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A family sponsorship visa in Australia is a pathway for Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens to sponsor their family members to join them in Australia. This can encompass a range of relationships, including spouses, de facto partners, children, parents, and other family members. The Australian government offers various visa subclasses under this category, each tailored to specific family relationships and circumstances. In this blog, we’ll explore the key aspects of family sponsorship visas in Australia, including eligibility criteria, application process, and important considerations for sponsors and applicants. 

Benefits of a family sponsor visa  

  • Family Reunion: The primary benefit is the ability to bring family members together. This can include partners, children, parents, and other dependent relatives, depending on the specific visa subclass. 
  • Access to Education and Healthcare: Once in Australia, family members may have access to the country’s high-quality education system and healthcare services. This includes public schools for children and the public healthcare system, Medicare, for eligible visa holders. 
  • Work Rights: Many family sponsorship visas allow the visa holder to work in Australia, providing them with the opportunity to contribute to their family’s income and gain local work experience. 
  • Pathway to Permanent Residency: Some family sponsorship visas offer a pathway to permanent residency in Australia. This can lead to Australian citizenship, subject to meeting all the eligibility criteria. 
  • Social Benefits: Being in Australia on a family visa also allows individuals to enjoy the social and cultural benefits of living in a diverse and multicultural society. This includes access to social services, community support groups, and multicultural events. 

 Types of Family Sponsorship Visas in Australia  

  • Partner Visas (Subclasses 820/801 and 309/100): These visas are for the spouse or de facto partner (including same-sex relationships) of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The subclass 820/801 is for applicants already in Australia, while the subclass 309/100 is for those who are currently living outside Australia. 
  • Parent Visas (Subclasses 103, 143, 173, 870): These visas allow parents of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to migrate to Australia. There are both permanent and temporary options, including the popular Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143, 173) which has faster processing times but higher costs. 
  • Child Visas (Subclasses 101, 102, 445): These visas are designed for dependent children, orphan relatives, or adopted children of an Australian sponsor. 
  • Other Family Visas (Subclass 838): This category includes visas for aged dependent relatives, remaining relatives, and carers of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. 

Eligibility Criteria of a family sponsorship visa  

The eligibility criteria vary significantly between different family sponsorship visas. However, common requirements across most visas include: 

  • Sponsor Eligibility: The sponsor must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. They need to meet certain health and character requirements and accept legal responsibilities for the applicant during their stay in Australia.  
  • Applicant Eligibility: The applicant must meet health and character requirements. The specific eligibility criteria depend on the relationship to the sponsor and the visa subclass being applied for. However, they must have a blood or partner relationship with the sponsor.  
  • Relationship Requirements: Applicants must prove the legitimacy of their relationship with the sponsor.  
  • For partner visas, this includes evidence of a genuine and continuing relationship. You must provide evidence to show that (1) you and your partner have shared financial responsibilities, such as joint mortgage or house lease, joint back accounts, shared bills and joint loan for major assets; (2) you and your partners have been sharing all the household matters, for instance, the shared housework, joint responsibilities for your children, and other living arrangements; (3) you and your partner have joint social matters, for example, you two have common friends, you two do sporting, cultural and social activities together; and (4) you and your partner share the same goals in life, understand background of each other and always stay in touch if apart. For more information about partner visa, go to  
  • For parent visas, the most important criterion is that your parents must have a half of children living permanently in Australia to be eligible for this visa.  
  • For aged dependent relatives visa, you must demonstrate that you have been dependent on your relatives for very basic living necessities such as food and clothing for at least 3 years prior to the visa application. Your dependence could be due to disability that prevents you from working. 

Application Process 

The application process for family sponsorship visas involves several steps: 

  • Check Eligibility: Ensure both the sponsor and the applicant meet the specific visa subclass requirements. 
  • Gather Documents: Collect necessary documents, including proof of relationship, identity documents, and evidence of meeting health and character requirements. 
  • Apply: Submit the application online through the Department of Home Affairs website, along with the required documents and application fee. 
  • Wait for a Decision: Processing times vary by visa subclass. Some visas, like partner visas, have lengthy processing times. 
  • Visa Grant: If the application is successful, the applicant will receive a visa grant notification with details on visa conditions and next steps.

Tips for a Successful Application 

  • Ensure Accuracy: Provide accurate and complete information, especially relationship information, in your application to avoid delays or additional documentation requests.  
  • Health and Character Requirements: All applicants must meet strict health and character requirements. This may include medical examinations and police checks. Getting the police check sometimes takes time, especially police check from overseas authorities. It’s advisable that you should prepare the police check in advance to avoid any delays.  
  • Seek Professional Advice: The visa application may include complex documentation and evidence. Consider consulting with a registered migration agent for personalized advice and assistance is a good choice.  


Family sponsorship visas offer a valuable pathway for families to reunite in Australia. However, the process can be complex and requires careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. It’s advisable to consult with migration experts or the Department of Home Affairs for guidance specific to your situation. By understanding the various aspects of family sponsorship visas, sponsors and applicants can navigate the process more effectively, leading to successful reunification in Australia. 

How can SOL Migration assist you with a 485 visa?

SOL Migration has a strong team of 5 experienced Registered Migration Agents. Our Registered Migration Agents will assess your eligibility and guide you throughout all the application process. We will assist you in preparing all the relevant documents for your application.

Contact us today on 07 3003 1899 or fill out the enquiry form. Our team will contact you within 24 hours at the latest!