What if the relationship ends before the Visa grant?

What if your relationship ends before your Partner Visa is granted?

In this post, we briefly look at what this may mean for you if you find yourself in this complex situation and offer suggestions on the way forward.

First off, we really feel for you and your partner at this stressful time. Breakups suck! And with the added addition of the impact, a break-up will have on your visa, we get this can make things even harder to work through.

The short and sweet of it is the outcome really depends on the status of your partner visa. This means for example whether or not your partner visa has been lodged, whether it’s pending or if it’s been decided and you hold either a provisional partner visa or permanent partner visa.

Unless you have been granted your permanent visa in most cases this may ultimately mean you have to leave Australia, unless you meet the requirements for a different visa or if there are special circumstances surrounding the relationship. Always remember that each relationship is UNIQUE and yours might include circumstances where you could STILL be considered for the visa.

My relationship has broken down, what do I do now?

If this happens while you’re waiting for a decision on the FIRST stage of the Partner Visa (ie you have not been granted the permanent partner visa and don’t yet meet the requirements for PR) because you have lodged or hold a subclass 300, subclass 309 or subclass 820, then get advice from a Registered Migration Agent immediately and know that you must notify the Department of the change in circumstances. In all likelihood, the Department may ask you to consider withdrawing your application. If you don’t withdraw it and they’re aware the relationship has ended, the application may result in a refusal.

In most cases, once you have notified them of your changed relationship status, you’ll be given a limited time period to stay in Australia, such as 28 days, for example. Once your allocated time is up, you will need to leave Australia, unless you meet the requirements for another visa option.

What happens if the FIRST stage of my application has already been granted and we break-up?

The same course of action applies if, for example, you are in the following situations:

  • If your application has been lodged and you’ve already been granted the FIRST stage of the Partner Visa process and you hold the Prospective Marriage Visa subclass 300 and the relationship has ended before that Visa expires;
  • You were waiting for the permanent Partner Visa to be granted and your relationship breaks up.

Again, you must notify the Department of Home Affairs. They’ll give you the option to withdraw the application, and if there’s no other Visa that you meet the requirements for, you’ll need to make arrangements to depart from Australia.

Once the relationship has ended, what circumstances may lead to a visa being granted?

You could still be considered for the Visa regardless of the relationship breakdown under certain circumstances such as:

  • Family violence has occurred during the course of the relationship;
  • An Australian citizen child is a product of the relationship.

Either way, the circumstances are pretty complicated and if you are in this situation, we strongly encourage you to get detailed, one-on-one advice from a Registered Migration agent who can help you understand your particular position.

Please feel free to comment below; we love getting your feedback. We read all your remarks and will reply if we can answer any questions. We may even use your comments to form the next blog topic.

IMPORTANT: Please note, this does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law is constantly changing. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.

  • Jamie says:

    What if the sponsorship had been withdrawn while the decision hasn’t been made on the first stage visa, but things have been reconciled and partner wants to continue with sponsorship? PS applicant hasn’t received any notification of withdrawal yet.

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi Jamie, we would need a bit more detail on the case before we could comment. Give our office a call and we can have a chat. Our number is 07 3063 1200

    • Harjinder kaur says:

      I am in the same boat. I would like to know what happened with your appli ation.

      • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

        Hi Harjinder, this sounds like a complex matter that is best discussed in private. We’d love to ask you questions regarding the application withdrawal and the reason you want to move forward now.

        And to provide you with the best options to move forward with your application, our best advice is for you to book a visa consultation with our Registered Migration Agent by clicking the link below


  • Ahmed says:

    I’ on spouse visa subclass 309 in Australia and I have tow Australian citizens kids and my relationship ends and I’m facing a charges of domestic violence can I still get pr

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hello Ahmed, this is a complicated situation and you will need to get a piece of legal advice. Please give our office a call on 07 3063 1200.

  • Grahame says:

    Very helpful I got set up by a Peruvian lady and am not very happy I was widowed 4 years ago and met my lady through my best friend he married her cousin anyway it’s been a tough 6 months as soon as we got married she changed I done everything for her but not even her friends could help me anyway she left me two days ago I found the site really helpfully kind regards Grahame

  • Dave says:

    My wife was on her temporary partner visa awaiting her permanent partner visa and was in an affair with another man. I have dated evidence to support this. Once this affair became known to myself & others, she continued to remain in that relationship for 12 months. In the meantime she received her permanent partner visa while still in an affair relationship. However, my wife failed to notify DIBP of her change of circumstance & has still refused to do so after we separated. We have a 4 year old child together who is an Australian citizen. We have since separated & she no longer lives at my address. Since her departure from the family unit i have taken the full responsibility of caring for our child over the past 6 months who lives with me (no court orders). Currently she is out of Australia in Vietnam for the next 2 months & plans to return to Australia. Did she breach her temporary partner visa prior to receiving her permanent partner visa. Has she breached her current permanent partner visa. What could be the consequences of her past actions taking into account that she did not & has still has not notified DIBP.

