Family is the most important component of the life of any individual. No one likes to spend a minute away from their family if they can help it. The Australian government understands this fact well too. So, they want to ensure that your family will always be by your side. The Australian government has introduced a range of family visas for this matter alone. They help both onshore and offshore applicants who migrate to Australia to be united with their families. This guide will help you if you are also planning to apply for a Family Visa Australia.
What is a family Visa Australia?
The main aim of family visas is to bring the family members together under one roof. The Australian government has introduced a variety of visas just for this purpose. There are above 20 types of family visas. So, these different visas are there to suit the different circumstances of family members who wish to visit Australia.
Subclasses/ categories of family visa
Parent (permanent) visa (subclass 103)
You can bring your parents to Australia and get them to stay permanently with this visa. The government only granted this visa to permanent residents and citizens of Australia. Eligible New Zealand citizens who have moved to Australia are also considered as sponsors.
Aged parent visa (subclass 804)
This visa is also similar to the parent visa subclass 103. This is for parents who are old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
Contributory parent (temporary) visa (subclass 173)
You can bring your parents to Australia with this visa. But, they get to stay for 2 years only. The government only granted this visa to permanent residents and citizens of Australia. Eligible New Zealand citizens who have moved to Australia are also considered as sponsors.
This temporary visa opens a pathway to permanent residency too. You can apply for the contributory parent (permanent) visa (subclass 143) as the second step of it.
Contributory parent (permanent) visa (subclass 143)
This is the second step of the contributory parent visa. The first step is the contributory parent (temporary) visa (subclass 173). However, you can apply for this visa directly without obtaining the subclass 173 too.
Contributory aged parent (temporary) visa (subclass 884)
This visa is also similar to the parent visa subclass 173. This is for parents who are old enough to receive the age pension in Australia. The second step of this is the contributory aged parent (temporary) visa (subclass 864).
Contributory aged parent (permanent) visa (subclass 864)
This is the second step of the contributory aged parent visa. The first step is the contributory aged parent (temporary) visa (subclass 884). However, you can apply for this visa directly without obtaining the subclass 884 too.
You can bring your child to Australia and get them to stay permanently with this visa. The child you hope to sponsor must be living overseas when you forward this application. The government only granted this visa to permanent residents and citizens of Australia. Eligible New Zealand citizens who have moved to Australia are also considered as sponsors.
This visa is similar to child visa subclass 101. But the child you hope to sponsor must live in Australia with another visa when you forward this application.
Remaining relative visa (subclass 835)
This permanent visa is for you if your only relative lives in Australia. But, you have to be overseas to apply for this.
Remaining relative visa (subclass 115)
This visa is similar to the Remaining relative visa subclass 101. But you must live in Australia with another visa when you forward this application.
Aged dependent relative visa (subclass 114)
This is for applicants who are old enough to receive the Australian age pension. They should also be dependent upon a relative who permanently lives in Australia. They have to be overseas to apply for this.
Aged dependent relative visa (subclass 838)
This visa is similar to the aged dependent relative visa (subclass 114). But they must live in Australia with another visa when you forward this application.
Eligible family relationships for family visa
What is meant by your child in the application is your biological child, stepchild, or an adopted child of yours. A stepchild is a child of your partner who you are married to.
A dependent child is your or your partner’s child from an existing or earlier relationship. To have a dependent child you and your partner should not be married, engaged, or in a de facto relationship. The child should also solely or noticeably dependent on you for their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. And, he or she should be under 18 years old.
What is meant by your relative is your partner, child, parent, brother, sister, stepchild, step-parent, stepbrother, or stepsister. Your grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or step equivalents are also considered as relatives.
What meant by your near relative is your parent, step-parent, partner’s parent or step-parent, siblings, and step-siblings. A child or stepchild who is 18 or older and not reliant on you or a child or stepchild who is under 18 and not in your or your partner’s daily care and control could also be considered.
Cost of sponsoring a family member to Australia
There is no fee for sponsoring a family member under any of the above subclasses. However, you will have financial responsibilities regarding them throughout their stay. You need to prove to the government that you could offer support, housing, and financial help to the applicants. You will only get the sponsorship permission after that.
The process of sponsoring a family member to Australia
The main thing to do before applying to be a sponsor is to check the eligibility. You will have to check the eligibility of both you and the applicant. The requirements for eligibility might change slightly according to the type of visa you hope to apply.
Then you have to gather the documents needed. This might include;
- Proof of your relationship to the applicant
- Proof you are a citizen or a permanent resident
- Police check documents
- Financial documents
The department could ask you to add omit documents from this list according to your situation. You can visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/ for more information about this.
The next step is applying to the Sponsorship. You have to complete a Sponsorship for migration to Australia form or a form 40 for this. You can get this form through https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/40.pdf
The immigration department lets you know when they get the application form and the documents. If you wish to withdraw your application, you will have to do it before they grant the visa.
Requirements to fulfill for a family visa (age, income, etc)
To sponsor a family visa, you have to be 18 years of age or older. You should also be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia. However, eligible New Zealand citizens have this privilege too. You will also have to prove that you have the ability to support the person you are sponsoring. You will have to agree to offer support, housing, and financial help for the applicant. This could be for the first 2 years they stay or more according to the type of visa.
The variety of requirements of the applicants change from subclass to subclass. The most common requirements are as followed.
- Having a sponsor
- Meeting the health requirements
- Meeting the character requirements
- Having paid back any debt to the Australian Government
- Signing the Australian values statement
Visa processing time
Subclass 802: 75% of applications: 12 months
90% of applications: 13 months
Subclass 101: 75% of applications: 16 months
90% of applications: 22 months
There are no standard processing times available for most family visas. Some visas like parent visas are also subject to capping and queueing. However, there is a processing priority order for family visas. You can get more information about that through https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/family-visa-processing-priorities
Apart from that, the processing time could also change due to;
- incomplete applications without all the necessary documents.
- your response time to any requests for further information.
- the time needed to check the given supporting information.
- the number of places available in the requested migration program.
Work rights under family visa
You can live, work, and study in Australia with your permanent family visa. This visa gives you full working rights. So, you can apply for any work with this visa except for some sectors of public service or armed forces. You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want. You could also attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Programs.
Social benefits for a family visa holder in Australia
With a permanent family visa, you can live in Australia indefinitely. You are also given permission to study and you will have full working rights. Furthermore, You can also sponsor other family members to Australia after you met your eligibility.
You will also have the privilege of applying for student loans and getting enroll in Australia’s public healthcare scheme. You could apply for social security benefits after a waiting time of two years. These include welfare aids related to student, sickness, and unemployment which can be extended to your family too.
Family visa to Australian citizenship pathway
Australian government defines anyone with an Australian permeant visa as a permanent resident of the country. So, obtaining a permanent family visa will open a citizenship pathway to Australia.
Any permanent resident can apply for citizenship after spending 4 years in the country. However, the resident shouldn’t have left Australia for a period of longer than 12 months. They shouldn’t have left for 90 days or more in the last 12 months too. The applicant will also have to fulfill the needed character requirements and score 75% or above in the citizenship test. Having a criminal record is bad for your application. Being overseas when the applications are being processed could also have negative effects on the decision of its approval.