You may be lucky enough to have close kinship ties with an Australian, an Australian permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen living in Australia. You may also be married or engaged to one. If so, you may qualify under the family reunion program. Of course, this person will have to sponsor you and, if need be, arrange for you to be supported for two years, so you will need to be on good terms with them.
In some visa categories, the sponsor has to be “settled” in Australia; generally, for a permanent resident, that means having been in Australia for two years.
For close family ties, there are visas for:
- Dependent child
- Children adopted overseas
- Orphan relative
- Aged Dependent Relative
- Remaining Relative
Unfortunately, false marriages are a reality for immigration departments worldwide but the consequences of such a criminal arrangement are severe: prison, deportation, future exclusion from Australia. The Australian government has instituted certain arrangements to control spouse visa holders after their arrival in Australia, in recognition that it can’t intercept every bogus marriage at the visa stage. A spouse who is sponsored to Australia must remain as a temporary resident until two years after the application is lodged. If the marriage is still going strong at that time, a permanent visa will be granted. Fiances may also be sponsored to Australia, and must get married to their sponsors within nine months of arrival.
In theory, if the number of children in a family living in Australia is at least equal to the number living overseas, it is possible to sponsor the parents to also live in Australia.
Since July 2003 there are now two forms of parent visa relating basically to whether you can afford to pay a substantial premium to get the visa quickly (this is the contributory parent visa) or wait (the parent and aged parent visa categories). Deciding which path to follow will depend on personal and family circumstances.