Bringing Family Members to Australia

Are you thinking of bringing your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, or other relatives to Australia? As an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your relatives to come to Australia. In this article, we will go through the different visa options.

Overview of Family Sponsored Visas

Depending on the circumstances, below are some common visas to bring a family member over to Australia:

Subclass 600 – Visitor Visa

Subclass 600 Visitor Visa – Sponsored Family Stream is suitable if you plan to invite your relatives to visit Australia for up to 12 months. With this visa, the family member can visit family or friends, travel around Australia, and study for up to 3 months in total on this visa. It is crucial to note that the applicant cannot work on this visa. This visa is perfect for applicants who want to stay in Australia temporarily.

To sponsor a relative to Australia, you must be a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident. You must also be at least 18 years old. As a sponsor, you must also have the ability to pay a security bond if asked by the Department. The amount for the security bond is discretionary. However, if requested, it usually ranges between $5,000 – $15,000 per person.

Processing Time: 3 to 6 months

Costs: $145

Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa – Family Sponsored

The subclass 491 visa was introduced last year. It enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for five years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years. Applicants must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area.

The sponsor must be:

  • 18 years old or older
  • usually resident in a designated area of Australia
  • be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be your or your partner’s eligible relative

An eligible relative can be:

  • a parent
  • a child or step-child
  • a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister
  • an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle
  • a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece
  • a grandparent, or
  • a first cousin

The subclass 491 visa is point tested. The applicant must have at least 65 points to express his/her interest to apply however it is highly competitive and you may need around 90 to 100 points to receive an invitation to apply. The other requirements include:

  • Be sponsored or nominated.
  • Be under 45 years old.
  • Have a positive skills assessment.
  • Have at least competent English.
  • Under the family Sponsored stream, the applicant’s occupation must be on the MLTSSL list.
  • Pass health and character requirement.

Cost: $4,045

Processing times: Currently delayed due to COVID-19. But it is generally 3-6 months.

Subclass 115 / Subclass 835 Remaining Relative Visa

Subclass 115/ Subclass 835 is the remaining relative visa. Subclass 115 is for applicants who are overseas while subclass 835 is for applicants who are in Australia when applying for the visa. The remaining relative visa is a permanent visa that allows the applicant to move to Australia to be with their only close relative.

The eligibility requirements are:

  • You must have a sponsor – The applicant must be sponsored by an eligible parent or step-parent, sibling or step-sibling, or an eligible partner of your relative.
  • You must have no other near relatives – Near relatives is defined as:
    • parent or step-parent
    • partner’s parent or step-parent
    • sibling or step-sibling
    • child or stepchild who is 18 or older and not dependent on you
    • child or stepchild who is under 18 and not in your or your partner’s daily care and control
  • You must have assurance of support – This is to make sure that the applicant will not have to rely on government assistance.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.

With this visa, the applicant can stay, work and study in Australia indefinitely.

Costs: $6,415

Processing times: There are a limited number of remaining relative visa granted each year. As such, the waiting time can be more than ten years.

Subclass 116 / Subclass 836 Carer Visa

Carer visa is also a permanent visa. It allows the applicant to move to Australia to care for someone with a long-term medical condition. To be eligible:

  • You must be a carer. You intend to provide ongoing substantial care and support for the sponsoring relative or the family member.
  • Have a sponsor.
    • The sponsor must be the applicant’s relative.
    • As a sponsor, you must agree to provide housing and financial support for the first two years the applicant lives in Australia.
    • You must be medically assessed as someone who requires ongoing medical care.
    • You do not have reasonable access to care options in Australia. That is, you cannot get adequate care from another relative or from an Australian welfare, hospital or community service.
  • The applicant must meet health and character requirement.

Costs: $3,860

Processing times: Currently unavailable.

Returning Australian bring overseas-born family

If your parents are an Australian citizen at the time of your birth. You could apply for citizenship by descent. Once you receive the citizenship, you can apply for an Australian passport.

Costs: $230

Processing times: 4-7 months

New Zealand citizens bring family

As a New Zealand citizen, you do not need to apply for a visa before you come to Australia. You will be granted a Special Category Visa (SCV) when you arrive.

If you are one of the members of the family unit of a New Zealand citizen, you can apply for the subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa. This visa will let you live and work in Australia for five years.

Members of family unit include the partner and dependent child of the New Zealand citizen.

Partner Visa

You can find out more here.

Parent Visa

You can find out more here.

Above are some of the common visa options to bring family members over to Australia.

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