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Adding family members to certain GSM visas after date of grant

The contents of this article are correct as at 27 June 2011.

Family members and/or relatives cannot be added to an applicant’s GSM permanent visa (eg subclasses 885 and 886) after it has been granted. In those situations, the family members will need to apply for residency under the partner or child migration pathways (as applicable).

A partner, dependent children and other dependent relatives who were not included in the applicant’s original application can apply for the following temporary or provisional visas if they can demonstrate that they are members of the primary visa holder’s close family unit:

  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 475)
  • Skilled – Recognised Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 476)
  • Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 485)
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 487)
  • Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 495)
  • Skilled – Designated Area Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 496)

Family members and relatives who apply for one of the above visas to join the primary visa holder must meet the Health, Character, Australian Values Statement and English language ability requirements.


Family members and other dependent relatives under current law are defined below:


A partner is the main visa holder’s spouse or de facto partner, including same-sex partners.

Dependent children

A dependent child is the child, or stepchild, of the main visa holder or the main visa holder's partner. To be dependent the child must be under 18 years of age, or over 18 years of age and wholly or substantially reliant on the main visa holder for food, shelter and clothing.

Other dependent relatives

Other dependent relatives are relatives of the applicant or the applicant’s partner who have no other relative able to care for them in their own country and they either:

  • are not currently married, engaged or in a de facto relationship
  • are not currently married, engaged or in a de facto relationship
  • are usually resident in the applicant’s or the applicant’s partner’s household
  • rely on the applicant or the applicant’s partner for financial support for their basic needs and the applicant or the applicant’s partner have supported them for a substantial period
  • rely on the applicant or the applicant’s partner more than any other person or source

It should be noted that a family member who applies for a visa to join the main visa holder will be granted the same type of visa as the main visa holder holds. The family member’s visa will be granted to run concurrently with the main visa holder’s visa and will expire at the same time as the main visa holder’s visa.

If you have any questions concerning this article, please click this link to contact Visa Lawyers Australia.