Including Family Members - Changes from 19 November 2016
By Mark Webster
Thursday, 17 November 2016
Spouse and Children OnlyCurrently, it is possible to include dependent relatives in visa applications, even if they are not spouses and children. For instance, it is common for 457 applicants to include a dependent parent in their applications. From 19 November, this will no longer possible with only spouses (including defacto spouses) and children being considered members of the family unit.
Maximum Age for ChildrenChildren under 18 are considered members of the family unit by default. Children over 18 can currently be included in visa applications, providing they are financially dependent on their parent. Generally, it is sufficient to provide evidence that they are still studying and have not started working full time. From 19 November, children can only be included if they are under 23 years old and this is likely to affect many potential applicants with adult children. To include a child over 23, you would need to show that the child is incapacitated for work. This would generally result in issues in meeting the health criteria for the visa.
Including Adult Children in Subsequent Visa ApplicationsIt is relatively common for people to apply for a temporary visa, then after a few years in Australia apply for further stay in Australia. One issue that can arise is showing that children and other family members are still dependent when applying for the subsequent visa. From 19 November, family members will be taken to be members of the family unit when applying for subsequent visas, even if they are no longer dependent. This only applies in the following scenarios:
- Holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visas applying for Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visas
- Holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visas applying for a further 457 visa
- Holders of Skilled Regional Provisional (Subclass 489) applying for Skilled Regional Permanent Subclass 887 visas
- Holders of Provisional Business Skills Subclass 188 visas applying for Permanent Business Skills Subclass 888 visas
- Holders of Temporary Contributory Parent (Subclass 173 and 884) visas applying for Permanent Contributory Parent (Subclass 143 and 864) visas.