Carer visa (subclass 116)

Features

This visa is for someone who needs to move to Australia to:

  • care for a relative in Australia with a long-term or permanent medical condition, or
  • assist a relative providing care to a member of their family unit with a long-term or permanent medical conditions.

Requirements

You might be eligible for this visa if

  • you have a relative in Australia who needs assistance due to a long-term or permanent medical condition
  • your relative has arranged an assessment with Bupa Medical Visa Services
  • there is no one else in Australia who can provide the care or assistance
  • you are willing and able to assist your relative
  • you are sponsored by your relative or their partner.​

About this visa

This visa was previously repealed and closed from 2 June 2014 until 25 September 2014. Applications are now accepted for this visa.

If you lodged an application during the period when the visa was repealed then you need to lodge a new application

A Carer visa (subclass 116) is a permanent visa for people who want to live in Australia to provide substantial and continuing care or assistance for a relative who either:

  • has a long-term medical condition that means they cannot look after themselves in practical aspects of daily life, or
  • needs permanent or long-term practical support to help them care for a member of their family in their household with such a medical condition.

The relative must not be able to reasonably obtain the care they need from any other relative or from welfare, hospital, nursing or community services in Australia.

The Carer visa (subclass 116) is a permanent visa. You must make your application outside Australia. You, and all family members included as applicants, must be outside Australia when it is granted.

More information is available from the Other Family Migration booklet.

What this visa lets you do

This is a permanent visa. It lets you and any family members who have been granted this visa:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely as an Australian permanent resident
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • travel to and from Australia as a permanent resident for five years from the date the visa is granted - after that time you will need to apply for another visa if you want to return to Australia.

More information on Australian permanent residence, including eligibility for government services and benefits, is available.

Before you apply

The Australian Government limits the number of Carer visas it grants each year. See Other Family Visa Queue for more information.

Your sponsor

To apply for this visa, you need a sponsor. This person must be the relative who needs the care or assistance, or their partner. They must sign an undertaking (an agreement) to give you support, accommodation and financial assistance (if you need it) for two years after you first arrive in Australia. This agreement includes any family members you include in your application.

Your passport

If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. In most cases, you and your family members must have valid passports to be granted this visa.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

The application charge for this visa is paid in two instalments. The first instalment is paid when the application is lodged. Payment of the second instalment will be requested just before the visa is granted. 

You can ask to be considered for the second instalment to be reduced to nil if you are the carer and you can demonstrate that the charge is likely to cause you or the person being cared for severe financial hardship. You should ask in writing. You cannot ask for a reduction of the second instalment for other family members who are included in your application.

Other costs

You could have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments and police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements when we tell you to.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Carer visa (subclass 116).

Who could get this visa

You might be eligible for this visa if:

  • you need to move to Australia to:
    • care for a relative in Australia with a long-term medical condition, or
    • assist a relative in providing this care to a member of their family unit living in their household.
  • your relative (or their family member) has their medical condition assessed by Bupa Medical Visa Services as being a one which significantly affects them in attending to the practical aspects of daily life and which will need direct care for at least two years
  • your relative cannot reasonably get the care they need from any other relative in Australia or from welfare, hospital or nursing community services in Australia
  • you are willing and able to provide substantial and continuing assistance
  • you should fully understand what kind of care or assistance your relative needs
  • you and your family members meet health and character requirements.

Your relative in Australia

You can apply for this visa if the relative who needs care or assistance is usually resident in Australia. The relative must be your partner, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew (or step-equivalent).

Both this relative (and the member of their family who needs care, where applicable) must be either:

If you are applying for this visa so you can assist your relative care for a member of their family, they must both live in the same house.

The sponsor

Your sponsor can be either:

  • the relative who needs care or assistance (either for themselves or a member of the family unit)
  • the spouse or de facto partner of the relative who lives with them.

The sponsor must be aged 18 years or older and be:

The medical condition

The medical condition must meet the following criteria:

  • The medical condition is long-term or permanent, and as a result your relative (or their family member) needs assistance with the practical aspects of daily life.
  • The need for care or assistance will continue for at least two years.
  • The medical condition has been assessed by Bupa Medical Visa Services. See Medical assessment of the person needing care for more information.

Contact Carelink on 1800 052 222 for more information about getting care or assistance in Australia.

Provide biometrics

You might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. More information is available at Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The results are usually valid for 12 months. Do not arrange a health examination until we ask you to.

This also applies to all dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

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.

This also applies to all dependent family members listed in the application who are 16 years of age or older whether they are migrating or not.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

Medical assessment of the person needing care

Your relative’s medical condition (or that of their family member) must be assessed by Bupa Medical Visa Services before we can make a decision about your visa application.

To arrange their assessment with Bupa Medical Visa Services, your relative can telephone 1300 794 919 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call.

