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Contact Us


KOGARAH OFFICE
Suite 309 – 310, Level 3
13A Montgomery Street
KOGARAH NSW 2217


SYDNEY CITY OFFICE
Ground Floor
54 Martin Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000


Email: solicitors@gmhlegal.com
Phone: (02) 9587 0458
Facsimile: (02) 9587 2936


FAMILY VISAS


The Australian government has various visa pathways available to people who have Australian citizen or permanent resident family members living in Australia. Family migration processing times are often very long also, and therefore it is essential to lodge an application that is well prepared and satisfies applicable criteria to avoid potential refusal and even further delay in obtaining your Australian visa.

Further, not all family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident are eligible for permanent migration to Australia. Before applying it is essential to get accurate advice as to the most appropriate pathway for your migration to Australia and to confirm you are in fact eligible for the visa you are wanting to apply for.

Our lawyers can help you prepare your family visa application to ensure you can apply for the visa as quick as possible and we will ensure quickest possible processing time. We will thoroughly advise you on your sponsorship obligations and the relevant criteria for the relevant visa you wish to apply for.

PROSPECTIVE MARRIAGE VISA

The Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) Visa is for people who want to come to Australia to marry their prospective spouse.

It is a temporary visa for nine months. You must be outside Australia when you lodge your application and when the visa is granted. You can have the wedding in any country – the wedding does not need to be in Australia.

The main purpose of applying for this visa is to allow you to come to Australia and then marry your intended spouse and live as husband and wife. You must genuinely intend to marry your fiancé(e). You must also genuinely intend to live with your fiancé(e) as husband and wife.

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. An eligible sponsor is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, who undertakes sponsorship obligations.

Usually, the sponsor is your fiancée and is over 18 years old.

You must be able to legally marry according to Australian law. This means you must be aged 18 years or over. If you are aged 16 years or over but less than 18 years, you must have an Australian court order allowing you to marry your intended spouse, or you must both be of marriageable age at time of the intended marriage.

Your fiancé(e) in Australia can be aged under 18 years if they have an Australian court order allowing them to marry you. In these circumstances, their parent or guardian must be your sponsor and they must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen aged 18 years or over.

You must have met (as adults) your intended spouse in person and know him or her personally. This must be the case even if it is an arranged marriage, you and your sponsor met as children and the marriage was arranged before you turned 18 years of age or you met on the internet (exchanging photographs is not evidence of having met in person).

You must be of the opposite sex to your intended spouse. Same-sex couples are not eligible for this visa.

With this visa, you must enter Australia before you marry your fiancée, may leave and re- enter Australia as many times as you wish before your visa ceases (9 months after visa grant), can work in Australia, can apply for a Spouse visa in Australia after you marry your fiancée, can study, but you will not have access to government funding and may use Australia’s medical expenses and hospital care assistance scheme, Medicare, only if you are in Australia and have already applied for a Spouse visa.

PARTNER VISAS

Partners of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens may
apply to enter and/or remain permanently in Australia. Partner category migration may apply to:

  • married (de jure) partners
  • de facto partners (including those in a same-sex relationship).

These visas allow you to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of your married or de-facto relationship with your partner:

  • on a temporary visa (usually for a waiting period of approximately two (2) years from the date you applied for the visa); or
  • on a permanent visa if, after the waiting period (if applicable), your partner relationship still exists and you are still eligible for this visa.

This visa includes dependant children and other eligible dependent relatives.


Married Applicants

Your marriage must be legal under Australian Law. If you were married in a country other than Australia and that marriage is valid in that country, generally it will be recognised as valid under Australian law. There are some exceptions, such as same-sex, underage or polygamous marriages, which are not accepted in Australia. Same-sex couples are not eligible for this visa.


De Facto Applicants

You and your partner must have been in a de-facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to making application and you must have been living together for at least six months immediately before application. Same sex couple can apply under this subclass and use the same criteria.

The 12-month requirement may be waived if:

  • you can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances, (e.g. you and partner have children); and
  • all the following circumstances apply –
    • your partner is, or was, the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
    • prior to their permanent humanitarian visa being granted, you were in a relationship with your partner that meets the requirements of a de facto relationship and
    • the department was informed of this before the permanent humanitarian visa was granted.

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. An eligible sponsor is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, who undertakes sponsorship obligations.

Usually, the sponsor is your partner and is over 18 years old.

You and your partner must show a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must be living together or, if not, any separation must be only temporary. You must also have a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.

Spouse temporary visas (onshore and offshore visas) permit you to enter or remain in Australia with your spouse until a decision is made regarding your permanent visa, work in Australia, study in Australia, but you will not have access to government funding for tertiary study and Australia’s medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme, Medicare.

Spouse permanent visas (onshore) allow you to remain permanently in Australia with your spouse, work and study in Australia, enrol in Australia’s medical benefits expenses and hospital care scheme, Medicare. You may also be eligible to receive certain social security payments and eventually apply for Australian citizenship.

PARENT VISA

These visas are for parents whose age is equivalent to a person who is eligible for an Australian Age pension. An aged parent making a parent visa application will not immediately be entitled to an Age pension after being granted a permanent visa.

The range of Parent Visa options available to your parents can be confusing and the requirements for each may be complex. When applying for this visa, there are two options available to parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents. They include:

  • The contributory parent stream; or
  • The queued parent stream

Our expertise in immigration and our team will work with you and provide you with the best advice for your circumstance and find the best way to bring your parents to Australia. By understanding your parent’s situation, we will be able to determine a simple and cost effective way of bringing them to Australia.

The sponsor must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen that is your child or stepchild, or their eligible partners.

