Parenting Arrangements While Parents on Bridging Visa
For some people after the breakdown of a relationship they will need to consider how it will affect their immigration status in Australia. This is in addition to working out how the children will be looked after.
The Department of Immigration directs that they must be informed if a relationship ends, especially before a person has been granted a Permanent Partner Visa. Once informed, the Department in cases of a Partner Visa will subsequently ask the sponsor (the ex-partner) to formally withdraw their sponsorship.
Once sponsorship has been withdrawn, there is then an opportunity to explain why the relationship broke down. Therefore, it is important that the Department is kept informed of up-to-date contact details, including postal address.
Just because the relationship ends, that person may still be eligible to stay in Australia. Victims of domestic violence do not have to stay in an abusive relationship to protect their immigration status in Australia. It is also possible to stay in Australia, if there has been a child of the relationship, who is under 18 years of age and for which the parents have shared parental responsibility.
The Court recently considered a case for interim parenting arrangements, where neither parent was an Australian citizen. The mother, the father and all the children were on bridging visas issued by the Department of Immigration. Their respective status and ability to continue living in Australia was solely dependent on a favourable exercise of discretion on the part of the Department.
The Judge was satisfied that pending ‘final hearing’ the children’s ‘best interests’ would be met by spending ‘equal time’ with each of their parents on a “week about” basis, subject to the parties’ agreement in relation to the upcoming school holiday . Further, the court ordered that the names of the children be placed on the Airport Watch List. If you would like any assistance with your family law matter, contact Michael Lynch Family Lawyers, and we will help you.