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Domestic and family violence and your visa

We can support victims of domestic and family violence by assisting them to regularise their visa status.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This page contains descriptions of domestic and family violence. If reading this is triggering or upsetting for you, please reach out for help. See Where to get help.

Family violence provisions


Call 000 in an emergency. If you or someone you know is in danger call the Police on 000. Police in Australia are safe and can be trusted. We cannot help you in an emergency. 

The Australian Government has zero tolerance for domestic and family violence against anyone. This includes permanent and temporary visa holders.

You do not need to stay in a relationship where you do not feel safe in order to stay in Australia.

We may consider you for the family violence provisions under migration legislation if you have experienced domestic and family violence (family violence) and ​you are no longer in a relationship with your sponsor.

You may be eligible for a permanent visa if you:

In order to be eligible to apply under the provisions, the family violence, or part of the family violence, must have occurred during your relationship with your sponsor.​

Your sponsor must be the perpetrator of the family violence you have experienced. 

What is fam​ily v​​iolence?​

Domestic and family ​violence is unacceptable in any form.

Domestic and family violence is any conduct that makes you fear for your or your family’s safety and wellbeing. It may be directed at you, your family, pets or property.

The below table provides examples of violence and abuse. This is not an exhaustive list.

Examples of violence and abuse
TypeDescriptionThis can include:
Physical abuse Physical violence is any violent behaviour or threats of violence. It can be directed at you, your children, other family, friends, pets or property.
  • hitting, punching, pulling by the hair, choking, pinching, pushing, stabbing or restraining you in any way (physical injuries are often directed at parts of the body that other people will not see)
  • using weapons to frighten you
  • causing damage to property
  • not letting you sleep, eat, or take your medication.
Sexual abuseSexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity.
  • forcing you to have intercourse when you do not want to (either with your partner or other people)
  • making you engage in sexual practices or acts you are not comfortable with (either with your partner or other people)
  • making you wear clothes you are not comfortable with
  • making you watch sexual acts you do not want to, including on digital devices​.
Verbal abuse or emotional abuseEmotional abuse is any behaviour that makes you feel worthless and put down.
  • threatening your life, or that of your family or pets
  • calling you abusive or insulting names or names that are culturally offensive
  • harassing or threatening you
  • saying things to frighten you, for example telling you that the children will live with him/her if you leave
  • undermining you as a parent in front of the children
  • threatening you with respect to immigration status or deportation
  • ​coercive control, which is patterns of behaviour that seek to isolate, manipulate and control your everyday life.
Social abuseSocial abuse is behaviour that aims to cut you off from your family, friends, or community.
  • insulting you in public and in front of community members
  • not letting you attend community events
  • not letting you use community organisation, programs and/or services
  • putting you down in front of others
  • lying to others about you
  • isolating you from your community and family
  • isolating you from those people who do support you
  • not letting you visit a doctor on your own
  • controlling your life; not letting you have a life outside the home
  • ​tracking and monitoring movements and social interactions, including using devices and social media.
Financial abuseFinancial abuse is behaviour limiting your access to money. 
  • controlling the money so you are dependent on them
  • forcing you to sign for loans or contracts
  • questioning you about purchases you make or where you spend your money
  • only giving you money for purchases they agree to or requiring receipts or proof of purchases for items
  • using joint finances for personal use against your wishes or without your knowledge
  • incurring debts which you are also responsible for
  • incurring fines in your name – including speeding, toll roads, parking fines and so forth
  • not allowing you to work so you are unable to have an income of your own
  • dowry-related abuse – including claiming dowry was not paid and coercive demands for further money or gifts.

Step by step: the family violence provisions