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Immigration Lawyers Melbourne

Australian Government Serious About Family Violence

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have issued US RnB singer Chris Brown with a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal of his visa to travel to Australia for his tour scheduled to take place in December 2015. The Notice relates to the singer’s conviction for domestic violence against former girlfriend and fellow musician, Robyn Fenty (Rihanna). In 2009, Chris Brown was convicted of assault and threatening to kill Rihanna and was sentenced to five years’ probation. The current Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash foreshadowed the issuance of the notice to Chris Brown last week, stating that his application would be looked at very closely.

Under subsection 501(1) of the Migration Act 1958, a non-citizen may be refused a visa if the non-citizen does not satisfy the decision-maker that they pass the character test as provided by s. 501(6) of the Act.

However Chris Brown is not the first celebrity that has had their intended travels to Australia foiled due to their history of violence against women. In February 2015 boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr was denied a visa on character grounds due to his history of violence towards women. Furthermore, the intended Australian tour of rapper Tyler the Creator (Tyler Okonma) was cancelled in August 2015 amidst controversy as to whether he would meet Australian character requirements due to the depictions of violence against women contained in his song lyrics.

Last week the Federal Government announced a $100 million Women’s Safety Package to address domestic abuse in Australia, which has been described as a “national disgrace” by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It is clear from the Department’s approach to the visa applications of celebrities with known histories of family violence that the Government’s commitment to combatting family violence and violence against women in Australia will extend to all applicants, irrespective of their wealth and fame. However it is yet to be seen whether this focus on family violence will extend to greater clarity and more sensible decision-making in relation to the family violence provisions pertaining to Partner visa applicants in Australia.

For assistance with issues relevant to those highlighted above, and other any immigration related matters, do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email, or submit a booking enquiry online at

Telephone: (03) 9329 8744


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