Eligibility requirements for visitor visa in sponsored family stream
The following are the requirements for Visitor visa in Sponsored family stream.
The sponsor must be a settled Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who is at least 18 and is either:
- a relative of the applicant; or
- a relative of another applicant who is a member of the family unit of the applicant; or
- a relative of another applicant in relation to whom the applicant is a member of the family unit;
- A settled Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who is a Commonwealth/State/Territory member of parliament or local government mayor; or
- A Commonwealth/State/Territory government agency or instrumentality.
Special Category visa Subclass 444 holders, eligible New Zealand citizens, New Zealand citizens and New Zealand permanent residents cannot sponsor an applicant for a Sponsored Family stream visa.
The sponsor (if an individual, that is, a natural person) must be a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident, and ‘lawfully resident in Australia for a reasonable period’.
A reasonable period is considered to be 2 years. However periods of temporary residence, as well as permanent residence, can be counted towards making up the 2 year requirement.
For this requirement to be met, the sponsor must be lawfully resident at the time the application is made. This does not necessarily mean that the sponsor must be in Australia at this time because a temporary absence would not negate the fact that a person is lawfully resident. However, if the sponsor has moved permanently overseas, they would not be considered to be lawfully resident in Australia even if the absence at the time the application is made has been for a short period only.
The requirement may also be met if a person has spent some time in Australia on a temporary visa and then been granted a permanent visa. In such a case, the temporary stay may contribute to satisfying the ‘settled’ criterion, if the person became lawfully resident during the period of temporary stay and the lawful residence has been maintained. This means that time spent as a student, for example, before being granted a permanent visa may, depending on the circumstances, contribute to satisfying the ‘settled’ criterion.
A sponsor must be able to be held accountable for the sponsorship undertakings they give. Consequently, a sponsor (if an individual) must be an adult (that is, at least 18 years old).
Sponsorships by a member of parliament, member of a legislative assembly or a mayor must be completed personally by the sponsor.
If the visa applicant is sponsored by a government agency or instrumentality, the sponsorship form must be completed by an authorised officer and show the official seal of the agency or instrumentality. The authorised officer must be authorised to make the sponsorship undertaking on behalf of the agency or instrumentality; merely being an employee of the agency or instrumentality is not sufficient.
An example of this is where the applicants are the parents and a sister of the sponsor. The parents and the sister are all relatives of the sponsor and so all are eligible to be sponsored at the same time by the same sponsor. Whether the sister, for instance, is over 18 or living independently is irrelevant, because she is a relative of the sponsor.
An example of this is where a niece or nephew of the sponsor has applied for a visa with a parent who is not a blood relation of the sponsor. The parent who is not a blood relation is the sponsor’s brother-in-law or sister-in-law and, is not a relative of the sponsor. The niece or nephew is a relative of the sponsor, however, and because they are members of the family unit of their parent, the parent (the sister-in-law/brother in law) is also able to be sponsored.
An example of this is where the sponsor’s uncle and the uncle’s child have applied for a 600 visa. The uncle is a relative of the sponsor but the uncle’s child is not, because the child is the cousin of the sponsor and cousins are not included in the definition of ‘relative’. However, because the cousin is a member of the family unit of the uncle and the uncle has also applied for a visa, the cousin may also be sponsored.
For consistency across immigration programs, it is policy that, for a Subclass 600 Sponsored Family Stream visa, the evidence to establish the sponsor’s eligibility (age, ‘settled’ and the family relationship to the applicant is the same as that required for form 40 (family) sponsorship.
If a Sponsored Family stream sponsor lodges the visa application on the basis of being the visa applicant’s partner, a full assessment of the partner relationship is generally not considered necessary. This is because the visa applicant is being sponsored for a visit only, not permanent migration. Additional evidence however, may be asked for, if there are concerns as to the genuineness of the partner relationship or the applicant and their sponsor have previously unsuccessfully applied for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa.
Withdrawal of the sponsorship by the sponsor before a visa is granted would normally lead to visa refusal. However officers may invite the applicant to provide another sponsor. It is possible for a sponsor to request a withdrawal of the sponsorship after a visa has been granted. The department must then consider whether it agrees to release the sponsor from their sponsorship undertakings. Confirmation of the department’s agreement to release the sponsor from their undertakings may be provided to the sponsor in writing. If the department agrees to the withdrawal of sponsorship, the visa granted on the basis of that sponsorship may be considered for cancellation, because a circumstance which permitted the grant of the visa no longer exists.
A sponsor’s undertakings are completely separate from any security bond arrangements. Therefore, if a sponsor is released from their sponsorship undertakings, this does not affect any bond that was requested. This means that if the bond is being held by the department, this arrangement will continue until such time as the bond is refunded or forfeited as per normal procedures.
Disclaimer: ‘Atlantis International Pty Ltd’ and its associates are independent consulting entities which are not associated in anyway with the Australian ‘Department of Home Affairs’ (DOHA). Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.