Sponsoring a family member to Australia can be a complex process, especially when it involves sponsoring a family member (i.e. the Australian must become an approved sponsor).
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the key aspects for sponsor family member for visa in Australia.
Whether you are a spouse, partner, parent, or dependent child, understanding the sponsorship requirements is crucial for a successful visa application. Let’s dive into the details and simplify the process for you.
Requirements to Sponsor Family Member for Visa
When applying for a family visa in Australia, having a sponsor is often a mandatory requirement. A sponsor is a person who undertakes the responsibility of supporting the visa applicant and ensuring their well-being during their stay in Australia.
Let’s explore requirements to move to Australia:
1. Sponsorship Form (Form 40):
The first step in the process is completing the Sponsorship Form (Form 40). This form serves as a formal undertaking by the sponsor to support the visa applicant. It must be fully completed, signed, and dated if in paper application format. The absence of a signature on the form usually does not invalidate the visa application. These days some visa application types allow the Form 40 to be completed online through Immi Account.
2. Eligibility and Obligations:
To become a sponsor, certain eligibility criteria must be met. In some instances, certain visa applications require the sponsor to have the financial capacity to meet the applicant’s needs for a specified period, usually two years. Additionally, the sponsor must provide suitable accommodation arrangements for the applicant and their accompanying family members.
3. Supporting Documentation:
To establish the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant, supporting documentation is required. This includes birth certificates (showing full names of parents), marriage certificates, death certificates, adoption certificates, family status certificates, and family books. Officially issued and maintained documents like family status certificates and family books may be accepted in lieu of other certificates. In some cases, additional birth certificates may be necessary to demonstrate the family relationship.
4. Evidence of Relationship:
Proving the relationship between the sponsor and the visa applicant is crucial. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and adoption certificates serve as primary evidence. If official birth certificates are not available, alternate evidence such as medical records, taxation records, health insurance or social security records, wills or testaments, and departmental records may be considered. It is important to provide at least two different types of alternate evidence in place of one official birth certificate.
Changes in Circumstances:
During the visa application process, certain circumstances may change. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
1. Newborn Children:
Regulation 2.08 provides that a non-citizen newborn child is considered to be added to their parent’s undecided visa application at the time of birth. If the child is an Australian citizen or eligible for Australian citizenship, different considerations may apply. A new Sponsorship Form (Form 40) must be completed, including the newborn child’s details.
2. Adding Partners or Dependent Children:
If you need to add a spouse, de facto partner, or dependent child to your visa application, specific provisions exist. Regulation 2.08A allows for the addition of these family members to certain permanent or temporary visa applications. The appropriate forms must be completed, and the necessary documentation should be provided.
Procedures and Processes:
Understanding the procedures and processes related to sponsoring a family member is vital for a smooth visa application.
Here are important aspects to consider:
1. Lodging Form 40:
The Form (Form 40) should be lodged simultaneously with the visa application. It must be completed by the sponsor and accompanied by all relevant supporting documentation. Failure to provide the required documentation may result in processing delays.
2. Where to Lodge Sponsorships:
The location for lodging sponsorships varies depending on the type of visa application. Online via ImmiAccount, overseas posts, the Parent Visa Centre (PVC), or Departmental State or Territory Offices (STOs) are common lodgment points. Parent visa applications usually require all documentation to be lodged at the PVC.
Sponsorship Decision Making:
The decision regarding sponsorship plays a crucial role in the visa grant or refusal process. Here are key points to understand:
1. Visa Grant or Refusal:
Sponsorship approval is part of the decision to grant or refuse the visa. If the sponsor is found to be ineligible or unable to fulfill the sponsorship undertaking, the visa applicant may not satisfy the sponsorship requirements. This can lead to a visa refusal. Full details regarding the refusal must be recorded in the decision record.
2. Merits Review:
Decisions to refuse a visa based on sponsorship can be subject to merits review.
Can I sponsor a family member to come to Australia?
Yes, it is possible to sponsor certain family members to come to Australia, depending on your circumstances and the visa category. Australia offers various family visa options that allow eligible sponsors to bring their family members to Australia. The specific family members you can sponsor and the requirements vary depending on the visa category. Some common family visa categories include:
- Partner Visas: Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens can sponsor their spouse, de facto partner, or prospective spouse (fiancé) to live with them in Australia.
- Child Visas: Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens can sponsor their dependent children to join them in Australia.
- Parent Visas: Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens may be able to sponsor their parents to come and live in Australia.
- Other Family Visas: There are also visa options available for sponsoring other family members, such as aged-dependent relatives or remaining relatives who have no close relatives outside Australia.
- Subclass 491: The Family Sponsored stream of the 491 visa allows an eligible relative to sponsor them. An eligible relative includes:
- a child or step-child
- a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister
- an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle
- a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece
- a grandparent, or
- a first cousin
It's important to note that each visa category has specific eligibility criteria, including financial requirements, relationship requirements, and health and character checks. Additionally, there may be limitations or waiting periods associated with certain visa categories. It's advisable to consult with a registered migration agent for detailed information and guidance on sponsoring a family member to come to Australia.
What is a sponsor, and why is sponsorship necessary for a family stream visa application?
A sponsor is a person who undertakes the responsibility of supporting the visa applicant and ensuring their well-being during their stay in Australia. Sponsorship is necessary to demonstrate that the applicant will have financial and accommodation support in Australia.
What documents are required to establish the relationship between the sponsor and the visa applicant?
Documents such as birth certificates (showing full names of parents), marriage certificates, death certificates, adoption certificates, family status certificates, and family books are commonly required. These documents provide evidence of the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant.
Note: additional documents will likely be required depending on the application type and the facts of the matter.
Can alternate evidence be provided if official birth certificates are not available?
Yes, if official birth certificates are not available, alternate evidence such as medical records, taxation records, health insurance or social security records, wills or testaments, and Departmental records may be considered. It is important to provide at least two different types of alternate evidence in place of one official birth certificate.
What happens if there are changes in circumstances during the visa application process, such as the birth of a child?
In the case of a newborn child, regulations provide specific provisions. The child can be added to the parent's visa application, and a new Sponsorship Form (Form 40) must be completed to include the child's details.
Where should the Sponsorship Form (Form 40) be lodged?
The Sponsorship Form (Form 40) should be lodged simultaneously with the visa application. The specific location for lodging sponsorships may vary depending on the type of visa application. It can be an online form through ImmiAccount, an overseas post, the Parent Visa Centre (PVC), or a Departmental State or Territory Office (STO).
What happens if the sponsorship is not approved?
If the sponsorship is not approved, it may lead to the refusal of the visa. It is essential to fulfill the sponsorship requirements and provide all necessary documentation to increase the chances of approval.
Can a refusal based on family sponsorship be subject to merits review?
Yes, decisions to refuse a visa based on sponsorship can be subject to merits review.
What is Form 40, and why is it important?
Form 40 is the Sponsorship Form that must be completed by the sponsor when sponsoring a family member for an Australian visa. It serves as a formal undertaking to support the visa applicant. It is a crucial document in the visa application process, as it demonstrates the sponsor's commitment and obligations.
Sponsoring a family member can be a complex process. However, with a thorough understanding of the sponsorship requirements, proper documentation, and adherence to the necessary procedures, you can increase your chances of a successful visa application.
Remember to seek professional advice when needed. By staying informed and prepared, you can navigate the process and bring your family closer to the opportunity of a new life in Australia.
Contact our team of experts today if you would like to sponsor a family member for an Australian visa.