All new Australian permanent residents must wait 10 years before being eligible to receive the Age pension (unless there is a reciprocal agreement with another country that pays you a pension) or Disability pension. There are very long waiting times for this visa, currently in excess of 15 years.

This visa requires that you be sponsored by your child, or another eligible sponsor, in Australia. You must be the parent of a child who is settled in Australia and is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. This visa allows parents to migrate to Australia permanently to join their children who are living in Australia.

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. Usually, your child will sponsor you. If your child is under 18 years you may also be sponsored by your child’s spouse, a close family relative or guardian of your child, a close family relative or guardian of your child’s spouse or a community organisation.

You must have a commitment by a person prepared to provide you with an Assurance of Support.

The balance of family test requires that half your children must be permanently resident in Australia or you have more children permanently resident in Australia than any other overseas single country.

CONTRIBUTORY PARENT VISA

The Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143) lets parents live permanently in Australia if they have a child who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who is settled in Australia.

Most applicants need to be sponsored by their child. Your sponsor needs to have lived lawfully in Australia for the two years before the application is lodged. You must have a commitment by a person prepared to provide you with an Assurance of Support.

The balance of family test requires that half your children must be permanently resident in Australia or you have more children permanently resident in Australia than any other overseas single country.

This visa can be applied for onshore if you do not have restrictions on your current visa.

Contributory Parent Visa may often be the only way of bringing your parent into Australia in a relatively short amount of time. This visa will allow your parents to:

  • Live as permanent residents in Australia
  • Work and study in Australia
  • Receive subsidies healthcare through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • Access certain social security payments (waiting periods will apply)
  • Apply for Australian citizenship (subject to the residency eligibility criteria)
  • Sponsor people for permanent residence (waiting periods apply)

A first critical step in your parent’s application is determining whether they satisfy the Balance of Family Test. This requires that:

  • Half of the applicant’s children must be settled Australian citizens or permanent residents, or
  • More of the applicant’s children must be settled Australian citizens or permanent residents than being settled in any other single country.

An assurance of support must be paid for in relation to all the applications. The Assuror of Support must be prepared to:

  • Provide financial assistance to the visa applicant, spouses and dependant family members (if applicable) to ensure that they do not need to reply o any form of Government support for 10 years
  • Reimburse any recoverable social security payments made to the applicant or their accompanying spouse and dependent family members in the first 10 years of residency in Australia

QUEUED PARENT VISA

This visa is a longer process, and according to the Department of Immigration, you can expect an approximate 15 year wait before this a visa grant consideration. The limited number of queued parent visas that are available each year makes it a lengthy process and it is likely to increase in the future.

There are also strict health criteria which must be met if applying for this visa. This coupled with the extraordinary processing times makes this an inappropriate choice for most people. Before you loge an application for a queued parent visa, you should seek advice from our expert immigration team about whether this is the best option for you and whether your parents qualify for any other type of visa.

CHILD VISAS

The general criteria for a child visa require the applicant to show, amongst other criteria that:

  • the child has not turned 18; or
  • has turned 18 and is dependent on the sponsor and is under 25 years of age; or
  • is incapacitated for work as a result of loss or partial loss of mental or bodily functions.

For dependency, the dependent child applicant must be under 25 years of age, and:

  • Not be engaged;
  • Not be working full time;
  • Must be studying full time continuously since turning 18 unless incapacitated for work, or have commenced studying within 6 months of completing secondary school Evidence of study (academic record or certificate) must be provided, and where continuous study has been broken evidence must be provided.

If you are a child and are inside Australia you may be eligible to apply for one of the following visas.

Child (Permanent) (Subclass 802): This is a permanent visa for children from overseas who are children or stepchildren of, an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 837): This is a permanent visa for children from overseas whose parents are deceased, permanently incapacitated, or whose whereabouts are unknown.

Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445): This temporary visa is for children whose parent is the holder of a temporary partner visa and is in the process of obtaining a permanent visa.

If you are a child and you are outside Australia you may be eligible to apply for one of the following visas:

Child (Permanent) (Subclass 101): This is a permanent visa for children from overseas who are the child or stepchild of an Australian permanent resident or Australian citizen.

Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445): This temporary visa is for children whose parent is the holder of a temporary partner visa and is in the process of obtaining a permanent visa.

Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 117): This is a permanent visa for children from overseas whose parents are deceased, permanently incapacitated, or whose whereabouts are unknown and who have an eligible sponsor.

Adoption (Permanent) (Subclass 102): This is a permanent visa for children from overseas who have been or are about to be adopted by an Australian permanent visa or Australian citizen.

LAST REMAINING RELATIVE VISA

The Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115) is a permanent visa for people who want to live in Australia to be with their only near relatives. This visa is for people whose only near relatives are usually resident in Australia and are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.

Your application must be made outside Australia and you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

This visa requires you to be sponsored by an eligible relative (or your relative’s eligible partner), in Australia. You must have a brother, sister, parent (or step-equivalent) who is settled and usually resident in Australia and is one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen;
  • an Australian permanent resident; or
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen.

You and your partner cannot have any other brothers, sisters, parents (or step equivalents), or non-dependent children other than those who are usually resident in Australia and are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.

You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor. Your sponsor must be your brother, sister, parent (or step-equivalent) or their partner, who are settled and usually resident in Australia and they must be one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen;
  • an Australian permanent resident; or
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen.

You must have a commitment by a person or an organisation prepared to provide you with an Assurance of Support.

Call the experienced team at GMH Legal to assist you in your matter. A free consultation with GMH Legal is an opportunity to gain deep insights into your legal situation and all of your options.

Why Choose GMH Legal?

  • Over 60 years of combined legal experience
  • Outstanding track record with a winning approach
  • First appointment is always free
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