Adoption visa (subclass 102)

Features

This visa allows a child who is adopted outside Australia to come to Australia to live with their adoptive parents.

Requirements

This visa is for a child who is:

  • applying outside Australia
  • younger than 18 years old
  • already adopted or in the process of being adopted
  • sponsored by an adoptive parent or prospective adoptive parent.

About this visa

The Adoption visa (subclass 102) lets a child come to Australia to live with their adoptive parent. The child can already be adopted or be in the process of being adopted. The adoptive parent sponsors the child for this visa and usually applies on their behalf.

An adoptive parent must be:

The visa application must be lodged outside Australia and the child must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.

More information

More information is available from the Child Migration booklet.

What this visa lets you do

This is a permanent residence visa. It allows the child to:

  • travel to and stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if they are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted – after that time they will need another visa to enter Australia.

If the adoption is through a state or territory adoption authority, you can lodge the application before the adoption is finalised.

Before you adopt

Seek advice from your closest state and territory adoption authority before starting any adoption process to adopt a child from outside Australia.

In Australia, the processing of inter-country adoptions is the responsibility of state and territory central adoption authorities. These authorities manage arrangements for adopting children from overseas, including assessing and approving prospective adoptive parents.

We cannot help arrange an adoption. Our role is to assess and decide applications for visas.

You should first seek legal advice about adoption law in both Australia and the country in which the child lives.

For a child to be eligible for an Adoption visa, one of the following must apply:

  • They have been adopted (or are to be adopted) with the involvement of an Australian state or territory adoption authority.
  • They have been adopted privately by an expatriate Australian resident who has been living outside Australia for more than 12 months before the visa application is lodged.
  • They have been adopted through an arrangement between two countries, other than Australia, that are parties to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention).

If you adopt a child while living in Australia

Your relevant Australian state and territory adoption authority must be involved in managing the adoption process with the country where the child is living.

Contact the adoption authority before you start the adoption process. We cannot grant a visa to a child who does not meet the visa requirements even if they have been adopted lawfully in the child’s home country.

Australian adoption authorities usually arrange adoptions through countries that:

  • have signed the Hague Adoption Convention
  • have signed a bilateral agreement with Australia.

In these cases, the adoption authority or an institution in the child’s home country will allocate the child to you. The authorities also ensure that local adoption laws have been complied with and that the child is legally allowed to leave their country for Australia.

The Hague Adoption Convention

A child adopted under the Hague Adoption Convention will need an adoption compliance certificate. This certifies that the adoption meets all the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention. A visa cannot be granted until this certificate has been issued and a certified copy provided to us.

In some cases, children born outside Australia who are adopted under the Hague Adoption Convention are eligible for Australian citizenship. You should seek legal advice, as the child might not have to apply for a visa.

Bilateral agreements

A child adopted under a bilateral agreement must have a letter from an Australian state or territory adoption authority that shows the child has been adopted through an adoption authority or an institution in the child’s home country. This letter must be included with the child’s visa application.

If you adopted a child when you were outside Australia

Some people decide to adopt a child while they are living outside Australia without the support of an Australian state and territory adoption authority. These adoptions are called expatriate adoptions. You can sponsor a child adopted outside Australia for an Adoption visa if the child has not turned 18 years of age and you:

  • were an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen at the time of the adoption
  • lived outside Australia for more than 12 months before you lodge the visa application
  • did not contrive your residence overseas to avoid Australia’s adoption laws
  • have full and permanent parental rights, with no remaining legal ties between the child and the birth parents
  • complied with the adoption laws in the child’s home country.

Privately arranged adoptions

Australian state and territory adoption authorities do not usually support privately arranged adoptions from either in or outside Australia, including the adoption of children who are relatives. They are not able to help children or sponsors meet the requirements for granting a visa to an adopted child.

