A child may be eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa via the following pathways:

If the child is onshore, in Australia:

  • Child visa (subclass 802)
  • Dependent Child visa (subclass 445)
  • Orphan Relative visa (subclass 837)

If the child is offshore, outside of Australia:

  • Child visa (subclass 101)
  • Dependent Child visa (subclass 445)
  • Orphan Relative visa (subclass 117)
  • Adoption visa (subclass 102)

Child visa (subclass 802)

This visa allows an Australian citizen, permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand citizen parent (or their spouse or defacto partner) to sponsor their child to live in Australia permanently. The parent can apply for a child that is under 18 years of age.

In order for the visa to be granted the child must be single and must also be one of the following: 

  • younger than 18 years of age (and not adopted)
  • adopted (and under 18 when adopted)
  • full-time student between the ages of 18 and 25
  • 18 or older and unable to work due to a disability 

For children that are younger than 18, the visa will only be granted if each parent consents in writing, the laws of the child country permit the removal of the child, it is consistent with any Australian child order and it is in the best interests of the child. The Department of Immigration may request and Assurance of Support to prevent welfare costs being borne by the Australian community. 

Dependent Child visa (subclass 445)

This is a temporary visa which allows a child to travel to Australia to join a parent who holds a provisional partner visa (or a Dependent Child visa). If the visa is granted the child must also make a permanent partner visa application before the parents permanent visa is processed.

The child visa applicant must be single, younger than 18 (or either financially dependent on the parent holding the provisional partner visa or incapacitated for work) and sponsored by the same person who sponsored their parent.

Orphan Relative visa (subclass 117)

An applicant for an Orphan Relative visa must be under the age of 18 and have no parents to care for them either because they are dead, permanently incapacitated or their whereabouts are unknown.

An orphan relative can be sponsored by a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew or grandparent (or step equivalent or spouse of any of these).

Sponsors of orphan relatives must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand citizen, over 18, living in Australia and resident for a reasonable period and willing to support the child for the first two years that the child is resident in Australia.