Australian Family Visa Sponsorship, Explained

A family visa allows people to come to Australia to live and work with their families. If you want to bring your husband, wife, or kids to Australia, read on for more details about the Family Migration program and how to apply for an Australian family visa.

Australian Family Visa Sponsorship, Explained

Australian citizens and permanent residents have the option of sponsoring their family members to immigrate to Australia, under the Australian Family Visa sponsorship program. If you have siblings, nieces, nephews, or other relatives who are not eligible to live in Australia under any other visa program, this program may allow you to sponsor them to come live with you in Australia. To learn more about how to apply for an Australian family visa, keep reading below!

The process of sponsoring a family member for an Australian visa can be confusing and overwhelming. But don't worry! This step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from start to finish. 

What Does Family Sponsorship Mean?

Australia is a country that has always encouraged family migration to Australia and the integration of multiple ethnicities to improve the nation's economy. Family visa sponsorship is a way to provide families opportunities to establish their roots in the country and thrive together.

Australian immigration department in an effort to bring family members together has introduced family visas in Australia. The Australian Family visas, aim to reunite immediate and extended family members with their eligible Australian relatives and spouses. This entitles partners, parents, children, and other family members to migrate to Australia subject to certain pre-conditions. 

The Department of Home Affairs in Australia offers a range of family visas to help Australian citizens and permanent residents to bring their family members, parents, partners, and children to Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. These visas are specifically sponsored by Australian citizens or permanent residents. To be sponsored under the Australian Family Migration stream, the close family relative or spouse must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen and at least 18 years old.

Categories of Australian Family Visa Sponsorship

Meanwhile, there are different categories of family visas that the sponsoring person may choose from to bring their family members/ dependents to Australia. They are as follows:

  • Partner visa
  • Parent visa
  • Child
  • Other family visas

Partner Visa

A partner visa is for fiancé(e)s, spouses, and de-factor or same-sex partners of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. Under this class, a spouse or fiance/ fiancee is allowed to immigrate to Australia for settlement. Candidates migrating to this country with this visa are initially allowed temporary settlements followed by permanent residency after a couple of years.

The first requirement of a partner visa is to show evidence that your relationship is genuine and lasting and that you intend to live together on a permanent basis. Only one application is necessary for a partner visa which includes the temporary visa and the permanent resident visa. The temporary visa is issued for the partner to travel from his/her home country abroad to Australia where he/she may then adjust his/her status to permanent resident.

Partner category includes:

  • Spouses of married partners;
  • Fiancee or fiance, or partner intending marriage;
  • Willing partners including those of same-sex

Immigrating candidates must have a partner in form of:

  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • a citizen of Australia; and iii) an Eligible New Zealand citizen.

Parent Visa

Parent Visa is offered to applicants who have eligible children who stay in Australia as citizens, permanent residents, or eligible citizens of New Zealand. This category of family visa immigration in Australia is mandatorily sponsored by children residing in this nation.

Parent Australian visas are issued for both working and aged kinds. Applicants immigrating on this visa option might take up employment in Australia. Few Parent visas initially are offered for temporary settlement which could be changed to a permanent type subject to your application. There are two categories of parent visas - Aged Parent (Residence) (Subclass 804) and Parent (Migrant) (Subclass 103). There's also an option for 'Contributory Parent Visa' which assures faster processing of immigration though at a higher cost.

Child Visa

Dependent children are always welcome to join their parents in Australia. While it is an option for the children to migrate to Australia with the migrating parent, sometimes children migrate separately. Just as the Parent Visa, a Child Visa is also issued under several sub-classes. There are visas for biological children, orphan relatives and adopted children of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens - these children may receive permanent resident visas, meaning they can live in Australia permanently and eventually apply for citizenship.

There are also visas available for children, under the age of 18, of persons who in Australia on temporary student, worker or business visas. In general, the sponsorship of a child visa is necessarily to be done by a parent who is permanently settled in Australia, a citizen of this country, or a qualified New Zealand citizen.

Other Family Members

Other family visa pathways are created for Brothers, sisters, dependent relatives, caregivers, and other relatives of residents and citizens of Australia and New Zealand. Who may also immigrate to Australia initially on temporary visa later changeable to permanent type. These family visas in Australia are sponsored by: 

  • Australian citizens; 
  • a permanent resident of this country; and
  • Eligible New Zealand citizens.

How Much Does a Family Visa Cost?

The cost of a family and relative visa changes depending on which visa you apply for. You may have to pay between AUD370 up to AUD6,490. However, for most family visas you are required to pay the visa fee in two instalments which means you don’t have to pay the full price when you initially apply for the visa. However, keep in mind that for every visa you have to pay additional fees if you are bringing your family members to Australia.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Family Visa in Australia?

Family and relative visas are processed within several years. Currently, remaining relative visas and aged dependant visas may take up to 50 years to finish processing, while carer visas may be processed in four years. Other family and relative visas will take less to process.

Final Thoughts

The Australian immigration system sets aside over 60,000 visas each year for family members of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens. This represents over one-third of the total visas distributed per year. Family visas are given under the "Family Stream" program.

The process of sponsoring a family member for an Australian visa can be long and complicated. But it's worth it to be able to bring your loved ones to live with you in Australia. With careful planning and a bit of patience, you can make the process go smoothly. Visit the official website of the Australian immigration authorities using the link below for more information.