Family Visas

Family Migration Programme to Australia

In the 2008-2009 Australian migration programme, the number of visas approved in the family visa categories made a significant contribution to Australia’s society, with a total outcome of 56 366 places or 33 per cent of the total immigration programme. Of this amount, almost 75 per cent were the spouses, fiancés or interdependent partners of Australian citizens and permanent residents. The top 3countries with most applicants under the family visa categories were China (7901), the United Kingdom (7360) and India (4936).

Click here for – Australian Spouse & Fiancé Visa

Click here for – Parent and Contributory Parent Visas

Parent and Contributory Parent Visas

Contributory Parent and Aged Parent visas
Applicants of parent visas can apply in Australia or from overseas.   The offshore category is referred to as “migrant” class and the onshore category is referred to as “residence” class.
The basic requirements for both visa categories are the same, however contributory visas have a high financial requirement in that the applicants must make a significant financial contribution to their future health and welfare costs.

Offshore Parent visas
Subclass 103  Parent (migrant)
Subclass 173 Contributory parent (temporary)
Subclass 143 Contributory parent (migrant)

Onshore Parent visas
Subclass 804 Aged parent (residence)
Subclass 884 Contributory aged parent (temporary)
Subclass 864 Contributory aged parent  (residence)

Eligibility Criteria
The applicant must be the parent of and sponsored a child of the spouse of a child who is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen.   The applicant must also satisfy the balance of family test, the health and character requirements, and an Assurance of support and bond must be provided.

The applicant’s sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen who is considered a settled resident.  Settled means lawfully resident in Australian for a reasonable period of time.  The sponsor must also be a child of the applicant i.e natural childre, adopted or step child.

Balance of family test
This is a very important requirement of the parent visa and applies to all parent and contributory parent visas subclasses.
Balance of family test basically means at least half of the applicant’s children live in Australia permanently, this includes adopted children and step-children.

If this requirement can not be satisfied, the parent is not eligible to apply for a parent visa.

Assurance of Support and Bond
Not all parent visas require an Assurance of Support to be provided.
Subclasses requiring an AoS are:-
Subclass 103 Parent
Subclass 143 Contributory parent
Subclass 804 Aged parent
Subclass 864 Contributory agent parent
If an assurance of support is required then a bond will have to be lodged.  For the parent visa and aged parent visa, the bond is $3,500 for the main applicant and $1,500 for secondary applicant and will be held for a period of 2 years.  The bond payable for a Contributory parent visa is $10,000 for the main applicant and $4,000 for the secondary application and will be retained for 10 years.

Capping and Queuing
Parent visas are capped.  When a parent visa application is lodged, it is assessed in order of lodgement and allocated a “queue date”.  This date signifies the application has satisfied the initial criteria.  There could be 20,000 applications in queue and it is a very long wait , approximately 8 + years.
Contributory parent visa which are also capped and queue but it is apparently a short queue.  In the 2009-2010 migration programme year there were 7,500 visa places available.

Common issues
Parent visas are not given priority processing unlike other family visa categories like spouse visas.  If a parent is visiting Australia, they could decide to lodge an offshore parent visa, however they will not be granted a bridging visa to remain in Australian pending the outcome of their application.

Australian Spouse & Fiancé Visa

Australian Spouse and Fiancé visa

Australian Spouse applications are judged on the genuineness of the relationship and an applicant will need to show that he or she is in a long term, committed relationship with an Australian spouse. This a relationship of at least 12 months or more.

It is unlikely that a person can make a successful application for a spouse visa if they have only known their Australian partner for short time or have not met.

To be eligible to apply for a Spouse or Fiancé Visa to Australia the applicant must be able to prove either of the following:-

1. They are legally married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen;

2. They have been in a de facto relationship (residing together as a married couple) for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding lodgement of the application;

3. They are formally engaged to be married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or eligible NZ Citizen)

4. Free to marry that person.

A person who is granted an Australia spouse visa is entitled to work in Australia.  They will also have access to Medicare and multiple travel rights.

Spouse applications work in stages and unless a couple have been together for 5 years or have children together the initial visa granted is “temporary” or “provisional”. This means that the initial Spouse Visa will be granted for 2 years (or until such time as a decision is reached on their permanent visa).What this means in practical terms is that the Department of Immigration will contact the visa holder shortly before the 2 year’s time frame is up. The 2 years runs from the date of lodgement of the initial visa application.  They will be asked to provide some more information and evidence of their genuine and ongoing relationship (joint accounts, bills, photos, statements, fresh police clearances and other documentation).  They may have to do medicals again if they have travelled to and spent time in a high risk country.

The second stage visa process is relatively straight forward and does not take long to finalise.