What Are Australian Family Visas?
The Australian immigration authorities in an effort to reunite family members with each other created a number of family visas. These visas allow partners, dependent children, parents, and other family members to migrate to Australia temporarily or as permanent residents.
Every family visa must be sponsored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Typically, the sponsor must demonstrate the financial capability to support the family member in Australia. This implies having enough funds to support living expenses for both themselves and their immigrant family members for up to two years after their arrival in Australia. In some instances, the Australian government may require the sponsor to provide the Assurance of Support (AoS) which includes the payment of a financial bond for up to ten years.
A partner visa allows partners of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia with their partner. Partner visa holders are initially granted temporary settlement in Australia. After a couple of years, and meeting specific eligibility requirements, they are then granted permanent residency. The following classes of partners are eligible for a partner visa;
- the spouse or married partner
- de-facto partner
- fiancee or fiance, or partner intending marriage
- willing partners including those of same sex
There are five visa classes under the partner visa. These include:
- Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) – This visa grants the de facto partner or spouse of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens temporary residence in Australia. The 309 visa is valid until the holder gets their permanent partner visa (subclass 100).
- Partner (temporary) visa (subclass 820) – This visa grants the de facto partner or spouse of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens temporary residence in Australia. The 820 visa is valid until the holder gets their permanent partner visa (subclass 801).
- Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100) – This visa grants the de facto partner or spouse of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens permanent residence in Australia. Only subclass 309 visa holders are eligible for this visa.
- Partner (permanent) visa (subclass 801) – This visa grants the de facto partner or spouse of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens permanent residence in Australia. Only subclass 820 visa holders are eligible for this visa.
- Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300) – This visa allows a prospective partner of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to enter Australia to marry their partner. After the marriage, the holder can then apply for a partner visa.
Eligibility Criteria for Australian Partner Visas
Candidates applying for an Australian partner visa must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements depend on the type of visa they are applying for. Generally, the applicant must:
- Be sponsored by their spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen
- Be in a genuine relationship with their sponsor
- Be outside Australia when applying for a subclass 309 visa
- Be inside Australia when applying for a subclass 820 visa
Applicants for a subclass 100 or subclass 801 visa must hold a subclass 309 or subclass 820 visa respectively. Dependent child visa (subclass 445) holders can also apply for a permanent partner visa. Permanent partner visa applicants must also demonstrate that they are in a genuine and ongoing relationship with their sponsor.
What Do Partner Visas Allow?
Partner visa holders in Australia can do the following:
- Live, work and study freely. This freedom is temporary until they receive their permanent visa, at which point they can live in Australia indefinitely
- Travel freely in and out of Australia
- Attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program if eligible
- Apply for access to Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare.
Permanent partner visa holders can:
- Sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia
- Apply for Australian citizenship if eligible.
How Long Does It Take To Process Partner Visas?
The time to process partner visas varies. Subclass 309 visas are processed within 38 months, subclass 820 visas are processed within 39 months, subclass 100 visas are processed within 27 months, and subclass 801 visas are processed within 23 months. The processing times may be slower if all documents are not delivered on time.
The Australian parent visa is issued to eligible persons who have an eligible child/children residing in Australia as a citizen, Australian permanent resident, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand. The child must act as the sponsor for this class of visa.
Both working and retired persons may qualify for a parent visa. The is a limited number of parent visas issued by the Australian immigration authorities.
Thus, waiting times for these visas are usually long. In fact, it can take up to 30 years to process and grant parent visas.
However, the contributory parent visa option allows applicants to speed up their application by making a contribution to Australia.
There are several subclasses of parent visas. The conditions for an application depend on whether the main applicant is over or under pension age at the time of application. The subclasses include;
- Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884) – Allows the aged parents of a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen to live freely in Australia for 2 years until granted a subclass 864 visa. Such parents must make a contribution to Australia.
- Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 864) – Allows subclass 884 visa holders to live in Australia permanently.
- Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) – Allows aged parents of settled Australian residents to live permanently in Australia without making a contribution to Australia.
- Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173) – Allows the non-aged parents of a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen to live freely in Australia for 2 years until granted a subclass 143 visa. Such parents must make a contribution to Australia.
- Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143) – Allows subclass 173 visa holders to live in Australia permanently.
- Parent visa (subclass 103) – Allows parents of settled Australian residents to live permanently in Australia.
Eligibility Criteria for Parent Visas
Candidates applying for a parent visa must meet certain eligibility requirements. Generally, the applicant must;
- Have a child that is an eligible Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- Not have already applied for or hold a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) (Subclass 870) visa
- Pass the balance of family test. This requires that:
- At least half the candidate’s children live permanently in Australia
- More of the candidate’s children live permanently in Australia than in any other country
- For the aged-parent visas, the candidate must also be old enough to receive the Australian aged pension
What Do Parent Visas Allow?
Parent visa holders in Australia can do the following:
- Live in Australia freely
- Work and study in Australia. Temporary visa holders are not eligible for government support
- Permanent visa holders can enroll in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare, sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia, and if eligible, apply for Australian citizenship
What Are The Other Australian Family Visa Options?
The other Australian family visa options include:
- Child visa: These are long-term visas that enable eligible parents to sponsor their children to live in Australia permanently. Child visa applications may be initiated onshore or offshore. If you apply offshore, you must also be offshore when the visa is issued, and if you apply onshore, you must be onshore when the visa is issued. Australian child visas also apply to adopted children There are two subclasses of child visas:
- Offshore Child (subclass 101)
- Onshore Child visa (subclass 802)
- Orphan Relative permits orphan relatives of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen to live indefinitely in Australia. There are two subclasses of orphan relative visas:
- Offshore Orphan Relative visa (subclass 117)
- Onshore Orphan Relative visa (subclass 837)
- Other Australian visas: Family members of eligible sponsors may also enter Australia through any of the following visas;
- Carer visa (subclass 116 and 836)
- Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 837 and 838)
- Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115 and 835)
How Can Total Law Help?
The process of applying for a family visa can be tedious. For instance, Parent Visa processing times may take as long as 30 years. Recognizing this, Total Law’s commitment is to help you scale through the entire process with ease.
Total law’s team of highly skilled immigration lawyers has worked with the Australian immigration authorities for years and has facilitated many successful visa applications.
We are committed to helping you through the entire process from start to finish so that you get the best result. This includes helping you determine your eligibility, gathering supporting documents, and finding ways to hasten your visa processing.
So give us a call today at +1 844 290 6312 and let us walk you through your journey.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Not necessarily. The Australian government expects a sponsor to be able to take care of any family member they bring to Australia. However, there is no minimum income requirement to be able to sponsor any relative.
The person who sponsors your temporary partner visa must be the one to sponsor your permanent partner visa application. Thus, in most cases, you will not be granted a permanent partner visa if you separate from your partner. However, there are exceptional cases, such as the case of domestic violence, where the Australian government may allow you to apply for a temporary partner visa