Relationship Breakdown

If you have been granted a Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820 / Subclass 309), but your relationship has irrevocably ended, you may still be eligible for a Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801/ Subclass 100).

When it Applies

Relationship breakdown provisions apply if you:

Hold a Prospective Marriage Visa and have applied for a Partner visa (Subclass 820/801)

Have applied for a Provisional/ Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820/309)

Hold a Provisional or Temporary Partner visa (Subclass 820/309)

What happens when your relationship breaks down irrevocably?

Step 1: Sponsor may inform the Department

  • The sponsor, may or may not, inform the Department of your relationship breakdown.
  • If in case he/she does, do not panic. Your visa will not be automatically cancelled as the Department will generally take a substantial amount of time to send you an invitation to comment or respond to the claim that your relationship has ceased. Your bridging visa will remain valid until a decision is made by the Department.
  • We strongly urge you to get in touch with us at this stage, so that we can discuss your case in detail and advise on the best steps forward.

Step 2: Wait for correspondence from the Department

  • The Department will send you an invitation to comment or respond to the claim that your relationship has broken down.
  • You will usually be given 28 days to respond to the Department.
  • You must respond to this letter, preferably with professional legal assistance;
  • Your legal representative can assist you with a request for an extension of time to respond.

Step 3: Respond to the Department

  • You are strongly recommended to respond to the Department through your immigration lawyer who will be able to address the relationship breakdown claims with legal submissions and evidence, where applicable, on why your visa should not be cancelled or refused.

Step 4: Wait for the Department to respond

  • If your relationship has ended, the Department will proceed to cancel/refuse your application, unless an exemption applies.
  • If no exemption applies, we suggest you schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss alternate visa pathways.


In certain circumstances, your Partner visa can still be granted:

Where family violence has occurred from your sponsor during your relationship;

Access rights to any dependent children from the relationship are involved

If your Australian sponsor partner has died

If any of the above applies to you, you should seek immediate legal advice from an immigration lawyer.

Domestic Violence

The Australian Government has zero-tolerance towards family and domestic violence cases and naturally protects domestic violence victims and their visa status while they remain in Australia.

You may be eligible for a permanent partner visa if the following apply to you:

  •  Have applied for a Provisional/Temporary Partner Visa (Subclass 820/309)
  • Hold a Provisional or Temporary Partner visa (Subclass 820/309)


  • you or your family members have experienced family violence, and
  • your relationship has ended.

Prospective Marriage Visa
If you hold or held a Prospective Marriage visa, you would have continued to be your sponsor’s spouse, if your relationship did not cease due to domestic violence from your sponsor.

Partner Visa
If you hold a Partner visa, you would have continued to be your sponsor’s partner/spouse, but your relationship has broken down due to domestic violence during your relationship.

Domestic violence, under partner visa, in addition to physical abuse, also includes:

  • sexual assault
  • verbal or emotional abuse
  • controlling behaviour
  • stalking
  • technology-facilitated abuse
  • financial abuse
  • abuse of the elderly
  • forced isolation or economic deprivation, including dowry-related abuse.

Proving Domestic Violence

You can prove domestic violence by providing either ‘judicial evidence’ or ‘non-judicial evidence’. You do not need both.

Judicial Evidence

Judicial Evidence includes:

  • a court injunction under the Family Law Act 1975 against your partner
  • a court order against your partner made under a State or Territory law
  • a record that the court has convicted your partner of a family violence offence against you or your dependant(s)
  • a record that the court has recorded a finding of guilt against your partner of family violence offences against you or your dependant(s).

Non Judicial Evidence

Joint Undertaking
Non-judicial evidence includes any of the following:

  • Joint undertaking to a court about proceedings where there was an allegation of violence

No Joint Undertaking
If you cannot provide a document from a court of law or a joint undertaking, you will have to provide:

  1. Form 1410 – Statutory Declaration
  2. 2 approved independent evidence, along with the above statutory declaration.

What Happens Next?

The Department will then consider your claims under the family violence provision.

If the Department is not convinced of your claims, they might refer you to an independent expert for assessment.

If the Department is convinced that your relationship was genuine and that you have suffered family violence, you will then be granted a permanent visa, once all requirements are met.

The Department is not required to accept non-judicial evidence. If this is the case, they might refer you to an independent expert. They will contact you for an appointment.

During the interview, they will assess your claims. If the independent expert determines that family violence has not occurred, then your visa application will likely be refused.

You should seek legal advice if an unfavourable assessment is made in your case. You may be able to appeal your decision.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Further, this info is subject to constant change based on any changes in the law, and therefore, is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a solicitor-client relationship. The reader should consult with an immigration lawyer prior to lodging any application as each lawful case may be different.