Bringing family members to Australia

How can I bring my spouse/partner or children or parents or siblings or cousins to Australia?  This is one of the most common questions I get from potential clients whose objective is to have their relatives live in Australia permanently or temporarily (to come here just for a quick visit or to study or to work).

I will answer this question in a very simplistic form under two categories based on the applicant’s objective on whether to live here permanently or stay here temporarily.

Relatives who plan to live in Australia permanently

Moving to a new country can be tough at first and when you have finally settled and experienced the Australian way of life, you then think about your family who are still in the Philippines (or other countries) and ask yourself how can I share this new world of opportunities to my loved ones back home? Below are some scenarios and the suggested visa pathways for your:

  1. 1.       Spouse/Partner/Children

If you came to Australia by yourself and you plan on bringing your spouse/partner or children (below 25 years old and are still dependent on you) to be with you in Australia, you can include them in your Permanent Residency visa application (assuming you are still on a temporary visa, for example, 457 work visa).  If you are an Australian Permanent Resident or an Australian Citizen and you have a spouse (you are legally married to this person)/partner (you have lived with this person for at least 12 months) in the Philippines or anywhere outside Australia, then you can sponsor him or her on a Partner visa.  Children of Australian Permanent Residents or Australian Citizens can be sponsored through a Child visa.  The child or children should be below 25 years of age, unmarried, and are still dependent on their Australian Permanent Resident or Australian Citizen parent/s.


Australian Permanent Residents or Australian Citizens can sponsor their parents on a Parent visa (there are three kinds, the Contributory Parent, Aged Parent, and Parent visa) if half of their siblings are also living permanently in Australia and are on a PR visa or are also Australian Citizens (this is called the balance of family test).

Siblings or cousins

Siblings or cousins of Australian PRs or Australian Citizens or temporary visa holders can come to Australia via the General Skilled Migration stream.  This means that they should pass the required 60 migration points and have a role under the SOL or CSOL.

Relatives who plan to stay in Australia temporarily

If your relatives plan to have a short visit to Australia then they can apply for a visitor’s visa but if they plan to study here, then they can go for the student visa.  If they are offered a job here (where the role is listed under the CSOL or SOL) the employer is willing to sponsor them, then they can go for a 457 work visa.


DISCLAMER: The article above is meant to provide general information on bringing family members to Australia and not all the specific visa requirements for each option were discussed.   Other pathways may also exist depending on the applicant’s situation.  Specific advice based on your unique situation should be coursed through a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.

*Johanna Bertumen Nonato is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1386856) and the CEO of BridgeAus Migration Consultancy (with offices in Melbourne, Australia and Makati, Philippines). Johanna is here to help you unravel your new beginnings in Australia.  For inquiries, please email or call 0427-589274.  For a free PR visa eligibility assessment, please visit