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Family Stream

If you have a close family member who is an Australia Citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen and they are willing and able to sponsor you, you might be eligible to migrate under the Family Stream.


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Family Stream
Updated December 1, 2015 | Australia

It is also important to note that some of visa categories in the Family Stream have a cap or  limit to the number of visas that will be released per year.  Also, some Parent and Other  Family visas were previously repealed and closed but are now accepting applications for these  categories. 

At IVC, we ask that you consider consulting first before filing sponsorship to ensure that you  know whether you or the family member you want to sponsor is eligible.  If sponsorship under  the Family Stream is difficult or may take too long, our MARA Agent will be able to sit down  with you and offer any legal options or remedies that may be available to you.

The main categories under the Family stream are:

  • Partner
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Other Family

Partner Category

 An Australian Citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen may  sponsor the following individuals under this category:

  • Spouse.  The marriage must be legally recognized in Australia
  • De Facto partner.  This includes a same sex partnerships.  Both parties must be able to prove  that the relationship is genuine and that the partners cohabited at least 12 months prior to  lodging the application.

These are the Onshore (if you are currently in Australia) Visa Options

  • Spouse / De-facto (Provisional) Visa
  • Spouse / De-facto (Permanent) Visa
  • Interdependency (Provisional) Visa
  • Interdependency (Provisional) Visa

If you are currently living outside Australia  these are the Offshore Visa Options that you  might be eligible for:

  • Spouse / De-facto (Provisional) Visa
  • Spouse / De-facto (Permanent) Visa
  • Interdependency (Provisional) Visa
  • Interdependency (Provisional) Visa

If you qualify for any of the partner categories, you may also include the following people in  your application:

  • Your dependent children;
  • Other dependent relatives  (for example a brother, sister, niece or nephew) provided they  meet requirements for inclusion in your application.

Parent Category

There are several visa categories for parents of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent  resident or eligible New Zealand citizen if these sponsors have lived lawfully in Australia for  two years immediately preceding the date the application will be lodged.   Do note though  that parent visas may be subject to capping.

Not all categories would require the applicant to be assessed against the balance-of-family  test.  If you intend to do this yourself, take care on how you do this since all children (with a  few exceptions) are counted in the balance-of-family test.  Sponsors and applicants alike must  be aware that it may take some time to complete any application so alternative arrangements  to visit family in Australia may be made during the interim.

There are two major categories:

  • Contributory Parent which is non-immigrant visa.  There are a couple of pathways to gain  permanent residency under this classification.
  • Parent which is a direct permanent residency visa.  It has a lower cost but the processing time  may take longer than the Contributory Parent category.  It has several subtypes under it.

Child Category

 Dependent children whether biological, conceived through artificial conception procedure,  born under surrogacy arrangements and whose parentage has been transferred by court  order, step-child or adopted ( based on Migration Regulations 1994) and orphan relatives of  an Australian Citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen may qualify to live in  Australia permanently.  Unlike the parent categories, child visas cannot be capped.  In  addition, the spouse or de facto partner of the child's parent may also sponsor a child younger  than 18 years of age.  Conditions of course apply for adopted and stepchildren.

Carer Visa

 You might qualify for this visa if you are going to provide substantial care, to a relative in  Australia with a long-term or permanent medical condition.   Your relative can be either an  Australian Citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand Citizen.  For the Carer Visa,  you may be sponsored by your relative or their partner.

Not everyone can be sponsored though.  For one, you must be willing and able to assist your  relative and there is no one else in Australia who can provide the care or assistance.  You  must also be willing to live in their household.  Your relative must likewise meet some  requirements, chiefly that their medical condition has been assessed by Bupa Medical Visa  Services and that they can attest that you will need direct care for at least two years.

This is a permanent visa category but was repealed and closed from 2 June 2014 until 25  September 2014. Applications are now being accepted for this visa.

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

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