Now you want to break up?
So you went through all the drama and forms and interviews and prying into your private life, you got your provisional partner visa and now you want to BREAK UP? Avoiding your spouse?
This article was inspired by a couple of recent search terms that arrived on this site such as “how to cancel a temporary 309 visa“, plus a question I saw on a migration forum about a week ago. The question was from one partner of a couple on a temporary visa, who has children with the spouse, saying they don’t want to be together any more and asking what steps to take.
Even if you are the same nationality or ethnicity, the very fact you are on a spouse/partner visa means one or both of you are in a new country and a new culture. Possibly a totally different climate. Different currency, food, TV, language. You are without your family – in some cultures family is a very important support when marriages hit bumps. You are dependent on your spouse to feel safe in this new world. You may be studying or working hard, it may have cost you all the money you had to get the visa and relocate, so you may be experiencing financial pressure.
If you are different ethnicities, you have additional adjustments to make. Maybe you are also different religions.
You do not yet have the permanent residency visa: even if you don’t consciously think of that, it does lurk in the back of your mind. It is a constant source of a feeling of insecurity.
Accept this as a given: YOU ARE STRESSED. If you are the partner who is the citizen or permanent resident, accept that your partner is stressed. Even if you were not born in your country of residence, you may have been “here” longer and have adapted to the differences. If you were born where ever it is you are, then YOU are home, your partner is not.
Suddenly you and your partner have a fight. One of you says something you don’t really mean, in anger and frustration……….. and stress.
I read another question on a forum recently. A couple had “split up” and notified the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). The provisional/temporary visa holder’s visa was cancelled. The couple reconciled, as couples do. MUCH, MUCH harder to undo telling DIAC you are no longer a couple than to just give yourselves some breathing space before you involve the bureaucrats.
You didn’t enter into your marriage lightly or cross the globe lightly. It doesn’t matter if you are settled in Australia, Canada, the USA or the UK – or anywhere. Unless you really are one of those nasty “marriages of convenience”, you had something that made you go to all this trouble to be together. Don’t throw it away at the first bump in the road. In fact, I tend to think these are definitely genuine marriages, because marriages of convenience would have an “arrangement” in place to see out the required time ensuring they look picture perfect to the powers-that-be.
Do you think couples never hit bumps, even if they marry the boy/girl next door? Of course they hit bumps. It is normal. Add in all the factors I have mentioned above and if you DON’T hit a bump or two, then you are saints and won’t be reading this anyway! Have John and I never had a misunderstanding or never felt frustrated? Have there never been tears? We are not saints, but we know what we have and we are not likely to risk throwing it away due to momentary misunderstandings or a small cultural difference. We talk, we take a deep breath, we kiss and make up. Admittedly, we haven’t had any major argument or dispute and we are older and wiser than some couples may be. We ARE human. We have ALL the complicating factors mentioned above and then some, so we are speaking from experience when we say it can be done – if deep down you truly love each other.
In answer to the search term, no, I am not going to tell you how to cancel a provisional visa. I am going to advise you take a deep breath, go for a walk. A long walk if necessary. Both of you, not necessarily together. Think about what you went through to be together. Think about why you wanted to be together. Think about your children, if you already have some. Get some counselling if available, even if this is not a usual part of your culture.
Don’t throw away your relationship like so many “celebrity” faces seem to do. Make sure you really DO want to end it BEFORE you advise DIAC (or the Immigration officials of whatever country you are in). Don’t jump to make that phone call or send that email in a moment of anger with your partner.
For a great overview of the legal situation, please visit http://forum.migrationhelp.com.au/showthread.php?t=2014