This information is for people who can include a family member in their application for a visa.
Not all visas are the same. Read the requirements for the visa you are applying for to confirm who can be included in your application.
A member of your family unit can be your:
- partner – married or de facto (same or opposite sex)
- dependent child
- other family members.
If a child is born after an application is lodged, but before it is decided, the child will automatically be included in their parents' application(s). It does not matter if the child is born in or outside Australia. The parent will need to tell us about the birth.
Your partner can be married to you or they can be your de facto partner. Your de facto partner can be the same or opposite sex. You must prove:
- the relationship is genuine and continuing
- your partner is at least 18 years of age when the application is lodged (there are some exceptions)
- you and your partner do not have a parent in common and you are not an ancestor or descendant of one another.
For a married partner, the marriage must be legal under Australian law. For a de facto partner, the relationship needs to have existed for six or 12 months before you lodge the application. The length of the de facto relationship depends on the visa you are applying for.
To include a dependent child in your visa application, the child must be:
- your child
- a stepchild from a current or a previous relationship (in certain circumstances).
Acceptable documents that can show a parent-child relationship include:
- a certified copy of each child's birth certificate
- a certified copy of adoption papers.
Your child or stepchild is considered to be dependent if any of the following apply:
- they are younger than 18 years of age
- they have turned 18 years of age and continue to be wholly or substantially reliant on you for their basic needs (food, clothing and shelter)
- they have a mental or physical disability that stops them from earning a living to support themselves (whether or not they migrate with the applicant). The child can be of any age. The child will still need to meet Australia’s health requirement.
A child of any age is not considered to be dependent if they are currently married, engaged to be married or in a de facto relationship.
Some visas require that the child has never been married or in a de facto relationship.
If your child is born after you lodge your application (but before it is decided), you must tell us as soon as possible. You can do this as follows:
Outside Australia: If your child is born outside Australia and either parent is an Australian citizen at the time of the child's birth, the child might be eligible for Australian citizenship by descent.
In Australia: If your child is born in Australia, they are automatically granted the same visa you and your partner hold at the time of the child's birth. If either parent is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident at the time of the child's birth, the child might be an Australian citizen by birth.
Parental responsibility (formerly custody)
Australia must fulfil its international obligations in relation to the prevention of child abduction.
If a child is applying for a visa (on their own or as part of a family unit), each person who has the legal right to decide where the child lives must give consent for the visa to be granted, or a court order allowing the grant of the visa to the child will be needed.
Acceptable documents include certified copies of:
- an overseas court order giving you the sole right to decide where the child should live
- a completed
Form 1229: Consent to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (244KB PDF)
- a statutory declaration, signed by the child’s other parent (or other person with a legal right to decide where the child lives), that allows you to take the child to Australia
- a death certificate for the other parent and other documents giving you the sole right to decide where the child should live
- an Australian court order giving you the sole right to decide where the child should live.
In the case of a stepchild from a former relationship, you must prove you were in a relationship with the child's parent and that you have been awarded one of the following:
- a residence order in force for the child under the Australian Family Law Act 1975
- a specific issues order in force under the Australian Family Law Act 1975, giving you responsibility for the child's long term or day-to-day care, welfare and development
- guardianship or custody, whether jointly or otherwise, under a Commonwealth, state or territory law or a law in force in a foreign country.
Other family members
A family member can be your parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step equivalent.
For any family member that you include in your visa application, you must provide evidence of their:
- relationship to you
- dependency on you
- relationship status (whether they are married, in a de facto relationship, divorced or separated).
This evidence includes:
- a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
- documents showing that the relative lives in your household
- documents showing that your relative has been dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
Your family member will be considered dependent if all of the following apply:
- they do not have a spouse or de facto partner
- they usually live with you
- they are wholly or substantially reliant on your financial support for their basic living needs (food, shelter and clothing)
- they are more reliant on you for support than on any other person or source
- they have relied on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
If your family member is divorced, legally separated or widowed, you must provide certified copies of supporting evidence, such as:
- the document of legal divorce
- the document of legal separation
- the death certificate of the deceased partner.
Evidence of your family relationship
When there is not enough evidence to support a claimed family relationship, we might suggest you and the relevant family member have DNA tests to confirm the relationship.
If this happens, we will tell you what you need to do to arrange the test. We might not accept the results of tests done in any other way. You must pay for requested DNA tests.