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Relative Visas and Sponsoring

Under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), if you are an eligible person – that is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen – you may be able to sponsor relatives to live in Australia. Some relative visas need an assurance of support which is a legal commitment from up to 3 people (who may or may not be the sponsor) or an organisation to financially support the relative and any other family members included in the application while they are in Australia.

Some types of relative visas have capping limits. Once that limit is reached no more relative visas are issued until more places become available, which may not be for several years. For visas other than for partners or children, the applicant must satisfy all of the health and character requirements as well as all other visa requirements.

Partner Visas

If you are an eligible person and you are engaged to, in a defacto relationship with or married to someone you can apply for a partner visa. There are temporary and permanent partner visas for situations where the partner is in Australia and outside of Australia and prospective marriage visas where the partner is outside of Australia. If under the age of 18 a child may be eligible for permanent residency if they are a natural,

Child Visas

If under the age of 18 a child may be eligible for permanent residency if they are a natural, step-child or adopted child of an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent Australian visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen.  If your child is aged 18-24 years and a full-time student and financially dependent on you, or is disabled and cannot work they may also be eligible for a visa. If orphaned and under the age of 18 they may be sponsored to live in Australia by a relative who is also an eligible person. A relative is an aunt, uncle, grandparent, brother, sister, niece, nephew or the step-equivalent.

Other Relative Visas

If your aged relative wants to live in Australia they may be eligible for Aged Dependent Relative Visas. Other family members may also be eligible too, because of their relationship to the applicant. To be eligible they will need to;

  • Have an eligible person as a sponsor who is their relative or their partner and who has been a lawful resident in Australia for a reasonable time.
  • Not be in a defacto relationship or be married.
  • Be dependent financially on a relative aged over 18 who lives here, or be that person or their partner’s only remaining relatives.
  • Be of Australian pension age.
  • Have an assurance of support.

They may be eligible for a Remaining Relative Visa (and other members of their family may be eligible because of their relationship to the person), if;

  • Their only near relatives live here.
  • Their relative (or their relative’s partner) is an eligible person who lives here and will sponsor them.
  • They have an assurance of support.

A Parent Visa can be for 2 years as a temporary resident, or for a permanent resident. For some parent visas the processing time can be up to 30 years.  However, if they are willing to pay the fee (currently $31,500.00), they can apply for a Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa. Once they have that visa they can apply for the Permanent Contributory Parent Visa and stay permanently. The fee for this is currently $47,120.00 plus a bond of $10,000.00.

To be eligible they must;

  • Have a child who is an eligible person who has lived in Australia lawfully for at least 2 years before the visa application is lodged.
  • Have a sponsor.
  • Meet the balance of family test. At least half of their children must legally live permanently in Australia, or more of their children must legally live here permanently than in any other country. All children of both parents are counted, including step children and adopted children but not children who are deceased, adopted or fostered out, or those who live in a refugee camp or in a country where they suffer persecution or human rights abuse and cannot be reunited with their parents. Children whose whereabouts are unknown, or cannot be verified, are considered to be residents of their last known country of usual residence.

Carer Visas

You (or your spouse) can sponsor a person who is aged over 18 years to stay in Australia to help you if you have a long-term or permanent medical condition if;

  • You cannot care for yourself or manage normal daily life because of your medical condition.
  • You have no relatives in Australia who can care for you.
  • You cannot get the necessary care from Australia’s health services.

Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela is one of our Legal Practice Directors and the National Practice Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master’s in Criminology. Michelle has had a varied career, working in commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. Michelle joined Go To Court Lawyers in 2011. She now supervises a team of over 80 solicitors across Australia.

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