When your relative speaks to the Bupa Medical Visa Services, they must mention that the medical examination is in relation to a Carer visa.

Your application cannot be accepted unless you provide evidence that you or your relative have at least arranged to start the Bupa Medical Visa Services assessment process.

If Bupa Medical Visa Services has assessed your relative (or their family member), it will provide a certificate that:

  • includes a rating or score based on the Impairment Tables currently used by the Department of Human Services to assess eligibility for payment of the Disability Support Pension
  • states whether your relative has a medical condition that will affect their ability to attend to their needs (such as eating, dressing, hygiene, mobility, and medical supervision) for at least the next two years
  • includes an assessment of the type of assistance required to manage those needs.

We cannot grant a visa if the Bupa Medical Visa Services assessment shows that the medical condition:

  • does not meet the minimum threshold rating (currently 30) using the Impairment Tables
  • does not cause significant impairment of the person’s ability to attend to the practical aspects of daily life
  • is not likely to require direct assistance for at least two years.

Including family in your application

You can include the following people in your visa application:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’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 you.

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 a Carer visa (subclass 116). You must make your application outside Australia. You and all family members included as applicants must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

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.

Complete the application forms

Complete the following application forms to apply for this visa. You must lodge all the forms together.

You must complete:

  • Form 47OF Application for migration to Australia by other family members (500 kB PDF).

If you have any dependent family members who are 18 years of age or older (whether or not they are migrating), you must complete:

  • Form 47A Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (238 kB PDF).

If you have any dependent children who are under 18 years of age, you must complete:

  • Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (251 kB PDF).

Your sponsor completes:

  • Form 40 Sponsorship for migration to Australia (251 kB PDF).

The forms must be completed in English.

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.

You must pay the first instalment of the visa application charge when you make your application. You can pay by credit card, debit card, bank cheque or money order made payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

You and anyone included as an applicant in your application must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

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

Processing arrangements

There is high demand for family migration visas and only a limited number of places. We process applications in the order in which they are lodged and in accordance with any relevant Ministerial Directions.

Carer visa applications are subject to Capping and queuing arrangements. This means your application is considered in two stages:

  • Your application is assessed against the core requirements for this visa. Your application is then either placed in the queue to wait for a visa place to become available, or it is refused. If it is placed in a queue, we will tell you what your 'queue date' is. In the interests of fairness and equity, we are not able to move your application ahead of others in the queue even if there are compelling and compassionate circumstances.
  • When a visa place becomes available:
    • we assess your application to ensure you meet the requirements of this visa (including health and character)
    • if you do qualify for this visa, we ask for the second instalment of the visa application charge (where needed)
    • we make a final decision about your visa application.

If your visa is granted, you must be outside Australia when it is granted.

Do not make arrangements to move to Australia. Do not leave your employment, sell your home or book travel arrangements until you are told in writing that you have been granted a visa.

Provide more information

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

  • Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99 kB PDF).

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.

We will also tell you when to have your health and character checks.

Report changes in your circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change after you have applied for this visa. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move 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.

Examples of changes you must report:

  • your residential address changes for more than 14 days
  • details of your family members change (for example: births, deaths, changes in dependency, and relationship status)
  • the person authorised to act on your behalf changes
  • you or your family member intend to travel to or from Australia while your visa application is being processed
  • the circumstances of your sponsor change.

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, date of birth and date of your application. If you know it, you should also include the number we gave you when you applied – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

Applicants who are 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter. We will not usually refund the visa application charge.

You can remove one or more applicants and still continue with your visa application. Let us know in writing if you wish to do this. Include the signature of the person you are removing from your application if they are 18 years or older.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, you must be outside Australia when it is granted and we will let you know:

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

Usually 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)
  • the time limit for lodging a request for review of the decision (if applicable).

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

  • Form 470F Application for migration to Australia by other family members (507 kB PDF)
  • Form 40 Sponsorship for migration to Australia (251 kB PDF) (your sponsor completes this form)

Complete these forms if they are relevant:

  • Form 47A Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (complete a separate form for each child or family member)
  • Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (complete a separate form for each child under 18 years).

Receiving assistance

  • If someone gives you advice or lodges your application for you:Form 956 Advice by a migration agent/exempt person of providing immigration assistance (the agent or exempt person completes the form and you must sign it)
  • If you would like someone to receive correspondence from us on your behalf: Form 956A Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient (the recipient completes the form and you must sign it)

Charges

  • Pay the first instalment of the visa application charge for this visa when you make the application.

Payment of the second instalment of the visa application charge will be required before the visa can be granted.

See fees and charges for more information.

Your identity

  • Documents to prove your identity – a certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names. If you do not have a birth certificate or are unable to get one, you must 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 your identity.

If you are unable to provide one of these documents, you must provide other acceptable evidence that you are who you claim to be.

