Published on 1 March 2011.

The Issues Paper Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Immigration Law deals with the treatment of family violence in the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth).

This Issues Paper was updated on 2 March 2011 to take into account the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2011 (Cth).

Submissions closed on 12 April. Please contact Khanh Hoang if you wish to make a late submission.

With respect to migrants, the Issues Paper considers the ‘family violence exception’ in the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) that works to ensure that visa applicants do not have to remain in violent relationships in order to obtain permanent residence in Australia.  A number of issues surrounding the ‘family violence exception’ are addressed, including in relation to:

  • the definition of ‘relevant family violence’;
  • the evidentiary requirements for making a claim of family violence;
  • the role of independent experts and competent persons;
  • sponsorship arrangements; and
  • information sharing.

With respect to refugees, the Issues Paper considers whether the current provisions in the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) are adequate to protect the safety of those who seek protection in Australia as victims of family violence. The Issues Paper also asks whether ‘complementary protection’ is needed to protect victims of family violence whose claims fall outside the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, but who may need international protection.