Visa Options

Family Migration

Australian residents, Australian permanent residents and NZ residents can sponsor close family members for permanent residence or migration to Australia.

Partner Visas

Australian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor partners for migration to Australia. To sponsor a partner, you must either be married, in a defacto relationship, have a registered relationship or be engaged. The main partner visa options are as follows:

Partner Visa

Partner visas are for people who are married or in a defacto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen. This leads to permanent residence, usually over a period of 2 years.

Fiance (Prospective Spouse) visa

The fiance or prospective spouse visa is a 9-month temporary visa which allows applicants to travel to Australia to marry their Australian partner. Once married in Australia, you would look at applying for a partner visa to obtain your permanent residence.

Parent Visas

Parents with at least half their children living permanently in Australia may be eligible for a parent visa which gives them permanent residence in Australia. Parents over a certain age may be eligible to apply for an onshore 'aged parent' visa which allows them to remain in Australia on a bridging visa during processing.

Parent Visa enables parents of children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents to be sponsored for permanent residence in Australia.

Duration and Conditions

Apart from the contributory parent (temporary) visa, all parent visas are permanent visas.

Criteria The main criteria are as follows:

The parent must be sponsored by a child who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. The sponsor must be "settled" - generally the sponsor would need have been lawfully resident in Australia for at least 2 years.

The applicant must pass the "balance of family test". That is, the number of children who are lawfully and permanently resident in Australia must be: Greater than, or equal to, the total number of children who are resident overseas; or Greater than the greatest number of children who are resident in any single overseas country.

An assurance of support is required in all cases.

Contributory Parent Categories

The Australian government has introduced "contributory" parent visa categories, which require the payment of a high application fee to cover medical expenses

From 2 June 2014, the lower cost "non-contributory" parent visa subclasses were closed to new applications. It is no longer possible to apply for non-contributory parent visas. The non-contributory subclasses were reopened in October 2014, but it is not clear how long they will be open for.

There are two types of contributory parent visa:

Contributory Parent (Permanent): This is a permanent visa which is generally processed within 18 months. Total cost for the application is over $40,000 per parent

Contributory Parent (Temporary): This is a 2-year temporary visa which is about half the cost of the permanent contributory parent. Applicants would generally look at applying for a permanent contributory parent visa within the 2-year validity of the visa. The total cost of applying is approximately the same as a permanent contributory parent visa, but it is split over two visa applications.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

In general, parent visas must be applied for outside Australia. However, it is possible to apply for an aged parent visa from within Australia. In order to do so, at least one of the applicants must be aged 65 or over.

If the application is lodged in Australia, the applicants will be able to remain in Australia on bridging visas whilst their applications for parent visas are being processed.


Visitor visas allow overseas people to visit Australia temporarily for a holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, to visit relatives or friends, or for other short-term non-work related reasons. The visa is for short-term visits of 3 months and in certain circumstances can be extended to a maximum of 12 months. The main Visitor visas are:

  • Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa (subclass 601)
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600)

The Visitor visa (subclass 600) has 4 streams, which are:

  • Tourist stream: holiday, recreation or to visit family and friends
  • Business Visitor stream: short business visit
  • Sponsored Family stream: visit their family
  • Approved Destination Status stream: organised tour groups from China

Visitor Visas – Visa Requirements

For the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa, the visitor:

  • must hold a passport from one of the following countries: Andorra Austria Belgium Brunei Canada, Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Hong Kong (SAR) Iceland Ireland Italy Japan Liechtenstein Luxembourg Malaysia Malta Monaco Norway Portugal Republic of San Marino Singapore South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan The Netherlands United Kingdom—British Citizen United Kingdom—British National (Overseas) United States Vatican City
  • be outside Australia when the visa application is applied for and granted
  • can only apply to travel to Australia as a tourist or for business purposes
For the Visitor visa, the visitor:
  • Tourist stream: must show they are a genuine visitor
  • Business Visitor stream: must have a business background, undertake an approved business activity and have good reasons for travelling to Australia
  • Sponsored Family stream: must show they are a genuine visitor, be sponsored by an eligible relative and in some cases a security bond ($5,000 to $15,000) will be required
  • Approved Destination Status stream: must be from China and the visa application must be through an agent registered with the Approved Destination Status scheme for travel to Australia as part of a tour group
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