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The Orphan Relative (Subclass 117 And 837) visas are permanent visas for orphan relatives of Australian citizen, permanent resident, or settled eligible New Zealand citizens.

Read our general information and document checklists in relation to these visa categories below. Contact us directly for specific advice.
Overview

Orphan Relative (subclass 117 and 837) visas

The Orphan Relative (Subclass 117 and Subclass 837) visas are permanent visas that can be applied for by a person who is claiming to be the orphan relative of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or settled eligible New Zealand citizen. This visa supports the principle of family unity by enabling family reunion. For other visa options for children, please refer to this page.

 

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Target Market
  • orphan relatives of a an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen or holder of an Australian permanent visa
Visa types
  • Orphan Relative (subclass 117) (offshore)
  • Orphan Relative (subclass 837) (onshore)
Eligibility

Orphan Relative (subclass 117 and 837) visas

There are certain minimum eligibility requirements for the visa. It’s very important for you review these requirements to ensure eligibility prior to visa lodgement. For further information, feel free to book a consultation with one of our lawyers through here, or contact us for general information.

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Sponsor requirements
  • be at least 18 and an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen or holder of an Australian permanent visa or
  • be the spouse or de facto partner of the Australian relative, if the spouse or de facto partner has turned 18, is a settled Australian citizen, a settled Australian permanent resident or a settled eligible New Zealand citizen, and cohabits with the relative
Visa Requirements
  • the applicant must be
    • under 18
    • without a spouse or partner and
    • be a relative of the sponsor
  • the applicant cannot be cared for by either parent because each of them is either dead, permanently incapacitated or of unknown whereabouts;
  • the applicant cannot be cared for by either parent because each of them is either dead, permanently incapacitated or of unknown whereabouts;
  • there is no compelling reason to believe that the grant of a visa would not be in the best interests of the applicant
  • there must be an eligible sponsor 
  • meet health and character criteria.
Documents

Orphan Relative (subclass 117 and 837) visas

The actual documents you require are dependent on your particular circumstances including (but not limited to) your family members, your health and character, and your identity. Your Hannan Tew advisor will provide you with a link to the Hannan Tew portal which will set out the specific documents required.

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Identity
  • copy of passport bio data page
  • proof of name change (if relevant)
  • passport sized photographs
  • police clearances from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16
Forms
Relationship to sponsor
  • evidence of relationship to sponsor (e.g. birth certificates, family trees)
  • evidence that the child’s parents are either dead, permanently incapacitated or of unknown whereabouts; and
  • proof that the sponsor is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen (e.g. citizenship certificate, passport)
Pricing

Orphan Relative (subclass 117 and 837) visas

The actual fees for an Adoption visa will depend on the circumstances of the individual matter. You can refer to updated costings for government lodgement fees here. You can also refer to our estimated pricing guide for professional fees here. Further fees will apply for disbursements such as translations, character assessments, and / or health assessments.

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Pricing (estimated)
  • Professional fees: ~$3,000 – $4,000
  • Government fees: AUD2,790 (as of May 2023)
  • Other disbursements such as translations, medicals, character assessments etc.
Orphan Relative Visas

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Orphan Relative visas for?

The Orphan Relative (Subclass 117 and Subclass 837) visas are permanent visas that can be applied for by a person who is outside Australia, and who is claiming to be the orphan relative of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or settled eligible New Zealand citizen. This visa supports the principle of family unity by enabling family reunion.

What’s the processing time for Orphan Relative visas?

The Orphan Relative (Subclass 117) is usually processed within 30 – 54 months whilst the processing times for Orphan relative (Subclass 837) is not published. You can refer to current processing times here

How long can you stay in Australia with an Orphan Relative visa?

If granted, the Oprhan Relative visas are permanent visas which allows the visa holder to stay in Australia indefinitely. 

Can I travel to and from Australia with this visa?

Yes – if you hold this visa you can travel to and from Australia as many times as required during the 5 year travel facility issued by the Department with the Orphan Relative visa.

In order to travel after the initial five-year travel facility period, you have to apply and be granted a Resident Return Visa (RRV) so you can re-enter Australia as a permanent resident. 

You may also have the option of becoming an Australian citizen so you don’t require a visa to enter Australia. 

To determine when your travel facility ends, it is advised you check ​Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

Am I eligible for Medicare?

Yes – you are eligible to enrol in Australia’s public healthcare system known as “Medicare” as a holder of an Orphan Relative visa.

Will I be able to work or study on this visa?

Yes – you can work and study in Australia with an Orphan Relative visa. 

What does "settled" mean for the sponsor?

Regulation 1.03 of the Regulations defines settled, in relation to an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen, as meaning lawfully resident in Australia for a reasonable period.

Can a single individual sponsor mulitiple orphans?

Yes, however, in cases where one person is sponsoring multiple visa applicants, the Department will conduct a thorough assessment of the sponsor’s claims against their ability to fulfil their undertakings in the sponsorship form.

What does "relative" mean?

For an Orphan Relative visa, a relative is a brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, grandparent, stepgrandparent, aunt, step-aunt, uncle, step-uncle, niece,
step-niece, nephew or step-nephew.

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 an extensive private client practice, our staff have experience advising in relation to all aspects of the Orphan Relative visa process, including determining whether other visa categories may be more appropriate for you. For further information in relation to Australian visa options for children, please refer to this page (including Child visasDependent Child or Oprhan Relative visas).

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