Family Visas

The Family Stream program comprises less than half Australia’s migration program each year. It dropped from 42% in 2001-2002 to approximately 29% in 2008-2009. Migration planning figures set by the Government for the period of 2014-2015 is made up of 32% for the Family Stream compared to 68% for the skilled stream with the overall target being 190,000 visas.

The planning levels have remained somewhat consistent for the past few years with the target for the 2011-2012 Migration Program set at 185,000 and in 2012-2013 the Migration Program Year Target was 190,000 visas. The overall trend is a focus on non-Family Stream visas in the Migration Program.

Current Family Stream Visas:
The family stream visas comprise the following subclasses:

Categories of the family migration visas Visa Subclasses
Partner (including de facto which includes same sex relationships) 309/100, 820/801
Prospective Marriage 300
Child 101, 802
Dependent Child 445
Adoption 102
Orphan Relative 117, 837
Contributory parent 143, 173, 864, 884
Parent (non-contributory) and Aged parent (non-contributory) 103, 804
Remaining Relative, Aged Dependent Relative 115, 835, 116, 836
Carer 116, 836

Note that all family migration visas require sponsorship by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. For some visas, such as Parent visas, the sponsor must also be ‘settled’.

The regulations provide for a change of sponsor at any time prior to the decision being made on the visa application, provided the new sponsor meets the sponsorship requirements.

Many family stream visas also require an assurance of support. For some visa subclasses this is a mandatory requirement and for other visa subclasses the requirement for an assurance of support will be at the discretion of the DIBP case officer. Where it is mandatory it may also require the payment of a bond.

The discretionary Assurance of Support requirement was removed from Partner visas from 1 January 2012. This means that an AoS will not be required for Partner visa applications made on or after 1 January 2012, or made before that date but not finally determined by 1 January 2012.

Students should also be aware of the subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen (Family Relationship) (Temporary) (Class UP) visa available for members of the family unit of the holder of a subclass 444 Special category visa, who are not themselves New Zealand citizens. This visa does not require sponsorship but applicants must meet the health and character requirements.

Last edited by: Pamela

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