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, 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 education purposes or to allow their mother to adjust to life in Australia before they join her. And as long as 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 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, they 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 call “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
- May apply for on a temporary partner visa (Subclass 445 Dependent Child Visa) or on a permanent partner visa (Subclass 101 Child Visa)
- Moderately high Government fees only
- Allows time for a couple to adjust to marriage and life in a new country before children arrive
- Technically may be applied-for onshore
- Cannot apply for whilst parent is on a prospective marriage visa
- Can mean children are apart from their mother for several years
- Higher level of evidence to prove dependency than as a secondary applicant on a partner visa, ie. can’t marry, get engaged, live in a de facto relationship, live independently, be employed, and leaving study is inadvisable
- Very hard to get a tourist visa for an otherwise dependent child, therefore not easy to apply for an onshore child visa application
Australian Child Visas From the Philippines FAQ
Do I need to apply for a Child Visa at the same time as a Partner Visa?
No, you may apply for a Dependent Child Visa when the parent has had a temporary Partner Visa granted (ie Subclass 309 or Subclass 820). You may apply for a Child Visa when the parent has a permanent Partner Visa granted (ie. Subclass 100 or Subclass 801).
The family has a niece who grew up with them. Can we get them a Child Visa?
No sorry. Only biological, step or adopted children. No chance for another relative.
When can we apply for a Child Visa?
You can apply for a Dependent Child Visa when the parent has had a temporary Partner Visa granted (ie Subclass 309 or Subclass 820). You may apply for a Child Visa when the parent has a permanent Partner Visa granted (ie. Subclass 100 or Subclass 801).
Her son has a biological father she was married to. Can we get him a Child Visa?
Only if (a) you have his written permission for the child to migrate permanently, or (b) there is a court order removing his custodial rights.
She wasn’t married to the father of the child. Can we get him a Child Visa?
Under Philippines Law, children born out of wedlock are the sole responsibility of the mother. An unmarried biological father has no say in what happens to his children.
What’s better? A Child Visa, or adding the child to a Partner Visa?
It comes down to what you prefer. To me? I think kids should be with their parents, and note that a Dependent Child Visa means parent and child will be apart 18 months or longer. Child Visa, even longer. But if you prefer that mum settles into life in Australia first, then a Child Visa is reasonable choice. We will help you no matter what you choose.
Do I need to adopt the child in Australia?
There is no legal requirement for you to do so. It’s very easy to change the family name of a child through the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages with a simple form.
What’s the difference between a Child Visa and a Dependent Child Visa?
There are different criteria in the Migration Regulations for each one, which we won’t go into here. In short, the Dependent Child Visa is applied for when the child’s parent has a temporary Partner Visa, whereas the Child Visa is applied for when the parent has a permanent Partner Visa.
The child is 25 years old and has a job and a husband. Can we get a Child Visa?
Not a chance. Needs to be a child who is wholly or substantially dependent on their parent for their daily needs. If working and/or with a spouse, they are clearly not dependent on anyone else.
The child is 25 years old and doesn’t work. Can we get a Child Visa?
Not unless there is a very unusual reason for the “child” to be still genuinely dependent on a parent at that age. Laziness is not a justifiable reason. This is about genuine dependency, and not because you want your older child to enjoy the good life in Australia. They need to genuinely deserve the visa grant.
What age can the child be for a Child Visa?
It gets a little complicated. Please complete an online assessment and we can advise you.
Have A Child Visa Question Not Answered Above?
Now, over to you the client (or potential client)! We value our clients opinions, and we believe in keeping all well-informed. What would YOU like to ask about child visas? What do YOU think needs a bit more explanation? Ask below, and Jeff Harvie RMA will answer your question for you and for others wondering the same thing.
More On Child Visas From Our BLOG Page…
When should the Filipino child come to Australia?
Not always the easiest question, but if you are bringing a Filipino child of your single-mum or divorced/annulled Filipina lady from Philippines to Australia, it’s an area you both need to discuss and you should both agree on. And I really mean that! If you are the committed couple that you claim to be on your Partner Visa application (or Prospective Marriage Visa application) then you should be leading a shared life, and decisions about kids should be made by both of you. It’s not just the decision for the mother, and it is DEFINITELY NOT the decision of her family in the Philippines.
If there are kids involved and you intend to bring them to Australia to live as a complete family, then you have two major options. Either:
- Include them as secondary applicants as part of a Partner Visa application, or
- Do not include them as secondary applicants in the Partner Visa application, and bring them to Australia later with a Dependent Child Visa or Child Visa later again.
Leaving Filipino kids with the relatives
Lots of great things in Filipino culture, but I’m of the firm belief that kids should always be with their parents despite the tendency to leave them with relatives. I also married a single mum. Remy (child) was left in the province from 2 ½ until 9 years old while Mila was an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in Hong Kong doing her best to make a better kids for her daughter. The relatives did their best, but she was semi-feral by the time we brought her to Australia on a Subclass 445 Dependent Child Visa. An auntie, an uncle and two ol’ grandparents shared the parenting role, but it meant the buck didn’t actually stop anywhere! “Where is Remy?” “Diko alam” (ie. “I don’t know”). She was very underweight. She slept when she wanted. She roamed the town. And she didn’t like being told what to do. She needed a mum and dad, and she got them in Mila and myself. We did what I think was a great job, but there were also insecurities to deal with from the feeling she had of her mum abandoning her!
Other relatives who did the same thing? Yes, and they are the kids who got into trouble. There are three nieces whom we have nothing to do with now. Two of them married complete morons after getting pregnant at a young age. They’re now trapped, and will live in poverty forever.
So please think carefully, OK? The relatives might be well-meaning, but kids need a mum AND a dad. And to me, nothing is more rewarding than being a dad. It’s probably the best thing a man can ever aspire to being.