Visa options for children

When does a child need an Australian visa?

A child will need a visa if they are:

  • Not the holder of a permanent visa, and are
  • Intending to travel to, enter, or remain in Australia indefinitely.

The information on this page is about child visa or adoption visa options for people who want to bring a child to live permanently in Australia. 

For information on how to bring a child into Australia for other reasons, please visit the links below:

See > Visitor visas

See > Working visas

See > Studying in Australia

Child visa options

A child might be eligible for a child visa if they are:

  • Under 18 years of age, and
  • Single (not married, engaged to be married, or in a de facto relationship)

In certain circumstances, a person over 18 years of age might be considered as a child. These circumstances are described in the child visa options below.

Adoption visa options

A child might be eligible to apply for an adoption visa if they are:

  • Under 18 years of age, and
  • Single (not married, engaged to be married, or in a de facto relationship)

A person who has been adopted, but is over 18 years of age cannot apply for this visa

Visa options

The visa options listed below allow a child to live in Australia as a temporary or permanent resident.

You might be able to sponsor a child if you are:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • an Australian permanent resident or the holder of a permanent visa.

Which visa option is right for me?

The visa option that is right for a child depends on their circumstances, including:

  • a child’s age
  • a child’s dependency status
  • if the child is in or outside of Australia.

Visa options for a child inside Australia

Scenario 1: A child’s parent or their parent’s partner sponsors them to live in Australia as a permanent resident.

Visa option: Child (Permanent) (Subclass 802)

To apply for a Child (Permanent) (Subclass 802), a child must be:

  • inside Australia when applying for the visa
  • sponsored by their parent or their parent's partner.

If a child is 18 years or older, they must be single and either:

  • a full-time student between 18 and 25 years of age and financially dependent on the sponsoring parent, or
  • unable to work due to disability.

A child might also be able to apply for this visa if they were adopted after their parent became an Australian citizen, holder of a permanent visa or eligible New Zealand citizen. There are additional requirements that must be met for adopted children.

See > Child (Permanent) (Subclass 802)

Scenario 2: A relative sponsors an orphaned child to live in Australia as a permanent resident.

Visa option: Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 837)

To apply for an Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 837) a child must be:

  • inside Australia when applying for the visa
  • sponsored by a relative (a brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step-equivalent) who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • unable to be cared for by their parents because they are both either missing, dead or permanently incapacitated
  • under 18 years of age when applying for the visa.

See > Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 837)

Visa options for a child outside Australia

Scenario 3: A child’s parent or their parent’s partner sponsors them to live in Australia as a permanent resident.

Visa option: Child (Permanent) (Subclass 101)

To apply for a Child (Permanent) (Subclass 101) visa, the child must be:

  • outside Australia when applying for the visa
  • sponsored by their parent or their parent’s partner.

If a child is 18 years or older, they must be single and either:

  • a full-time student between 18 and 25 years of age and financially dependent on the sponsoring parent; or
  • unable to work due to disability.

See > Child (Permanent) (Subclass 101)

Scenario 4: A relative sponsors an orphaned child to live in Australia as a permanent resident.

Visa option: Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 117)

To apply for an Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 117) visa, the child must be:

  • outside Australia when applying for the visa
  • the relative of a person who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • sponsored by a relative (a brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step-equivalent) who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • unable to be cared for by their parents because they are both either missing, dead or permanently incapacitated
  • under 18 years of age when applying for the visa.

See > Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 117)

Scenario 5: A person who is an Australian citizen, holder of a permanent visa or eligible New Zealand citizen sponsors a child that they have adopted overseas to live in Australia as a permanent resident. A child who is in the process of adoption might also be able to apply for this visa.

Visa option: Adoption Visa (Permanent) (Subclass 102)

To apply for the Adoption Visa (Permanent) (Subclass 102), the child must be:

  • outside Australia when applying for the visa
  • adopted:
    • with the involvement of an Australian state or territory adoption authority (either under the Hague Adoption Convention, a bilateral adoption with a competent authority of another country, or another adoption agreement)
    • under the laws of a country other than Australia and their sponsor or their sponsor's partner has and been living outside Australia for the 12 months before the child applies for the visa
  • sponsored by their adoptive parent or their adoptive parent's partner
  • under 18 years of age when the application is lodged and when it is decided.

See > Adoption Visa (Permanent) (Subclass 102)

Visa options for a child inside or outside Australia

Scenario 6: A child’s parent holds a temporary partner visa, and the child was not included in the temporary partner visa application.

Visa option: Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445)

To apply for a Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445), a child must be:

  • either inside or outside Australia when applying for the visa
  • a dependent child of a parent who holds a Partner Provisional visa (subclass 309), Interdependency visa (subclass 310), Dependent Child visa (subclass 445), Partner visa (subclass 820) or Interdependency visa (subclass 826)
  • sponsored by the same person sponsoring their parent (with limited exceptions).

If a child is 18 years or older, they must be:

  • financially dependent on the parent holding the temporary partner visa, or
  • unable to work due to disability.

NOTE:

A child must apply for this visa if they were not included in their parent's application for a temporary partner visa (which has been granted) and want to apply for the same permanent partner visa as their parent.

After being granted this visa, the child must immediately apply for the same permanent partner visa as their parent. The child must apply before a decision is made on their parent’s permanent partner visa application. If the child does not do this, and the child is in Australia when a decision is made on their parent’s permanent partner visa application, the child could become unlawful and might have no other permanent visa options available to them.

See > Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445)

See > Partner category visa options

Who can be a sponsor?

A sponsor must be:

  • older than 18 years of age.

And one of the following:

More information

More information for family members including:

  • visa decisions
  • interview requirements
  • changes in circumstances.

See > More information

Visa support

Go to our visa support page for visa information, including:

  • applying for a visa
  • finding a migration agent
  • online services
  • fees and charges.

See > Visa Support

Search all visas

Search visas