There are many ways to bring a child to Australia, for a visit, as a student or to settle permanently. There are different options for children under 18 and adult children.

Being the child of an Australian does not guarantee you a visa.

An Australian parent or their spouse may sponsor a child who is dependent upon them to become a permanent resident of Australia. The sponsor must be an Australian Citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Children aged over eighteen years can be considered in some cases.

Migration options exist for

  • Adopted child
  • Biological child
  • Orphan relative
  • Adding a child to a part-processed spouse/partner migration case

Temporary visas exist for a child to be a

  • Student
  • Sponsored Visitor
  • Visitor or tourist

If you are applying for a visa, most applications allow you to include your children in that application, provided you have the permission of all legal guardians of the child.

The Australian Government requires every person applying for a visa to meet all their rules. Some common problems in child cases are:

  • Legal issues relating to the custody and guardianship of a child under 18
  • Sponsors with criminal records
  • Children with special needs (medical or developmental issues)
  • Migrants wanting to sponsor a child that was not disclosed on their own migration application
  • Adopted children (owing to the complexities of Australia’s obligations under the Hague Convention on inter-country adoption)
  • Adult children often need to qualify on their own merit, have an employer sponsor them or pass a points test to qualify. Adult children can sometimes be included in their parents’ application if the Australian Government is convinced they are legitimately dependent on their parent(s). Adult children often have complicated cases;

We regularly handle appeals for people who were refused a visa. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice before committing to a course of action.

Children can normally be included in their parents’ visa application. In some cases a child could be included in a sibling’s visa application. Adding a child to a visa application usually costs an additional government application charge (per child). The amount of the additional charge is usually less than the main applicant pays, and varies for each visa.

Children and step-children seeking to accompany only one of their parents to Australia can cause serious complications for visa applications.

The Australian Government will not interfere with the laws of foreign countries in relation to the custody access and guardianship of children. A parent wishing to migrate to Australia with children must normally have:

  • The written consent of the other parent and a certified document verifying the identity and signature of the other parent
  • Court documents giving them full custody and guardianship of the children, or
  • Other proof that they have the sole legal right to determine where the children will live.

Even if those proofs are available, a child can be refused a visa if the Australian Government has sufficient reason to believe that the grant of the visa would not be in the best interests of the child.

We have assisted parents in a variety of difficult situations to secure migration visas for their children to come to Australia, such as:

  • The non-migrating parent actively objects to the child migrating and seeks to obstruct the process
  • The child’s identity was difficult to establish owing to poorly kept official records in their home country

If your situation is complex or difficult, please seek legal advice as early as possible.