If your relationship has broken down and you are on a partner visa, what this means for you will depend on where you are in your partner visa journey and occasionally, the reason for the breakdown in the relationship.
Managing a relationship breakdown on a partner visa can be very complicated (if you wish to remain in Australia) so it is usually best to engage an experienced registered migration agent.
Telling the Department of Home Affairs
If your relationship ends, you need to inform the Department.
You may still be able to apply for a permanent partner visa
If your relationship ended because of domestic violence or because your sponsor has died, you may still be able to apply for a permanent partner visa.
There may also be options for you if you have custody or access to children from your relationship.
When the sponsor dies
If you can satisfy the Department of Home Affairs that the relationship would have continued if the sponsor had not died, then the visa can still be granted. You will have to demonstrate other ties to Australia.
If family violence occurred in your relationship, there are avenues for you to remain in Australia.
If you have a court order to protect you from the sponsor then the Department of Home Affairs will use this as evidence that domestic violence has occurred.
If there is no court order, it is a bit more complicated and involves the opinion of an independent expert. If this is your situation, it is imperative that you engage independent legal advice as soon as possible.
Relationship Breakdown for other reasons
If the circumstances above don’t apply to you then there are limited options for you to remain in Australia. You would have to consider visas such as employer sponsored or independent skilled migration.
The process will take a bit of time, but after you inform the Department, they will contact you and give you 28 days to give reasons to why your partner visa should not be refused. Unless the circumstances above apply, the most likely outcome is that you will need to make arrangements to depart the country.
What if I’m on a subclass 801 or 100 partner visa?
If your relationship ends and you are already on your permanent partner visa then you can remain in Australia. Your visa is permanent regardless of your relationship status.