Family Members Visa

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident you may be able to obtain a visa for your immediate family to travel to Australia to live with you.

Usually you can sponsor your partner (husband, wife, de facto or fiancé) and your dependent children. In some cases – but not always – you can sponsor your parents and adopted children.  Family visas currently available include:

  • Onshore Partner Temporary Visa (Subclass 820) and Permanent Visa (subclass 801)
  • Offshore Partner Temporary Visa (Subclass 309) and Permanent Visa (Subclass 100)
  • Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) - otherwise known as the Fiancé visa
  • Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173)
  • Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884)
  • Child visa (subclass 101) and Onshore Child visa (subclass 802)
  • Adoption visa (subclass 102) Orphan Relative visa (subclass 117) and Onshore Orphan Relative visa (subclass 837)
  • Dependent Child visa (subclass 445)

Partner visas (subclasses 820 and 801)

An Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen can sponsor a spouse or de facto partner who is in Australia when they apply. The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801). 

Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100)

An Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen can sponsor a spouse or de facto partner who is outside Australia when they apply. The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100). “Genuine and ongoing relationship” and other criteria apply.

Married Applicants

The evidence required includes but is not limited to evidence of genuine and continuing relationship and of a lawful marriage contract. Other criteria apply.

De facto applicants

In proving a genuine and ongoing relationship, the Department needs evidence of cohabitation for at least 12 months and of the genuineness of the relationship. Other criteria apply.   

Two-Stage Process and Continuing Genuine Relationship Requirement

Partner visas contain a two-stage process that depends on the ‘genuine relationship’ criteria succeeding before the permanent visa is granted.

Domestic Violence

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be able to obtain their permanent visa (Subclasses 801 and 100) if the relationship has broken down due to domestic violence. Other criteria (e.g. establishing substantial ties with Australia) may also need to be satisfied.

Child visas

Visas for children, especially adoption cases, can be complex. Where the child has health issues, there is further complexity.  The visa applicant must be related to an Australian permanent resident or citizen, be single and not over 18 years of age. It may be possible to qualify for this visa if the parent holds a provisional spouse visa or the child is over 18 years, but the application becomes a lot harder in either case.

Child visas (subclasses 101, 802)

These entail an offshore application for a child residing outside of Australia (subclass 101) or an onshore application for a child residing in Australia on a valid visa (subclass 802). The sponsoring eligible parent must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant must be sponsored by either their parent or the partner of their parent, not be married or in a de facto relationship, and be younger than 18, unless exemptions apply. This is not an exhaustive list of criteria.

Adoption visas

The adopting parents are usually required to obtain permission for the adoption from State authorities. Visa requirements vary depending on whether the child is being adopted from a Hague-Convention country, or a country with which Australia has bi-lateral agreement, or whether the adoption is privately organised.

Adoption visa (subclass 102)

The applicant must be outside Australia, younger than 18, have been adopted or be in the process of being adopted by the sponsoring parents, and be able to meet the health, and character and other criteria.  

Orphan relative visas

These are visas for children who are outside Australia (subclass 117) or in Australia (subclass 837), who are either orphans or their parents are not able to care for them. The visa applicant must be younger than 18, be sponsored by their relative who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and not be married or in a de facto relationship.  Other criteria, including the interests of the child and the authority of the country of origin, can apply. 

Contributory Parent (Temporary) (subclass 173) & Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) (subclass 884) visas

These require proof that the visa applicant is the sponsor’s mother or father; other criteria such as the complicated balance of family test also need to be satisfied. 

Craddock Murray Neumann is a law firm, and therefore can also assist with applications to the Tribunal and the Federal Court if your visa application to the Department of Immigration is unsuccessful. Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot assist with applications to the Federal Court.

Warning: this page states the law as at 10.08.2014.  Australian immigration law changes frequently. The law may have changed since this page was written.  The above is only a summary of criteria that need to be satisfied for a visa to issue. Please consult us for advice tailored to your circumstances.

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