Impact of Separation on Partner Visa: Alarming Trends Unveiled

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Table of Contents

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: December 29, 2023

    Updated: June 17, 2024

    15 min read

    Impact of Separation on Partner Visa

    Navigating life’s twists and turns can be complex enough, but when a relationship ends and it affects your visa status in Australia, the situation becomes even more challenging. You might be wondering if your world is about to turn upside down – can you stay in this sunburnt country, or will you have to say goodbye? It’s a concern that hits close to home for many, whether you’re on a temporary partner visa or counting down until permanent residency.

    Did you know that an ex-partner cannot simply cancel your visa application or have you removed from Australia after a break-up? That fact could offer some reassurance during what is undoubtedly a tough time.

    This blog aims to unravel the complexities of how separation impacts your partner visa – without all the legal jargon. We’ll provide clear guidance on what steps to take next, explore specific scenarios affecting visas, and highlight why quality legal advice could be invaluable.

    Key Takeaways

    • If your relationship ends before permanent residency is granted, it can affect your partner visa. Tell the Department of Immigration about any splits.
    • You might still stay in Australia after leaving an abusive relationship because the law protects you from family violence.
    • Even if a relationship ends after getting permanent residency, usually you can remain in Australia. Always be honest with immigration officials about changes.
    • Children and shared custody could impact your visa status – share any child custody changes with border protection right away.
    • Seeking legal advice helps understand rights and options for a partner visa during a separation, especially to deal with complex regulations.

    Understanding the Partner Visa in Australia

    After getting to know what this article will cover, let’s dive deeper into the partner visa. This type of visa is a key for many people from outside Australia to start a new life with their loved ones who are Australian citizens or permanent residents.

    It’s for those who are married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian partner. If you’re engaged to be married, you can also apply under the prospective marriage visa subclass 300.

    The process starts by applying for a temporary visa first. With this, you can live, work, and study in Australia while your application for permanent residency is being looked at. But remember, there’s more than just filling out forms and waiting—you must prove that your relationship is real and ongoing.

    The Department of Home Affairs checks carefully because they want to make sure all partnerships are genuine. Keep in mind that having honest information about your partnership is critical when dealing with these applications.

    Impact of Separation on Partner Visa

    If your relationship breaks down before you are granted permanent residency, it could impact your visa status. On the other hand, if the separation occurs after getting permanent residency, you may still have options available to maintain your visa status.

    Separation Before Permanent Residency Is Granted

    You need to know that if you break up before getting your permanent residency, it can affect your visa. Tell the Department of Immigration right away if you and your partner split up.

    They look at things like how long you were together and why the relationship ended. Your visa might not be safe.

    If family violence was a reason for the breakup, tell someone. Australia’s laws may protect you. You could still stay in Australia even after leaving an abusive relationship. It’s important to get help from a family court or registered migration agent who knows about these rules.

    Separation After Permanent Residency Is Granted

    If your relationship comes to an end before you get permanent residency, it’s a different story than if you split up after. Once permanent residency is yours, things are a bit better for you.

    You can usually stay in Australia even if you and your partner don’t stay together. It’s important though that you tell the immigration folks about any changes in your relationship since this affects your visa.

    Keep living life in Australia as long as you follow the rules for your visa. Your right to stay isn’t based just on being with someone who lives there too. Remember, honesty is key with immigration officials – they need to know what’s going on so they can help keep things straight with your status.

    Bridging Visas for Partner Visa Applicants

    You can stay in Australia on a Bridging visa A (BVA) if your current visa ends before being granted the temporary partner visa. This type of bridging visa lets you remain in the country while you wait for a decision on your application.

    It’s like having a safety net, keeping you legally in Australia until things are sorted out.

    The moment you file your onshore partner visa, they hand you an associated Bridging Visa A (BVA). But it only kicks in once your old visa says goodbye. The Subclass 010 Bridging Visa A works its magic by allowing you to stay after your last substantive visa takes off and while they’re looking over your new one.

