Australia Orphan Relative Visas

What is the Australia Orphan Relative Visas (Subclass 117 & 837)?

In many nations, including Australia, family reunion is a core principle of immigration policy. The Australia Orphan Relative Visas is one of several visa subclasses meant to assist in reuniting families under the Australian immigration system. These visas allow eligible orphaned children to reunite with their Australian relatives, establishing an appropriate and caring household.

This visa is categorized into two subclasses, namely, Subclass 117 and Subclass 837.

Orphan Relative Visa Subclass 117 (Offshore): This visa is for children who are outside Australia when they apply and when the visa is granted. It allows them to come and live in Australia with their sponsoring relative. The sponsoring relative must be their brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, or uncle who is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Orphan Relative Visa Subclass 837 (Onshore): This visa is for children who are in Australia when they apply and when the visa is granted. It allows them to live in Australia with their sponsoring relative, who is the same as mentioned for Subclass 117. To be eligible for this visa, the child must be in Australia and hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa, such as a skilled or work visa.

Benefits of Australia Orphan Relative Visas (Subclass 117 and 837)

  • Family Reunion: These visas provide orphaned children with the opportunity to live with their Australian relatives, ensuring they receive the care and support they need.
  • Access to Education and Healthcare: Visa holders have access to the Australian healthcare system and can easily enroll in schools, ensuring they have the opportunity to receive a quality education and medical care.
  • Opportunity for Permanent Residency: After residing in Australia for a specified period on these visas, children may become eligible to apply for Australian permanent residency.

Who is eligible for the Australia Orphan Relative Visas?

To be eligible for the Australia Orphan Relative Visa Subclass 117 & 837, both the sponsor and the orphaned relative must meet the following eligibility criteria.

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Sponsor Eligibility Criteria

To sponsor an orphaned relative, it is mandatory that you are:

  • Either an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or a qualified New Zealand citizen.
  • Aged 18 years or older.
  • Willing and able to provide support, care, and accommodation to the orphaned relative for their first two years in Australia.

Orphaned Relative Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible as an orphaned relative,

  • You must be under 18 years of age.
  • You must be an orphan, which means both parents are deceased or a legal guardian has been appointed.
  • You must not be married, engaged to be married, or in a de facto relationship.
  • You must have an eligible sponsor (Australian relative) willing to provide care and financial support.
  • Either an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or a qualified New Zealand citizen.
  • Aged 18 years or older.
  • Willing and able to provide support, care, and accommodation to the orphaned relative for their first two years in Australia.

Orphaned Relative Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible as an orphaned relative,

  • You must be under 18 years of age.
  • You must be an orphan, which means both parents are deceased or a legal guardian has been appointed.
  • You must not be married, engaged to be married, or in a de facto relationship.
  • You must have an eligible sponsor (Australian relative) willing to provide care and financial support.

Australia Orphan Relative Visas (Subclass 117 & 837) – Document Checklist

  • The applicant must submit a copy of their passport or a valid travel document.
  • Applicants must submit identifying documents, such as a copy of their national identity card or certificates proving name change (if applicable).
  • Your relative must complete the orphan relative visa application form so that it may be submitted with the remainder of their application.
  • Documents relating to sponsorship: As a sponsor, you must supply the applicant with a completed Form 40HC to attach to their application.
  • Four visa photos: Four high-quality, full-face visa photographs are required. The photographs must have been taken within the last six months.
  • The sponsor must submit proof of your relationship to the applicant, which may be a birth certificate, marriage certificate, adoption paperwork, or a family book.
  • Proof of good character: Applicants over the age of 16 must submit Form 80 along with other papers proving that they are not under investigation.
  • Dependents under 18 documents: If the applicant has any dependents under the age of 18, they must submit valid identification documents, confirmation of their relationship with the kid, and any additional documentation that is necessary.
  • Evidence that the child requires your care. The applicant must provide documentation that they do not have parents to care for them. They may contain death certificates or other documentation demonstrating why the parents are unable to care for the child, as well as documents demonstrating that the parents are gone.
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Orphan Relative Visas Costs and Processing Times

An orphan relative visa costs AUD1,870.00. The orphan relative visas take about 54 months to be processed, although sometimes they may take longer. It is highly recommended that you use the visa processing time guidance tool to get an idea of how long it will take to process this visa. Bear in mind that this tool is merely a guide for all visa applications and not just meant for your unique use.

*Costs are accurate as of October 2023.

Australia Orphan Relative Visas Application Process

Applying for the Subclass 117 or 837 Orphan Relative Visa involves a series of steps:

  • Eligibility Assessment: First, the sponsoring Australian relative must assess their eligibility and willingness to sponsor the child.
  • Application Submission: The visa application can be submitted online through the Australian Immigration website.
  • Health and Character Checks: The child may be required to undergo health and character checks as part of the application process. Submission of all necessary documentation required of the sponsor and the child should be done too.
  • Decision/Waiting Time: The Department of Home Affairs will assess the application and make a decision.
  • Visa Grant: If the application is successful, the orphaned child will be granted either a Subclass 117 or 837 visa, depending on whether they were onshore or offshore when applying.

Further information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

FAQs on Australia Orphan Relative Visas;

Q: Who is eligible to apply for these visas?

Ans: Orphaned children under the age of 18 can apply if they have an eligible Australian relative willing to sponsor them.

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Q: Who qualifies as an eligible Australian relative?

Ans: Eligible relatives can include siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who are Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.

Q: What is an assurance of support?

Ans: An assurance of support is a legal commitment by the sponsoring relative to support the child financially and ensure they do not rely on the Australian welfare system.

Q: What is the age limit for eligible orphaned children?

Ans: To be eligible, children must be under 18 years of age at the time of application.

Q: How is the application process initiated?

Ans: Eligible Australian relatives initiate the process by assessing their eligibility and willingness to sponsor, providing the Assurance of Support, and then lodging the visa application.

Q: What happens after the application is submitted?

Ans: The Department of Home Affairs assesses the application, and a decision is made.

Q: Can orphaned children with these visas apply for Australian citizenship?

Ans: Yes, after residing in Australia on these visas for a certain period, they may become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, subject to meeting the requirements.

By Michael

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