Living in Australia

How to bring your family members to Australia on a 600 Visitor Visa

by Anthony Bianco

If you live in Australia and would like to bring out family members from overseas on a temporary basis, did you know that the Department of Home Affairs has a ‘Sponsored family stream’ available as part of the Visitor visa (subclass 600)?

While the 600 visa is mainly issued for leisure and business travellers to Australia, the Sponsored family stream is also available for people who already live in Australia to bring out family members from overseas for an extended period.

You can find out how you can explore this avenue below.

What is the Visitor visa (subclass 600) Sponsored family stream?

The Sponsored Family Stream of the 600 visa is one of streams available for the Visitor visa (subclass 600). The 600 Visa Sponsored family stream visa can be valid for stays in Australia for up to twelve months.

The main difference between the Sponsored family stream and the other 600 streams is that you can be a sponsor living in Australia who provides a letter of invitation for a relative from overseas to visit. A sponsor can be either a family member (e.g. partner, parent, or sibling of the person planning to visit) or an Australian government official.

Who is eligible for the Sponsored Family Stream of the 600 Visa?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Who Can Apply For The Sponsored Family Stream Visa in Australia

If you decide to bring out family members to Australia via the Sponsored family stream, you must be already living here, and the person you sponsor must arrive as a visitor only.

Specific visa application requirements do vary between countries. However, prospective visitors will need to meet health and character requirements and have enough funds to support themselves while they are in Australia.

Only individuals can enter Australia on this stream. Separate applications will need to be made for other family members who wish to visit. However, applications can be processed together.

Applications can be lodged online or offline. All non-internet based sponsored family stream applications must be sent by post or courier to Sydney. Sponsors may also be required to pay a security bond if a visa is approved.

What Does the Visitor visa (subclass 600) Sponsored family stream allow?

Depending on the conditions of the visa issued, your family member may be able to stay in Australia for a period of up to 12 months on the Sponsored family stream. They will not be able to work in Australia on this visa.

Family members arriving on this visa can study for a period of up to 3 months in Australia. This visa will not be able to be extended as this stream is subject to condition 8503 – no further stay. Depending on the visa conditions, the visa holder may be able to depart and return to Australia multiple times.

Your family member must depart Australia before their visa expires.

How do I apply?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Documents Needed For A Visitor Visa Family Sponsored Stream

To make the application as simple as possible, your prospective overseas visitor(s) should follow the below steps as suggested by the Department of Home Affairs:

  1. Organise health examinations before applying for the visa
  2. Fill out the application form. A migration agent isn’t necessarily required, but can be accessed – see the Migration Agents Registration Authority
  3. Prepare documents for the visa application which will need to be certified documents like passports and marriage certificates. Police certificates will need to be the original copy. Other documents may include bank statements and the sponsor’s letter of invitation to visit Australia. Your sponsored family member may also need to provide documents stating that they intend to return home, such as employer letters and proof of assets in their home country. All non-English documents will need to be translated in English
  4. Apply for the visa – either online or on paper. The information supplied will need to be accurate, and the relevant visa application charge needs to be paid. Your prospective family member should refer to the visa application checklists to ensure the application is complete.

Your family member must be outside of Australia throughout the application process, and cannot enter Australia until this visa is approved.

Otherwise, if the Sponsored family stream is not suitable for your family member, they may be eligible to visit Australia via the Tourist Stream of the 600 visa, which allows stays of 3, 6 or 12 months.

Health Insurance

The Sponsored family stream of the 600 Visa is subject to Condition 8501 – where the visa holder must maintain adequate health insurance during their stay in Australia.

Visitors are required to manage their health costs in Australia and will not be covered by Australia's national health scheme (Medicare) unless a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia is in place with the visa holder’s country.

More Information

For more information about the Sponsored family stream of the 600 Visitor visa, see more at the Department of Home Affairs website. The Department of Home Affairs regularly updates information in regards to visa information, so this website should be consulted regularly if a visa application is being considered.

You can also see our other resources:

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