Visas and family violence

If you are in danger right now, call 000


If you are not in immediate danger, but feel unsafe, contact The Orange Door

My partner is being abusive - what should I do?

You do not have to stay in your relationship to stay in Australia.


Your visa will not be automatically cancelled if you tell someone about your experience.


If you are on a temporary visa, you may be able to get a payment from the Red Cross. You can find more information here.  


Once you are safe, you should talk to a migration lawyer about your visa options.  

We can support you if you do not have a visa or are on a temporary visa and are experiencing family violence.


Find out more.

What if my partner tries to cancel my visa?

Your partner cannot cancel your visa. If your partner tells the Australian Government that your relationship has ended, a government representative will ask you about what has happened before cancelling or refusing your visa.


Only the Minister for Immigration or their delegate has the power to cancel visas.

What if I have applied for a partner visa? ​

There are strict rules and timeframes to provide information about your relationship changes to the Department of Home Affairs. You should seek advice and help from a migration lawyer or agent.


If you have applied for a partner visa, you may still be able to get a permanent partner visa if you can show that you and your visa sponsor were in a genuine relationship and: 

  • You and/or your family experienced family violence during your relationship; or
  • You have children with your sponsor; or
  •  Your sponsor has died.

What if I am on a non-partner visa?

If your relationship has ended or broken down due to family violence, seek advice from a migration lawyer or migration agent as soon as possible.


Your options might include applying for another temporary visa, applying for a permanent visa or leaving Australia. Everyone’s situation is different so it’s important you get advice about your own situation.

What if I don't know what visa I am on?

You should speak to a migration lawyer or agent. They will be able to help you find out.


The migration lawyer or agent might ask you for your passport or visa details to confirm your current visa status. Any documents you have about your travel to Australia will be important.  

Do I have to tell the Government or Home Affairs Department that my relationship has ended?​

If you have a visa application that is still being processed, you must tell the Home Affairs Department that there has been a change in your relationship status, including your relationship ending.


You should seek advice and help from a migration lawyer or agent before notifying the Home Affairs Department of any changes. 

What if my partner tells police that I am abusive?

Speak to a family violence lawyer as soon as possible. You should also seek advice from a migration lawyer or agent about how this might impact your visa.

Our office is closed

We will reopen at 9am Monday 8 January 2024.


You can contact Victoria Legal Aid for legal support or Safe Steps for family violence support. 


Our duty lawyer services will continue during this period. Please contact your local court if you need legal help at court.


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