Family Visas

Found your partner in Australia and want to live there together? Want to take your loved ones with you to Australia or reunite with them there?

Visapath will advise you on all options and handle the application for you and your family members.

Australian Visas for your relatives

The purpose of Australian family visas is primarily to reunite families and enable them to live permanently in Australia.

Applications for these visas require formal support and endorsement by a so-called sponsor. In the case of family visas, there may be relatives or partners who wish to bring their parents, children or other relatives to Australia. Sponsorship is a key requirement for a family visa. The sponsor may be either an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia, or a qualifying New Zealand citizen.

There are numerous different visa classes. Most are Permanent Resident visas, but there are also temporary visas. Choosing the best visa to reunite with your family is challenging. Visapath Australia will work with you to develop the best strategy for you and your family.
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Australian visas for Partners and Spouses

Australia’s immigration laws offer a variety of Partner and Spouse visas for couples.Applicants can apply for a Partner visa if they are married to, engaged to, or living in a de facto partnership with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen who sponsors the visa application. In order to be eligible for a partner visa, no marriage certificate is required and same-sex partnerships are recognised.

However, it is not enough just to be head over heels in love. It must be demonstrated in the visa application that the partnership is a genuine and lasting relationship and that both partners intend to live in Australia. This requires, for example, the submission of photos, personal messages and confirmations from friends and family members.

Generally, Partner visas are granted in a two-stage process. The first stage is a temporary Partner visa for two years. If the relationship continues after these two years, a permanent visa will be issued. In justified exceptional cases, exemptions can be made.
For individuals intending to marry an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and live with him or her in Australia, this visa is a possible option.

As a fiancé/e, you have nine months to enter Australia, marry, and then apply for a Partner visa. An extension of the deadline is not possible.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Both partners are over 18 years of age
  • Valid passport
  • Sponsorship by Australian partner
  • Relationship is genuine and permanent
  • Health check
  • Applicant is not a convicted criminal
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Preliminary visa for nine months
  • Application for Partner visa must be made during this time
These Partner visa classes allow the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen to apply for an Australian visa. Same-sex partnerships are recognised. However, the official relationship status is not the only decisive criterion. Much more important is the ability to prove that the relationship is credible and genuine. If the applicant’s Australian partner is eligible to sponsor them for this visa, the applicant can submit an application. A key factor in the visa decision is that the partnership is a genuine relationship and both partners have the intention of living together in Australia. This requires, for example, the submission of photos, personal messages or confirmations from friends and family members. The application is usually processed in two stages. The first stage is a two-year residence permit, which will subsequently be converted into a Permanent visa provided the relationship is still ongoing at that time. In the case of the applicant having been with their partner for a long time, permanent residency may be granted immediately. In principle, minors can be included in the application for a Permanent visa if the Australian partner agrees to sponsor the child as well (only a Provisional visa requires a separate application for a 445 Dependent Child visa).

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Both partners are over 18 years of age
  • Valid passport
  • Sponsorship by Australian partner
  • Relationship is genuine
  • Health check
  • Applicant is not a convicted criminal
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent visa after two years
  • Access to Australian health insurance
  • Working rights
The eligible visa classes vary depending on whether the applicant is already in Australia (as a holder of another valid visa) or abroad.

Parent visas

Parents of Australian citizens, eligible New Zealand citizens, or permanent residents may be eligible for a Parent visa if they are supported and sponsored by their child in the application. Birth parents as well as step-parents fall into this category. The various visa classes in this category differ significantly in terms of visa conditions and processing times by the Australian authorities.
An individual with a child who is an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident may be sponsored by their child for a Parent visa. There are no age requirements for this visa, but the application can only be submitted by someone outside Australia. The Parent visa can be applied for as a permanent visa or temporary, two-year visa. The holder can then apply for a permanent Parent visa after two years. Partners and other (dependent) family members can be included in the visa application. They will receive the same visa status. The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Valid passport
  • Sponsorship by a child living in Australia
  • Majority of applicant’s children live in Australia
  • Health check
  • Applicant is not a convicted criminal
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent or temporary visa with option for Permanent Residency visa
  • Payment of an indexed health insurance tax
  • Sponsoring child must agree to provide financial support to parents if necessary and must provide a safety deposit (for permanent visa)
Parents over the age of 65 who are already in Australia on a valid visa can apply for this visa. Parents with a child who is an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident may be sponsored by their child for a Parent visa.