  • Four recent passport sized photographs (45mm x 35mm) of yourself and any other person included in the application. These should be of the head and shoulders only, and should show the person facing the camera and against a plain background. Print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.
  • If you served in the armed forces of any country, certified copies of military service record or discharge papers.

Your relationship

  • Evidence of your relationship with the sponsor (certified copy of birth certificate, marriage certificates, death certificates, adoption certificates, family status certificates or family books – if these documents are officially issued and maintained).
  • Evidence of dependency for all dependants aged 18 or over. Documents that show financial dependency can include bank records or other financial statements as well as proof of your relationship with your relative and evidence that the relative lives in your household.
  • If anyone included in the application is, or has been married, certified copies of the marriage certificate(s). If you are living in a de facto relationship, independent evidence that you have been in the relationship for at least 12 months (for example joint bank account statements, billing accounts in joint names).
  • If anyone included in the application has been permanently separated, divorced or widowed, a certified copy of the statutory declaration/separation certificate, divorce decree absolute or the death certificate of the deceased partner (as appropriate).
  • If anyone included in the application has changed his or her name (for example by marriage or dead poll), a certified copy of evidence of the name change.

Your children

  • If any child included in the application is adopted, certified copies of the adoption papers.
  • If you want to bring a child under 18 years of age to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in your application, documentary evidence that you have the legal right to include that child in your application. Examples of this proof are:
    • certified copies of official legal documents such as a court issued custody, access, or guardianship order
    • a statutory declaration from each person with a legal responsibility for the child, giving permission for the child to migrate to Australia
    • a completed Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (125 kB PDF).

Note: Form 1229 or the statutory declaration must come with a certified copy of the other parent/person’s identification (such as a passport or driver’s licence).

  • If any dependent child aged 18 years of over, evidence of:
    • current enrolment into tertiary full-time studies
    • bank records
    • other financial statements

Your sponsor

Evidence that the sponsor is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. 

Evidence that the sponsor is usually resident in Australia.

If the person requiring care is a member of the sponsor’s family unit, evidence of both of the following:

  • their family relationship with, or dependency on, the sponsor
  • their status as an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

The Bupa Medical Visa Services Carer Visa Assessment Certificate for the person who requires care or evidence the Bupa Medical Visa Services assessment has started (a letter from Bupa Medical Visa Services acknowledging your request for a care assessment).

Evidence to show that the sponsor has tried to access care or assistance in Australia from services such as welfare, hospital, nursing or community services.

Evidence to show that the sponsor has no other relatives in Australia who can provide the required care or assistance.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Carer visa (subclass 116). It explains your 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 you and any family members who have also been granted this visa to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely as an Australian permanent resident
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need to apply for another visa to return to Australia).

More information on being an Australian permanent resident, including eligibility for government services and benefits is available.

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Your sponsor must agree to support you for two years after you first arrive in Australia.

Sponsors

This information is for a person who wants to sponsor a relative for a Carer visa (subclass 116).

You must sign an undertaking (an agreement) to give support, accommodation and financial assistance (if needed) for the first two years after the person applying for this visa arrives in Australia. This agreement includes any family members included in the visa application.

Who can sponsor a carer

You can sponsor someone for this visa if you or a family member who lives with you:

  • needs someone to care for either of you because of a long-term medical condition, and
  • you cannot reasonably obtain the care or assistance you need from any of your other relatives in Australia or from other services, such as welfare, a hospital, nurses, or community services in Australia.

You must show that you have tried to access all care options that are available in Australia before you decide to sponsor someone for this visa.

To be a sponsor, you must be:

  • a relative of the person applying for this visa, or be the partner of the relative
  • 18 years of age or older
  • usually resident in Australia
  • an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Who is a relative?

  • A ‘relative’ means you are the partner, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew (or step-equivalent) of the person applying for the visa.

The person’s ability to provide care

You must be sure that the person you are sponsoring:

  • fully understands the nature of the medical condition and the daily care or assistance requirements
  • is willing and has a genuine intention to provide the required ongoing care or assistance
  • has the ability to provide the required ongoing care or assistance.

Applying to be a sponsor

This information explains what you need to do to sponsor someone for a Carer visa (subclass 116).

To sponsor someone to come to Australia to care for you or assist you, you must:

  • completeForm 40  Sponsorship for migration to Australia (251 kB PDF)
  • give the completed form to your relative to lodge with their visa application.

Sponsor obligations

For two years after your relative(s) arrives in Australia, you must help them and their accompanying family members settle in Australia by providing (if necessary):

  • support
  • accommodation
  • financial assistance

Use the following form if you want to change information you provided in your sponsorship application form:

  • Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99 kB PDF) — if you want to correct information you provided in your visa application

Report changes in circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change after you have applied for this visa. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move 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.

Estimate the cost of your visa

Will you be lodging your application online?
Will the primary applicant be in Australia when the application is lodged?
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.

Last reviewed Thursday 25 September 2014

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