Member of Family Unit

What is changing on 19 November 2016?

The definition of Member of the Family Unit (MoFU) will be simplified and limited to direct family members under 23 years of age (and dependent children with a medically accepted disability).

Under regulation 1.12, of the Migration Regulations 1994, the general definition of MoFU will be amended to limit secondary visa applicants for permanent visa subclasses and some provisional and temporary visa subclasses.  The visa subclasses to which MoFU applies are not changing other than to apply MoFU to the Maritime Crew (subclass 988) visa.

A person will be a MoFU of another person (the family head) if the person:

  1. is a spouse or de facto partner of the family head
    or
  2. is a child or step child of the family head or of a spouse or de facto partner of the family head (other than a child or step child who is engaged to be married or has a spouse or de facto partner) and:
    1. has not turned 18
       or
    2. has turned 18, but has not turned 23, and is dependent on the family head or on the spouse or de facto partner of the family head
      or
    3. has turned 23 and is under paragraph 1.05A(1)(b) dependent on the family head or on the spouse or de facto partner of the family head

  3. is a dependent child of a person who meets the conditions in paragraph 2.

The current arrangements will be preserved:

  • for refugee, humanitarian and protection visas
  • to recognise the earlier MoFU status, for certain visas, of those who apply for a visa on the grounds of having satisfied MoFU for their current visa.

The Maritime Crew (subclass 988) visa (MCV) will be amended to apply the definition of MoFU in place of the current provisions limiting secondary applicants to a MCV applicant or holder’s spouse, de facto partner or dependent child(ren).

Why is the change being made?

The changes make the family members who can be included in a visa application, as a MoFU, more consistent with arrangements available to Australian citizens and permanent residents seeking to bring family members to Australia.  The amendments also simplify the MoFU definition.  

Where can I get additional information?

Two new information forms have been developed:

  • Form 1496i - Including family members in your application
  • Form 1497i - Including family members in your refugee, humanitarian or protection visa application.

Both forms will be available on the department’s website.

Information will also be updated on the department’s website ahead of the change commencing.

This information is to be considered in conjunction with regulation 1.12 and the relevant visa criteria when lodging a visa application.