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Child visa (subclass 802)

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This visa allows a child who is in Australia to stay in Australia.​

Requirements

This visa is for children who are:

  • in Australia
  • sponsored by an eligible parent.

About this visa

A Child visa (subclass 802) lets an eligible parent sponsor their child to live in Australia indefinitely. The parent can apply on behalf of a child younger than 18 years of age.

An eligible parent is:

  • an Australian citizen
  • the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen.

The child must be in Australia when the application is lodged and when the visa is granted.

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:

  • 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.

Before you apply

Children born in Australia are automatically granted Australian citizenship if at least one parent is either an Australian citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa. They do not need a visa to live in Australia.

Children born outside Australia must either:

  • apply for a permanent visa to live in Australia (if neither parent is an Australian citizen), or
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if at least one parent is an Australian citizen).

Adopted children

You must apply for an Adoption visa (subclass 102) rather than this visa if:

  • you want to adopt a child who is outside Australia
  • your child was adopted after you became an Australian citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen and that child is outside Australia.

You can only apply for this visa if the child is an adopted child applying in Australia, and they were adopted either before or after the sponsoring parent became an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa or eligible New Zealand citizen.

A child who is applying for this visa as an adopted child must meet certain requirements.

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 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 in both Australia and the country in which the child lives.

To be eligible for an Adoption visa (subclass 102), a child must have been one of the following:

  • adopted (or is to be adopted) with the involvement of an Australian state or territory adoption authority
  • adopted privately by an expatriate Australian resident who has been living outside Australia for more than 12 months before the visa application is lodged (the residency outside Australia must not have been contrived solely for the purposes of the child’s adoption)
  • adopted through an arrangement between two Hague Adoption Convention countries other than Australia.

If you adopted 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 Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (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 adopted under the Hague Adoption Convention could be 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 the child for an adoption visa if:

  • the child has not turned 18 years of age when the adoption took place
  • 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
    • can demonstrate that adoption laws in the child’s home country have been complied with.

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. A visa cannot be granted on the basis of an adoption where a child does not meet the requirements for this visa, even if an adoption is legal in the child’s home country.

No further stay condition

You cannot apply for this visa if you already hold another visa that has a ‘No further stay’ condition.

Contact us if you are not sure whether your current visa conditions prevent you from applying for a further visa while you are in Australia.

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 a Child visa (subclass 802).

Who could get this visa

To get this visa, the child must be:

  • sponsored by their parent or their parent’s partner
  • single  and
  • one of the following: 
    • younger than 18 years of age (and not adopted)
    • adopted (and under 18 when adopted)
    • full-time student between 18 and 25 years of age, or
    • 18 or older and unable to work due to a disability and dependent on the sponsoring parent.

The child can include their own dependent children in this application.

The sponsoring parent

The child’s sponsoring parent must be an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen. The spouse or de facto partner of the child’s parent can also sponsor the child.

The child’s relationship with the sponsor

The child must be:

  • the biological child or adopted child of the sponsoring parent (there are special requirements for adopted children)
  • a stepchild who has not turned 18 of a step-parent who is no longer the partner of the child's parent but has a legal responsibility to care for the child.

Children younger than 18 years of age

A child younger than 18 years of age:

  • cannot have a spouse or de facto partner
  • cannot be engaged to be married.

Children between 18 and 25 years of age

A child between 18 and 25 years of age who does not have a disability that prevents them from working must:

  • never have had, and not now have, a spouse or de facto partner
  • not be engaged to be married
  • not be in full-time work
  • be a full-time student.

To be a full-time student, the child must:

  • be currently enrolled and participating in a full-time course of study leading to a professional, trade or vocational qualification
  • have started that course since turning 18 years of age or within six months  or a reasonable time after finishing school.

The child must be a full-time student when they apply for this visa. Any gaps of more than six months between the final year of school and tertiary studies must be explained.

Children with a disability aged 18 or older

A child with a disability is eligible for this visa if they:

  • are not engaged, married or have a de facto partner
  • are not in full-time work
  • are dependent on the sponsoring parent.

Disability means that the child has total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions, and they are unable to work because of it.

To be dependent they must be reliant on the sponsoring parent for financial support because they are not able to work because of their disability.

Adopted children

For adopted children:

  • the child must have been under 18 years of age when the adoption took place
  • one of the following requirements has been met:
    • the child was adopted in accordance with the Adoption Convention and an adoption compliance certificate is in force
    • the adoptive parent became an Australian citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa or a New Zealand citizen after the adoption took place
    • the adoptive parent was an Australian citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa  or an eligible New Zealand citizen when the adoption took place, and before the adoption a state or territory authority in Australia approved the parent as a suitable adoptive parent
    • the adoption was an expatriate adoption.

