Visa Summary

This is a permanent visa for children under 18 years of age who have been adopted, or are about to be adopted, from outside Australia.

An adoptive parent, or prospective adoptive parent, must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

An adoptive parent, or prospective adoptive parent, acts as a sponsor for the child and usually lodges the visa application on behalf of the child.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is responsible only for assessing applications for visas. It cannot assist with adoption arrangements.

Who is this visa for?

This visa is for children outside Australia, who are under 18 years of age, and in the process of being, or who have been, adopted, by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Further information on adopting a child outside Australia is available from the department’s website.

What does the visa let me do?

This visa allows the child to:

  • live permanently in Australia with their adoptive parent
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted

If the child wants to travel to and from Australia as a permanent resident after the five-year period, they will need to apply for and be granted a five-year Resident Return (subclass 155) visa or, if eligible, apply for Australian citizenship before travelling.

How does this visa work?

Responsibilities

The child must have been adopted, or be in the process of being adopted, by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

The child must be outside Australia when their visa application is lodged and when the visa is granted.

Key responsibilities relating to this visa are summarized in the table below.

Person Responsibility
Sponsor (Adoptive parent, or prospective adoptive parent) Sponsor the child.

If an Adoption (subclass 102) visa is granted, the sponsor must provide support for the child, including accommodation and financial assistance required to meet the child’s reasonable needs during their first two years in Australia.

Child or applicant Lodges a complete application including all application forms, supporting documentation and application charges.

Note: The sponsor usually does this on behalf of the child.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is responsible only for assessing applications for visas. It cannot assist with adoption arrangements.

Visa application process

Application checklist

The Application Checklist details the information and supporting documents that must be provided with the visa application.

Application forms

Active Migration Australia will assess each application individually and provide extensive checklists consisting of instructions to help you successfully complete the forms required.

Information to help prepare your application

More information is available on certifying and translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorizing another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application.

How to lodge your application

The child must be outside Australia when their application for the visa is lodged and when the visa is granted.

Applicants should lodge their application form, together with all necessary supporting documentation and the application charge.

If a paper-based visa application is lodged in certain countries biometrics will need to be provided

Visa Requirements

Child and Sponsor Eligibility

Certain circumstances must be met by adoptive parents, or prospective adoptive parents, applying for this visa on behalf of the child.

Further information on adopting a child outside Australia is available from the department’s website.

Adoptive parents living in Australia

Your relevant Australian state or territory central adoption authority (STCAA) must be involved in managing the adoption process with the country where the child is living.

If you are considering adopting a child from outside Australia, you should contact the central adoption authority in your state or territory.

Privately arranged adoptions

Australian STCAAs do not generally support privately arranged adoptions either from in or outside Australia, including the adoption of children who are relatives. They are not able to help children or sponsors to meet the eligibility requirements for granting a visa to an adopted child.

Important: If you want to proceed with an adoption from outside Australia, which has not been arranged by your STCAA, it is strongly recommended you first seek legal advice both in Australia and in the country where the child lives.

Adoptive parents living outside Australia

Adoptions that are undertaken by Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens who usually live in countries other than Australia, and that are arranged without the assistance of an Australian STCAA, are known as expatriate adoptions.

Eligibility for sponsorship

The child must have been adopted – or be in the process of being adopted – by the sponsor. Sponsors must be 18 years of age or over and be one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen
  • the holder of an Australian permanent visa
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen

Note: A sponsor who is an eligible New Zealand citizen must also meet health and character requirements.

Eligibility for the child

The child must be under 18 years of age at the time their application is lodged. If the child is under 18 years of age at the time of application, but will turn 18 before the application is decided, they will not be eligible for this visa.

Health requirements

The child must meet health requirements.

Character requirements

The child must meet the character and penal clearance requirements to enter or remain in Australia if they have turned 16 years of age.

Sponsorship limitation and best interests of the child

Sponsorship cannot be approved (except in very limited circumstances) where the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse or de facto partner (if they have one) has a conviction or an outstanding charge for an offence against a child. The applicant will also need to satisfy the requirement that there is no compelling reason to believe that the grant of the visa would not be in the best interests of the child.

To assess the sponsorship application and the best interests of the child requirement, sponsors, and their spouse or de facto partner, must submit an AFP National Police Check and foreign police certificates, depending on their circumstances. If the sponsor, or their partner, has spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age, that person must provide an AFP National Police Check. They must also provide police certificates from each country in which they have spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

Exception: Where an Australian STCAA has approved the adoption and an AFP National Police Check was obtained as part of the approval process, a further AFP National Police Check is not required with the application.

Note: Sponsors or partners who are required to submit a National Police Check must complete the National Police Check application form which is available from the Australian Federal Police website. Sponsors or partners should use Code 33 at Question 1 on the form and include details of all names they have been known by. If an AFP Certificate is provided based on incorrect information, the department may request another certificate. Fingerprints are not needed for National Police Checks.

Reliance on social security

If the child, or their sponsor, is likely to access Australia’s social security system, an Assurance of Support from an Australian citizen, or Australian permanent resident, may be needed. If so, the department will advise how an Assurance of Support is obtained.

Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 102

The child must comply with all Australian laws and with any conditions imposed on their visa.

Example: The child must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

Sponsor obligations

As the sponsor, the adoptive or prospective adoptive parent must sign a sponsorship undertaking.

On signing this undertaking, the sponsor has the following obligations, and must:

  • be responsible for all financial obligations to the Australian Government that the child might incur while they are in Australia
  • ensure that adequate accommodation and financial assistance is available as required to meet the child’s reasonable living needs. This assistance would cover the child’s first two years in Australia
  • provide information and advice to help the child settle.

The sponsor must advise the department in writing if their circumstances change in a way that may affect their eligibility to sponsor the child or the child’s eligibility for this visa.

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