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Dave, I am very sorry to hear what has happened, in a situation like this I would recommend you contact DIPB directly.

  • Brian says:

    Hi, my partner has been in Australia for almost 2 years she is on I believe a bridging visa 820 we have two children together one born overseas and the other one was born here in Australia the one born overseas has his Australian citizenship, my partner has a couple of friends living here in Australia and I have noticed her finding out information about once she gets her permanency visa she can go her own way, I’m starting to think this relationship is not right and after paying over $7000 for visa Application she has changed and makes threats of leaving me once she has a permanent Visa, I don’t really know what to do, if I cancel her visa and no longer wish to sponsor her can she take my children away? Back to her poor country where she had nothing as one of my children was born there but now Australian citizen or will she just have to leave ??? Or because she has a child born here does this stop her from leaving??? What do I Do!!!??

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Brian, I’m sorry to hear about the situation. I would recommend you contact the Deapartment of Immigration directly.

  • Jason says:

    Hi, my relationship recently ended. I withdraw my de facto visa and left Australia due to the relationship ending very soon after lodgement. I noticed the government that it had ended.

    Would there be any issues with now applying for a visitor visa to go back to Australia? I have not put a foot wrong there but was unsure if this recent visa situation would complicate things with going back?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Jason, I’m sorry to hear about what happened, it is best that you give us a call and we can discuss your situation.

  • Jinsheng says:

    Hi, my girlfriend is currently on onshore partner visa (820) and is in the process of divorcing her husband who sponsored her current visa. Can she stay in Australia and reapply a new onshore partner visa (820) sponsored by me after withdrawing her current visa?

  • Harold says:

    If I am a PR (a partner (migrant) (class bc) (subclass 100) visa), and my relationship breaks down, does that affect my PR status?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Harold, I’m sorry to hear about what happened. Give our office a call at 07 3063 1200 so we can discuss your situation.

  • Ho says:

    Hi Emma
    I have been granted 100 visa in june 2019, Me and my partner were facing some problems in the relationship and due to some circumstances I move out of the house in feb 2019, but we were in contact and had a hope that we might get back to normal life unfortunately it didnt happen and then in dec 2019 he decided to end this relationship and filed a divorce in feb2020. I came to know on the receipt of divorce application. He mentioned the date of separation was feb 2019 but he decided to end this relation in dec 2019. I wanted to ask how this will effect my PR and do I need to inform DIBP about this current situation. As we both hadnt think about ending this relation but were not living under one roof. What should I have to do now?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Ho, I’m truly sorry about your divorce, but your situation will need legal advise. Please call our office at 07 3063 1200 so we can assist you further.

  • Anita c says:

    Hi team my friend’s wife is on a bridging visa A while the Partner Visa 820 is being assessed. The Bridging Visa was granted in July 2019. The marriage has ended for various reasons and my friend wishes to withdraw as the sponsor for the Spouse visa.Does he wait till July 2020 to let immigration know or can he do so now itself ?

  • Cacey says:

    my friend have been married to an Australian citizen she left her husband 2 months ago due to domestic violence and they both have a child together she’s living in a refuge at the moment they had applied for the partner visa but have broken up during the processing time what’s that should she take

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Cacey, I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your friend, please give our office a call at 07 3063 1200 so we can help you further.

  • Lily says:

    what if i have been granted my 801 VISA recently and my partner and i might be breaking up. will it be affected to my PR status.


    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Lily, I’m sorry about your situation, please give our office a call on 07 3063 120 so we can help you further.

  • Aimi says:

    If the Partnership visa application is pending and we have broken up can you request a refund?

  • Eve Sae says:

    Hi, I just have question.
    If my husband suddenly say “I wanna divorce with you, go back to your country, I don’t care about your visa.”
    And a year ago we brought wedding money 55,000$ ,this is almost mine, but he said “when you go back to your country, I give you a little, that you can live at first.”
    But I can’t accept about one way side thinking about divorce…
    Because marriage, at first, has many trouble…unfortunately….must overcome….

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Eve, we have a few questions we would like to ask you. Please give our office a call at 07 3063 1200 so we can discuss your current situation and plan a course of action from there.

  • Jeff says:

    Hi, my recently married wife (April 2020), and I are at a point of divorce. She came into Aust in March 2020 on a holiday visa and then we were married. We applied for a spousal visa which was granted but we have to wait 2 years before anything further. If we split up, will immigration ask her to leave? I am an aged pensioner and cannot afford to seek legal advice. Thank you. Jeff

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Jeff, that’s a question we can help you with but better to give advice like this in private. Kindly give our office a call at 07 3063 1200.

