Orphan Relative (Subclass 837) or Orphan Relative Class BT Subclass 837 permanent visa
If your orphan relative is in Australia, you can sponsor them for a permanent Orphan Relative (Subclass 837) visa. However, they must not be over 18 at the time of application but can be over 18 before the visa is granted. They must not have a partner (spouse or de facto partner) and they cannot be cared for by either of their parent because they are deceased or permanently incapacitated or their whereabouts is not known.
Granting the Orphan Relative (Subclass 837) visa must be in the best interests of the child.
Your orphan relative must be in Australia but must not hold a Transit Subclass 771 visa (click here to learn more), or their last visa must not be a Transit Subclass 771 visa.
If your orphan relative does not hold a substantive visa, they must satisfy Schedule 3 requirements to apply for an Orphan Relative (Subclass 837) visa (click here to learn more).
If your orphan relative is outside Australia, you can still sponsor them for an offshore Class AH Subclass 117 visa (click here to learn more).
To be a sponsor, you must be a close relative, that is, you are the grandparent, or aunt or uncle, or niece or nephew, or step equivalent of your orphan relative.
Close relative is your partner or child, or parent, or sibling, or step equivalent.
As a sponsor, you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible NZ citizen.
You will not be able to sponsor your orphan relative if you have been charged with or convicted of a registerable offence, unless you were under 18 at the time of approving your sponsorship application, or the charge has been withdrawn, dismissed or disposed of without the recording of a conviction, or the conviction has been quashed or set aside.
If you have been charged or convicted of a registerable offence, the Minister can still approve your sponsorship application if you have completed your sentence more than 5 years before applying for the sponsorship. And there are compelling circumstances affecting you and/or your orphan relative. In addition, the sponsorship limitations could be waived if 5 years have passed since completing your sentence and you were again charged with a registerable offence, but the charge has been withdrawn, dismissed or disposed of without the recording for a conviction, and there are compelling circumstances affecting you and/or your orphan relative for the grant of the visa.
Before the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs) grant your orphan relative an Orphan Relative (Subclass 837) visa, you may be required to provide an Assurance of Support (AoS) if it is likely your orphan relative will access any of the social security benefits (click here to learn more). You should note that a minor cannot access any social security benefits that are recoverable under the AoS scheme, other than special benefit, which is only available in an emergency.
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 apply for this visa or to decide if this is the best visa for you (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.