    Even if things get tough between you and your partner, knowing how these visas work is crucial.

    Moving forward, let’s look at specific situations that could affect what happens with your Partner Visa status.

    Specific Situations Impacting Partner Visa Status

    Understanding the impact of specific situations, such as domestic or family violence, shared parental responsibility, and the death of a partner, is crucial in navigating the complexities of partner visa status.

    To find out more about how these factors can affect your visa application, keep reading.

    Impact of Domestic or Family Violence

    Domestic and family violence is a serious issue, and anyone facing it has rights in Australia. You don’t need to stay with an abusive partner just to keep your visa. The law here cares about your safety.

    If you have a partner visa and are hurt by domestic violence, you can still stay in the country. You need to show proof that someone was violent to you and that your relationship was real before the abuse started.

    The government does not allow any kind of violence against people with visas. There are rules called ‘family violence provisions‘ that help protect you. If you’re dealing with abuse, there’s also help like money for safe places to live from the Red Cross program.

    And remember, changes are always being made to make sure everyone is treated fairly under these laws.

    Next up is how shared parental responsibility affects your visa when relationships change.

    Impact of Shared Parental Responsibility

    If you have kids and you break up, shared parental responsibility could affect your partner visa in Australia. Even after you get permanent residency, if you share custody of your children with an ex-partner, this can matter a lot for your visa.

    The law looks closely at how parents care for their kids when they aren’t together anymore. This means that having joint custody might help keep your visa safe because it shows ongoing ties to Australia.

    You need to tell relevant authorities right away if you start or stop sharing child custody. They use this info to decide about visas. If things change with who takes care of the kids, it could mean changes for your visa too.

    Always keep them updated about any big life changes like this to avoid trouble with your stay in Australia.

    Impact of the Death of a Partner

    Moving forward from shared parental responsibilities, it’s also vital to address how the tragic event of a partner’s death can affect your visa status. It’s hard enough dealing with such a loss, but you should know that if your partner passes away and you can show that your relationship was genuine and ongoing, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) might still grant you a Permanent Partner Visa.

    This means that as long as there is proof your bond with your partner would have continued had they lived, you don’t need to worry about losing your right to stay in Australia because they are no longer with us.

    The rules are put in place so no one has to face both the grief of losing a loved one and the fear of visa cancellation at once. Even though this situation is tough, knowing there’s support for continuing life in Australia can offer some comfort during these challenging times.

    The key here is evidence of an enduring partnership; make sure to have all necessary documents ready to help prove that connection.

    Legal Rights and Partner Visa

    As an applicant for a partner visa in Australia, you have legal rights that protect your interests. Under the Family Law Act 1975, if your relationship ends due to family violence or other reasons beyond your control, you may still be able to obtain permanent residency.

    This law offers provisions to safeguard individuals who are victims of psychological abuse or domestic violence within their relationships. It’s crucial to seek legal advice and understand your rights in these situations.

    In cases where the relationship with your sponsoring partner breaks down, it’s essential to know that you still have options and legal protections under Australian immigration law.

    You should notify the immigration authorities about any changes in your relationship status while on a visa in Australia. By being aware of and asserting your legal rights, you can navigate the complexities of the partner visa process more effectively.

    Importance of Legal Advice in Case of Relationship Breakdown

    When facing a relationship breakdown, seeking legal advice becomes crucial, especially concerning the impact on partner visas in Australia. Regardless of whether it’s a de-facto relationship or a marriage, legal guidance is essential even when divorce isn’t finalised.

    It’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities when separating from a partner after a relationship breakdown, particularly relating to partner visas and residency status in Australia.

    Legal advice can provide clarity on navigating complex visa regulations during such challenging times. Given the potential implications on immigration status due to changes in the relationship, seeking professional legal counsel ensures that you are well-informed and can make decisions aligned with Australian immigration laws.

