A Carer visa (subclass 836) 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 get the care they need from any other relative or from welfare, hospital, nursing or community services in Australia.
The Carer visa (subclass 836) is a permanent visa. Your application must be made in Australia and you must be in Australia at that time. You must be in Australia when the visa is granted. This also applies to all of your family members included as applicants for the visa.
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 - if you travel after that time, you will need to apply for another visa if you want to return to Australia.
More information on being an Australian permanent resident, 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.
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.
You need a valid passport or other travel document for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after you have lodged your application, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices.
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.
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.
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.
This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Carer visa (subclass 836).
Who could get this visa
You might be eligible for this visa if:
- you need to stay in 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 Medibank Health Solutions as being 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
- your relative or their partner can sponsor you
- 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 and settled 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 to care for a member of their family, they must both live in the same house.
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.
Your sponsor must be 18 years of age or older and one of the following:
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 Medibank Health Solutions. 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.
Proof of identity
We will ask for proof of your identity and your relationship to your sponsor. This can be done through biometric testing (a scientific form of identification) or DNA testing. More information is available at Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program.
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 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 Medibank Health Solutions before we can make a decision about your visa application.
To arrange their assessment with Medibank Health Solutions, your relative can telephone 1300 361 046 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call.
When your relative speaks to the Medibank Health Solutions 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 Medibank Health Solutions assessment process.
If Medibank Health Solutions 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 Medibank Health Solutions 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 836). You and all family members included as applicants must be in Australia when you make your application. Your application must be made in Australia.
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 your 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:
If you have any dependent family members who are 18 years of age or older (whether or not they are migrating), you must complete:
If you have any dependent children who are under 18 years of age, you must complete:
Your sponsor completes:
The forms must be completed in English.
Lodge your application
Lodge the application forms, together with all necessary supporting documents, at our Perth office in Western Australia - attention the Child and Other Family Processing Centre.
Email enquiry form: Child and Other Family Processing Centre Enquiry Form
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 in Australia when the application is made and the visa is granted.
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.
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.
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. It 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 that you continue to 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
- we make a final decision about your visa application.
If your visa is granted you must be in 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 advised 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:
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:
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
- your sponsor's circumstances 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 the 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 or older.
If the visa is granted, you must be in 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).
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.
Complete these forms if they are relevant:
- If someone gives you advice or lodges your application for you:
- If you would like someone else to receive correspondence from us on your behalf:
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
- Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder's photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
- Certified copies of birth certificates, family status certificates or family books for each person included in your application, even if they are not joining you in Australia.
- Two recent passport-sized photographs (45 mm x 35 mm) of each person included in the application.
- These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background.
- Print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.
- If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.
- If you served in the armed forces of any country, certified copies of military service record or discharge papers.
- 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).
- Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you, your partner or anyone else included in your application, even if they are not joining you in Australia.
- 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 or billing accounts in joint names).
- If you or anyone included in the application has been widowed, divorced or permanently separated: a certified copy of the death certificate, divorce decree absolute, or statutory declaration/separation certificate.
- Evidence of dependency for all dependants aged 18 or older (such as evidence of current studies):
- a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
- proof that the relative lives in your household
- proof that your relative has been dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
- Certified copies of birth certificates or the family book showing the names of both parents of all your dependent children.
- If any dependent child included in the application is adopted: certified copies of the adoption papers.
- If you want to bring a child younger than 18 years of age with you to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in the application: documentary evidence that you have the legal right to bring that child to Australia, such as:
- Evidence that the sponsor is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Evidence that the sponsor is settled and 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 Medibank Health Solutions Carer Visa Assessment Certificate for the person who requires care or evidence that the Medibank Health Solutions assessment has begun (a letter from Medibank Health Solutions acknowledging your request for a care assessment).
- Evidence to show that the sponsor has tried to find and obtain care or assistance in Australia from services such as welfare, a hospital, nursing services or community services.
- Evidence to show that the sponsor has no other relatives in Australia who can provide the required care or assistance.
This information is for a person who wants to sponsor a relative for a Carer visa (subclass 836).
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 get 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
- settled and usually resident in Australia
- be 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 836).
To sponsor someone to come to Australia to care for you or assist you, you must:
For two years after they are granted this visa in Australia, you must continue to help your relative and their accompanying family members settle in Australia by providing (if necessary):
- financial assistance.
Use the following form if you want to change information you provided in your sponsorship application form:
Report change 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: