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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 Category visas

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.

The Partner Category includes:

  • Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) visa (fiancé(e) visa) for off-shore applicants
  • Partner (Subclasses 309/100) visas (includes spouses [married] and de facto partners) for off-shore applicants
  • Partner (Subclasses 820/801) visas (includes spouses [married] and de facto partners) for on-shore applicants

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

Prospective Marriage Visa

A person who wishes to marry their Australian fiancé(e) can apply for a Prospective Marriage visa.  There must be no impediment to the marriage.  A Prospective Marriage visa is a temporary visa (with work rights) that remains valid for 9 months from the date of grant.

The visa holder must enter Australia on their visa at least once before their marriage and must marry their prospective spouse (sponsor) before their visa expires.  The marriage can take place either in or outside Australia as long as the marriage takes place after the applicant’s first entry to Australia on their Prospective Marriage visa.

Following the marriage and before the Prospective Marriage visa expires, the visa holder must apply for an on-shore combined Partner (Subclass 820/801) visa within the 9 months.  It cannot be extended and holders cannot be granted another Prospective Marriage visa in Australia, even if they have not yet married their sponsor but still intend to do so.  At each stage of the process, the relationship with their sponsor will be assessed.

Partner Visa

For a Partner visa, the applicant must be sponsored by their partner (sponsor) and must be in a married relationship or de facto partner relationship.  Spouse partners must be legally married.  De facto partners must have been in the relationship for 12 months immediately before lodging their application (12-month requirement), unless exempted (includes, registered relationships).  The applicant must be in a genuine and ongoing relationship, and must live with their partner or, if they do not, any separation must only be temporary.

Applying for a Partner visa is a 2-stage process.  The applicant applies for both a temporary and a permanent Partner visa by completing and lodging one combined application.  A temporary Partner visa is granted if the applicant meets all the initial criteria (First Stage Processing).

The temporary Partner visa remains valid until a decision is made on the permanent Partner visa application, which is generally 2 years after first applying.  If the applicant continues to meet all requirements and after lodging the online Partner visa application – information for permanent stage processing application together with supporting documents, the applicant will be granted a permanent Partner visa (Second Stage Processing).

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.

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.

Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa

The Sponsored Parent (Subclass 870) visa lets a parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen visit Australia for up to 3 or 5 years.

There are two applications (Sponsorship application and Subclass 870 visa application).  Once a Sponsorship application is approved, a sponsored parent can then apply for a Subclass 870 visa by lodging a visa application.

A 3-year visa costs A$5,000 and 5-year visa costs A$10,000. A visa holder can apply for further visas to visit up to a maximum period in Australia of 10 years.  Visa holders are not allowed to work in Australia on this visa.  They cannot include family members in their visa application.  So, your parents will have to apply separately.

The visa provides parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia, while ensuring that taxpayers are not required to cover additional costs.  The visa responds to community concerns about the limited number of Parent places in the migration program and associated lengthy waiting periods.

The sponsoring household is limited to one sponsorship at a time and the sponsorship can cover up to 2 parents per household at a time.

Permanent Parent Visas

Parent visas are available 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

There are 2 subclasses of Parent Category visas:

  • off-shore Parent (Subclasses 103) visa
  • on-shore Aged Parent (Subclasses 804) visa

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’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, the Australian government 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.

There are 4 subclasses of Contributory Parent Category visas:

  • temporary off-shore Contributory Parent (Subclasses 173) visa
  • permanent off-shore Contributory Parent (Subclasses 143) visa
  • temporary on-shore Contributory Aged Parent (Subclasses 884) visa
  • permanent on-shore Contributory Aged Parent (Subclasses 864) visa

The temporary Contributory Parent Category visas are 2-year temporary visas (applicants generally look at applying for their permanent visa within the 2-year visa validity) this option allows the applicants to pay the Second Instalment in two payments (at temporary stage and permanent stage).