Child visa (Subclass 802) or permanent Child Class BT Subclass 802 visa: Who can & How to apply
Onshore Child visa (Subclass 802) is for a dependent child who is under 25, including over 18 but is incapacitated for work due to a medical condition, in Australia to live permanently with you, click here to learn the precise meaning of “dependent”. You should note that if your child has a medical condition, he or she may not satisfy the health criteria for the grant of a Child visa (subclass 802).
You and your spouse or de facto partner must not have been charged or convicted of a registrable offence (click here to learn more about reg. 1.20KB sponsorship limitation).
The Australian Migration law defined a child to include a broad range of parent-child relationship (click here to learn more about section 5CA meaning). This relationship includes children with no biological links to their legal parents, for example, adopted or step-children, or vulnerable child who is supported by State or Territory Government Welfare Authority or STGWA. It also includes children who have been given up for adoption, or abandoned or abused or neglected, and children conceived through artificial conception procedures such as In Vitro Fertilisation or IVF and certain surrogacy agreements, requiring DNA testing, that is recognised under the Australia Family Law Act 1975. However, surrogacy arrangements outside Australia are not included.
If your child is adopted, the adoption must have been before you became an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen. However, if your child was adopted after you became an Australian citizen or permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen, your child could apply for an Adoption Subclass 102 visa (click here to learn more).
If you or the child’s biological parent is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, the child does not need to apply for an Australian visa, including Child visa (Subclass 802) as the child is considered to be an Australian citizen by birth or descent.
Sponsoring a child
You or your partner (spouse or de facto partner) can sponsor a child who is in Australia for a Child visa (Subclass 802) if you are over 18 Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible NZ citizen.
The child can be your step-child if he or she is your dependent. If the child’s biological parent is no longer your current partner, you must be granted custody or guardianship by a Court. You must have legal responsibility for the child.
If your child is under 18, you must have parental responsibility (custody). If another parent or any other person can legally determine where the child can live, permission for the child to apply for Child visa (Subclass 802) must be obtained from that person, eg, complete form 1229 (Consent to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 or a statutory declaration). Form 1229 or statutory declaration must be accompanied by a certified copy of the other parent’s identification (eg, passport or driver’s licence). In the alternative, you (the Australian parent) has a valid court order that permits the child to be permanently removed from the child’s home country; or you have a valid Australian child order issued by the Family Court of Australia and the grant of the Child visa (Subclass 802) would be consistent with that order.
If your child is under 18, you and your partner must not have a criminal conviction or an outstanding offence against a child. Waiver may apply and there is no compelling reason to believe that the grant of the visa would not be in the best interests of your child.
If your child is over 18 (over 18 is an adult), he or she must satisfy the Department of Immigration that they are a dependent. To be your dependent they must not be working full-time, for example working for a pay and for more than 35 hours per week. As a general requirement, they must be reliant on you more than they rely on someone else. They must be studying full-time at the time of lodging the application for the Child visa (subclass 802) and at the time of decision.
Your child must be under 25 at the time of visa application. Your child’s age or relationship is not relevant at the time of visa grant decision. They will be assessed according to the information provided at the time of their application. However, they must remain dependent on you, that is, a full-time student and must not be engaged or married or in a de facto relationship. Your child can previously be in a partner relationship but not at the time of the application for a Child visa (subclass 802).
If your child has turned 18, he or she must be studying full-time (cannot be studying part-time) after completing their secondary studies. They must be studying for a course that will lead to a professional, trade or vocational qualification or at least equivalent to TAFE Certificate level. Their studies cannot be hobby-type courses, or single subject courses or courses that are of short duration. They should commence their post-secondary studies within 6 months or a reasonable time after completing their secondary school.
Your child must not be married, in a de facto relationship or engaged to be married. If your child is 18+, s/he must never before been married or in a de facto relationship.
If you are sponsoring your adopted child, the adoption must be according to the Hague Adoption Convention. If you adopted your child outside of Australia, you must have been living outside of Australia for more than 1 year at the time of adoption, unless waived. Your child must be under 18 at the time of adoption, and you must have full parental rights – not just guardianship, custody or other lesser rights.
Your adopted child can be made by order of an Australian court where 1 parent is an Australian citizen, your child does not need to apply for Child visa (Subclass 802) because he or she can apply for Australian citizenship (click here to learn more about section 13 of the Australian Citizenship Act)
If your child is outside of Australia, you can sponsor him or her for an Adoption Class AH Subclass 102 visa (click here to learn more).
You and your partner may not be able to sponsor a child if you or both have an unresolved charge, or a conviction that is deemed to be a registrable offence, for example, sexual or physical assault of a child, or child pornography and child prostitution, bestiality, administrating drugs to a child and loitering near schools.
If your child is in Australia and has had a visa refused or cancelled since entering Australia and does not hold a substantive visa, your child can still make a valid application for a Child (Subclass 802) visa if they are under 25 unless incapacitated for work due to disability; and you complete form 40CH.
You may be required to provide an Assurance of Support (click here to learn more).
If you are in Australia when you apply for this visa, you may be granted a bridging visa to allow you to stay in the country until your application is finalised (click here to learn more about bridging visa).
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you decide if you are able to sponsor your child for a Child visa (Subclass 802) (click here to find out how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you). You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.
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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.