So you have found your right visa but you don’t want to come to Australia by yourself? Maybe your wife wants to join you? How about bringing your kids with you? Today I would like to answer these and a few other questions. Soon you will see that coming together is not as complicated as it might seems, however you obviously should be prepared for more paperwork in your visa application.
This post I would like to divide into 2 sections: applying together and adding a secondary applicant after application lodgement.
For permanent visas it is generally OK to include another family member (a secondary applicant) who has to be a ‘member of the family unit (MOFU)’.
But who is a MOFU?
– your husband/wife or de-facto partner
– your or your partner’s child who is dependent on you
– your or your partner’s relative who is:
a) not currently married
b) lives with you
c) is dependent on you.
Therefore for example your unmarried older uncle whom you look after and who is financially dependent on you would most likely qualify as a MOFU.
For temporary visas, it is not clear-cut whether it is possible to include another person in your application and everything depends on the visa you are applying for.
Visitor visas normally do not allow secondary applicants. Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) is a good example. Secondary applicants such as children are not allowed here. If your partner wishes to be included in your application they will have to apply for their own 417 visa.
Luckily very popular 457 visa allows a MOFU to be included in the primary applicant’s application. Another case is a student visa which is slightly different. Although it allows a secondary applicant, he or she can be only a member of your family unit (MOFU) as:
– your husband/wife or de-facto partner; or
– your or your partner’s unmarried child who is under 18 years old and dependent on you.
Adding a family member after lodging your application
In majority of visas it is possible to add another person to your application. However only certain persons can be included and under certain conditions.
What is important is the relationship of a secondary applicant to yourself and location of both of you. Your visa might specify that for example both of you have to be in or out of Australia when applying.
Below I have listed a few common scenarios that might apply to you:
1. Adding a MOFU (a dependent child, spouse or de facto partner) in case of certain permanent visas, e.g. Skilled Independent 189 and Skilled Nominated 190)
a) After your visa application has been lodged but still there is no decision – You have to do it in writing by making a request to the Department of Immigration and paying relevant application fees.
b) After visa has been granted – too late to be added to original application. The secondary applicant has to lodge a new application in their own right (that is apply as a primary applicant)
2. Adding a MOFU (a dependent child, spouse or de facto partner) in case of certain temporary visas, e.g. 457 visa
a) After your visa application has been lodged but still there is no decision – You have to do it in writing by making a request to the Department of Immigration. If you are granted a visa your MOFU will hold the same visa as you.
b) After visa has been granted – in some cases it is possible to either apply for a visa for your MOFU or in case of 457 visa they can apply lodging their own 457 visa application based on their relationship with a primary applicant.
3. Child is born after visa is granted (permanent visas)
Let’s say one of the parents is on a permanent Partner 801 visa being previously sponsored by an Australian citizen – if child is born in Australia it does not need any visa as it becomes automatically an Australian citizen by birth. If born overseas a child can still be registered as an Australian citizen by descent.
A few important points to summarize:
– secondary applicants can only be granted a visa if a primary applicant is granted visa
– there are certain visas where secondary applicants cannot join a primary one (mainly visitors visas)
– in case of some visas if secondary applicant does not satisfy all requirements, even though primary applicant met them all, the whole application might fail. This is called ‘one fails, all fail’ rule. Talk to us first if you are in doubt!