This is a permanent visa that allows people who meet certain age requirements to live permanently in Australia if they rely on an eligible relative in Australia to provide them with financial support. This visa, unlike the Parent Visas, is not subject to the balance of family test.
Eligibility Criteria – Sponsor
You must be sponsored by a relative (usually, but no necessarily, your child) on whom you are financially dependent and who has providing you with financial support for a reasonable period (usually three years) before you lodge your application. Their partner can also be your sponsor.
Your sponsoring relative or their partner must be:
1. 18 years of age or older;
2. usually resident in Australia; and
3. settled in Australia as an Australian citizen or permanent resident (generally meaning they must have lived in Australia for at least 2 years).
You sponsor must prove they have been financially supporting you. This will generally mean that your sponsor, whilst you were overseas, can prove they were sending you money (e.g. money transfers), and that your reliance on them for financial support was whole or substantial.
Eligibility Criteria – Visa Applicant
To be considered an aged dependent relative you must:
1. not be married or in a de facto relationship;
2. be able to demonstrate that you have been wholly or substantially dependent on your relative in Australia for financial support for your basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, or because you have a disability which prevents you from working; and
3. be old enough to be granted an aged pension under the Social Security Act 1991 if you were Australian.
Assurance of Support
A person or organisation must give you an assurance of support. This can be your sponsor or another person. Up to three people can provide an assurance of support for you.
An assurance of support is a legal commitment to provide you with financial support so you do not have to rely on social security payments. The assurance covers you and the family members included in your application.
An assurer must:
1. lodge a bond for each applicant 18 years of age or older, which is AUD$5,000 for the main applicant and AUD$2,000 for each adult family member included in your application; and
2. repay any recoverable social security payments you receive in the first two years of living in Australia.
If the assurer is an organisation, a larger bond is required for each application. The bond is refunded at two years after your visa has been granted. Any debts to the government are deducted from the bond and only the balance is refunded.
The amount recoverable against the assurer by the Australian Government is not limited to the bond amount.
You will only need to lodge an assurance of support after your application has been assessed and is released from the queue for final processing and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection contacts you.
Where the application can be lodged
An application for an Aged Dependant Relative Visa can be lodged either inside or outside of Australia. The processing period for this visa is extremely long (in excess of 30 years), though if you lodge your application in Australia, you will be granted a Bridging Visa which will allow you to remain in Australia lawfully until your application is finalized. You will not have access to Centrelink payments whilst the visa is being processed.
If you lodge your application inside of Australia, you must be inside of Australia for the visa to be granted. Likewise, if you lodge your application outside of Australia, you must be outside of Australia for the visa to be granted. Given the extended processing time for this visa, there is little practical use in lodging an application overseas for this visa.
We offer all our prospective clients an initial meeting, during which we will thoroughly explain the law surrounding this visa to you and inform you of the process moving forward.
To organize a initial consultation with us, please contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers on (02) 9590 3987.