Australia Family Visa requirements | Intergate Emigration

Australia Family Visa requirements – The only guide you’ll ever need

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australia family visa requirements

The Australia Family visa requirements relates to three categories of visas that enable a person to join certain eligible family members in Australia.

The Australian government established these visas to keep families together or at least allow families to reunite temporarily. This is so important in today’s day and age when more families than ever before are scattered across the globe!

To provide clarity on the Family visa requirements, we’re going to share all the most important criteria for all three visa categories.

What are the Family visa categories?

The three categories are as follows:

  1. Child
  2. Parents
  3. Other Relatives

Each of these categories are further associated with a set of subclass visas. These subclasses are:

  • Child visas, Dependent Child visa, Adoption visa, Orphan Relative visa
  • Parent visa, Aged Parent visa, Contributory Aged Parent visas, Contributory Parent visas
  • Aged Dependent Relative visas, Carer visas, Remaining Relative visas

Now let’s take a look at the visa requirements. We’re going to start with the Child visas, then do the Parent visas, and end off with Other Relatives visas.

1. Child visas

1.1 Child visa – Subclasses 101 and 802

Children who have a parent who is an eligible Australian or New Zealand citizen are able to live in Australia permanently on a subclass 101 or 802 visa.

In essence, the visas are the same – both allow for permanent residence and the requirements are similar for the most part. The only material difference is that the subclass 101 visa is for applications from outside of Australia while the subclass 802 visa is for applications from within Australia.

The qualify to apply for this visa, the child must be:

  • A dependent biological child, stepchild, or adopted child of a parent who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Under the age of 18 OR a full-time student older than 18 but younger than 25 and financially dependent on the parent OR over the age of 18 and unable to work due to a disability
  • Single and dependent on the parent

In addition to all of these requirements, subclass 802 and 101 visa applicants must be able to meet Australia’s health requirements. If they child is 16 years or older, he or she must also be able to meet Australia’s character requirements.

Children who obtain a visa to join to their parent in Australia, will be permanent residents. This means being able to live in Australia indefinitely, study and access Medicare, and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible.

1.2 Dependent Child visa – Subclass 445

Children with a parent who is a provisional partner visa holder are able to live in Australia temporary while the parent’s permanent visa is processed.

To apply for this visa, the child must be:

  • Under the age of 18
  • Over the age of 18 and financially dependent on the parent with the provisional visa
  • Dependent on a parent who holds one of these visas:
    • Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309)
    • Partner visa (subclass 802)
  • Sponsored by the same person who sponsored or nominated their parent’s permanent partner visa application.

Furthermore, the child must meet Australia’s health requirements. The child must also be able to meet Australia’s character requirements if he or she is 16 or older.

Successful visa applicants can move to or stay in Australia until their parent gets an outcome on their permanent visa application. During this time, the child can work and study in Australia. As soon as the child receives the 445 visa, he or she must be added to their parent’s permanent visa application.

1.3 Adoption visa – Subclass 102

Children who have been adopted by an eligible Australian or New Zealand citizen can permanently live in Australia with their adoptive parent using a subclass 102 visa.

The visa is meant for children adopted from outside of Australia. As such, the child must be outside of Australia when the parent lodge the visa application and while the Department of Home Affairs reviews the application.

The be eligible for this visa, the child must be:

  • Under the age of 18 when he or she is adopted, when the application is lodged and when the Department of Home Affairs makes their decision
  • Adopted or in the process of being adopted by their sponsor parent
  • Able to meet Australia’s health requirements
  • Able to meet Australia’s character requirements if he or she is 16 or older

Adopted children who obtain a subclass 102 visa can immigrate to Australia and live in the country with their adoptive parent indefinitely. These children are also able to study and access Medicare, and apply for Australian citizenship if they are eligible.

1. 4 Orphan Relative visa – Subclasses 837 and 117

Children who do not have parents to care for them or parents who are unable to care for them can permanently live in Australia with an eligible relative using either the subclass 837 or 117 visa.

The subclass 837 visa are meant for children who are already in Australia. However, if the child is outside of Australia, then the subclass 117 visa is the appropriate visa to apply for.

To apply for either visa, the child must be: 

  • Under the age of 18, single and with no parent to care for them.
  • Have a relative who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Sponsored by an eligible sibling or step-sibling, grandparent or step-grandparent, aunt or step-aunt, uncle or step-uncle.
  • Able to meet Australia’s health requirements.
  • Able to meet Australia’s character requirements if he or she is 16 or older.

The Australian government will only grant this visa because there is no one to care for the child because both parents:

  • have passed away; or
  • are permanently unable to care for the child; or
  • can’t be found.

