Balance of Family Test

We will not waive this test, even in compelling or exceptional circumstances.

You need to pass it if you are applying for one of these visas:

Table 1: Examples of calculating when a parent would pass the balance-of-family test
Total number of children Children usually living in Australia Children in country A Children in country B Children in country C Children in country D Passes test?
1 1 0 0 0 0 Yes
2 1 1 0 0 0 Yes
3 1 2 0 0 0 No
3 1 1 1 0 0 No
4 2 2 0 0 0 Yes
4 1 1 1 1 0 No
4 1 2 1 0 0 No
5 1 1 1 1 1 No
5 2 1 1 1 0 No
5 3 2 0 0 0 Yes
6 2 2 2 0 0 No

Your children

We count all your children, including step children and adopted children.

We do not count them as your children if they:

  • are deceased
  • have been removed from their parents’ legal custody by adoption or court order
  • are registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as refugees and live in a camp operated by the UNHCR
  • live in a country where they suffer persecution or human rights abuse and cannot be reunited with their parents in another country

A step child is either:

  • your current partner’s child, or
  • under 18 years of age and the legal responsibility of you or your partner and is:
    • the child of your former partner, or
    • the child of a former partner of your current partner

Step children born from polygamous or concurrent relationships are not counted in the balance-of-family test.

Live permanently in Australia

To be living permanently in Australia, your children must be:

  • Australian citizens
  • Australian permanent residents who usually live in Australia
  • eligible New Zealand citizens who usually live in Australia

We don’t consider your children living in Australia on a temporary visa as living in Australia permanently.

If you do not know where your children are, we consider they are in the country where they were last known to live.

Eligible New Zealand citizens

You are an eligible New Zealand citizen if you arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport and were:

  • in Australia on 26 February 2001
  • in Australia for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before 26 February 2001
  • assessed as protected Special Category Visa (SCV) holders before 26 February 2004

Talk to us as your trusted registered Migration Agents in Melbourne and be prepared to maximise your chances of Australian permanent residency.