    Can You Stay in Australia After a Relationship Break-Up?

    Yes, you can stay in Australia after a relationship break-up even if you hold a partner visa. However, it’s essential to promptly inform the Australian authorities of the relationship breakdown if it occurs within two years of obtaining the temporary partner visa (820).

    This is crucial to ensure compliance with visa conditions and avoid any negative impact on your immigration status. If you’ve already been granted permanent residency through your partner visa (801), a relationship breakdown generally won’t affect your right to remain in Australia as a permanent resident.

    After notifying the authorities of the breakup, seeking legal advice can help navigate any potential implications for your visa status and understand your rights and options moving forward.

    It’s important to be aware that divorce or separation may have an impact on your immigration situation in Australia, especially when it comes to ongoing eligibility for certain visas or disputing any adverse decisions by immigration authorities.

    Previous Relationships and Their Impact on Partner Visa Applications

    When it comes to previous relationships, there are specific scenarios that can impact your partner visa application. Whether you’re not yet divorced, have less than 12 months of cohabitation with your current partner, or share children with another partner, these situations can affect the outcome of your visa application.

    Not Yet Divorced Scenario

    If you’re not yet divorced, you can still apply for a partner visa in Australia. The Australian authorities understand that separation and divorce take time, so the visa process considers this.

    You should be prepared to provide documents like divorce certificates or statutory declarations if you’ve been permanently separated, divorced, or widowed; it’s important evidence for your visa application.

    If one party hasn’t obtained a divorce yet, it’s okay – the partner visa can still be granted as long as all other criteria are met. So don’t let the status of your divorce hold you back from pursuing your partner visa in Australia.

    Less Than 12 Months Cohabitation Scenario

    You’re probably wondering about what happens if you’ve been living with your partner for less than 12 months when applying for a partner visa. It’s a common situation, and there are some important things to consider.

    Typically, the requirement is that you should have been in the relationship for at least 12 months before applying for the visa. However, there are exceptions based on compelling and compassionate circumstances.

    Children with Another Partner Scenario

    When applying for a partner visa in Australia and either you or your sponsor have children from a previous relationship, additional documentation may be needed. This can include proof of the relationship with the children and any relevant custody arrangements.

    It’s important to provide this information to demonstrate that all aspects of the new relationship are genuine, especially when there are children involved from previous partnerships.

    In some cases, having a de facto relationship with someone who has children from a prior partnership can also be considered for a partner visa application. This highlights the significance of clearly outlining and providing evidence of these family dynamics when seeking to obtain or maintain a partner visa status in Australia.

    What Happens if You Were Previously Sponsored and Now You Want to Sponsor Someone?

    If you’ve sponsored two other partners before for migration to Australia, you might not be able to sponsor your current partner. Similarly, if your partner has sponsored another partner in the past, they need to wait at least five years before they can sponsor a new partner.

    Keep in mind that sponsorships must be lodged and approved before partner visas can be lodged. Also, it’s important to inform immigration authorities if your relationship with your spouse or partner ends.

    It’s crucial to understand these rules and regulations when considering sponsorship for a new partner after being previously sponsored or sponsoring someone else. Being aware of these requirements will help you navigate the process effectively and ensure compliance with Australian immigration laws.


    The impact of separation on a partner visa in Australia can vary based on your individual circumstances and visa type. It’s important to understand the implications of relationship changes on your visa status, especially if you are on a partner visa.

    Seek legal advice to navigate through the complexities and ensure that you are aware of your rights and options. Remember that every situation is unique, so it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of how relationship breakdowns can affect immigration status in Australia.

    Stay informed and proactive about your visa status during this challenging time.

    For a detailed guide on how bridging visas operate within the partner visa process, please read our comprehensive resource Understanding Bridging Visas for Partner Visa Applicants in Australia.


    CJMigration is a well-respected Sydney migration agency with over 30 years of experience in the industry. We can help guide you through the process and achieve your immigration goals.

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