Changes affecting family members that can be included in Australian visa applications

From 19 November 2016, changes will be made to the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) that will impact the ability to include certain family members in an application for an Australian visa (other than Humanitarian, Refugee and Protection visas).   
Under the existing rules, children (including step-children) aged 18 and above can be included as dependents in a visa application provided it can be demonstrated they are substantially reliant on the main applicant for financial support.  Similarly, other relatives (including a single parent) may be included in a visa application if they live with the main applicant and can demonstrate their substantial reliance for financial support. 
From 19 November 2016, a child (or step-child) aged 23 and above will no longer be eligible for inclusion as a dependent in certain visa applications unless they are incapacitated for work due to the loss of bodily or mental functions.  
Single parents and other relatives will also be precluded from applying as family members in a visa application, even if they are primarily reliant on the main visa applicant for financial support. 
These changes will impact all temporary and permanent visa applications outside of the Humanitarian, Protection or Refugee visa programs. 

What this means for you as an employer?

The effect of these changes will mean that children aged 23 and above wishing to accompany their parent(s) to Australia will need to apply for a visa in their own right.  Single parents and other relatives will no longer be eligible for inclusion as family members in most visa applications.  

It is important to note that these changes will not impact the eligibility of affected children who already hold 457 visas in their capacity as dependents from being included as a family dependent in their parent’s application for a further 457 visa or 
permanent visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your usual PwC contact for further details.


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