Parental responsibility

This visa can be granted only if you can show one of the following for a child younger than 18 years of age:

  • you have the written consent of each person who can legally decide where the child lives
  • the laws of the child’s home country permit the removal of the child
  • it is consistent with any Australian child order.

The documents checklist lists you the documents you must provide with your application to support this claim.

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

You 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 dependents in the visa application. This includes 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 you.

Siblings must lodge separate applications.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Child visa (subclass 802).

The child must be in Australia when the application is lodged and 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.

Lodge the application

Complete the application forms and lodge them together.

The child or sponsoring parent 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 in person or by post to one of our offices - attention Child and Other Family Processing Centre. Please note that it is preferred that you lodge directly to Child and Other Family Processing Centre in  Perth to avoid delays.

You can pay by credit card, bank cheque or money order made payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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.

If you apply for this visa while the child is in Australia, they might be able to get a Bridging visa that allows them to stay in the country lawfully while the application is processed. If the child is given a Bridging visa A, they should apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) if they want to travel outside Australia while they wait for a decision.

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

We will tell you when we make a decision about your visa application.

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 (348 kB PDF)
  • Form 40CH Sponsorship for a child to migrate to Australia (360 kB PDF).

Charges

Receiving assistance

Documents for the child

  • Certified copies of the passport or travel document the child used to enter Australia and any passports held since then.
  • If relevant, provide the same documents for anyone included as a dependent child in the child's application
  • 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 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.
  • If the child was adopted, certified copies of the adoption papers.
    • If the child is a stepchild of the parent who holds the temporary Partner visa, documents to show all of the following:
      • the child’s parent is the former partner of the sponsoring step-parent
      • the child’s biological or adoptive parentage
      • the step-parent  (the parent who holds the temporary Partner visa) has legal parental responsibility for the child
      • the child is younger than 18 years of age.
  • If the child is aged 16 years or over, a police good conduct/character certificate for each country outside Australia where the child has lived for more than 12 months over the past 10 years (since turning 16 years of age).
  • If anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of their military service record or discharge papers.

Additional documents for a child 18 years of age or older

  • If the child is enrolled as a full-time student: evidence of their enrolment and active participation in a post-secondary course of study.
  • An explanation of a gap of more than six months in study between finishing the final year of secondary school and starting further studies
  • Evidence that the child is financially dependent on their sponsor for their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, and how long this support has been provided. Evidence could include:
    • bank statements
    • money transfers
    • rent receipts.
  • If the child is claiming to have a disability: evidence from a qualified medical practitioner that the child has total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions and this stops them from working.

Documents for 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.
  • Evidence that the sponsor has the legal right to decide where the child is to live, such as:
    • certified copies of official legal documents, such as a court-issued custody, access or guardianship order
    • astatutory declaration from each person with a legal responsibility to the child stating that they have no objection to the child’s migration
    • Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (125 kB PDF).
      If you use Form 1229 or a statutory declaration, you will have to attach a certified copy of the other parent’s government-issued identification document (such as a passport or drivers licence) with their photograph and signature.
  • If you are including a child younger than 18 years of age in your application:
    • an AFP National Police Check for your sponsor, if the sponsor 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 the sponsor has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

Provide the original certificates. Your sponsor can keep a copy for their own records.

    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 a Child visa (subclass 802). It explains the child’s 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:

  • 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 visa conditions and Australian laws.

Sponsors

This information is for a parent who wants to sponsor a child for a Child visa (subclass 802).

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

Who can sponsor a child

To sponsor a child for this visa you must be:

  • the parent (or their partner), step-parent, or adoptive parent of the child
  • older than 18 years of age

You must be either:

You can sponsor a child if you are either:

  • a step-parent who is no longer the partner of the child's parent but has a legal responsibility to care for the child and the child is younger than 18 years of age
  • an adoptive parent who adopted the child before you became an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

You do not need to be in Australia at the time of application. You can still be a sponsoring parent if you:

  • entered Australia in the past but are outside Australia when the application is lodged
  • have been granted your Australian permanent resident visa but have not yet entered Australia.

Parental responsibility

This visa can be granted only if you can show one of the following for a child younger than 18 years of age:

  • you have the written consent of each person who can legally decide where the child lives
  • the laws of the child’s home country permit the removal of the child
  • it is consistent with any Australian child order.

The documents checklist lists you the documents you must provide with your application to support this claim.

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 a sponsor you must:

  • 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 class.

You must tell us in writing if the child’s circumstances change in a way that could affect the child's eligibility for a Child visa (subclass 802), or your eligibility to sponsor the child.

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.

Last reviewed Thursday 3 April 2014

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