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The Child visa enables Australian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their children for permanent residency.

Read our general information and document checklists about child visas below. Contact us directly for specific advice.
Overview

Child visas

A child visa is available to dependent, adopted and/or orphaned children of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. That is it allows eligible persons to sponsor a child to live in Australia.

Usually, children are eligible for visas based on the grant of their parents visas. In certain cases, they may need to apply for visas separately (for example, cases of adoption). The correct visa option depends on the child’s circumstances, including a child’s age, dependency status, and whether the child is in or outside of Australia.

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Visa subclasses
General summary
  • A biological, adopted or step-child who is under 18 years old or a full-time student over 18 years old but under 25 years old and dependent on their parent is eligible for a child visa
  • In order to make a child visa application, and depending on the subclass of visa, at least one parent must either be an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent visa or awaiting the processing of their Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) or Partner (subclass 820) visa
  • If the child is a step-child, the step-parent must have either a current Australian parenting order saying the child is to live with them or they have guardianship or custody of the child under Australian law or the law of another country
Overview

Child (subclass 101 and 802)

A Child visa (which consists of the Subclass 101 and 802 visas) is available to dependent, adopted and/or orphaned children of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

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Sponsor requirements
  • for a Child visa, the child must be sponsored by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen or
  • if the Australian parent is under 18 years of age, the Australian parent’s cohabitating partner if that partner is over 18 years of age and an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
Visa requirements
  • for a Child visa, the child must be:
    • a natural (biological) child of the Australian parent or
    • an adopted child or step-child of the Australian parent within the meaning of the Migration Act 1958;
    • a child conceived through an artificial conception procedure (ACP);
    • a child born under surrogacy arrangements, where parentage has been transferred by court order under a prescribed state or territory law.
  • in cases of adoption, the child must have been adopted before the parent became an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and must have been an adoption within the meaning of the Migration Act 1994 (Cth). A child applying outside of Australia, who was adopted after the parent became an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder or eligible New Zealand citizen, cannot apply for a Child (subclass 101) visa and should consider applying for an Adoption (subclass 102) visa.
  • must be either:
    • under 18 years of age;
    • between 18 and 25 and studying full time; or
    • over 18 years of age but with a disability.
  • have no partner;
  • meet health and character criteria.
Overview

Orphan Relative (subclasses 117 and 837)

Orphan Relative visas allow children travel to Australia if they have an Australian permanent resident or citizen relative, and their parents are deceased, can’t care for them or can’t be found.

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General eligibility
  • the child must be under 18 years of age and not married or in a de facto partner relationship.
  • the child must be a relative of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, who is willing to sponsor the child and be able to look after the child because the child has no parent able to care for them
  • the relative must be either the child’s brother or sister, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or niece or nephew (or step equivalents)
  • an Orphan Relative visa application can be made outside Australia (subclass 117) or in Australia (subclass 837).
Overview

Adoption (subclass 102)

Adoption visas are for children who have been legally adopted outside of Australia by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

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General eligibility
  • the child must have been adopted or be in the process of being adopted by an Australian citizen, permanent visa holder or eligible New Zealand citizen and must be sponsored by that person
  • the child must be under 18 years of age when the visa application is lodged with the Department and also when the visa application is decided
  • an Adoption (subclass 102) visa application can only be made outside Australia.
Overview

Dependent Child (subclass 445)

A Dependent Child visa is available to children who need to stay in Australia temporarily while the Department process their parent’s permanent Partner visa application.

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General eligibility
  • a dependent child whose parent holds a temporary Partner visa (a Subclass 820, a Subclass 309 or provisional spouse or interdependency visa) can consider the Dependent Child (Subclass 445) visa
  • a subclass 445 visa relates only to partner category visas. If granted, this temporary visa allows the child to travel to, enter and/or remain in Australia until a decision is made on the parent’s application for a permanent Partner (subclass 100 or 801) visa
  • Like the temporary Partner visa, the subclass 445 visa is a pre-requisite for a child who does not hold a temporary Partner visa to be granted a permanent Partner visa at the same time as their parent. After the grant of a subclass 445 visa, the child should then immediately apply for the permanent Partner visa of the same class as their parent. It is essential that this application is lodged before a decision is made on the parent’s permanent Partner visa application as the subclass 445 visa automatically ceases as soon as the parent’s permanent Partner visa is granted.
  • Failure to do this may result in the child becoming unlawful in Australia, or the child not having a permanent visa option
Processing times

Child visas

Child visas are available to dependent, adopted and/or orphaned children of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. The processing times for these visas varies on a number of factors including having decision ready applications, and undertaking all relevant checks (e.g. health and character) in a timely fashion.

