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Child Visas Australia

February 12, 2024
Myer Lipschitz

Australia offers a range of child visas designed to reunite children with their parents living in the country. These visas provide an avenue for children outside Australia to move legally and reside with their parents who are Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. The provision for child visas underscores the commitment of the Australian government towards family unity and the welfare of children.

These visas cater to different circumstances, such as adoption, orphan relatives, or children with a parent who is an Australian permanent resident. The application process requires thorough documentation and adherence to the stipulated criteria to ensure the child’s smooth transition to life in Australia. As the regulations can be complex, applicants often seek professional advice to navigate the process successfully. If you need assistance the immigration advisers at Immagine can help. The fastest way to get help is to submit a Free Preliminary Evaluation – click the banner below.

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Eligibility Criteria for Child Visas

To obtain a child visa to Australia, applicants must meet specific criteria, including age limits, dependency requirements, and health and character standards.

Age Requirement

To qualify for a child visa, the applicant must be under the age of 18. In certain cases, individuals up to the age of 25 may be eligible if they are full-time students and financially dependent on their parents. Evidence of age and enrolment in studies should be provided at the time of application.

Dependency Status

Dependent Child: The applicant must be a biological, step, or adopted child of the sponsoring parent. They should not be married or engaged in a de facto relationship and must be reliant on the sponsoring parent for their daily needs.

Orphan Relative: In situations where the child is an orphan relative, the applicant must not have a parent capable of caring for them and must be sponsored by a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Health and Character Requirements

Health: All child visa applicants are required to undergo and pass a health examination to meet the visa requirements. Medical conditions that could result in significant healthcare and community service costs to Australia may affect eligibility.

Character: Children aged 16 and above must meet character requirements. This typically involves police checks from every country the applicant has lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years since turning 16.

child visas australia

Types of Child Visas

Australia offers several visa options for children of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. Each visa caters to different circumstances, whether the child is currently offshore or onshore, or in cases of adoption.

Visa Type Location Sponsorship Requirements Application Fee Processing Time (90% of applications)
Child Visa (Subclass 101) Offshore Parents are Australian citizens, eligible NZ citizens, or Australian permanent residents From AUD 3,055 15 months
Child Visa (Subclass 802) Onshore Parents are Australian citizens, eligible NZ citizens, or Australian permanent residents From AUD 3,055 13 months
Adoption Visa (Subclass 102) Offshore Adoptive parents are Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible NZ citizens From AUD 3,055 16 months
Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445) Onshore Child of a temporary partner visa holder sponsored by the same person From AUD $3,055 16 months

Child Visa (Subclass 101) – Offshore

The Child Visa (Subclass 101) is for children outside Australia to live with their parents in Australia. The parents must be Australian citizens, eligible New Zealand citizens, or Australian permanent residents. The visa application must be made offshore and the child must be under 25 years, single and a dependent of the sponsoring parent.

Child Visa (Subclass 802) – Onshore

The Child Visa (Subclass 802) is for children who are already in Australia and wish to stay with their families. Similar to the Subclass 101, one of the parents must be an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident. The applicant must be in Australia when applying for and receiving this visa.

Adoption Visa (Subclass 102)

The Adoption Visa (Subclass 102) is intended for children adopted outside Australia by Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens. It enables these children to live in Australia with their adoptive parents. Applications must be made offshore, and the child must be younger than 18 years of age at the time of application.

Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445)

The Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445) is a temporary visa for children whose parent holds a temporary partner visa. It allows the child to live in Australia until a decision is made on the parent’s permanent partner visa application. This visa requires the child to be sponsored by the same person sponsoring their parent.

Application Process

The application process for a child visa to Australia involves a structured approach that requires careful preparation of documentation, adherence to the specified visa application steps, and an understanding of the processing times and costs involved.

Documentation Required

Applicants must prepare and submit the correct documentation. This includes:

  • Passport details: A valid passport for the child.
  • Birth certificate: Official birth certificate indicating the names of both parents.
  • Consent forms: Written consent from non-accompanying parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
  • Proof of relationship: Documents proving the relationship between the sponsor and the child.
  • Sponsor’s legal status: Evidence of the sponsor’s legal status in Australia.
  • Character and health checks: Evidence that the child meets health and character requirements.

Visa Application Steps

The visa application process is comprised of several key steps:

  1. Eligibility check: Verify the child’s eligibility for the specific child visa category.
  2. Account creation: Create an ImmiAccount on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.
  3. Form submission: Complete and submit the appropriate visa application form online.
  4. Documentation upload: Upload all required documents through the ImmiAccount portal.
  5. Application fee payment: Pay the required visa application fee through the provided channels.
  6. Acknowledgement of receipt: Await an email acknowledging receipt of the application.

Rights and Obligations

Child visa holders in Australia and their guardians must be cognisant of specific rights and obligations that are incumbent upon them. These can affect their residency and access to services like education and healthcare.

Residency Rights

Child visa recipients are entitled to reside in Australia, either with a parent or legal guardian. The duration of residency is contingent on the visa subclass under which they are granted admission. Permanent child visas, such as subclass 101, grant indefinite residency, whereas temporary visas, like subclass 445, offer limited tenure. They must adhere to the visa conditions, including any travel restrictions and reporting requirements.

Education and Healthcare Access

Children holding visas in Australia have the right to access education and healthcare services.

  • Education: Compulsory schooling laws apply to every child in Australia, including those on visas. They have the right to enrol in government and non-government schools. Education may be free or subsidised, but this is contingent on the visa type.
  • Healthcare: Access to healthcare via the public system, Medicare, is available to certain visa subclasses. Child visa holders may be required to maintain private health insurance if they are not eligible for Medicare.


Myer Lipschitz

Myer Lipschitz was born in Johannesburg and is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1985 he was conferred the degree Bachelor of Laws. Myer completed his Articles of Clerkship with Ivor Trackman, Attorneys and was admitted as an Attorney to the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1988. Myer immigrated to New Zealand in 1989 and was admitted to practice law in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand...

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