Family Visas Australia | Family Migration to Australia


Family stream migrants are selected on the basis of their family relationship with their sponsor in Australia. There is no test skills or language ability for family visas Australia unlike for the skilled migration stream.

The family stream component of the Migration Program consists of three main categories:

1. Partner

  • Spouse visa (Subclass 309 & Subclass 100 or Subclass 820 & Subclass 801): the husband, wife or de facto partner of the Australian sponsor. Australia now recognises partners of same sex through de facto or marriage; and

  • Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300): a fiancé(e) overseas who plans to marry their Australian sponsor after travelling to Australia.

2. Child

  • Dependent Child: the natural, adopted or stepchild of the Australian sponsor;

  • Adopted Child: a child adopted from abroad; and

  • Orphan Relative: an unmarried child under 18 years at the time of application, who cannot be cared for by either biological parent.

3. Parent

There are two visa categories for parents wishing to migrate to Australia:

  • the parent category; and

  • the contributory parent category.

The main differences between the two parent categories are that:

  • the contributory parent category requires the parent to pay a substantially higher second visa application charge and a larger Assurance of Support (AoS) bond (with a longer AoS period) to cover health and welfare costs in Australia.

  • the parent category includes two types; subclass 103 and subclass 804. These are for Parents and/or aged parents of Australian sponsors respectively.

To apply for a visa in the parent or contributory parent category, an applicant must be the parent of a child who is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. 'Settled' means a person must have been resident in Australia for a reasonable period of time (usually a minimum of two years).

Requirements for Australian Family Visa


All family stream migrants must be sponsored by a close family relative, partner or fiancé(e)(as applicable for the category).
To be eligible to sponsor, the sponsor must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and would usually be 18 years of age or older.

  • Partner applicants must be sponsored by their partner (or a parent or guardian of their partner if their partner is under 18);

  • Child applicants must be sponsored by a parent or relative, or that person's cohabiting spouse;

  • Parent applicants must be sponsored, generally by their child (natural, adopted or stepchild); and

  • Other family applicants must be sponsored by a relative

Limitations on sponsorship

There are restrictions on the number of visa applicants that a person may nominate to sponsor as their partner or fiancé. A maximum of two partners or prospective marriage visa applicants in total can be sponsored by any one person. There must be a minimum period of five years between each sponsorship application.

A person who entered Australia as a remaining relative, or a person who previously sponsored a remaining relative cannot sponsor another person under the remaining relative stream.

Health and character requirements

Like all migrants, Australian family visa stream applicants are assessed on an individual basis and they MUST be assessed against Australia's health and character requirements.

Assurance of Support

An Assurance of Support (AoS) is required for most family stream applications. Some are subject to a discretionary AoS if assessed as being at risk of becoming a charge on Australia's welfare system. Centrelink is responsible for processing the AoS applications.

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