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Table of Contents
Bringing Your Children to Australia
Are your children under 18 years old?
You can add any of your children from your current or any previous relationship to your visa application if they are under 18 years old. This can be your biological children or your step-children. The children must not be married, engaged to be married, or have a de facto partner.
Do you have sole custody?
If you have the sole right to decide where the child should live to the exclusion of the other parent as a result of a court-ordered grant of sole custody, then you do not need to seek the approval of the other parent. You will have to provide evidence of this. This will be a court order or its equivalent depending on your country.
If you don’t have sole custody
If you don’t have sole custody of your child from a previous relationship, the child’s other parent will need to give their approval.
Are your children over 18 years old and financially dependent on you?
If any of your children are over 18 years old from your current or any previous relationship and you want to bring them with you to Australia, they will need to be under 23 (not yet have turned 23) and not be married, engaged to be married, or have a de facto partner.
They must also be financially dependent on you or the sponsoring partner. Whether your child is dependent on you will depend on the extent to which they rely on you for financial support. They will have to be substantially reliant on you. This is generally for children that are still studying, not working, and that you or your partner are supporting.
Are your children over 23 and dependent with a medically accepted disability
You can add a dependent child with a medically accepted disability to your visa application even if they are over 23 years old. The child has to be substantially reliant on [you] for financial support because they are incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of [their] bodily or mental functions.
Financial dependence and medical reliance
If any of your children are over 18 and you claim they are financially dependent on you or dependent on you as a result of a medical disability, a detailed assessment of this dependence and reliance takes place. The claim is not simply accepted without proof. It requires that a reasonable amount of evidence be included with your visa application. For claims of medical reliance, an independent medical assessment may be necessary.
You can include a grandchild in your application providing your child (the grandchild’s parent) meets one of the above criteria.
Can I include a brother, sister, parent, cousin, nephew, etc. in my application?
No, only dependent children
Health and Character Requirements for your Children
Your children also have to do a health check if they are coming with you to Australia, and in some cases, when they are not coming with you to Australia.
The same situation applies to passing the character test – your children will have to pass the character test. The character test involves providing police clearance certificates from every country they have lived in for 12 months or more since they turned 16.
If any of your children have significant health issues or a criminal record and they fail the health requirement or the character test, then you will also fail under the ‘one fails, all fail’ rule.
One fails all fail rule
This means that if you, or any of your children, whether migrating with you to Australia or not, fail the health check, then everyone will be deemed to fail.
If you pass the health checks, for example, but your son or daughter fails, then you will fail the health requirement too. If your son or daughter are not coming with you to Australia, and they have been asked to do a health check, and they fail, then you will fail to meet health requirements too.
If you pass the character test but your son or daughter fails because they have a serious police record in another country, then you will fail too.
It seems harsh that you should be penalised for your children’s health condition and any problems they have had with the law in your own country or elsewhere. Immigration state that one of the reasons for implementing this rule is to avoid situations where the family is split up as a result of some in the family getting the visa and others not getting the visa. The reasons for this rule are not really within the scope of this guide but unfortunately that is the law as it exists now.
Obviously, in complex matters like this you will need to speak to an immigration lawyer or migration agent.
Australian Children of your relationship
If any of your children were born to an Australian parent while overseas, the child is eligible to apply for citizenship by descent. This is a separate application and not part of the partner visa application.
If any of your children were born to an Australian parent inside Australia, the child has automatic Australian citizenship – or citizenship by birth.