• 32,000 migrants will be accepted in the Family Stream section.
  • Family migrants must have a responsible relative in Australian who will sponsor them. Family members not able to support themselves (aged relatives or dependent children) apply under this class. Independent working age family members should apply under the skilled Migrant – Australian linked class.
  • As a Family migrant you will not be tested on your skill level or your English Language ability, but you will be assessed against Australia’s health and character requirements, as are all migrants.

You may apply as a Family Migrant in one of the following categories:

  1. Partner
  • Spouse – or established partner
  • Prospective Marriage Partner – intending to get married, a fianc?
  • De Facto relationships
  • If you are married, then you apply for the spouse visa. The‘spouse’ is the Australian husband or wife, and the ‘applicant’ is the person needing the visa to enter Australia.
  • The sponsor can be an Australian citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident, or an‘eligible New Zealand citizen’.
  • An application can take between 2 or 8 months to process at the DIAC visa office – the time depends greatly on the individual circumstances.
  • To a case officer, an Australian spouse visa application is just a pile of papers – one of many files on their desk!
  • So rather than a tick-box affair, the application should show that the couple are in a genuine spousal relationship. This means showing evidence that family and friends are aware of the relationship, showing details of communication when apart, and‘evidence’ of living together also.
  • All of this must be VERY clearly shown, and explained to the case officer. The sad fact is that there are many people who‘fake’ an relationship just to get an Australian partner visa. So case officers always have to treat Australian spouse visa applications suspiciously, and cautiously, doing a lot of background checks.
  • When you get the visa, you have a two year provisional permanent resident visa. After 2 years, you lodge another application to show that you are still together – and then can get the full PR Australian spouse visa. (or‘Australian visa for my wife’ or ‘Australian visa for my husband’)



  • Dependent Child – your child who is financially dependent on you. This can apply to children over 18 if they are still fully dependent on their Australian sponsor.

A Dependent Child is defined as:

  • A child who is less than 18 years old, or
  • A person aged more than 18 and less than 25, and who is dependent on the parent, or who is incapacitated for work because of a physical or mental disability.
  • a Natural child, adopted child, or stepchild of a sponsor (sponsor must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident) can apply for a permanent residency visa.
  • Adoption

The child must:

  • Have been adopted under the laws of a country other than Australia, and the adoptive parent must have been living outside Australia for more than 12 months at the time of the application, or
  • Have been adopted under the Adoption Convention – meaning that an Australian State or Territory adoption authority supports the adoption (verified in writing), or
  • Be intending to come to Australia for the adoption to be completed. In this circumstance the parent must have been approved by the relevant State or Territory welfare authority as a suitable person to adopt the child, or
  • Have been allocated to a parent for adoption under the provisions of the Adoption Convention, or a bilateral adoption agreement between Australia and a prescribed country.

A child who has been adopted by Australian sponsors and who is already in Australia should apply for a permanent residency visa via the Dependent Child Visa.

Orphan Relative

An orphan relative is defined in the Migration Regulations 1994 as a person who:

  • Is aged less than 18, and
  • Does not have a spouse, and
  • Is a relative of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen?

In addition, the visa applicant must be in a position where he or she cannot be looked after by either parent because both are dead, or permanently incapacitated, or of unknown whereabouts, and it will be in the best interests of the applicant if he or she settles with the relative in


Orphan Relative


  • Parent applications are given a low priority. Limited places are available.
  • Contributory Parent visa

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, issued a Direction for migration officers giving guidance on the order of priority for processing Family Stream applications.

Within the Family Stream, Parent applications are given a lower processing priority than other family members such as partners and children.

The factors used in determining the priority processing order for parents are: (highest to lowest)

  1. Australian citizen sponsored parents who have all their children living in Australia
  2. Australian citizen sponsored parents who have a majority of their children living in Australia
  3. Australian citizen sponsored parents who have only half or a minority of their children living in Australia
  4. Non-Australian citizen sponsored parents who have all their children living in Australia
  5. Non-Australian citizen sponsored parents who have a majority of their children living in Australia
  6. Non-Australian citizen sponsored parents who have only half or a minority of their children living in Australia

How can I stay with my child who lives permanently in Australia?

If you would like to live permanently in Australia, and you are the parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, you may apply for a Parent visa.

What are the visa requirements for migration as a parent?

To apply for a Parent visa,

  • you must: have a child, who is:
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen;
  • settled in Australia (resident for at least 2 years);
  • willing to sponsor you;
  • generally, at least 18 years of age;
  • pass the balance of family test:
  • at least half of your children living permanently in Australia; or
  • more children living lawfully and permanently in Australia than in any other single country;
  • have an approved Assurance of Support.

Note: you can only be granted a Parent visa when applying within Australia if you are aged. An aged parent is one who is old enough to be granted an Australian age pension. This does not mean that you will receive the age pension, as you must have been an Australian permanent resident for ten years to access the age pension.

Based on current planning levels, parent category visa applicants can expect an approximate 20 year wait before visa grant consideration after being allocated a queue date.

Once all the legal requirements for the grant of a Parent visa are met, applications are placed in a queue for visa grant.

All parent applicants can expect a very substantial wait before their applications are finalised.


Other Family

  • Aged Dependent Relative – single aged relatives
  • Remaining Relative – last remaining family relative
  • Carer – person traveling to Australia to care for a special need relative.
  • The following categories of migrant can apply under this section.
  • Former citizens or residents of Australia