My relationship is on the rocks and I’m on a Partner visa, what now?


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 the 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 (formerly Department of Immigration and Border Protection) 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 of Immigration and Border Protection in writing. In such circumstances, the Department may (likely) contact the applicant’s spouse and ask him or her to formerly withdraw their sponsorship.

Unfortunately, this means the Partner visa application will be unsuccessful, and 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:

  • The applicant is a victim of domestic violence;
  • The applicant’s or the spouse or de facto partner has passed away; or
  • The applicant and the spouse share a child.

After obtaining permanent residency

If your relationship breaks down after the first two years, the applicant will, by then, in all but the most of exceptional of circumstances be a permanent resident of Australia and therefore it will not affect the visa.

Because of this your ex-partner cannot have your visa cancelled or have you removed from Australia.

If you have any questions regarding a Partner visa or permanent residency, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff today.

  • Call us on 08 8362 5269
  • Email
  • Fill in our enquiry form here
  • Visit our office at 133-135 Rundle Street, Kent Town SA 5067