Adoptive parents need to ensure that any privately arranged adoption is legal. If you want to adopt a child from outside Australia without using an Australian state and territory adoption authority, it is strongly recommended that you first seek legal advice both in Australia and in the country where the child lives. This visa cannot be granted to a child who does not meet the requirements for this visa, even if an adoption is legal in the child’s home country.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for an Adoption visa (subclass 102).

Who could get this visa?

An adoptive parent will usually lodge the application for this visa on behalf of the child.

To be able to get the visa, the child must:

  • be younger than 18 years of age
  • be living outside Australia
  • be either already adopted or in the process of being adopted by their sponsor
  • meet health and character requirements
  • if the child is under 18 years of age at the time of application, but will turn 18 before the application is decided, they will not be eligible for this visa.

The child must also be sponsored by an adoptive parent who is:

An adoptive parent must have done one of the following:

  • adopted (or be in the process of adopting) the child with the involvement of an Australian state or territory adoption authority
  • adopted the child under the laws of a country other than Australia and been living outside Australia for the past 12 months before the application is lodged
  • adopted the child under the Hague Adoption Convention.

If you are living outside Australia, you can adopt the child from the country in which you have been living, or from another country.

Best interests of the child

This visa will not usually be granted if it is against the best interests of a child younger than 18 years of age.

Measures for the Protection of Children has more information.

Assurance of support

We might ask for an assurance of support for the child so that welfare costs for some migrants are not borne by the Australian community.

Do not provide an assurance of support unless we ask for one and tell you what you need to do.

Health requirements

The child must meet certain health requirements. The results are usually valid for 12 months. This also applies to any dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

Character requirements

A child older than 16 years of age must meet certain character requirements. They must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country they have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after they turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

Debts to the Australian Government

The child must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government.

Provide biometrics

The child might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.

Including family in the application

You can include a child’s dependent family members in the visa application if they are the child’s:

  • dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to the child.

The child’s siblings usually need to lodge their own applications.

Your family members must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for an Adoption visa (subclass 102).

The visa application must be lodged outside Australia and the child must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge the application

Complete the following two forms and lodge them together.

The child or their sponsor should complete:

  • Form 47CH Application for migration to Australia by a child (333 kB PDF).

Sponsoring parents should complete:

  • Form 40CH Sponsorship for a child to migrate to Australia (297 kB PDF).

The forms must be completed in English. Provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge when you lodge the application.

Lodge your application at one of the immigration offices outside Australia, which will tell you how you can pay. There is also further information available on the methods of payment accepted by our offices.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, such as certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

After you have lodged the your application and documents, we will let you know that we have received your information.

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing time service standards for each visa.

Your application could take longer if the child needs character or health checks (including x-rays), you need to provide more information, or the application is incomplete.

Do not arrange for the child to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that the visa has been granted.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances or the child’s circumstances change. Use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if either of you moves to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include the number we gave you when you applied, if you know it – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist

You need to provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

Provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Police certificates should be original documents. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Forms

Lodge these forms at the same time:

  • Form 47CH Application for migration to Australia by a child
  • Form 40CH Sponsorship for a child to migrate to Australia

Charges

Receiving assistance

Character requirements

  • Police checks for everyone included in the visa application who is 16 years of age or older:
    • an Australian National Police Check for anyone who has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age
    • police certificates from each country in which anyone in your application has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in the past 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

Provide the original certificates and keep a copy for yourself.

The child

  • Two recent passport-sized photographs (45 mm x 35 mm) of the child (four photos if health examinations have not been completed).
    • These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background.
    • Print the name of the child on the back of each photograph.
  • Certified copy of the child’s birth registration showing both parents’ names. If you cannot get this document, provide a certified copy of the identification pages of at least one of the following documents:
    • passport
    • family book showing both parents’ names
    • identification document issued by the government
    • document issued by a court that verifies the child’s identity.

    If relevant, provide the same documents for anyone included as a dependent child in the child’s application.

