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Balance of family test

The following visas were previously repealed and closed from 2 June 2014 until 25 September 2014. Applications are now accepted for these visas.

  • Parent visa (subclass 103)
  • Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)
  • Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 114)
  • Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclass 835)
  • Carer visa (subclass 116)
  • Carer visa (subclass 836).

If you lodged an application during the period when the visa was repealed then you need to lodge a new application.

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The following information may assist you in working out if you will pass the balance of family test.

The balance of family test requires that at least half of your children live permanently in Australia, or that more of your children live permanently in Australia than in any other country.

In order to count as living permanently in Australia, your children must be:

  • Australian citizens
  • Australian permanent residents who are usually resident in Australia
  • eligible New Zealand citizens who are normally resident in Australia.

See: Family Definitions

The test is designed as an objective measure of a parent's ties to Australia. No assessment is made about the nature of the parent and child relationship.

Children included in the balance of family test

All children, including step children and adopted children, of both parents are counted in the balance of family test, unless the limited circumstances listed below apply.

Note: A step-child is a child:

  • of applicant's current partner
    or
  • aged under 18 and a child of a former partner of the applicant, or a former partner of the applicant's current partner, and the applicant or the applicant's partner has a legal responsibility to look after the child.

Children not included in the balance of family test

Children are not counted in the balance of family test if they:

  • are deceased
  • are removed from their parents' legal custody by adoption or court order
  • are registered by the UNHCR as refugees and live in a camp operated by UNHCR
  • live in a country where they suffer persecution or human rights abuse and cannot be reunited with their parents in another country.

Children counted as usually resident in countries other than Australia

Children who are outside Australia are considered to be residents of the country other than Australia where they usually live.

Children who are in Australia on a temporary basis are considered to be residents of the country where they previously lived before traveling to Australia. If the child has no legal right to return to that country, they are taken to reside in their country of citizenship.

Children whose whereabouts are unknown, or cannot be verified, are considered to be residents of their last known country of usual residence.

Balance of family table

The table below gives some examples of families with different numbers of children. It shows how the location of the children's permanent residence affects the balance of family test.

Total number of children Number of children usually resident in Australia Number of children usually resident in countries other than Australia Passes balance of family test
Country 'A' Country 'B' Country 'C' Country 'D'
1 1         Yes
2 1 1       Yes
3 1 2       No
3 1 1 1     No
4 2 2       Yes
4 1 1 1 1   No
4 1 2 1     No
5 1 1 1 1 1 No
5 2 1 1 1   Yes
5 3 2       Yes
6 2 2 2     No

Before lodging an application, please read all related eligibility requirements.
See: Eligibility

Last reviewed Tuesday 28 October 2014