Australia also requires that the child has consent to immigrate to Australia. This means the child must have written consent to immigrate to Australia form all persons who can legally decide where he or she lives. It also means that the laws of the child’s home country must allow him or her to leave the country.

Finally, the Department of Home Affairs requires that the immigration of the child is consistent with any Australian child order about the child.

Children who obtain a subclass 837 or 117 visa can permanently join their relative in Australia as well as study and access Medicare. Eligible children can also apply for Australian citizenship.

2. Parent visas

2.1 Parent visa – Subclass 103

Parents with children who are eligible Australians or eligible New Zealand citizens can permanently move to Australia with the subclass 103 visa.

To apply for the subclass 103 visa, you must:

  • Have an eligible who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Have a sponsor, which will either be your eligible adult child or an eligible relative or community organization if your child is under the age of 18
  • Meet the balance-of-family test, meaning:
    • At least half of your children and step-children are eligible children, or
    • There are more eligible children living in Australia than in any other single country
  • Be outside Australia while the Department of Home Affairs review your visa application
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements.
  • Meet all applicable visa conditions and follow Australian law
  • Not have a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa when applying for this visa

If your visa application is successful, you’ll be able to live in Australia as a permanent residents. You’ll also be able to sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia and apply for citizenship if you’re eligible.

2.2 Aged Parent visa – Subclass 804

Aged parents with an eligible adult child who is an eligible Australian or New Zealand citizen can immigrate to Australia on a permanent basis with the subclass 804 visa.

The definition of an ‘aged parent’ is someone who’s old enough to receive Australia’s age pension. As of 1 July 2019, this is a person who is 66 or older. Thus, you cannot apply for this visa if you’re 65 or younger.

To be eligible for the subclass 804 visa, you must:

  • Have an eligible child who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Be in Australia, but not in immigration clearance, when you apply for the visa and when while the Department of Home Affairs reviews your application.
  • Have an eligible child who is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Meet the balance-of-family test, meaning:
    • At least half of your children and step-children are eligible children, or
    • There are more eligible children living in Australia than in any other single country
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements
  • Not have a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa when applying for this visa

Once you’ve obtained a subclass 804 visa you can live in Australia as a permanent resident. You’ll also be able to sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia and apply for citizenship if you’re eligible.

2.3 Contributory Aged Parent visa – Subclasses 884 and 864

The Contributory Aged Parent visas subclass 884 enables aged parents of eligible Australians and New Zealand citizens move to Australia for up to two years. You’ll be able to work and study in Australia while you’re in the country.

Unfortunately, you cannot renew the subclass 884. You can, however, apply for a subclass 864 visa if you’re eligible. This visa offers successful applicants permanent residence in Australia.

The subclass 884 and 864 visas have the same basic criteria. This criteria requires that you must:

  • Have an eligible child who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Be old enough to receive Australia’s aged pension, i.e. be 66 or older
  • Meet the balance-of-family test, meaning:
    • At least half of your children and step-children are eligible children, or
    • There are more eligible children living in Australia than in any other single country
  • Be in Australia, but not in immigration clearance, when you apply for this visa and while the Department of Home Affairs decides on the outcome of your application
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements
  • Not have a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa when applying for this visa

If you apply for permanent residence through the subclass 864 visa and you get it, you’ll be live in Australia as a permanent resident, work and study in Australia, and enroll in Medicare.

2.4 Contributory Parent visa – Subclasses 143 and 173

The Contributory Parent visa subclass 173 offers parents with eligible children in Australia residence in the country for two years. During your stay, you’ll be allowed to work and study.

Unfortunately, you cannot renew your visa but you can apply for permanent residence through the subclass 143 visa if you’re able to meet the requirements.

The requirements of the subclass 173 visa, for temporary residence:

  • You have a sponsor for the duration of your stay. This sponsor must be an eligible child who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • You can meet the balance-of-family test, meaning:
    • at least half of your children and step-children are eligible children, or
    • you have more eligible children living in Australia than in any other single country.
  • You’re able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements.
  • You do not have a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa when applying for this visa.

The requirements of the subclass 143 visa

You’ll live in Australia as a permanent resident when you hold a subclass 143 visa. This means you can live in the country indefinitely, sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia, and apply for Australian citizenship, if you’re eligible.

To be eligible to apply for the this visa, you must:

  • Be outside Australia when the Department of Home Affairs decide on the outcome of your visa.
  • Have an eligible child who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, unless you’re applying for the Retirement Pathway
  • Meet the balance-of-family test, unless you’re applying for the Retirement Pathway
  • Have an Assurance of Support, unless you’re applying for the Retirement Pathway
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements
  • Not have a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa when applying for this visa

You can apply as a retiree if:

  • on 8 May 2018, you held or had previously held an Investor Retirement visa (subclass 405) or a Retirement visa (subclass 410), and
  • you have not held any other substantive visa between 8 May 2018 and the date on which you applied for the subclass 143 visa.

3. Other relatives

3.1 Aged Dependent Relative visa – Subclasses 114 and 838

The Aged Dependent Relative visas lets single older people live in Australia if they rely on a relative living in Australia for financial support.

As both visas offer permanent residence, the requirements are similar. The one material difference is that the subclass 114 visa is for applications from outside Australia, while the subclass 838 is for application from within the country.

Whether you’re applying for the subclass 114 or 838 visa, you must:

  • Be sponsored by an eligible relative or an eligible relative’s partner
  • Be old enough to receive Australia’s aged pension, i.e. be 66 or older
  • Have been dependent on your relative in Australia for basic needs for at least three years before applying for the visa
  • Have no partner, i.e. you must be single
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements

As an Australian permanent resident on either of these visas, you can sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia and apply for citizenship, if you’re eligible.

3.2 Carer visa – Subclasses 116 and 836

The Carer visas enables you to permanently move to Australia to care for someone with a long-term medical condition, provided this person has no reasonable access to care options in Australia.

As with the Aged Dependent Relative and Remaining Relative visas, the Carer visa has an option for applications from within Australia and another for applications from abroad. The former is the subclass 836 visa while the latter is the subclass 116 visa.

The requirements of the subclass 116 visa are that you must:

  • Be able to provide ongoing substantial care and support care for a relative or a member of their family who lives with them, who has no reasonable access to care in Australia
  • Be sponsored by your relative or their partner for your first 2 years in Australia
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements

If you’d like to instead apply for the subclass 836 visa, you must: 

  • Be able to provide ongoing substantial care and support care for a relative or a member of their family who lives with them, who has no reasonable access to care in Australia
  • Be sponsored by your relative or their partner for your first 2 years in Australia
  • Hold or have held a substantive visa, meaning:
    • any substantive visa, except a Transit visa (subclass 771), or
    • any substantive visa except a subclass 771 and made a valid application for a subclass 836 visa within a certain time
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements

As an Australian permanent resident on a Carer visa, you’ll be able to live in Australia indefinitely, and work and study.

3.3 Remaining Relative visa – Subclasses 115 and 835

The Remaining Relative visas enables people to immigrate to Australia to be with their only remaining family members. As both visas offer permanent residence, the stay in Australia is indefinite. Further to this, the permanent resident status means the visa holder can work and study, and enroll in Medicare.

For the most part, the requirements of the subclass 115 and 835 are the same. There is one major difference, though. The subclass 115 visa is for applications from outside Australia, while the subclass 835 is for application from within the country.

To be eligible for either the subclass 115 or subclass 835 visa, you must:

  • Be a remaining relative of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Have sponsorship from an eligible parent or step-parent, sibling or step-sibling, or an eligible partner of your relative
  • Not have other near relatives meaning:
    • Neither you nor your partner have a near relative who usually live outside Australia, or
    • Neither you nor your partner have a near relative who live in Australia on a temporary visa (and are not an eligible New Zealand citizen) or unlawfully
  • Be able to meet Australia’s health and character requirements

Sponsorship requirements for Family visas

The Family visas requires that an eligible Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen acts as the sponsor of the visa applicant.

The criteria for sponsorship include the following:

  • The sponsor for an Other Relatives category visa must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or an ENZ citizen, and must be at least 18 years old.
  • For a permanent visa applicant, the sponsor has an obligation to assist the applicant financially and with accommodation for a 2-year period.
  • The sponsor’s circumstances should provide evidence of their means to support the applicant.
  • Eligible New Zealand citizens acting as sponsors must meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

Call us if you have questions about these Australian family visas and their requirements

At the moment, our immigration agents can assist you with the following visas:

  • Child visa, both subclass 101 and 802
  • Contributory Aged Parent visa, subclass 864
  • Contributory Parent visa, subclass 143

If you have questions about any of these visa, please do not hesitate to call us! You can reach us at +27 (0) 11 234 4274.

Our advisors are MARA registered and licensed, which means our team knows Australia’s immigration regulations back-to-front.

If you don’t have any questions, but would like to find out if you’re eligible one of the visas mentioned above, please book an initial assessment online.

Our initial assessment is free and you’ll know immediately if you stand a chance of qualifying for a visa. You are under no obligation to continue with the application process with us after this.

With that being said, we’d love to help you reunite with your family members in Australia! You can see what our past clients have had to say after dealing with us on our testimonials page.

Please note: While we can still assess your eligibility and start your visa application, we’ll only be able to submit your visa application once Australia’s coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. Starting now does mean that you can submit your application as soon as it’s possible! ​​​​​​​

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