Visa Summary

This visa is a permanent visa that allows a child to remain in Australia with their parents. The parent must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

The parent must act as sponsor for the child and can lodge the visa application on behalf of the child.

Who is this visa for?

This visa is for a child under 25 years of age who wants to remain in Australia with their parent.

What does the visa let the visa holder do?

This visa allows the visa holder to:

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

How does this visa work?

Responsibilities

Key responsibilities relating to obtaining and using a Child visa are summarized in the table below.

Person Responsibility
Sponsor (parent)

Sponsors the child and any of the child's family members also included in the application and who are migrating with the child.

If a Child 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 the first two years following the grant of the child's visa.

Applicant (child)

Lodge a complete application including all application forms, supporting documentation and application fees.

Note: Usually the sponsor does this on behalf of the child.

Visa application process

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.

How to lodge your application

The child must be in Australia at the time of application and at the time of grant.

Visa Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Sponsorship

The child must be the child or stepchild of their sponsor, who must be an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Stepchildren

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

Certain circumstances must be met for adoptive parents to apply for this visa on behalf of the child.

If the child is an adopted child applying inside Australia, and they were adopted either before or after the sponsoring parent became an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, they should apply for this visa.

Dependency

The child must be dependent on their sponsor. A child under 18 years of age is considered to be dependent. However for a child who has turned 18 years of age to be considered dependent, 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

Age

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.

Relationship status

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.

Health requirements

The child must meet health requirements.

Character requirements

Applicants who have turned 16 years of age must be of good character to enter or remain in Australia.

Sponsorship limitation and best interests of the child

Where an applicant is under 18 years of age, the sponsorship cannot be approved (except in very limited circumstances) where the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse or de facto partner 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 applicant.

In order to assess the sponsorship application and the best interests of the child requirement, sponsors of children under 18 years of age, and their spouse or de facto partner, are required to submit an AFP National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate/s, depending on the their circumstances.

Additional requirements for lodging a valid application for certain Child (Subclass 802) visa applicants

Children who do not hold a substantive visa, and have been refused a visa or had a visa cancelled, must meet additional requirements to lodge a valid application for a Child (Subclass 802) visa. They must:

  • have not turned 25 years of age unless claiming to be incapacitated for work due to total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions; and
  • provide an approved Form 40CH Sponsorship for a child to migrate to Australia that has been completed and signed by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who claims to be the parent of the applicant

If claiming to be incapacitated for work due to total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions, the applicant must provide evidence from an Australian registered medical practitioner to support the claim.

Reliance on social security

If the applicant, or their sponsor, is likely to become a high user of Australia's social security system, an Assurance of Support (AoS) from an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident may be required. If required, the department will advise how an Assurance of Support can be obtained.

Australian Values Statement

If you are aged 18 years or over, you are required to sign an Australian values statement. The statement is included in your visa application form and all applicants aged 18 years and over will need to sign on it. This is required to confirm that they will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. Before signing this statement you are required to read, or you might have been explained about the book ‘Life in Australia book’.

The Life in Australia book provides more information on the values that Australians share and their way of life.

Sponsor Eligibility

Sponsors must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sponsor an applicant for this visa.

Eligibility criteria

Sponsors must 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

A sponsor must also:

  • be the parent or step-parent of the child
  • be 18 years of age or older

    Note: If the potential sponsor is under 18 years of age, their cohabitating partner may act as sponsor if they have turned 18 years of age and are one of the following:

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

Custody of children under 18 years of age

Sponsors must satisfy one of the following custody requirements when applying to sponsor children under 18 years of age:

  • they must have the sole legal right to determine where the child shall live, or to remove the child from their home country
  • if another person can legally determine where the child can live, the sponsor must obtain a statutory declaration from this person or people, granting permission for the child to migrate
  • they must possess a valid court order allowing them to permanently remove the child from the child's home country
  • they must have a court order issued by the Family Court of Australia, and the grant of the visa must be consistent with that order

Sponsorship limitation and best interests of the child

If the applicant is under 18 years of age, the sponsorship cannot be approved (except in very limited circumstances).Even when 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 sponsorship may not be approved. 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 applicant.

