Carer visa (subclass 116)

This visa was permanently closed to new applications on 2 June 2014. No further applications for this visa are able to be made. The information on these pages is for people who are visa holders or who have a current subclass 116 application.

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

  • lodged your application prior to 2 June 2014
  • 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

The Carer visa (offshore) (subclass 116) was permanently closed to new applications on 2 June 2014.  The information contained on this page is for visa holders or people awaiting a decision on their visa application.

For more information see Closing of Non-Contributory Parent and Other Family visas.

All applications lodged before 2 June 2014 will continue to be processed as normal. See Other Family Visa Queue for more information.

You might consider visiting Australia on a non-ongoing short-term basis through the Visitor visa.

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.

Visa applicants

This information is for current applicants for a Carer visa (subclass 116).

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 361 046 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call.

When your relative speaks to the Bupa Medical Visa Services office, 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.

After you have applied

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.

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.

You are responsible for the cost of health assessments and any other tests.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. If you are 16 years of age or older, 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, since 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, whether they are migrating or not.

You are responsible for the costs of police certificates or any other certificates. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

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.

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

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 include:

  • your residential address changes for more than 14 days
  • details of your family members change (for example: births, 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).

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 is sponsoring 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.

Sponsor obligations

For two years after they arrive in Australia, you must help your relative 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.