  • If the child’s name has changed or the name of anyone included in the child’s application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.
  • Certified copies of the adoption papers or adoption compliance certificate, including evidence that the authority in the child’s home country permits the child to migrate to Australia.
  • If the child has been allocated for adoption: a letter from the Australian state or territory central adoption authority supporting the adoption.
  • If the child has been adopted by expatriate adoptive parents without the support of an Australian state or territory central adoption authority: a written statement outlining the length of time and reasons for the adoptive parent’s residence overseas.

The sponsor

  • Evidence that the child’s parent is an Australian citizen, a holder of an Australian permanent resident visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Evidence can include a certified copy of:
    • their birth certificate
    • an Australian passport or foreign passport containing evidence of permanent residence or Australian citizenship certificate
    • for New Zealand citizens, evidence of length of residence in Australia and of continuing links with Australia.
  • Photocopies of one of the following documents to show the sponsor’s employment during the past two years:
    • an Australian income or overseas tax assessment notice
    • a letter from the sponsor’s employer confirming length of employment and annual salary payslips
    • if the sponsor is self-employed or self-funded from other sources, business documents or a letter from the sponsor’s accountant.
  • The sponsor and their partner must both provide:
    • AFP National Police Checks, if the sponsor or their partner has spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age
    • police certificates from each country in which the sponsor and their partner have spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

    Provide the original documents with the application, and keep a copy for yourself.

You do not need these documents if the sponsor already has them as part of adopting the child through an Australian state or territory adoption authority.

  • If the sponsor has paid child support or given an assurance of support for anyone else, the sponsor must provide a statement that shows:
    • the sponsor’s relationship with that other person or those people
    • the dates of lodgement of any sponsorship or nominations (including any current sponsorship) or assurances of support
    • the amount and frequency of child support payments.

Visa holders

This information is for children who have already been granted an Adoption visa (subclass 102). It explains their rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

What this visa lets you do

This is a permanent residence visa. It allows the child to:

  • travel to and stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if they are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted – after that time they will need another visa to enter Australia.

The child’s obligations

The child must comply with all Australian laws and all visa conditions. This includes:

  • entering Australia by a set date
  • not getting married or entering into a de facto relationship before arriving in Australia.

You must tell us in writing if circumstances change in a way that could affect the child’s eligibility for a visa, or your eligibility to sponsor the child.

Guardianship of children adopted from overseas

If an adoption is not finalised or if it is not recognised by a state or territory adoption authority when the child enters Australia, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection will be the guardian of the child. The guardianship powers are delegated to state and territory welfare authorities. 

The minister stops being the guardian if any of the following occur:

  • the child becomes an Australian citizen
  • the child turns 18 years of age
  • an Australian adoption order is made for the child.

Sponsors

This information is for people wanting to sponsor a child for an Adoption visa (subclass 102).

It is usually the sponsoring parent who prepares the relevant documents and lodges the application.

Who can sponsor a child

To be a sponsoring parent, you must be:

  • the child’s adoptive or prospective adoptive parent
  • older than 18 years of age

You must also be:

You do not need to be in Australia to sponsor the child for this visa. You can sponsor the child for this visa if you have:

  • entered Australia in the past but you are outside Australia when they apply
  • been granted your Australian permanent resident visa but you have not yet entered Australia.

Best interests of the child

This visa will not usually be granted if it is against the best interests of a child younger than 18 years of age.

Measures for the Protection of Children has more information.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

Assurance of support

We might ask for an assurance of support for the child so that welfare costs for some migrants are not borne by the Australian community.

Do not provide an assurance of support unless we ask for one and tell you what you need to do.

Sponsor obligations

As the sponsoring parent you must agree to:

  • be responsible for the cost to the Australian Government of the child living in Australia
  • provide adequate accommodation and enough financial support to meet the child's reasonable living needs for their first two years in Australia
  • help the child settle in Australia
  • support the child to attend any required English language classes.
 

Estimate the cost of your visa

* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.

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