QLD Getting Information from Department of Immigration?

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Well-Known Member
11 December 2014
Hi everyone!
Im a bit annoyed right now, after spending nearly two hours on the phone to the Department of Immigration, being on hold and being fobbed off :(

I am here on a student visa and am in the application process for a partner visa. My children are still included on my ex's 457 visa, as he had told me he was applying for PR for them all through his sponsor.

Turns out he had different plans and has since applied to the court to move overseas with them. Anyway, he isn't working for his sponsor anymore and refuses to give me the exact date his employment ended, and says he doesn't know when the kids visas will be cancelled as 'they haven't called him yet to tell him'. Seriously.

We have done mediation just recently where he agreed to find this out asap and to share everything with me, and he still hasn't. He has been told by the ICL that he has to do it immediately, and he still hasn't. I'm getting a huge panic on because our hearing isn't until mid June and by my calculations (from what his ex co-workers told me about when he quit work) the visas will have expired by then. They have 90 days, and this has been going on since early March.

So I have been calling immigration to ask them to tell me when my childrens' visas will expire. They refuse, because it would be breaching their dad's privacy. I'm so frustrated and don't know what to do! The kids live with me and I have residential custody, and I even sent them court orders showing them that. I cant understand how their dads right to privacy about the date when he stopped working is more important than my right as a mother to know when my children will be deported, Its absolutely insane.

Has anyone had experience of this or any ideas of how to get hold of this information?!

Melinda Jackson

Active Member
14 February 2015
Hi Tamsin

This sounds like a very complicated situation. It is not simply an immigration law matter - I would recommend you seek family law advice as well.

One thing to note is that the children's visas will not expire automatically because the primary visa holder has ceased work; they will be cancelled via a formal process. Usually, the Department only commences cancellation proceedings more than 90 days after the primary visa holder ceased employment.

If the Department commence the process for cancelling his visa, he will receive a letter called a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation which requires a response within 5 days. After this, his and the children's visas may be cancelled.

Cancellation has serious implications for future visas and may prevent any further applications for visas, even as dependants. Therefore, if you wish to apply for your children at any stage, you should consider their situation carefully and get legal advice about what visas they may be eligible for before their visas are cancelled. Also note though that for further visas, consent from both parents is required, unless your court order grants sole parental responsibility (which is more than custody).

In terms of obtaining information from the Department, they will definitely not provide you with information about your ex husband's visa. This is frustrating but they are not permitted under the Privacy Act.

Hope this helps.