Including Dependents On Your Visa Application
The Australian Government has introduced far reaching changes to the definition of Member of the Family Unit (MoFU) for the purpose of most visa applications. There are now significant limitations on the class of persons that can be considered part of MoFU and hence be included in a visa application.
Character Assessment of Australian Sponsors of Partner Visa Applications
From 18 November 2016, Australian citizen and permanent resident Sponsors of Partner Visa and Prospective Marriage Visa applications (“a partner visa”), are subject to character testing. In line with current Australian Government strategies to reduce family violence in the Australian community, the new provisions have been introduced to prevent Australians who have committed a relevant offence from being able to sponsor someone for a partner visa.
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Including Dependents On Your Visa Application

The contents of this article are correct as at 19 November 2016.

The Australian Government has introduced far reaching changes to the definition of Member of the Family Unit (MoFU) for the purpose of most visa applications. There are now significant limitations on the class of persons that can be considered part of MoFU and hence be included in a visa application.

Generally speaking, applications that were lodged and not finalized before 19 November 2016, allow the main applicant to include the following family members in a visa application:

  • Financially dependent children of any age of the main applicant, or spouse/partner of the main applicant; and
  • Single relatives who were usually resident in the same household as the main applicant and were financially dependent on the main applicant or spouse/partner of the main applicant.

This definition allowed for certain extended families to remain together and transition to Australia as a family unit.

However, for applications submitted after 19 November 2016, new legislative provisions have been introduced that restrict the MoFU to the following persons:

  • Spouse/partner; and
  • Child or step-child of the main applicant, or spouse/partner of the main applicant, who is less than 18 years of age; and
  • Child or step-child of the main applicant, or spouse/partner of the main applicant, who is more than 18 years of age but less than 23 years of age and is dependent on the main applicant, and/or the spouse/partner of the main applicant; and
  • Child or step-child of the main applicant, or spouse/partner of the main applicant, who has turned 23 years of age and is incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions.

In other words, for visa applications lodged after 19 November 2016, the following family members can no longer be included in a visa application:

  • Children at the age of 23 years or over; and
  • Single relatives of the main applicant or of the partner/spouse of the main applicant.

Exceptions will apply to dependent applicants who:

  • Already hold a 457 visa and will be included in an application for a 186 or 187 visa
  • Already hold a 457 visa and will be included in an application for a further 457 visa
  • Will be included in an application for a refugee, humanitarian or protection visa

If you are interested in applying for a visa and including your dependents in the application, please click this link to contact Visa Lawyers Australia.


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