The Contributory Aged Parent visa can be applied for as a permanent visa or a temporary, two-year visa. A temporary Parent visa holder can apply for a permanent visa.br> Partners and other (dependent) family members can be included in the visa application. They will receive the same visa status.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Aged over 65
  • Valid passport
  • Sponsorship by a child living in Australia
  • Majority of applicant’s children live in Australia
  • Health check
  • Applicant is not a convicted criminal
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent or temporary visa with option for Permanent Residency visa
  • Payment of an indexed health insurance tax
  • Sponsoring child must agree to provide financial support to parents if needed and must have a safety deposit (if visa is permanent)
Note: In some cases, it may be advisable to apply for a different parent’s pension visa (subclass 804 Aged Parent). This visa unfortunately has an extremely lengthy processing time (currently about 20 years), but parents who are in Australia could be eligible for a Bridge visa for the duration of the processing time and can still legally remain in the country.

Child Visas

In the case a person who immigrates to Australia with their entire family on a Work visa or Permanent Residency visa, their family members will usually be included in their visa, giving them the same visa status as the holder. However, in some cases, the holder has to apply for separate visas for children in order to enable them to stay in Australia.

There are various visa categories covering dependent and underage children, orphaned relatives, or adopted children of an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, or permanent resident.
An Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident can sponsor their child or partner’s child for a visa to obtain permanent residency.

The visa can be granted to minors and dependent children. Birth, adopted, and children of the partner fall into this category.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Aged under 18
  • Sponsorship by Australian parent
  • Health check
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent visa
  • Parent’s obligation to assist and support the child
  • Sponsoring parent may have to provide an assurance of support
The visa classes vary depending on whether the child is already in Australia (as the holder of another valid visa) or abroad.

Note: If a parent has applied for a provisional Partner visa or a Fiancée visa, they will need to apply for a temporary Child visa for their children (visa subclass 445 Dependent Child). This visa can be granted to the child once the parent has received their temporary Partner visa and is valid for the duration of the temporary visa. In the later application for permanent residency, the child can be included in the application and will receive the permanent residency together with the parent.
This visa is an option for a child who is adopted outside Australia to come to Australia to live with their adoptive parents. The applicant or their partner must be Australian citizens, eligible New Zealand citizens, or Australian permanent residents.

If the adoption is to be carried out in Australia, it must first be examined and endorsed by the relevant Australian authorities and youth services. If the child was adopted outside of Australia, it must be proven that the adoption took place in accordance with the legal requirements of the respective country and that the adoptive parents have full custody of the child. In addition, adoptive parents and children must have lived together as a family for at least 12 months before this visa can be applied for.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Aged under 18
  • Sponsorship by Australian adoptive parents
  • Health check
  • Legally compliant adoption
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent visa
  • Sponsoring parents assist the child and provide adequate accommodation and financial support to meet the child’s reasonable needs
Australia’s immigration laws allow Australian citizens, eligible New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents to bring orphaned relatives to Australia to take care of them. The prerequisite is that the child is a minor and relative whose parents are either deceased or demonstrably unable to look after the child on a permanent basis. It must also be in the interest of the child to live permanently in Australia with the sponsoring relative.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Aged under 18
  • Unmarried
  • Both parents have died or are demonstrably unable to care for the child
  • Sponsorship by Australian relative
  • Staying in Australia in the care of the relative is in the best interests of the child
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent visa
  • Sponsoring relative is committed to supporting the child
The eligible visa classes vary depending on whether the child is already in Australia (as the holder of another valid visa) or abroad.

Other family visas

In addition to the visa classes for partners, parents, and children listed above, additional visa options are available for relatives of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Generally, these visas are intended to bring families together, or to give Australians the chance to look after family members. Some of these visa classes may also be an interesting option for parents willing to migrate if they do not pass the Balance of Family Test required for a parent visa.
A relative of an Australian citizen, an eligible New Zealand citizen, or an Australian permanent resident may be eligible to be sponsored for this visa. The visa may also be of interest for parents who fail the Balance of Family Test because the majority of their children do not live in Australia.

It should be noted that one of the requirements for this Aged Dependent Relative visa is that the applicant is single and over 65 years of age. In addition, they must depend on the support of the sponsoring relatives and be able to prove this.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Aged over 65
  • Valid passport
  • Single
  • Sponsorship by Australian relative
  • Dependence on Australian relative
  • Health check
  • Applicant is not a convicted criminal
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent visa
  • Payment of an indexed health insurance tax
  • Sponsoring relative has to provide assurance of support
Sponsoring relative has to pay a refundable bond before the visa is granted
If all of an applicant’s closest relatives already live in Australia, this permanent visa may be an option. A relative of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen may be sponsored for this visa, as long as they are the only member of the family who does not yet live in Australia. Close relatives in this case are parents, siblings, and children.

The applicant’s spouse or partner can be included in the visa application. However, in this case, all close relatives of the partner also have to live in Australia.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:
  • Valid passport
  • All family members live in Australia
  • Sponsorship by Australian relative
  • Dependence on Australian relative
  • Health check
  • Applicant is not a convicted criminal
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
Visa validity and essential visa conditions:
  • Permanent visa
The eligible visa classes vary depending on whether the applicant is already in Australia (as a holder of a valid visa) or abroad.

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