from someone other than the alleged victim to a police officer
- A report or statutory declaration made by an officer of a child welfare or protection authority
- A letter or assessment report made by a women’s refuge or family/domestic violence crisis centre
- A statutory declaration made by a registered social worker who has provided counselling or assistance to the alleged victim
- A statutory declaration made by a registered psychologist who has treated the alleged victim
- A statutory declaration made by a family consultant or family relationship counsellor
- A statutory declaration made by a school counsellor
In the broad, the contents of the statutory declaration, reports and letters should include the following:
- The name of the alleged victim, and
- The name of the alleged perpetrator, and
- Details an incident/s of family violence
- If written by anyone other than the victim/survivor, it should state that in their opinion, the alleged victim was subjected to family violence and provide reasons for the opinion.
So if you or anyone you know has applied for an Australian Partner Visa and has suffer domestic or family violence contact us to discuss your Appeal or Review options. Remember TRUST ONLY a Master Migration Lawyer and make an appointment with AR LAW Services: Master Migration Lawyer.
Call 03 9614 0218 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an initial 30 Minute consultation at our Melbourne office. (conditions apply)
For more go to www.arlaw.com.au
Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page