There are Child Visas and Dependent Child Visas for Filipino children (natural children and adopted) who are wholly or substantially dependent on you (Filipina parent) for their daily needs. This option should be considered if you feel that it would be advantageous to not include a dependent child in a partner visa application from Philippines, and if you wish them to travel to Australia at a later time. Be aware that child visa applications may mean that children and parents are separated for 18 months to several years.
An easier option is to include a dependent child in an Australian partner visa application from the beginning, and we at Down Under Visa always advise our clients to do just that. However there are circumstances where parents (and even the child if old enough) decide that they wish to delay migrating to Australia for school purposes or to allow their mother to adjust to life in Australia before they join her. And as long as the child or children remain dependent on their parent in Australia (and remain as children), they may be applied-for under the Child Visa options at a later stage.
Information contained in this page is of a general nature. Informative, yes, but not a formula for preparing visa applications and should not be relied on as such. The devil is in the detail, rest assured. Australian migration law is complicated and Departmental decisions are inflexible and often final. Readers and future visa applicants and sponsors are advised to rely on professionals to ensure a happy outcome.
Dependent Child – What does it mean?
A Dependent Child must be the child of the Filipina mother (or father, if the original partner visa applicant is male). If they are under 18 they are considered to be dependent on the parent, however if they are over 18 they need to establish that they remain “wholly or substantially dependent for their daily needs”. This means food, clothing and shelter. If they are being supported wholly or substantially by another parent, or especially if they are working and supporting themselves then they are no longer dependent.
Note that a dependent child over 18 should be able to show why they remain dependent, such as being full-time students. Working, living away from home, being married or engaged or in a de facto relationship, all of these can render the child as no longer being dependent as they show evidence that they are able to support themselves.
Child Visa Eligibility
As well as the aforementioned need to be a dependent child, they must also be the biological child of the Australian partner visa holder, or a legally adopted child or step-child over whom they have legal responsibility. Note that whilst it’s common in the Philippines to have unofficial adopted children living with you, such children are ineligible for Child Visas to Australia. Relatives or neighbours children, even if they have lived with the visa holder for a very long time, will not be eligible.
The Filipino child must also be under the sole custody of the Filipino visa holder in Australia through court order or due to being born out of wedlock which under Philippines Law, ie Art 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines, gives sole custody to the mother when the child is called “illegitimate”. If the biological father of the child is still alive and maintains legal custody of the child, written permission from this parent is required before the child may migrate to Australia.
Child Visa Options
- Dependent Child Visa: If the parent of the child holds a temporary partner visa.
The Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445) is for dependent children of holders of temporary partner visas, such as the Subclass 309 or the Subclass 820. The dependent child is sponsored by the original sponsor of the temporary partner visa, and it allows the visa holder to travel to Australia to live with his parent and new step-parent. When the temporary partner visa holder is being considered for the permanent partner visa, the Dependent Child Visa holder may be included in that permanent visa.
- Child Visa: If the parent of the child holds a permanent partner visa.
The Child Visa (Subclass 101) is a permanent visa for the dependent child of a permanent partner visa. Therefore this visa is applied for at a later stage than when a 445 dependent child visa may be applied for. The Child Visa holder enters Australia as a permanent visa holder. The Regulations are particularly strict, and standards for being dependent are particularly high. The visa applicant must be wholly or substantially dependent on the parent in Australia for their daily needs, and for this to have been the case for a significant time.
Child Visa Pros and Cons