DIAC plans to make it easier for the victims of violence (from someone on a provisional partner visa) to seek a visa, by (inter alia) relaxing the required evidence, and allowing applicants to rely upon material held by other government agencies.
The current process of obtaining statutory declarations with a set of technical requirements can be quite difficult for some women who have experienced violence.
The new arrangements will streamline the evidence required for a visa on the basis of family violence, and are designed to make the process easier and more accessible.
For example, victims of domestic violence who have already liaised with government departments or service agencies, will be permitted to submit the documentation of those liaisons in their evidence submission.
To ensure that the integrity of the process is protected, the submitted applications must have a minimum standard of evidence. The evidence that needs to be included was developed over a period of time in consultation with over 60 groups including women’s advocates, immigration services, government departments and family violence organisations.
These changes have been implemented as part of the government’s commitment to lowering abuse within the family as part of their $86 million National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
They also take care of the issues addressed in a report by the Australian Law Reform Commission and the concerns raised by the Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association in addition to the Family Violence and Commonwealth law.