Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838)

Features

This visa is for some older people to stay permanently in Australia if they rely on an eligible relative in Australia to provide financial support.​​

Eligibility

You might be eligible for this visa if you:

  • lodge your application in Australia
  • meet the age requirements
  • rely on a relative in Australia, and you are sponsored by them or their partner.

Length of stay

Permanently

Cost

From AUD
3,945

Global processing times

Global processing time for this visa is unavailable as applications are capped or queued.

For more information read Global visa and citizenship processing times.

Learn about...​

Eligibility


Who could get this visa

    You might be eligible for this visa if you:
  • are sponsored by a relative or their partner who lives in Australia
  • do not have a spouse or de facto partner
  • meet the dependency requirements
  • meet the age requirements
  • have someone who will provide an assurance of support
  • meet health and character requirements.

You should not apply for this visa unless you believe you are likely to be successful, because the visa application charge will not usually be refunded if your application is refused or withdrawn.

Your sponsor in Australia

You must be sponsored by the relative on whom you are financially dependent, and who has provided this support for a reasonable period (usually three years) before you lodge your application. Their partner can also be your sponsor.

Assurance of support

A person or organisation must give you an assurance of support. They can be your sponsor or another person. Up to three people can provide an assurance of support for you.

Dependency

To be considered an aged dependent relative you must not be married or in a de facto relationship.

You must be able to demonstrate that you have been wholly or substantially dependent on your relative in Australia for financial support for your basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, or because you have a disability which prevents you from working. This support must have been continuing for at least three (3) years before your application is lodged.

Age

You must be old enough to be granted an aged pension under the Social Security Act 1991. For more information, see the Department of Human Services website.

Health

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 the members of your family unit included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

Character

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, since you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

This also applies to all family members listed in the application, who are 16 years of age or older, whether they are migrating or not.

Australian Values Statement

You must sign an Australian Values Statement to confirm that you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. The statement is included in the visa application form. You must have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia book before you sign the statement.

This applies to all migrating family members listed in the application who are 18 years of age or older.

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.

This also applies to all dependent family members listed in the application, whether they are migrating or not.

The visa

About this visa

The Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838) is a permanent visa that allows some older people who meet age requirements to stay in Australia if they rely on an eligible relative in Australia to provide financial support.

What you can do

    It allows you and your family to:
  • 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 - after that time you will need to apply for another visa if you want to return to Australia.

More information on Australian permanent residence, including eligibility for government services and benefits, is available.

Processing arrangements

There is high demand for family migration visas and only a limited number of places are available. Applications for this visa are subject to capping and queuing arrangements and in accordance with any relevant Ministerial Directions. This means your application is considered in two stages.

When you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed. If you are given a Bridging visa A, you can apply for Bridging visa B to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

If your visa is granted, you must be in Australia when it is granted.

Cost

From AUD 3,945

    You might have to pay additional costs for:
  • additional applicant charge 18 and over
  • additional applicant charge under 18
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.

Do not arrange for any checks until we tell you to.

Use the Visa pricing estimator to estimate the cost of your application.

Visa pricing estimator

Note: The estimator does not calculate additional costs.

Location

You must be in Australia when you lodge your application; and you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. This applies to all applicants for the visa.

How long your visa lasts

This is a permanent visa.

Family

You can include your child/step-child in your visa application at the time of lodgement.

For detailed information regarding who you can include in your application see including family members in your application.

The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

Members of your family unit must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

After you applied for this visa but before a decision is made, members of your family unit can be added to your application.

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Sponsors

This information is for a person who wants to sponsor an Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838).

Who can sponsor a family member

You can sponsor a family member for this visa if you are their relative and they are dependent on you financially.

They must be able to demonstrate that they have been dependent on you for financial support for a reasonable period (usually three years) before lodging the application. Your partner can be the sponsor, provided you live together.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

    You must also:
  • agree in writing to help provide accommodation and financial assistance for your relative and any accompanying family members for their first two years in Australia.

Assurance of support

    If you have also provided an assurance of support, you must support your relative and their family for two years after their visa is granted:
  • providing financial support so they do not have to rely on any government forms of income support
  • repaying the Australian Government for any social security payments
  • paying a refundable bond before the visa is granted.

Sponsorship obligations

    For two years after your relative is granted this visa and arrives in Australia, you must continue to help them and their accompanying family members settle in Australia by providing (if necessary):
  • accommodation
  • financial assistance.

Follow these steps

  1. Before you apply

    Family Members, Capping and Queuing

    The Australian Government limits the number of Aged Dependent Relative (subclass 838) visas it grants each year.

    Aged Dependent Relative visa applications are given a lower priority than other family visas, such as partner and child visas. You can find information on processing times at Family Members, Capping and Queuing.

    Your passport

    Usually, you and your family need to have valid passports to be granted 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 .

  2. Gather documents

    Documents

    Prepare your documents

    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.

  3. Apply

    Apply for the visa

    Lodge all the forms together. Pay the first instalment of the visa application charge when you apply. Send your completed forms by post or courier to the relevant address on application form 47OF.

    Email enquiry form: Child and Other Family Processing Centre Enquiry Form

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

    More information

    Please refer to preparing your application, for information on:

    • certifying and translating documents into English
    • communicating with us
    • using a migration agent
    • authorising another person to receive information from us
    • receiving assistance with your application.
  4. After you apply

    After you have lodged your application and documents, we will acknowledge that we have received your information.

    Wait for a decision

    We assess applications for this visa in the order in which they are lodged, see Other Family Visa Queue and in accordance with any relevant Ministerial Directions.

    Visa decision

    You must be in Australia on the date your visa is granted.

      If the visa is granted, we will send you a letter or email to tell you:
    • when you can use the visa
    • the visa grant number.

    You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

      If the visa is not granted, we will send you a letter or email advising:
    • why the visa was refused
    • your review rights (if any)
    • the time limit for lodging a request for review of the decision (if applicable).

    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:
    • Form 1023 - Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF)

    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.

    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.

    Tell us of changes

    You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

    If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.​​

    More information is available in the Tell us of changes tab.

Tell us of changes

Changes to 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:
  • Form 929 - Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF) — if either of you moves to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (77KB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

Withdrawing your visa 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 your 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.

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.

Estimate the cost of your visa

Will you be lodging your application online?
Will the primary applicant be in Australia when the application is lodged?
* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The following 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 might 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.