A number of visas allow Australian citizens or permanent residents, and in some cases New Zealand citizens to bring their spouses, parents, children, siblings and other relatives to Australia.

Lengthy processing times (up to 10 years in some cases), the costs associated with the application and restrictive rules about who can come to Australia make it important to get advice about whether your family member is likely to qualify for a visa and what is involved in the visa application.

We specialise in complex spouse visa and family migration cases and are one of the only firms in New South Wales that has Accredited Specialists (as certified by the Law Society of New South Wales) in both family law and immigration law to assist you. 

Our specialist lawyers can provide you with clear advice about all of the issues related to your case to give you or your loved ones the best chance of getting a visa.

Another way your relatives can come to Australia is through General Skilled Migration. Concessions may be available to skilled migration applicants who have relatives in Australia.

Contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers for assistance with bringing family members to Australia on the basis of a relationship to an Austrian citizen or permanent resident or skills.


There are two streams of visas available to parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents:

  • the contributory parent stream; or
  • the queued parent stream.

For both visas your parents will need to show that the pass the balance of family (BOF) test. The BOF is convoluted and restrictive. It disqualifies a lot of people from the parent visa. Finding out whether your parent satisfies the BOF test is a critical first step in any parent visa application.

Contributory parent visas are usually granted within 12 months of lodging the application but (as at September 2012) the costs associated with the application are significant: $86,500 per couple in Department of Immigration fees alone. 

In contrast, the fees for the queued parent visas are about $2,000 but at the moment applicants are waiting more than 15 years to be granted one of these visas.

Our expert immigration agents will work with you and provide you with advice about the best way to bring a parent to Australia. It is important to consider your parent’s circumstances to decide whether there is an easier and less costly way to bring into Australia rather than using a parent visa, and we can help you do this.


Contributory parent visas are sometimes the only way to bring a parent to Australia relatively quickly.

An assurance of support must also be accepted before the visa is granted.

It is possible to break up the visa application charges over two years but this strategy is risky, especially if your parents are not in the best of health.

Our expert immigration lawyers can advise you about:

  • whether the contributory parent visa is the only option available to your parents
  • the costs involved in applying for the visa
  • the most appropriate strategy for your parents (temporary transitioning to permanent residence, or straight to permanent residence)
  • your liability as a sponsor and / or the person that lodges the bond and signs the guarantee.


The Department of Immigration website statesthat if you “are applying for a Parent visa you can expect an approximate 15 year wait before visa grant consideration”.

The limited number of queued parent visas available each year means that the processing time is likely to increase in the future.

Strict health criteria apply to this visa. This coupled with the extraordinary processing times make this visa inappropriate for most people.


To provide a comprehensive range of services for clients with child visa applications, a migration adviser should have access to family law expertise.

 Our Migration Agents will explain to you in straight-forward terms how you can bring your child (or orphaned relative) to Australia.

There is a range of visas for children to migrate to, or to remain in, Australia. The choice of visa will depend on whether the child is dependent, adopted, a stepchild or an orphaned relative, and inside or outside Australia.

Child visas

Visas for children, especially adoption cases, can be complex. The rules are very strict. Where the child has health issues, there is further complexity. The publically-available information provided on-line by the Department of Immigration does not address all the related issues.

To be eligible for a child visa, the visa applicant must be related to an Australian permanent resident or citizen, be single and not over 18 years of age. It may be possible to qualify for this visa if the parent holds a provisional spouse visa or the child is over 18 years, but the application becomes a lot harder in either case.

Adoption visas

Adoption visas are extremely complicated. Before a child is granted an Adopted Child visa the adopting parents are usually required to obtain permission for the adoption from the State authorities. The parents then have to navigate the convoluted visa requirements that vary depending on whether the child is being adopted from a Hague-Convention country, a country with which Australia has bi-lateral agreement or the adoption is privately organised.

Orphan relative visas

If the child no longer has parents to care for them, for example because they are dead or missing, he or she may be eligible for an Orphan Relative Visa. The applicant must be sponsored by an Australian permanent resident or citizen relative.

Parent Visa

Parent Visa is offered to applicants who have eligible child/ children stay in this country as an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand. This category of family visa immigration in Australia is mandatorily sponsored by children residing in this nation.

Parent Australian visas are issued for both working and aged kinds. Applicants immigrating on this visa option might take up an employment in Australia. Few Parent visas initially are offered for temporary settlement which could be changed to a permanent type subject to your application. There is an option for ‘Contributory Parent Visa’ which assures faster processing of immigration though at a higher cost.

It may be noted that every year a limited number of Parent Visas are issued by Australian immigration authorities. For this reason there is a queue of application and you may have to wait for your turn.

Child Visa

Alike Parent Visa, a Child Visa is also issued under several sub-classes. In general, the sponsorship of a child visa is necessarily to be done by a parent who is permanently settled in Australia, a citizen of this country, or a qualified New Zealand citizen.

In case the child concerned is in Australia then he/ she could immigrate as a permanent resident, dependent child, or orphaned relative. In the event, the concerned child is an offshore candidate then dependent child visa, adoption visa, or orphaned relative visa may be obtained.


A small number of visas are available to the siblings and more distant relatives of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

These visas include:
  • remaining relative visas
  • carer visas
  • offshore humanitarian visas

There are issues associated with each of these visas, such as the time it takes for the visa to be granted, the limited number of visas that are available each year relative to the number of applications that are lodged, and the nature of the evidence that needs to be provided in order to qualify for one of these visas.

Our expert immigration lawyers can advise whether any of these visas represents the best way to brin family members to Australia. We have acted in a number of these cases and can provide you with clear and detailed advice about what evidence needs to be included in the application.


Humanitarian visas aside (which are not an option for most people anyway) the remaining relative visa is the only option for you to bring your last brother, sister or adult child to Australia.

To qualify for this visa your brother, sister or adult child must prove that:

  • They do not have any parents, siblings (including steps siblings) or non-dependent children that live outside Australia.
  • If they are married or in a defacto relationship, their spouse does not have any parents, siblings (including steps siblings) or non-dependent children that live outside Australia.

The number of remaining relative visas that are made available each year is limited. As a result you can expect to wait about 10+ years until you are granted a remaining relative visa.

Before you lodge an application for a remaining relative visa you should get advice from our expert immigration lawyers about whether your relative qualifies for this visa and whether there is a better visa available.


Carer visas allow a spouse, sibling, grand-parent, niece or nephew to come to Australia to provide care to an Australian citizen or permanent resident. It is the only family migration visa that is available to extended family members.

To qualify for a carer visa, the Australian citizen or permanent resident must:

  • be assessed by a doctor appointed by the Department of Immigration as having an ongoing serious medical condition that prevents them from doing basic things like cooking, bathing etc 
  • be unable to reasonably access care from an Australian relative or community organisation.

Establishing that the sick Australian relative cannot otherwise access an appropriate level of care can be difficult, especially where the sick person has a number of children or siblings living here.

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