Partner Visa Relationship Issues


The process of obtaining permanent residency can be a daunting procedure.

The process can become even more complicated when a spouse or partner is involved.

Given most couples desire to live together, the Partner Visa is one of the most common avenues for permanent residency in Australia.

But what happens if your relationship breaks down and you’re on a Partner Visa?


Partner Visa


Spouses or de facto partners of Australian citizens are eligible to apply for a Partner Visa.

The Department of Home Affairs (‘Department’) requires evidence that the relationship is continuing and genuine.

An applicant may be granted permanent residency in Australia after two years of a Partner Visa application being lodged.

In those two years, the applicant will reside in Australia on a temporary Partner Visa.


Relationship Breakdown


If the relationship breaks down within the first two years of lodging the Partner Visa application, the applicant is required to notify the Department in writing.

In such circumstances, the Department will likely contact the applicant’s spouse and ask them to formally withdraw their sponsorship.

Alternatively, the sponsor may withdraw their sponsorship once the relationship breaks down.

This means the visa applicant no longer meets the eligibility criteria for the Partner Visa and the application is likely to be refused.

Unless the applicant is eligible for another visa, the applicant will not be entitled to remain lawfully in Australia.

However, permanent residency may still be allowed if:


Break up due to Domestic or Family Violence


If the relationship breaks down due to family violence inflicted by the sponsor, it is important for the visa applicant to reach out to the police, their doctor, and/or a family/domestic violence crisis centre for assistance.

This evidence will likely be required to fast-track the applicant’s permanent Partner Visa application.

Read more about Family Violence Whilst on a Visa here.


Shared Parental Responsibility


If you have children from the relationship, you may still be eligible for permanent residency.

To qualify, you must have shared parental responsibility, and the custody of the child or children must be joint custody, or both parents must have joint access to children.

This requires specific evidence.


Death of the Partner


In the unfortunate event that your relationship ended due to the death of your partner, you may still be eligible to stay.

However, you will need to prove to the Department that the relationship would have continued if your partner had lived.


After Obtaining Permanent Residency


Once permanent residency has been granted, the sponsor is no longer considered to be the visa applicant’s sponsor.

Therefore, if the relationship breaks down after the permanent Partner Visa has been granted, it is unlikely to affect the visa (except in the most exceptional of circumstances).

As a result, the ex-partner or ex-sponsor cannot cancel the visa applicant’s application or have them removed from Australia.


Contact Us


If you’ve already acquired permanent residency and experience a breakup afterwards, rest assured that your partner cannot revoke your visa. This is because a permanent partner or spouse visa is inherently permanent.

Conversely, if you’re still on a temporary visa, there are potential avenues that may lead to permanent residency in Australia.

However, it’s crucial to substantiate all your claims for consideration. For instance, if you’ve gone through a breakup and have children but hold a Prospective Marriage Visa Subclass 300, it’s strongly recommended to consult with an immigration professional to navigate these complexities effectively.

Or, if you are a Temporary Partner Visa holder who has experienced family violence, it is critical that you seek assistance when applying for a permanent partner visa under the family violence provisions as the Department is extremely stringent with the submitted evidence.

For more information, contact Bambrick Legal and schedule a consultation with our migration team:

Please note: Our migration and citizenship consultations are provided on a fee basis.

Related Blog – Family Violence Whilst on a Visa: What Are Your Options?

Send us a message

For enquiries, please fill in the following contact form