The Subclass 600 Family Stream is a really important visa option to bring family members out to visit you in Australia for a longer period of time. On this visa, your family member can stay up to 12 months. The visa can be granted with one entry or multiple entries.
The application fee is only $145, but remember that the Department of Home Affairs can request a security bond.
With COVID, processing time has blown out considerably and, at time of writing (August 2021) it is taking 4 – 10 months to process.
Unfortunately there is no option to extend this visa as it will have Condition 8503 (no further stay). In very limited situations, you may be able to request a waiver to Condition 8503. You can read about that here.
A separate application must be made for each family member, however they can be processed together.
You must be outside of Australia when you apply for this visa and you must also have a family member that can sponsor you. If you do not have an appropriate family member to sponsor you, you can apply for the Visitor visa (subclass 600) Tourist stream.
Suitable Family Sponsors
Sponsorship is required to ensure the visa holder will abide by their visa conditions and leave Australia at the end of their visit.
You must be a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident (this usually means they must have lived in Australia for the last 2 years, unless there are compelling compassionate circumstances) in order to sponsor a family member. Sponsors can only sponsor one family member / visa applicant at a time and must be over 18 years old.
To be a relative, you must be an applicant’s:
- partner, parent or child
- brother or sister
- grandparent or grandchild
- aunt or uncle
- niece or nephew
- the step equivalent of the above
To be a sponsor, you can’t be a:
- New Zealand citizen
You cannot sponsor a family member if you are currently sponsoring a visitor on a subclass 600 visa, and the new applicant is not part of the members of the family unit of the visitor you are already sponsoring or is travelling to Australia for a different purpose.
You must be able to pay a security bond, if requested by the Department. They can request any amount but usually it’s between AUD 5,000 and AUD 15,000 per person. As the sponsor, you must pay the bond in full prior to the Department making a final decision on the visa application. You will get this money back if the person you sponsor complies with their visa conditions and leaves Australia before their visa expires
Penalties will apply to the sponsor if the visitor breaches visa conditions.
Sponsors must complete a sponsorship form (Form 1149) listing all members of the family unit they are sponsoring. The sponsorship form must be lodged by the sponsor in Australia together with a visa application (Form 1418), or attached to an online application, for each visa applicant. Applications can be lodged online or offline.