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Australia Migration: How to immigrate to Australia with your family

Family visas fall under what the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) officially calls Family Stream. Permissions that fall under this category are intended to reunite people whose immediate family members are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents or eligible citizens of New Zealand.

There are many Australian visa options for partners, parents, fiancés, children, and other close family members of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.

It is essential to mention that some visa options under the family stream may be capped and queued, resulting in extended waiting periods in some cases. You must get professional advice if you are considering migrating to Australia in this category. Migration agents will be particularly helpful in this case. Experienced migration officers will be able to tell if there is a better visa option for you.

Visa options under the family component

Partner Category

This category applies to:

• Married couples

• Engaged couples

• Common-law partners or what in some countries may be called common-law partners, including same-sex relationships.

Parental Category

This category applies to you if you have a child who is in Australia and that child is an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident or Qualifying Citizen of New Zealand. It sounds simple enough, but there are many Australian visa options out there in this category, and migration lawyers can point you to the most suitable choice to increase your chances of success.

There are at least nine parental visa options available. The first four visa options are for parents eligible for an Australian old age pension due to their age. Still, after obtaining a permanent visa, they will have to wait ten years before receiving an old-age pension.

• If you are in Australia

1. Elderly parent visa (subclass 804)

2. Contributory elderly parent visa (subclass 864)

3. Contributing Elderly Parent Visa (Subclass 884)

4. Contributing elderly parent visa (from subclass 884 to subclass 864)

5. Providing parent visa (from subclass 173 to subclass 143)

• If you are outside Australia

6. Parent visa (subclass 103)

7. Contributing parent visa (subclass 143)

8. Contributing parent visa (subclass 173)

9. Providing parent visa (from subclass 173 to subclass 143)

Child Category

This category applies to you if you are a dependent child, orphan parent, or adopted child of an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident or Qualifying Citizen of New Zealand. There are at least seven child visa options where variations apply depending on whether the child is in Australia or not.

• If the child is in Australia

1. Child (subclass 802)

2. Orphan parent (subclass 837)

3. Visa for dependent children (subclass 445)

• If the child is outside Australia

4. Child (subclass 101)

5. Orphan parent (subclass 117)

6. Adoption (subclass 102)

7. Visa for dependent children (subclass 445)

Another family category

Close family members of Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and eligible New Zealand citizens who are not eligible for any of the Family Stream visa options mentioned above have other options to consider. Again, you will need professional help navigating through the fine details of these visa options so that you know which one applies to you.

These visa options apply primarily to remaining relatives, caregivers, or dependent elderly relatives of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens who wish to come and live in Australia permanently.

• In Australia

1. Remaining relative (subclass 835)

2. Elderly dependent family (subclass 838)

3. Personal assistance (subclass 836)

4. New Zealand visa for family relations with a citizen (subclass 461)

• Outside Australia

5. Relative visa remaining (subclass 115)

6. Elderly dependent family (subclass 114)

7. Caregiver visa (subclass 116)

8. New Zealand visa for family relations with a citizen (subclass 461)

Humanitarian program – Split family arrangements

Holders of Permanent Humanitarian Visas may “offer” or request entry into Australia of their immediate family members through the Offshore Humanitarian Program or what is more commonly referred to as “Split Family” provisions.