I have family in Australia - can they sponsor me for an Australian residency visa?

I have family in Australia - can they sponsor me for an Australian residency visa?


Your family may be able to sponsor you for an Australian residency visa, but it depends on the type of visa you are considering. This is why it is important to read the requirements of the visa to confirm whether your family’s sponsorship is enough.

Who is considered a member of your “family unit”? Generally: 

  1. A partner (married partners, de facto couples, and your fianceé, including opposite sex and same sex partners); 
  2. A dependent child, aged up to 23 years (though there are some exceptions);
  3. A dependent relative; or
  4. A carer.

Partners & Fiancés

To be eligible for a partner visa, you must be married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident, or you must be a fiancé of an Australian citizen or permanent resident. 

Your marriage must be recognised as legally valid under Australian law, or legally valid in the country you married. If you are in a de facto relationship, you must have been personally involved with your partner for at least 12 months. The Australian immigration department will require considerable proof in establishing the validity of this personal relationship. It is best to speak to an immigration lawyer to assist you in properly validating and proving that relationship.  

The cost of partner visas starts from $7,000.00, so we strongly recommend you seek the assistance of a migration expert to assist you in properly preparing your visa application. If the application has been incorrectly submitted, or the documents are insufficient in validating the relationship, it could mean that the application is refused, resulting in a loss of the paid costs.

Dependent Child

If you are aged 23 years or younger and have a parent living in Australia on who you are dependent you may be eligible for a dependent child visa.

To be eligible, you must prove that;

  • You are a biological, step or adopted child of your visa holding parent;
  • You are dependent on your visa holding parent; and
  • You are single.

In order to validly prove your dependence on your parents, assuming you are not a secondary applicant on their visa application, you will be required to submit considerable evidence of that dependence. This process can be complex and taxing to self-manage and it is best to speak to a migration expert to assist you in properly catering for the steps required. 

Parent Visa

Parent visas allow applicants to live in Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. In determining whether you are eligible for a parent visa, various factors need to be considered for each individual situation and depending on your particular situation it may be possible to fast-track the process or reduce costs overall.

Generally, parent visas can be very expensive and require substantial evidence in support of the application. If not done correctly, it could mean that the application is refused and paid costs lost. It is extremely advisable that if you are considering applying for a parent visa you speak to a skilled migration agent.

Other Family Visas

There are a few other visas such as the Remaining Relative 835/115 visa, the Permanent Aged Dependent Relative 838/114 visa and the Carer 836/116 visa, which you can apply for with Australian family sponsorship. These are very specific circumstances and require skilled interpretation in determining whether they are applicable to you. 

Not One of the Above

There is a common misconception by prospective immigrants that simply because they have an arm's length family member, such as an uncle, aunt, brother or cousin, resident in Australia that it entitles them to a family sponsored visa. Quite simply, this is not correct. If your family relationship does not fall within one of the above categories, your family member cannot truly sponsor you for an Australian visa. Such arm's length sponsorship can assist you in your own visa application based on your own personal circumstances. 

Using your family’s sponsorship to obtain a visa can be a complicated and costly process. If you would like to give yourself the best chance of obtaining a visa, contact Pathway Lawyers & Migration Agents for quality and cost-effective advice from our migration specialists.