My relationship has ended – Now What?

An Australian Partner Visa is a dual-stage application comprising both a provisional and a permanent visa. When applying from within Australia, you’ll apply under subclass 820/801, while offshore applications fall under subclass 309/100. These visas are granted upon demonstrating a sincere and committed relationship exclusively with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. If your relationship ends while you hold a temporary partner visa, it can impact your visa status. This article will delve into your responsibilities and choices should your relationship with your sponsoring partner come to an end.

Permanent Partner Visa
If you hold a permanent partner visa (subclass 801 or 100) and your relationship comes to an end, your status as a permanent resident in Australia remains unaffected. Consequently, there is no requirement for you to inform the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), and you will retain your Australian permanent residency.

Temporary Partner Visa
As a condition of your visa, it is mandatory to inform the Department of Home Affairs about the breakdown of your relationship as promptly as possible. You can do so through any of the following channels:

  • Via email with a form 1022 “Notification in changes of circumstances”.
  • Via the online contact form
  • Via your online Immi Account “Notification of relationships cessation”.

The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) has the authority to contact your sponsoring partner and formally request a withdrawal of sponsorship in the event of a relationship breakdown. Alternatively, your sponsor may independently notify DOHA of the situation. It’s important to note that while your sponsor can inform DOHA about the breakup, they do not possess the authority to automatically cancel your visa. DOHA retains sole discretion over your visa status.

Upon receiving notification of the relationship breakdown, DOHA typically sends you a letter providing an opportunity to offer explanations or comments on the circumstances within a 28-day period.

Alternatives to remain in Australia
If you are in this situation, you may still be eligible for a permanent visa despite the breakdown of your relationship if:

  • you have experienced family violence from your sponsor during your relationship (and can substantially evidence this); 
  • you have parental responsibility of an Australian citizen child from the relationship; or
  • your sponsor has died. 

Applying for an Alternate Visa
If none of these scenarios align with your situation, you might contemplate applying for a different visa to continue your stay in Australia. The selection of available visa pathways will be contingent upon your individual circumstances. It is advisable to consult with a legal expert to ascertain the most suitable pathway for your specific situation. In the absence of feasible alternatives, you will need to prepare for your departure from Australia.

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

29 Apr, 2024

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