In order to assess the sponsorship application and the best interests of the child requirement, sponsors of children under 18 years of age, and their spouse or de facto partner are required to submit an AFP National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate/s, 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.

Note: Sponsors or partners required to submit an AFP 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 required for AFP National Police Checks.

Adopted children

If the child was adopted, different eligibility criteria apply.

Before lodging an application, please read all related requirements.

Applicant and Sponsor Eligibility – Adopted Children

Certain circumstances must be met for adoptive parents to apply for this visa on behalf of the child.

Adoptive parents who adopted while living in Australia

The following circumstances apply for adoptive parents living in Australia at the time the child was adopted:

  • the relevant Australian State or Territory Adoption Authority (STAA) must have been involved in managing the adoption process
  • the child was adopted under an arrangement between two Hague Convention countries and an Adoption Compliance Certificate is in force or
  • the child was adopted before the sponsoring parent became an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen

People who are considering adopting a child from overseas should contact the adoption authority in their state or territory.

Adoptive parents who adopted while living overseas

The following circumstances apply for adoptive parents who were living overseas at the time the child was adopted the:

  • adoptive parents must have been living overseas for more than 12 months when the adoption took place. This requirement may not apply when compelling or compassionate circumstances exist. Contact the nearest departmental office.
  • adoptive parents' residence overseas was for other reasons than to adopt a child
  • adoption was in accordance with the laws of the country in which the child lives
  • adoption gives full and permanent parental rights (that is, the adoption severs the legal ties between the child and the birth parents) to the adoptive parents

Privately arranged adoptions

Australian State and Territory Adoption Authorities do not generally support privately arranged adoptions, including the adoption of children who are relatives. They will not help applicants/sponsors to meet the visa requirements for granting a visa to an adopted child.

The concept of adoption does not exist in the laws of some countries.

An adoption order which does not grant full parental rights to the adoptive parents is not acceptable for the grant of a Child visa.

Adoptive parents need to ensure that any privately arranged adoption is lawful in the child's home country.

There is no provision to grant a visa to a child who does not meet the requirements for this visa even if an adoption, that is lawful in the child's home country, has occurred.

Important: People wanting to proceed with an adoption from overseas, which has not been arranged by an Australian State and Territory Adoption Authority, should first seek legal advice both in Australia and in the country where the child lives.

Sponsorship requirements

The applicant must have been adopted by the adoptive parent who must act as sponsor for the child. Sponsors must have turned 18 years of age and be one of the following:

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

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

Age of child

The child must have been adopted before the child turned 18 years of age. If the child was adopted after they turned 18 years of age the child will not be eligible for this visa.

Important: The child must be single. They must not be married, in a de-facto relationship or engaged to be married.

Health requirements

The applicant must meet health requirements.

Character requirements

Applicants who have turned 16 years of age , must be of good character to enter and remain in Australia.

Sponsorship limitation and best interests of the child

If the applicant is under 18 years of age, the sponsorship cannot be approved (except in very limited circumstances).Even when 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 sponsorship may not be approved. 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 applicant.

In order to assess the sponsorship application and the best interests of the child requirement, sponsors of children under 18 years of age, and their spouse or de facto partner, are required to submit an AFP National Police Check and/or foreign police certificate/s, 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. However, where an Australian state/territory adoption authority has approved the adoption, an AFP National Police Check is obtained as part of the approval process and a further National Police Check is not required with the application.

Note: Sponsors or partners required to submit an AFP 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 required for AFP National Police Checks.

Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 802

If this visa is granted, the following requirements must be met.

Applicant obligations

The child must comply with all Australian laws.

Sponsor obligations

As the sponsor, the parent must sign a sponsorship undertaking. On signing this undertaking, the parent 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 in Australia
  • provide support as required to enable them to attend any required English language classes
  • advise the department in writing if their circumstances change in a way that may affect the child's eligibility for a Child visa, or the sponsor's eligibility to sponsor the child

Other obligations may apply if the sponsor has been requested to provide an Assurance of Support (AoS) for the child.