Children born in Australia automatically acquire Australian citizenship if at least one parent is an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of the child’s birth.
Children born outside Australia to parents who are not Australian citizens do not automatically acquire Australian citizenship and they are not eligible for citizenship by descent. Therefore, children born outside Australia to permanent resident parents will need to apply for and be granted a migration (ie. permanent resident) visa to be able to enter and remain in Australia with their parents.
The applicant must be the child or stepchild of their sponsor, who must be either an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
A stepchild can only be included in the Child visa category if the stepchild is under 18 years of age and the sponsoring step-parent is no longer the partner of the child’s parent but has a legal responsibility to care for the child.
Adopted children applying outside Australia must have been adopted before their parent became an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
If the child was adopted after the sponsoring parent became an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, they should apply in the ‘Adoption’ visa category.
The child must be dependent on their sponsor. A child under 18 years of age is considered to be dependent. If a child who has turned 18 years of age has to be considered dependent, then they must rely more on their sponsor than on any other person or source of financial support in either one of the circumstances below:
- to meet their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, and they must have relied on this support for a substantial period (usually 12 months)
- because of a disability that prevents them working to support themselves.
Note:Disability means that the child has total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions, and they are unable to work because of it.
The child must be under 25 years of age when the visa application is lodged. If the child has turned 18 years of age, they must also be a full-time student and financially dependent on their sponsoring parent.
To be considered a full-time student, the child must:
- be validly enrolled, and actively participating, in a full-time post-secondary course of study leading to a professional, trade or vocational qualification
- have been undertaking that course since turning 18 years of age, or have commenced studies within six months or a reasonable period of completing secondary education
- not be in full-time employment.
Note: The only exception to this age limit and full time student requirement is where the child has a disability that stops them from working.
The child must be single. They must not be married, in a de-facto relationship or engaged to be married.
Note: If the child has turned 18 years of age, the child must not only be single, but they must never have been married nor had a de facto partner.