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Family Stream

There are a number of migration options for fiancés, partners, children and parents who are sponsored by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.


Partner visa

If you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, they may be eligible to sponsor you for a Partner visa.

Partner Category includes:

  • Prospective Marriage visa (fiancé(e)) for off-shore applicants; and
  • Partner visa (includes spouse [married] and de facto partners [opposite-sex and same-sex partners]).

Overseas applicants who intend to marry their prospective spouse before visa grant can apply for the Partner visa.

Applying for a Partner visa is a 2-stage process.  You apply for both a temporary and a permanent visa by completing and lodging one application.  A temporary visa is granted if you meet all the initial criteria.  This visa remains valid until a decision is made on your permanent visa application, which is generally 2 years after you first applied.  If you continue to meet all requirements, you will be granted a permanent visa.  There are limits to the number of partners you can sponsor.

You may be granted a permanent visa without having to wait if the relationship meets the definition of a “long-term” relationship when the visa application was made.


Child visa

Children can migrate to Australia if they are the natural dependent child, orphan relative, stepchild or adopted child of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.  There is also a temporary visa for children whose parent hold a temporary Partner visa and is in the process of obtaining a permanent Partner visa.


New Temporary Parent Visa

On 5 May 2017, the Australian government confirmed a new temporary visa for migrants' parents, subject to the passage of relevant legislation, to be introduced during the 2017/2018 Migration Programme year.

As many as 15,000 people each year will be able to pay up to $20,000 to bring their parents to Australia for up to a decade.

The financial burden of healthcare for migrant parents will be shouldered by their children, with Sponsors (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens) legally required to pay for their private health insurance.  The children will also need to act as financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs their parents rack up in Australia.

Under the new scheme, applicants could seek a 3-year visa for $5,000 or a 5-year visa for $10,000.  Visa holders can apply for, and be granted, this visa more than once but the maximum stay is 10 years in total. There will be no financial bond for this visa.

Those on the new visa will not be allowed to work, but will be able to care for their grandchildren while the parents work.

The visa holders would not be allowed to reapply beyond the 10 years and would have no pathway to permanent residency.

This new visa arrangement does not replace the existing Parent Category visas.

Parent visas are currently split across several visa streams, including the Aged Parent visa, the temporary and permanent Contributory Parent visas.


Parent visa

Parent visas are accessible to persons seeking a permanent visa on the basis of being the parent of a child who is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

There are 6 visa subclasses of Parent visas which fall into 2 Categories:

•  Parent Category

•  Contributory Parent Category


Parent Category

In the 2015/2016 Migration Programme year, 1,550 Parent visa places are available for applicants applying from in and outside Australia.  To ensure equity, all Parent visa applications are assessed in order of lodgement, assigned a queue date and then placed in the queue for the relevant visa subclass.

The queue date is the date that the application was assessed as meeting the initial criteria for a Parent visa.  When a queue date has been assigned it is a fixed date and the application cannot be given priority ahead of other applications.  Applications are finalised in order of their queue date as places become available.

As detailed on the Department of Immigration’s website:  based on current planning levels, applicants for a Parent visa can expect an approximate 30 year wait before visa grant consideration after being allocated a queue date.  This waiting period is reflective of the significant number of Parent visa applications in comparison to the limited number of visa places available each Migration Programme year.


Contributory Parent Category

In March 2003, new arrangements for Parent visas were introduced, the Contributory Parent Category.  These allow the entry of additional parents willing to make a higher contribution to their future health and welfare costs.  The Contributory Parent Category has more visa places available each Migration Programme year and visa applications in this Category are accorded a higher priority than applications in the Parent Category.

In the 2015/2016 Migration Program year, 7,175 Contributory Parent visa places are available for applicants applying from in and outside Australia.

As detailed on the Department of Immigration’s website:  based on current planning levels if you are a new Contributory Parent visa applicant, you can expect to wait 12 to 24 months before visa grant consideration, depending on your circumstances.  As current migration planning levels sufficiently cater for demand for these visas and the Contributory Parent visa is currently not subject to queuing arrangements, applicants will not be provided with a queue date.

If you are applying for Contributory Parent visa,you should note that processing times can vary.  It is important that you ensure you have funds available for the second visa application charge at all times during the application process, as payment may be required at an earlier date than was anticipated at the time of visa application lodgement.


Non-Contributory Parent & Other Family

From 25 September 2014, following visa subclasses in the Family Stream are open to new applications 

  • Parent (Subclass 103)
  • Aged Parent (Subclass 804)
  • Aged Dependent Relative (114 & 838)
  • Carer (116 & 836)
  • Remaining Relative (115 & 835)

Only new applications will be accepted for these visa subclasses.

As detailed on the Department of Immigration's website current waiting times for these visas are: 

  • Non-Contributory Parent visa – approximately 30 years
  • Carer visa – approximately 4.5 years
  • Remaining Relative and Aged Dependent Relative – approximately 56 years 

For Carer visas, the relative in Australia who has the medical condition giving rise to the need for a carer must undertake a medical assessment with an approved health services provider. 


July 2009 Changes

Department of Immigration has announced the following changes commencing on 1 July 2009: 

•  Closing a loophole that allows one parent to apply for a Contributory Parent visa then sponsor     the other parent for a Spouse visa.

•  Making the balance of family test a  “time of application”  requirement for all parent visas.

•  Allowing changes in sponsors for Parent visas and Remaining Relative visas.


New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa

A temporary visa for non-New Zealand citizens to travel to and live in Australia with a New Zealand citizen family member who is a Special Category (Subclass 444) visa holder.   

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