Do you include the children in an Australian partner visa application? Fiancee visa or spouse visa? An important issue for Australian Filipina couples where the lady is a single mother. I’ve had a few BLOG articles on this topic over time. Please feel free to use the search function on the BLOG page and have a read, especially the one about trying to fit in migration around Philippines school years HERE
If you meet a single mum, she will obviously have kids. So you need to sort out if you will include them in the application or not. It’s an individual choice obviously, but I would implore you to take this issue very seriously because separating a mum from her kids is always going to an issue (even if she says it isn’t!). In some cases especially with OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers), possibly they may have grown up with Grandma and may not be so close to their mum. But if not, it’s going to be hard on mum and on kids.
Be aware that you may include them in the fiancée/spouse/partner visa application very easily, as long as there are no custody issues. You also need to have a clean criminal record when it comes to offenses against minors. It’s very little extra paperwork or effort, and Down Under Visa don’t charge any additional professional fees for including kids in visa applications.
Options for kids
The first option, as above. Include the dependent children in the partner visa application as secondary applicants. This is the easiest one. When mum gets her visa, so do the kids. When mum goes to Australia, they go there with her.
Negatives? Only possible negatives will be if mum is likely to go through culture shock and adjustment issues with you. You need to be certain that you both have the capacity to help a child to adjust to a new home and country, and to settle into a new school. If mum is crying every day because she misses her own mum and she’s freaked out by unfamiliar surroundings, she’s not in an emotional state to do this properly. However if she’s reasonably worldly, and especially if she’s been to Australia and stayed with you already on a tourist visa once or twice, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
Re police clearances for you? We hear a bit of panic about this sometimes. They are looking for Australian sponsors with convictions for offenses against kids of a sexual and/or violent nature. If you’ve been hit up with an AVO (or whatever your state calls those “he needs to stay away, even though he hasn’t actually done anything” orders), this is not an issue if that’s all there is. They don’t care if you stole a car when you were a teenager, or if they tossed you in jail for three months over a large bag of marijuana you had once. If you’re not a convicted risk to kids, you can relax. If you are, then you will be prevented from sponsoring minors in a partner visa application.
The second option is to apply for them later with either a Dependent Child Visa application, or a Child Visa application. Differences?
A Dependent Child Visa, you may apply for when the applicant has a temporary partner visa. That means either a Subclass 309 for offshore applicants, or a Subclass 820 for onshore applicants. And it will take 10 – 12 months to be processed. So be aware that mum and child will be apart for about a year, and about 2 years for Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) applicants. That’s a long time, which means you should really think it through.
A Child Visa is the one you apply for when the applicant has a permanent partner visa, ie. a Subclass 100 or a Subclass 801. It will also take 10 – 12 months to process, so expect them to be apart 3 – 4 years from when she arrives.
This is an option only if you, the Australian sponsor, are the biological father of the dependent child. Instead of adding the child to the partner visa application, we can prepare a Citizenship By Descent application.
Advantages? It’s quicker than a partner visa application. It’s also cheaper than adding a dependent to a partner visa application. Yes, I’m serious. Considerably cheaper. And it’s obviously so much better to bestow Aussie Citizenship on your child anyway. Aussie passport. Able to travel freely. Disadvantages? None that I can think of!
Please think and talk this matter through, and let us know what you would like to do.