Do you need help with understanding the personal visas available in Australia? LegalVision can assist if you want: 

  • to stay with a partner; 
  • to come to Australia to study;
  • a family visa; or 
  • assistance with a review of a refused visa application. 

Below, we set out some types of personal visas in Australia.

Partner Visas

A range of personal visas may be available in Australia if your partner is an Australian or New Zealand citizen.

Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) (Offshore) Visa 

This visa is for those who plan to marry an Australian or New Zealand citizen. You can apply for a prospective marriage visa, which allows you entry into Australia for up to nine months. During that period, you will need to finalise your marriage and apply for a Partner (Subclass 820/801) onshore visa.

Partner (Subclass 820/801) (Onshore) Visa 

When you apply for a Partner visa, the Subclass 820 temporary visa is initially granted. You will be permitted to work, study, live, travel and obtain Medicare benefits. After two years, you will be granted the Subclass 801 permanent visa after meeting certain requirements. Generally, the couple must demonstrate they are involved in a genuine relationship. The Department will consider whether they are: 

  • living together; 
  • sharing bank accounts; and 
  • participating jointly in social activities.

Partner (Subclass 309/100) (Offshore) Visa

This operates like the Partner (Subclass 820/801) (onshore) visa, except that the applicant is outside Australia at the time of applying.

Parent Visas

Parents with children living permanently in Australia may be eligible for a parent visa either on a temporary or permanent basis, using one of these personal visas:

  1. Parent (Subclass 103) Visa (offshore): this visa allows you to live in Australia as a permanent resident. You can also apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible. 
  2. Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 173) (offshore): this visa allows you to live, work and study in Australia for up to two years.
  3. Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143) (onshore or offshore): this visa allows you to move to or stay in Australia as a permanent resident. You can also apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible. 
  4. Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) (onshore): this visa allows an aged parent to move to or stay in Australia as a permanent resident. You can also apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible. You must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia to be eligible for this visa. 
  5. Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 884) (onshore): this visa allows you to live in Australia for up to two years. Applicants can also work and study in Australia. You must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia to be eligible for this visa. 
  6. Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864) (onshore): this visa allows you to permanently live, work and study in Australia and obtain Medicare benefits. You must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia to be eligible for this visa. 
  7. Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 870) (offshore): this visa allows you to stay (but not work) in Australia for up to three or five years (depending on the visa). You may be able to apply for this visa in Australia if you have permission (which the sponsor must request in the sponsorship application). 

Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa

This new visa will allow Australians to sponsor their parents to stay in Australia for up to five years at a time. It will come into effect once the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (the Bill) is passed through Parliament. The Bill is currently before the Senate. Therefore, this visa is not yet available.

Student Visas

A range of personal visas are available for students in Australia.

Student (Subclass 500) Visa

To be eligible, you need to have been accepted into an educational institution and enrolled in full-time study. You must be a genuine and temporary entrant and have proficient levels of English to study your course. You must: 

  • have sufficient funds;
  • have appropriate health cover; and 
  • pass health and character requirements.

Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa

To be eligible, you must be an international student who: 

  • has graduated from an Australian tertiary institution after two years of study; and 
  • wishes to remain in the country temporarily for further study or work.

Student Guardian (Subclass 590) Visa

This visa allows the guardian of an international student under the age of 18 to stay in Australia. To be eligible, you need to have been accepted into the educational institution and enrolled in full-time study. You must: 

  • be a genuine and temporary entrant; 
  • have proficient levels of English to study your course;
  • have sufficient funds and appropriate health cover; and 
  • pass health and character requirements. 

Also, you cannot bring family members younger than six except under certain circumstances.

Child Visas

Child (Permanent) (Subclass 802/Subclass 101) Visas 

Subclass 802 is for applicants in Australia and Subclass 101 is for applicants outside Australia. The child must be sponsored by their parent (as an Australian or New Zealand citizen). The child must be:

  • younger than 18 years old; or 
  • a student between 18-25 years old, if they are the biological or adopted or step-child of the sponsoring parent.

Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445)

If the sponsoring parent is on a temporary partner visa and did not include their dependent child in their application, they can apply for a subclass 445 for the child.

Adoption Visa (Permanent) (Subclass 102)

A child must be adopted or in the process of being adopted by a sponsoring parent who is either: 

  • an Australian Citizen; 
  • a Permanent Resident; or 
  • an eligible New Zealand Citizen.

Orphan Relative (Permanent) (Subclass 837/117)

This visa permits a relative to sponsor an orphaned child to live in Australia permanently. Subclass 837 is for when the child is in Australia, and Subclass 117 is for when the child is outside Australia. The orphaned child must be under the age of 18 and the sponsoring relative must be either the brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle or step-equivalent of the child (and above 18 years of age).

Other Family Visas

Aged Dependent Relative (Subclass 114/838) Visa

This is a permanent visa for a relative of an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand Citizen who is: 

  • single; and 
  • financially dependent on the sponsor. 

Subclass 114 is for applicants outside Australia and Subclass 838 is for applicants in Australia.

Remaining Relative Visa (Subclass 115/835) Visa

A person whose only near relative resides permanently in Australia may apply for the Remaining Relative Visa. Subclass 115 is for applicants outside Australia and Subclass 835 is for applicants in Australia.

Carer (Subclass 836/116) Visa

Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents with a medical condition or disability can sponsor relatives to live in Australia and care for them. The Sponsor’s medical condition will be assessed and the medical condition must be: 

  • long-term; and 
  • Impacting the daily aspects of their life. 

Subclass 836 is for applicants in Australia and Subclass 116 is for applicants outside Australia.

Resident Return and Visitor Visas

Resident Return (Subclass 155 and 157) Visa: Permanent residents are permitted to travel and return to Australia for up to five years from the date the visa was granted. After that, however, they must obtain a Resident Return Visa in order in order to continue travelling and securing entry into Australia.

Visitor Visas

There are a number of short to longer-term temporary visa options for tourists, business professionals and family members planning to visit or engage in short-term unskilled work in Australia. For example, these include the:

  1. Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601);
  2. eVisitor (Subclass 651);
  3. Visitor (Subclass 600);
  4. Work and Holiday (Subclass 462); and
  5. Working Holiday (Subclass 417).

Cancellations, Merits Review and the AAT

Facing a cancellation or refusal of your visa can be an incredibly stressful and uncertain time.

If your visa application has been refused or your visa has been cancelled, you may be able to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT offers an impartial and non-adversarial approach to reviewing the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) decisions. An appeal gives you the opportunity to have another third party body review your case. You can have a migration agent represent you throughout the whole process.

If the AAT affirms the decision of the DHA, it means the original decision on your application (cancellation or refusal) will be upheld. However, if the AAT disagrees with the DHA’s decision, they will remit the matter back to the DHA for further assessment.

If the decision is affirmed, you can appeal to the Federal Court of Australia. However, you can only do so if there is a legal error in the decision. Only lawyers can represent you when you appear before the Federal Court of Australia.

LegalVision can help with: 

  • applying for a review of your case; and 
  • your case during an appeal through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

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