  • KaL says:

    I’m on a bridging A visa waiting while the application for partner 820 visa is being processed.
    If my relationship is ending and I’m being divorced (my partner has someone else in their life who they want to marry). Can I stay in Australia if I have entered into a new serious relationship with intentions of getting married at some point in the future?
    Any guidance would be much appreciated
    Thank you

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Kal, this is a matter we feel must be discussed in private due to the complexity of the details of your story. Please give us a call at 07 3063 1200 so we can talk more about your relationship and how we can best approach your concern.

  • Liam says:

    Hi me and my partner are trying to work our own stuff out and feel we need to move apart to try work things out we have been granted the 820 is there anyway if her being able to stay here or will it cause problems if we both move apart for a bit but not withdraw the visa ?

  • Keshar says:

    I’m in bringing visa A and I apply partner visa 820 our baby was born in Australia now our relationship is going to break if she (sponsor) asked to cancel my visa in migration what is the chance to cancel and how can I stay Austriala with my baby girl now she is only 11 months and I’m the one who care the baby because she don’t want to care baby and our relationship?

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Keshar, we feel that this is a matter best discussed in private. We would like to have more information of your relationship with your partner and details of your Partner Visa Application so we can provide you with the right Partner Visa advice. Please give us a call at 07 3063 1200 or contact us here https://www.freedommigration.com/contact-us/

  • J says:

    I am on a 309 and my partner wants to have a meeting with our migration agent to tell them we have broken up. I am worried it means they will tell the department. My work are looking into sponsorship for me. But I know this takes time.

    Does your migration agent notify the Department if you tell them you have broken up?

  • Sailes says:

    I just got 820 visa granted.our relationship is breaking down. We have a child together who is an Australian citizen 19 months old. My partner tells me she gonna go live with her friend and probably withdraw my visa. I need help.

  • Gur says:

    I was in a Decfacto relationship with this guy who turns out was using me just to get PR through me.
    I was granted PR via Employer Nomination and I included him in my application as well because I thought we were going to marry.
    But as soon as we received the PR- His behaviour changed and he broke up and married another girl within 6-7 months from India and now is living with her.
    He used me for PR and gave me emotional trauma.
    Can this be reported to immigration?

  • Nadir says:

    I was in a relationship with a lady and i regsitered her marriage when she was on a visit to australia.. we separated and i was accused “mistakenly” by a police officer of domestic violence and it resulted in an IVO being places against me and i was kicked out of my own home.. Later on i agreed with her to apply for her permanent partner visa in return for her revoking the ivo application. we continued to live separately though for about one year after i applied for her visa.. the visa is still showing under processing status and there was no feedback from the department since december 2020.

    last year and after continued delay to attend to the court due to covid circumstances we met at the court and she stated that she wanted the ivo to be lifted to resume the relationship which was not true but just to allow me to get back into my home, we were shortly separated afterwards and now i want to apply for divorce..

    my question how can i know what will happen to the status of this application and will the grant affect my ability to sponsor someone else in the future?

    Thank you

  • Non says:

    Hello, currently I am on temporary visa, which is 309, and our relationship has ended. I (applicant) have neither told the immi nor cancelled my visa yet but I’d like to stay in Australia for another 1 year to work. Therefore my question is, is there any visa I can apply for and lets me work and stay in Australia lawfully? If yes, how should I process the visa holding subclass 309? I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

  • Alina says:

    Hi, I am on my bridging visa, waiting for visa 820 grant, we have got 2 little kids but unfortunately our marriage is about to end. I am not sure if I have DV. Only 1 of the child has citizenship of my home country and the other one doesn’t. What do I do in this situation?

  • David says:

    What happens to the Sponsorship if there was a Withdrawal of the Sponsorship
    Is it still a Valid Sponsorship or not

  • Caren says:

    My husband and I no longer together because of the domestic family violence, I been scared of he told me he going to cancel my visa Im in under process 820(partner visa)
    And, I have informed the Deparment of home affairs about it by calling them. Now my cornern is do I need to get a lawyer or Migration agent?

  • Random says:

    Hi! I was on student visa subclass 500 when applied for spouse visa 801/820. My marriage came to an end in 2 months due to domestic violence. I informed DOHA about my circumstances and have submitted all the paperwork relating to DV.

    Last week i was asked to submit medical, police clearance. Now my question is will DOHA contact my ex regarding the outcome or no?

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi there, this is something the Department of Home Affairs can answer so we highly recommend reaching out to them.

  • Anonymous says:


    Im an australian citizen who got married 6 months ago through arranged marriage with my wife who is form india. Her reasons for being here and her priorities are not with me and more focused back home. She has come here for work and has been cratinng nothing but havoc and verbal abuse. I have sponsred and paid for the Partner visa application. She is currently on the bridging visa, working full time. I have requested her to sign the withdrawal form as broken relasionship after having the conversation I’m breaking up with her. She is refusing to sign and her parents are herself are harrassing me and my family.

    What will be my next move?

  • About the Author Emma Drynan MARN0960361

    Emma is the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. She is extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because she's a product of a partner visa family.

    follow me on: