Australia visa applicants emigrating with
teenage dependants could face issues
More potential Australia immigration issues could be on the horizon following the visa processing changes made by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) on 23 September.
While further announcements may be made in the near future which could change things again, we always advise that anyone applying for an Australia visa follow the current legislation and policy as it stands now, and prepare for the possibility that it may remain in place for some time.
With that in mind, one of the potential issues is that of dependent applicants growing beyond dependency before the application is finalised.
Therefore, should you have a dependent child aged 15 or above included in your visa application, this blog really should be considered essential reading.
Why could there be an issue with my dependent children?
Under current legislation, once a child reaches the age of 18, dependency is no longer assumed and must be proven at the end of the process (i.e. when the visa application is assessed and a decision is made).
It is possible that DIAC will begin to assess applications as per an applicant's circumstances at the time of lodgement. Should they announce this, or introduce some other form of leniency or provisions to account for applicants with dependants, then we do not anticipate this will be an issue.
However, should DIAC choose to keep the requirement that any dependants REMAIN dependent throughout the application process and at the end of processing when assessing applications and your child is 18 or over at that time, you may be asked to prove that they remain dependent on you. If you are unable to prove this, there is no guarantee that they will remain eligible to remain on the application.
How can I prove dependency?
Dependency is demonstrated through providing:
- A completed Form 47A (Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over); AND
- Third party evidence (such as confirmation that your dependent child is in full-time education or requires financial support to meet their basic needs).
If they are in work this would need to be declared, although payslips are accepted as proof of low income.
We'll cover this issue in more detail as further information is released, and at this stage, we are simply encouraging Australia visa applicants to keep it in mind so that if there is a significant wait before your application is processed, appropriate decisions can be made to ensure that migrating dependants remain verifiably dependent.
This issue, among several others, is one which we hope DIAC will address in the near future, and we'll be sure to update our blog with more information as firmer directions on this issue are released.
- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau
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