A Mothers’ Common Visa Questions

In celebration of Mother’s Day this month of May, I will discuss below the common questions that mothers’ may have about Australian visas.

  1. Can I visit my child in Australia who is on a temporary visa?

It is not a mandatory requirement that your child should be an Australian citizen or holds an Australian Permanent Residency (PR) visa before you can visit him/her.  Even if your child is holding a student visa, work visa (TSS 482) visa, graduate visa, or any other temporary visas, he/she can still invite you and sponsor you in your visitor visa application.

  1. I am over 50 years old; can I still study in Australia?

The student visa legislation does not specify a maximum age limit for student visa applications.  The short answer is yes, you can still study in Australia.  However, you should satisfy all the student visa criteria and more importantly, you should satisfy the genuine temporary entrant criteria for student visa applicant as well.  You should be able to explain why you plan to study in Australia; what’s the value of your intended course of study to your future; how it relates to your current/previous work experience and studies; and demonstrate that you do not have plans to stay in Australia permanently.

Note that some education providers do not accept mature aged enrollees.  This is because some education providers feel that there is a higher chance that a student visa application will get refused if the applicant is above 35 years of age.  When an education providers’ enrollee’s student visa gets refused, this affects their risk assessment level.  Their risk assessment level determines if the Department of Home Affairs will request for English test results and financial evidence when their enrollee applies for a student visa.

  1. Can I migrate to Australia as a single mum?

Yes, your ability to migrate to Australia does not hinge on your marital status.  Your visa eligibility for PR visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) stream will rely on your occupation, your age, your ability to reach the required migration points, and your ability to satisfy all the criteria of the specific visa that you are applying for.  Note that single applicants can claim ten points on their total migration score.

  1. Can I include my child in my visa application?

This depends on the visa that you are applying for.  If you are applying for a visitor visa, you cannot include your child in your application.  You would have to apply for your child’s visitor visa as a separate application. You can then come to Australia together once both your visitor visas are granted.

For student visa application, you can include your child as your dependent in a combined application.  Note that it is mandatory for school-aged children holding a student visa (dependent) to study in Australia.  Check with your state’s Department of Education to see the tuition fee rate applicable to your child whether you will be charged as international or local rate.

  1. I am in Australia and my current visa is expiring soon.  How can I stay longer in Australia?

For mothers who are here in Australia and are looking for ways to stay here, your visa options will depend on your objectives and your eligibility for the next visa.  If you plan to stay temporarily, you can apply for another visitor visa if your current one does not have a further stay (8503) condition.  Note that this condition can be waived if you can show compelling and compassionate reasons why you need to apply for your next visa while in Australia.

If you plan to stay longer than your visitor visa permits and you also genuinely want to study in Australia, you can apply for a student visa if you can satisfy the criteria for this.  If you plan to stay in Australia permanently, check if you are eligible for any parent visa subclasses or other PR visas.

Should you have questions not covered above or you require specific advice based on your circumstance, it is suggested that you speak with a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.