For most applicants, your child or your child’s spouse or de facto partner will need to sponsor you. You must be sponsored by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. The sponsor needs to have been living lawfully in Australia for at least two years before you apply for this visa.
If your child is younger than 18 years of age you can be sponsored by:
- your child’s spouse, if the spouse has turned 18 and is a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
- a relative or guardian of your child
- a relative or guardian of your child’s spouse, if the spouse has not turned 18 and is a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
- a community organisation.
You must meet certain health requirements. Results of health examinations are usually valid for 12 months. This also applies to all dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.
You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. This also applies to all dependent family members in the application who are 16 years of age or older.
Debts to the Australian Government
You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.
You might be asked to provide biometrics as a scientific form of identification and as part of the application.
Balance of Family Test
The balance-of-family test measures your ties to Australia. You meet this requirement if either:
- at least half of your children live permanently in Australia
- more of your children live permanently in Australia than in any other country.
You must meet this requirement to be granted this visa. It cannot be waived, even in compelling or exceptional circumstances.
The table below gives some examples of families with different numbers of children and whether they would pass the balance-of-family test.
If you do not know where your children are, we consider that they are in the country in which they were last known to live.
To be counted as usually living in Australia, your children must be one of the following:
- Australian citizens
- Australian permanent residents who usually live in Australia
- Eligible New Zealand citizens who usually live in Australia.
If your children are in Australia on a temporary visa (such as a Student visa), they are counted as usually living outside Australia.
You and your partner’s children, including stepchildren and adopted children, are counted in the balance-of-family test, unless they:
- are deceased
- are 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 stepchild is either:
- your current partner’s child, or
- younger than 18 years of age and the legal responsibility of you or your partner and:
- the child of your former partner, or
- the child of a former partner of your current partner.
Stepchildren born from polygamous or concurrent relationships are not recognised in Australia and so they cannot be counted in the balance-of-family test.
It is important to note that the government visa application charges are high in relation to this visa class, but they can be paid in instalments.