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Processing times

The estimated processing times for the various visas are as follows:

Costs
  • Costs can vary, so please review our pricing page here or our cost calculator here for further information
  • Alternatively, feel free to contact one our team members through here.
Child Visas

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Child Visa?

Children born in Australia to Australian citizens and permanent residents automatically acquire Australian citizenship at the time of the child’s birth. However, for children born overseas, the process is a bit more complicated. Unless a parent is an Australian citizen (in which case the child can usually apply for Australian citizenship by descent), the child will need to apply for a visa to travel to Australia.

Although the child can apply for any visa, a Child visa is a permanent visa that can be applied for if one or both of the parents are already Australian permanent residents.

What are the visa types?

Australia’s Child visas consist of a series of onshore and offshore visas which can lead to temporary and permanent residence:

What documents are required?

The standard document checklist for all Child visa categories is as follows:

  • If the child is applying in Australia, certified copies of the passport or travel document the child used to enter Australia and of any passports held since then.
  • 2 recent passport sized photographs (45mm x 35mm) of the child (4 photos if health examinations have not been completed). These should be only of the head and shoulders and should show the child facing the camera and against a plain background. Print the name of the child on the back of each photograph.
  • If the child is 16 years of age or over, a police good conduct/character certificate for each country outside Australia where the child has lived for more than 12 months over the past 10 years (since turning 16 years of age).
  • Evidence that the child’s sponsor is an Australian citizen, permanent visa holder or eligible New Zealand citizen, (certified copy of birth certificate, Australian passport or foreign passport containing evidence of permanent visa or Australian citizenship certificate).
  • If the child is under 18 years of age, an Australian National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate(s) from the sponsor (unless the child has been adopted with the involvement of an Australian state or territory central adoption authority).
  • If the child is under 18 years of age, an Australian National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate(s) from the sponsor’s spouse or de facto partner (unless the child has been adopted with the involvement of an Australian state or territory central adoption authority).

Additional documents will be required depending on the class of visa applied for. Speak to your Hannan Tew representative to obtain a full document checklist.

What are the lodgement fees?

The child visa application charges depend on whether the child is in or outside of Australia as well as the particular visa category. Speak to your Hannan Tew Immigration representative to determine the charges for your specific matter.

As a brief summary:

  • Dependent Child (Subclass 445) = From AUD$2,665
  • Child (Subclass 101)  = From AUD$2,665
  • Child Onshore (Subclass 802) = From AUD$2,665
  • Adoption (Subclass 102) = From AUD$2,665

What child visa options are available to temporary visa holders?

Temporary visa holders cannot sponsor children on any of the Child visas listed on this page. Instead, they may be able to add the children as subsequent entrants to their existing visas.

What is the age limit for a Child visa?

In most cases, a child must be under 18 years, a full-time student aged over 18 and under 25 and financially dependent on the parent, or over 18 and unable to work due to a disability.

Can I sponsor a non-biological child from a former relationship?

In most cases, a step-children from former relationships can be sponsored if they are under the age of 18 years, and there is either (a) a parenting order in force under the Family Law Act 1975 or (b) guardianship or custody under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law or a law in force in a foreign country.

Disclaimer

The information contained here is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or give rise to an attorney-client relationship between you and our firm. The information: (i) must be regarded as a practical guide for general information and not a process guide for determining the specific immigration requirements of the countries covered, (ii) should not be a substitute for a more indepth analysis of applicable facts and circumstances conducted by competent professionals, and (iii) does not represent an opinion from Hannan Tew or any of its agents with regard to the laws of any of the jurisdictions concerned. The information does not guarantee the outcome or approval of any particular immigration application.

What can we do for you?

With extensive experience representing applicants apply for general skilled migration visas from all corners of the world, our staff are well placed to assist with all issues in relation to Child visas including: adoption issues, offshore applications, custody matters and merits review before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

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