Family Sponsorship Visa Australia

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You may bring partners children, parents and other relatives to join you in Australia with a family sponsorship visa. Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens may sponsor family members under the “Family Stream” program.

However, you do not have an absolute right to family sponsorship, even if you are legally married with dependent children. For Family Stream migrants sponsored by Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens, although there are no language requirements or skills tests that are applicable for skilled migrants, the necessary health and character requirements must be met.

Before starting the process of sponsoring any family member, it’s crucial to seek proper advice on visa requirements. This allows you to find the best and most appropriate visa for your particular situation, especially in complex family relationships. Problems arising with applications through the Family Stream can often be minimised with the right advice from a specialist in family law and immigration.

Family Sponsorship Visa Australia Options

There is a range of family visas that allow members of your family to stay in Australia temporarily or permanently. In many instances the initial family-sponsored visa is a temporary one, becoming permanent if all the immigration requirements are met when a permanent application is made.


Temporary and permanent visas are granted to partners based on a de facto relationship or marriage (including same-sex partners). An initial temporary visa is granted for 2 years. Following this, a further assessment to confirm that the relationship is continuing is made. A permanent visa is granted if Immigration is satisfied.

If your relationship is more than 3 years standing, or you have children together, a permanent visa may be granted initially.

Before starting the process of sponsoring any family member, it’s crucial to seek proper advice on visa requirements. This allows you to find the best and most appropriate visa for your particular situation, especially in complex family relationships


If you intend to marry, the Prospective Spouse Visa is for 9 months and allows you to sponsor the entry of your intended spouse to Australia. Your marriage must take place before the visa expires, and once married, for your partner to remain permanently in Australia you will need to apply for a Spouse visa.

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Dependent children of a parent who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen can apply for a Child visa (subclass 101) which allows them to stay permanently in Australia. They must be:

• Under 18, or if over 18 a full-time student and under 25 and financially dependent on the parent, or over 18 and unable to work because of a disability.
• Be outside Australia when the application is made.

For children already in Australia when the application is made, you can apply for a Child visa (subclass 102) which grants them the right to say permanently in Australia.

Step-children can only be included in the Child category if:

• the sponsoring step-parent is the spouse or partner to the child’s natural or adoptive parent who is an Australian citizen, holder of a permanent Australian visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
• the step-child is under 18 and the sponsoring step-parent is no longer the spouse of the child’s natural or adoptive parents but is legally responsible for them.

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Elderly Parents

Elderly parents can be sponsored to come to Australia by Australian citizens or permanent residents on Parent visas and Contributory Parent visas. It can take several years to process a Parent visa, whereas the Contributory Parent visas have higher application fees and require a significant bond. However, the processing times are much shorter and the visa is granted in around 12 months.

Parents must meet the eligibility criteria, including health and character requirements. In addition, they must have at least half of their children living permanently in Australia or more children living in Australia than elsewhere.

Other Relatives

The eligibility for a family sponsorship visa in Australia for other relatives varies. It is a complex area and you should seek advice from an expert in immigration and family law to see what, if any, your options are about sponsoring a relative in one of these other categories.

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Requirements for a Family Sponsorship Visa Australia

Sponsorship requirements for family-sponsored visas in Australia vary across the various subclasses but you must be prepared to have proof to back up your relationship with your family member—particularly in the case of partner visas. Family visas requiring sponsorship need meticulous planning to ensure that you apply for the right visa to meet your family’s needs.

Contact HCM Legal to Find Out More About Family Sponsorship Visas in Australia

We are a family law and immigration practice with specialist knowledge in these areas and recommend you speak to us before you apply for any family sponsorship visa in Australia. Contact HCM legal today.